Episode 87 | A Guide to Decision Making and Spiritual Discernment with Nancy Bieber

I'm wearing a sweater and socks as I write. The weather has definitely entered into that unsettled pattern of fluctuating between steamy hot days and rainy cool ones. We know where this is heading and I am trying to enjoy the warm days as well as the cozy fall feeling ones. This week I am thinking about change. I'm saying goodbye to a good friend who is moving on to a new adventure in her life. I'm contemplating my work and how I'm finding my voice in this new direction. I'm thinking about what I want in this next season of life.

When we are in the middle of changes we needed to have a good way to discern what is best for us in our current situation. I had the opportunity to interview Nancy Bieber this week on Reframe Your Life. Nancy Bieber is the author of Decision Making & Spiritual Discernment The Sacred Art of Finding Your Way. She is a spiritual director, psychologist, retreat leader, and teacher. She writes out of her many years’ experience of working with people, offering insights, exercises and guidance. She served on the teaching staff of Oasis Ministries for Spiritual Development for 21 years and developed their program Contemplative Living in Daily Life. Nancy is an active member of the Religious Society of Friends (also known as Quakers). She has led retreats and workshops on spiritual discernment, and deepening our spiritual lives for groups in the United States, as well as in New Zealand and England.

Click on book image to order.

Click on book image to order.

Click on image to connect with Nancy Bieber.

Click on image to connect with Nancy Bieber.

Episode 86 | What are the desires of your heart?

What are your heart's desires? And how do the choices that you are making support the desires and dreams you have in becoming a reality? I explore the topic of desires in this week's episode of Reframe Your Life.

A very basic definition of desire is a strong feeling to want or have something. We have lots of desires. I desire to be healthy. I desire to have good friends. I desire a good night’s sleep - especially after a restless night of sleep. You may have some beliefs about desires that make it difficult for you to trust them.

Here are some beliefs I have heard about desires:

  • You can't trust your feelings or desires.
  • Following your desires will lead you to destruction or harm.
  • The heart is wicked and not to be trusted.
  • Feelings are not scientific or factual
  • You shouldn’t make decisions based on feelings or emotions

What messages have you heard around desires?

I remember the mixed messages I received over the years around desires, emotions, feelings, faith and spirituality. One day I read, “God gives you the desires of your heart” and I started thinking about things differently. If my very desires were given to me by the Creator then how could they be bad?

This week I was reading a book a friend gave me by Sage Levine about developing your business. It’s called Women Rocking Business and although I find the title a bit hokey I’ve been surprised to find the content so focused on the spiritual side of business.

She talks about our desires as being our Yellow Brick Road. They are the stepping stones that lead us to our destiny. When we start to pay attention to what we desire we start to make decisions that are aligned with our truest self.

And here’s a fascinating thought she shares. The word desire comes from a Latin root (sidus) meaning star or heavenly body. De-sire can be broken down to ‘of the sire’ which translates to ‘Of the Kingdom of God.” When I read that I immediately thought of the spiritual teaching, “Seek first the Kingdom of God."

What if following your desires is actually seeking first the kingdom of God? What if all the other stuff we take on, all the shoulds and oughts are really creating a barrier to being who we are designed to be?

We are desire. It is the essence of the human Soul, the secret of our existence. Absolutely nothing of human greatness is ever accomplished without it. Not a symphony has been written, a mountain climbed, an injustice fought, or a love sustained apart from desire. Desire fuels our search for the life we prize.
— John Elderidge

I've been using Danielle Laporte's Desire Mapping Process for the past 5 years to help me explore my feelings and desires. I am an affiliate and you can click on the photo to find out more. The workbooks are inexpensive and are helpful anytime you want to do a deep dive into what's next.

Getting clear on your desires is the first step in reclaiming a healthy and vibrant spiritual life. Of course, desires need to be balanced with discernment and in the next episode we are going to talk about what a healthy discernment process looks like. And I will be taking you further into this in my course that launches in October. It's called Call of the Sacred and you will spend six weeks learning how to create a healthy and vibrant spiritual life.