by Allie Kochert, LSS Soul Care Consultant

What does feeling connected to your spirituality mean to you?

Is it relational? Is it embodied? Safe? Nurturing?

How do we do this when we feel disconnected, grief-stricken, stressed or burned out? Our bodies seem to shut down and it makes our world feel small and our former spiritual lives can feel like a distant memory.

Soul care is nervous system care.

It begins always with the body. When our bodies feel safe and secure, only then do we have the capacity to grow and thrive in our wellness, in our connection.

Our ability to rebound from stress is resiliency. When we are under chronic stress, even little stresses like picking up our phones and being bombarded by the scrolldoom—our resiliency plummets. It’s not what we’re born to do, as humans, and we’ve adapted pretty poorly (or not at all—it’s been a blink of the eye in evolutionary terms!) to the Information age and modern life.

What to do?

Limit screen time. Seriously. Your mind and body will thank you.

Get outside. Move.

Spend time with friends and family. Every day if able.

Move.

Did I say move?

When I became a spiritual director, I had to reflect on my own personal boundaries, where I feel most comfortable, what soul care really meant for me and how to effectively and safely hold that space.

Thankfully I went into the field knowing about how trauma arises, having walked decades with folks in the therapy room.

Yet I was finding myself needing that discernment as well—and so much of this process is deep inner work, reflection, and exploration. It reminded me of working as a lay person in churches through the years—and the joy and pain that can arise within those walls often in the service of attempting to heal or be held.

Boundaries are crucial. As they say, “know thyself.” We can’t know where others begin when we don’t know where we end.

Our competency as a spiritual space holder is entirely related to these inner boundaries and ability to translate these to outer space-making.

That why trauma informed care isn’t enough—it is about trauma consciousness.

For more:

Allie Kochert MA, LPC, Spiritual Director is a licensed psychotherapist based in York, PA, with over 20 years of experience working with folks in mental health, as well as a certified trauma therapist and spiritual director. She uses an integrative lens when teaching about trauma and spirituality–believing that our holistic beings–mind, body and spirit — all interact to orient ourselves back to our innate and negotiable wholeness. Learn more at www.alliekochert.com and www.rootgrowthrive.com.