More on Angi's Background and Experience:
It’s been our sense that many of you considering applying might want more information about what the facilitators bring to this program than what’s in the bios on the “About” page. If that is the case, read on...
One of my earliest memories is weeping as I listened to a Christian musician sing “I love you” as part of a guided imagery, singing the voice of God. Throughout the spiral journey of my life, I return to that memory and integrate who I have become with what I was experiencing. Initially, I understood that I wept because I was so hungry for love and kindness. Later, I also knew that I wept because I felt the power of God in that love. Later still, I realized I wept because I also felt the pain of the world and the power of God to meet that pain. Now, I am beginning to be aware of the generational feel of that pain, and the systemic injustices that contribute to that pain.
This experience, of feeling the power of God in that love, has led me to the personal spiritual and depth work I have done throughout my life. When I do this work, I feel God’s love. When I feel God’s love, I know connection with all. This work includes understanding the personal impact of childhood trauma and continually peeling off the layers of culture and white supremacy that have overlaid both what I have absorbed and the experiential learning of Christianity in this country. Early Friends noted “They were changed men (persons) themselves, before they tried to change the world.” I know that there is no integrity seeking to accompany others to a place we have not gone ourselves and so my longing to live with integrity also helps to fuel my inner work.
I started seeing spiritual directors as a teenager, and working with a therapist in my early 30’s. Since these initial experiences, I have been committed to inner spiritual work and have, except for a brief time in my early 20’s, engaged with spiritual friendship groups, therapists and spiritual directors as part of that commitment. Spiritual practices and the contemplative study of sacred readings also deepen and broaden my spiritual path of devotion, a path medieval Christians knew as being a bridal mystic. This devotional mysticism is my path, and the inner work of wholeness, what Jung called individuation, is my vocation.
I have been working with my current spiritual director for 4 years and a Jungian analyst for 2.5 years. It is my experience that those of us called to do this vocation live the work as a lifestyle; it becomes the way we are in the world. Every analyst is in analysis, every therapist is in therapy, every spiritual director in spiritual direction; every encounter is fodder for a deep dive.
I understand depth work to be a way I am called to participate in the wholeness of the world; it is one of the ways I am called to live out my spiritual journey and that sense has been confirmed by my meeting care committee, my current spiritual director, earlier therapists, my Jungian analyst and many, past and present, spiritual friends.
2). Trainings and Certifications:
Certification as a Sexual Abuse Leadership Training (SALTS) small group leader, 1994
-SALTS has changed their name to Open Hearts Ministry, but their mission, stated on their website, remains the same: “At Open Hearts our mission is to train people to cultivate communities of care where stories of pain and abuse can be spoken, heard, and redeemed.” The program consists of story based weekly groups, that include teaching and small group processing. Each group participates in two twelve-week sessions meeting weekly. Certificate training is a 7 day intensive, which includes personally going through the twelve-week small groups sessions, and additional teaching in small group dynamics and facilitation. See my experience with leading SALTS groups for more detail on the program.
Certified as a Dynamic Communicator, Dynamic Communicators International, 1998
-My small community church, where I volunteered as the “woman’s pastor” sent me to this week long conference on public storytelling and biblical teaching. This program was developed and taught by Ken Davis, a comedian who believed creativity was a spiritual practice, the best stories are authentic and told from the heart, and that sermons ought to have impact.
Participant in On Being A Spiritual Nurturer 7th class, School of the Spirit, 2007-09
Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, Grief Recovery Institute (GRI), 2011
-I was trained in the Grief Recovery Method by John James, Founder of GRI. His experience of losing a young son, and the limited help and training available for grievers led him to develop this process. Participants learn the process by working through it in an intense four day training which also includes the Grief Recovery Method principles, concepts of recovery, how incomplete loss occurs, identifying incomplete losses, Grief Recovery counseling skills, teaching role sets, and development of completion exercises.The Grief Recovery Institute is international, with offices in the US, Sweden, the UK, and Australia and trains chaplains, clergy, mental health professionals, hospice workers, funeral and cemetery professionals, and those with a heart for the broken hearted.
