What's New in 2012

(Which may also be known as the, "Hey, Where's that Story Midwife Training Page?")

Around here we talk a lot about "following the thread". As I've said elsewhere, following the thread is being awake to the impulse of life as it is born through our lives. To follow the thread means to recognize that a sacred presence is woven through our landscapes and that the Universe itself is composing the symphony of life through our stories. When you're following your thread, you're in touch with that rich, creative, ever-evolving stuff. The stuff of God's heart.

My pathway into spiritual direction organically evolved from my work as a songwriter and performing musician. Story is at the heart of my music, and through music, I've been intimately woven into the depth of others' lives. While I've been about the work of Story Midwife training the last several years, the songwriter in me has been itching to wrap her hands and heart around a CD project that would be born from the very marrow of my Story Midwife self.

Well, I've decided to practice what I preach about this thread-following business. And, by golly, it's only taken me seven years to say yes. I'll be committing a significant portion of this year to creating this long dreamed-of CD, which I'm calling Thresholds. (If you're familiar with the work of Irish mystic author John O'Donohue or poet David Whyte, the image of the threshold is likely familiar to you. Both John and David have been my guides and companions in this music so you're bound to recognize their influence in my Thresholds project.)

You see, it's all related.

I'm a better Story Midwife because I'm a songwriter and musician, and my music is better because it's infused with the stories I carry in my heart. In other words, I don't see this "return to music", if you will, as taking a hiatus from my call to spiritual direction. Rather, it's allowing both of these parts of my life to shape and hone each other. If they're both talking to each other, and if I'm listening, I'm living deeply engaged in Life, and (hopefully!) making the world a more loving, lively, and beautiful place to dwell. So you might say Thresholds is musical reflections on the life of a Story Midwife.

In February, I'll be taking myself on a private writing residency in a cabin in the secluded, winter woods of the Catskill Mountains. Following that, I'll let myself be guided by the way the muse winds blow as I finish the songs, and Richard (my partner in life and in music) and I move into recording. And when the CD's all ripe and ready for the world, we'll embark on a grassroots, living room concert series, sharing the voice of the threshold little by little, soul by soul...

Until we take over the world. Well, you know, in an introverted, contemplative, spiritual director-y kind of way.

At any rate, because parts of my inner Story Midwife will be on loan to her mistress, my inner Songwriter, Anam Cara Community will shift in accommodation. Most notable is my choice to discontinue the certificate in Story Midwifery.  At least for now. Whether or not it will be offered in the future (by myself or others), and how, remains to be seen.

What continues is my deep joy in helping women experience their lives as sacred art, and companioning them in keeping awake to the pulse of their own souls. Even more, is a particular, passionate call to be an anam cara to Story Midwives and soul professionals as they bear witness to others birthing their stories.

Opening The Door Wider For You

Here's what I'm really excited about in all this: instead of a single, long-term program available only once a year to a set number of participants, you now have options (I love options!). I'll be offering short-term classes and at-home retreats, and -- my favorite -- monthly soul story groups, called Anam Cara Circles. You might also want to work with me privately in individual sessions, something I've previously made available only to participants of the Story Midwife Training Program.

So, now is your chance to dip your toes in. Or, go ahead! Dive all the way in if you'd like.

A Dedicated Corner Just for Spiritual Directors and Soul Professionals

If you're a Story Midwife or spiritual director who's completed training, you're doing unique and amazing work that comes with a unique need for support. You've also bring your unique gifts and previous experience as a holy listener. You deserve a place dedicated just for you! A professional, peer community and extended learning opportunities are available for you. Consider starting with the Anam Cara Circle for Story Midwives, or inviting me to walk with you in a deeper, focused way through individual sessions. 

The authentic self is the soul made visible. 
Sarah Ban Breathnach