Walking with Noam
Psychology is about "why you are"; whereas spiritual direction is about "where you are." Perhaps you are amid the ordeal of a "hero's journey," or maybe you find yourself on the path to a new chapter in life. Maybe you are stymied by something you can’t describe; or perhaps you are walking through the “valley of the shadow of death.” No matter where you are, as a spiritual guide I offer you the opportunity to walk with someone through this process rather than alone.
I mean this literally and figuratively. I love to walk and have found that sometimes we think better while walking. I am available for an actual walk-and-talk somewhere safe, or a conversation in a fixed setting or over video-conference. Either way, as a guide I will take the time to survey our surroundings and where we are in the journey. The next steps are up to you, but I will take them with you.
What does it mean to "walk with" someone? Consider this parable shared on a popular television show:
This guy's walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can't get out. A doctor passes by, and the guy shouts up, 'Hey Doc, can you help me out!?' The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a priest comes along, and the guy shouts up, 'Father, I'm down in this hole can you help me out?' The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a friend walks by, 'Hey, Joe, it's me can you help me out?' So the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, 'Are you stupid? Now we're both down here.' The friend says, 'Yeah, but I've been down here before, and I know the way out.'
Learning with Noam
I believe that we learn best from our experiences as it is where true wisdom and perspective comes from. Sometimes there is pain and sometimes joy in the process. There may also be a mixture of the two. I believe these experiences inform all the choices we make from that moment on for better or worse, whether we know it or not. No doubt there are mistakes and failures along the way that help to shape our understanding of ourselves and each new experience we encounter. However, I believe that to make the most of these experiences our learning must be active and done in conversation with someone you can trust.
One of my teachers, Rami Wernik, relayed these words from his teacher, Michael Rosenak, to me when discussing the purpose of education:
One may describe education as the reflective and responsible task of inviting people to encounters: encouraging them to 'show up' for them, helping out in the ensuing conversation, interpreting what happens there, and giving these conversations context and direction when necessary.
(Tree of Life, Tree of Knowledge: Conversations with Torah)