Spiritual leadership can be a pretty complex and isolating role. When things are challenging we often have few or no colleagues that we can lean on to share what is really going on for us and get honest caring feedback. Spiritual leaders (teachers, counselors, coaches, etc.) are not immune from having their pre-existing biases and blind spots impact their work. Even with the high ethical standards most aspire to, we can be challenged by situations with complex tradeoffs, nuanced gray zones, and ambiguity.
We need safe and trustworthy containers to speak to these tensions. We need to be supported in the self-reflective journey of living in ever-increasing integrity with our values while being of greatest service to our students. We grow and heal through collective practices of deep listening, loving inquiry, honest feedback, and authentic sharing. Groups can also support the celebration of our successes and capacities, and affirm the sacred glory of each moment and opportunity.
The ASI believes that quality peer support for spiritual leaders must be normalized within the culture of spirituality if we are to create new and higher standards of spiritual integrity in our profession. Since the winter of 2021, we have been prototyping support groups lightly facilitated by peers skilled in group facilitation. We are incorporating the lessons learned from our community to create open-sourced guidelines for such groups and to scale up the number of spiritual leaders we can support.
Our second round of pilot groups will begin in the fall of 2022. Most groups will bring together people who are new to each other. We will also support groups of leaders who are all part of the same organization or school. Groups have between 4 and 7 members and typically meet for 90 minutes twice per month, committing to a 6 to 12-week series.
If you are actively working as a spiritual leader and would like to participate in the upcoming pilot, we would love to hear from you. We are also looking for additional experienced group facilitators (who have experience in a spiritual leadership role), willing to volunteer to support this project. Please email your interest to peersupport@spiritual-