Certification Spiritual Director, The Haden Institute, 2014
-A program that is rooted in Jungian, mystical, Christian traditions and based on Bob Haden’s experience that spirituality and Jungian psychology teachings are complementary on the transformational path to health, wholeness, spiritual maturity, and individuation. The program centers around individuation: that life is full of suffering, when suffering leads to resentment and despair people can get stuck, when suffering and stuckness is cared for, the inner depth work leads to compassion and gratitude. Through this process people individuate, become alive and whole, and more able to authentically connect with themselves, others and the Divine. Study includes Jungian theories of shadow, projections, complexes, ego and personas, archetypal energies, the unconscious, dream work, spiritual practices, mysticism, spiritual formation, Celtic Christianity, Enneagram, Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory, Thomas Merton, spiritual direction, and spiritual direction groups. The core of the program is processing actual spiritual direction sessions in small group with verbatims.
Certification Registered Yoga Teacher 200-hour, Yoga Alliance, 2016
-I certified through Raja Yoga and Meditation Center, in the lineage of the Himalayan Institute. My training included hatha asana, pranayama (Hatha is based on diaphragmatic breathing), mantra meditation and guided meditation. Raja is a non-profit yoga studio, the monies made by the studio go to fund yoga classes in Philadelphia elementary schools, an LGBTQ community center, a low-income substance abuse recovery center, low income senior centers, and a Southeast Asia refugee community center.
Certification as a Trauma Sensitive Yoga Teacher, Transforming Yoga Project, 2017
-The Transforming Yoga Project is a service yoga institute, training yoga teachers for prisons and recovery centers, and funding the yoga classes. Through this training, I am certified to teach yoga in prisons and teach trauma sensitive yoga classes.
Certification as a Trauma Informed Professional, Lakeside Global Institute, 2018
-The Trauma Informed Professional certification is a two year, thirty-six session, ninety hour training and inner work program based on Dr. Sandra Bloom’s Sanctuary Model. It also incorporates Dr. Bruce Perry’s work on childhood trauma, and the somatic and neuroscience impact of trauma to children and adults. The program, which I took in a non-academic workshop setting, forms the basis of Thomas Jefferson University’s MS in Community and Trauma Counseling.
Women’s Pastor, Crossroads Community Church, Parker, CO, 1993-1997
-I planned, coordinated and facilitated women’s retreats, focused on inner healing and spiritual deepening. I offered day silent retreats, ministry team trainings in spiritual accompaniment and praying out loud for each other and taught spiritual practices. I planned Holy Week services, led bible studies, and supplied the pulpit on numerous occasions.
SALTS small group leader, 1995-2003
-I taught topics (listed below) to larger groups (twelve to 36 people), and then facilitated one of the smaller groups (six participants and two facilitators) in the break outs. In the safe and confidential small group process, the curriculum leads folks through their own stories of pain, disappointment, and abuse, equipping them to share the care they receive with others. I taught them to share and listen honestly, practice good self-care, and raise a desire and an invitation to love like Jesus, with empathy and forgiveness. Through this process, the group participants create authentic community where people are heard, loved and healed together. I led two twenty-four-week groups at Crossroads Community Church, Parker, Co., one twenty-four-week group at a counseling office in Englewood, CO, and a twelve-week group in Melbourne, Australia.
SALTS small group leader trainer, Maranatha Retreat Center, Muskegon, MI 1997-2005
- I trained small group leaders for five years, spending 10 days twice a year at Maranatha Retreat Center, Muskegon, Michigan, facilitating and training leaders in small group narrative-based processing groups. Topics taught to large group (as many as 150 attendees) and processed in small groups (of six participants and two co-facilitators) include abandonment, betrayal, powerlessness, ambivalence, sexuality, grief, kindness, sorrow, forgiveness, gratitude, shame, contempt, brokenness, and redemption. Each topic was matched with a Christian biblical story to illuminate the impact of the topics, illustrate God’s loving heart for humanness, and invite participants to connect with themselves, others, God and creation through making sense (a coherent narrative) of their complete life stories. Attention was paid to paying able to hold, individually and communally. the complexity of complete life stories.
