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Hello, I'm Bethany Alvey (she/her)

To Love. To Encourage. To Sing. These three imperatives have been the call and compass for me in Spiritual Direction, in research, the classroom, and in life. 

Love: Love is paramount in all things. A student of Love, it has been my source of cultivated positivity, communicative respect, curious acceptance, hospitable community, and intentional kindness to connect others to their innate and unique characteristics. Love has been both the motivation and framing for Spiritual Direction, as well as teaching and research. 

Encourage: I am passionate about unhurried, unworried growth - from inner work to the formal classroom setting, and in the ubiquity of life's learning opportunities. First in the classroom, I focused on incorporating elemental concepts alongside challenging exercises toward musical growth. Now, in the Spiritual Direction space, it means attentive presence to and trust in the Directee's journey, as they explore everything from elemental concepts to new (and sometimes challenging) paradigms. 

Sing: I spent the first half of my professional life in the music classroom, working with choral singers from tidewater Maryland, north Philadelphia, South Florida, and the Central Valley, California. I value singing as a literal means for every speaking human to express themselves and connect with others, and as a symbol for every human (verbal and non-verbal) to build their confidence and raise their voice in all areas of their life. Spiritual Direction is a space to discover and amplify the True Self as a gift from the Divine. 

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Arthur's Seat, the main peak of the group of hills in Edinburgh, the Capital of Scotland,

My spiritual journey began in earnest in 2005 while living in Edinburgh, Scotland.

I prayed, "God, I want to see you. I want to see you the way Moses saw you, I want to see you the way Elijah saw you. I know that's an arrogant thing to ask, but that's the thing I want."

Another journeyer prayed, "God I thank you that I can see Bethany as an equal heir in your kingdom."

Two sides of the same prayer - a person's search for the Divine and affirmation of the imago dei - have shaped much of my spiritual life since that time. 

Unpacking the two sides of that prayer has led me to encounter a variety of expressions and ways of encountering the Divine through other people, and I anticipate this will be present throughout my journey!

A rich variety of expression does require that I must show up fully as myself, even as those I encounter show up fully as themselves.

To show up as myself it has meant unpacking ideas I took for granted, deconstructing cultural assumptions and intentionally choosing which to embrace and which to release. It has meant learning and unlearning. It has meant long stretches of unanswered prayer and sitting with all the emotions that provoked. It has meant learning to cultivate curiosity over judgment. It has also meant revisiting patterns of thinking and behavior that have caused problems for me and hurt others in the past - the uncomfortable process of shadow work.

Small mosaic tiles pattern forming a Tree of Life background._Mosaic artwork made by a mos

Turning this prayer around, it has helped me to better hear others when they are seeking the Divine in their own lives. It has helped me be curious about their meanings, their perspectives, their encounters.

There is an ease that comes with this kind of listening - we can trust that the Divine holds us both. You can be you, and we can marvel at how the Divine becomes seen in you and through your life. I can be me, and we can wonder at the ways and whys the Divine has brought us together. 

We can share what our words mean, and learn to hear a deeper story underneath our contexts and circumstances. We can discover who has traveled here before, and what markers they left for us to find.  We can lean into the dissonances of our experience and hear the beauty they create. 

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