Spiritual Director, self-employed, 1996-present
-I work with those who choose to explore their spiritual journey, deepen their spiritual awareness and practices, remove the blocks to the faithfulness they crave, and increase connection to themselves, others, God and creation. Often through our work together, a person begins to fashion a coherent narrative of their spirituality, and their life, including the painful or shameful parts that have been split off or “forgotten.” These parts form the shadow. Bringing the shadow back into consciousness as part of our coherent life narrative is a piece of the work we do together. I use different techniques, including silence, active listening, dreamwork, naming patterns and themes, spiritual practices, grief work, poetry, lament, breathwork, guided meditations, yoga and art. I also have provided spiritual direction for sojourners at Pendle Hill.
Spiritual Direction and Grief Recovery Groups at St Martins-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church, Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, PA 2015-present
-I provide spiritual direction for congregants and facilitate Grief Recovery Groups.
Yoga teacher, Raja Yoga and Meditation Center, Philadelphia, PA 2016-present
-I teach the 9:30 am Tuesday morning hatha class, a trauma sensitive class, at Raja Yoga.
Beyond Diversity 101 (BD 101) participant 2015, and Intern 2016, Pendle Hill and Kripalu
-BD 101 is a four-day workshop, developed and led by Niyonu Spann and Lisa Graustein, exploring class, race and gender issues in a heart centered space. As an intern, I was taught the group process utilized, and was part of debriefing on each segment of the workshop.
Mentor, Haden Institute, 2016-2018
-Mentors lead twelve trainees through their training, accepting monthly book reports and offering back reflections and deepening queries, offering support and explanation of concepts taught at the intensives or explored in the readings. Mentors lead at least twelve small groups each intensive (the program consists of six Thursday through Monday morning intensives), teaching small group practices, group spiritual direction and dream work. While facilitating the verbatims, mentors teach listening to inner dialogue, transference and counter-transference, and dream work.
Visiting Spiritual Teacher for Radical Faithfulness, Pendle Hill
-I led participants in dream work, and poetry as a spiritual practice.
FGC Spiritual Deepening on-line Facilitator, 2016
-I facilitated the online Spiritual Deepening workshop for FGC, crafting an online community that supported each other in trying out spiritual practices and exploring Quaker faith and practice. I have been asked to facilitate again, but needed to decline because of lack of time and space.
-I have eldered for numerous traveling ministers, including Christopher Sammond, Debbie Humphreys, Melinda Weiner-Bradley, and Elaine Emily. I have eldered for FGC staff, and at many FGC gatherings and consultations, and New York Yearly Meetings days of discernment and Yearly Sessions.
Personal Blog, an exploration of best and worst, blogging my daily examen, 2002-2009
Contributor to First Day Press, a Quaker online magazine
An essay in Writing Cheerfully on the Web, an edited published anthology of Quaker online writings
Currently studying for a master’s in clinical mental health counseling. Estimated graduation 2020.
Professional and Spiritual Memberships:
Chi Sigma Iota, Counseling Academic and Professional Honor Society
Spiritual Directors International
American Counseling Association
Religious Society of Friends, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting
Sr Anna Marie Broxterman, Spiritual Director, Manna House of Prayer, Concordia, KS
Gary Bishop, Pastor, Crossroads Community Church, Parker, Co, recently deceased
Sandy Burdick, Open Hearts Ministries, Kalamazoo, MI
Hal Haydock, Quaker, Dover-Randolph Monthly Meeting, NJ
Elaine Emily, Quaker, Strawberry Creek Meeting, Pacific Yearly Meeting
Tim Hussy, LPC., Haden Institute, Hendersonville, NC
Kathleen Wiley, Jungian Analyst, LPC, Davidson, NC
Ninyonu Spann, Chester Monthly Meeting, New Haven, CT