About Flourishing Souls
When something flourishes, it grows or develops in a healthy or vigorous way. It thrives, succeeds, and produces.
Would you describe yourself as flourishing? Do you feel your body, mind, and soul is growing and expanding in wonderful ways?
If not, that may be why you are here.
"There's a part of every living thing that wants to become itself,
the tadpole into the frog, the chrysalis into the butterfly,
a damaged human being into a whole one.
That is spirituality." -Ellen Bass
Flourishing Souls is not a feel-good self-help place. It is faith-based, but you don't have to be a part of any faith to benefit from what is here. The focus of this ministry is to explore the depth of the enneagram and apply its spiritual dimensions to your life. One profound connection to self and God is by using the wisdom of the Enneagram with Contemplative prayer forms.
Flourishing Souls is not going to ask you to be more, do better, or fix something that is broken in you. There is no judgment for you to discover your true self.
Flourishing Souls approach will ask you to see what you already possess and encourage you to release the things that no longer work in your life. Becoming self-aware is the beginning of seeing who you already are. Nothing is missing, but perhaps not everything you are is working for you as well as you hoped. This is what the Enneagram can offer.
Perhaps you have been a good, loving, and faithful person. Trying to be your best and still, something about God seems to be distant or out of your grasp. This is where one or more of the quiet, contemplative types of prayers can allow your heart to hear, your mind to expand, and your body to embrace the unconditional, fully accepting love of God already present to you. To experience this is to begin to flourish as the person God created you to be.
If you have been a part of a faith community that seems to be more about doing, than about being… Or if you have hit a wall in life that is saying, “is this all there is to faith?” You may be craving a new way to connect with God: body, spirit, and mind. This may be your next step. To become more awake to our own lives also connects you to God's Spirit at a deeper level as well.
Flourishing Souls is not therapy. It is not counseling. Those forms of personal growth are greatly encouraged if you have never dealt with problems or trauma in your life. The Enneagram is a path of inner transformation by awakening to self. It guides you to see how you react to the world rather than consciously responding to life. It reminds you where you have over-protected your heart, mind, or body and lost touch with those precious aspects of your soul.
"What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves?" -Thomas Merton
What the Enneagram does is help find patterns from your early childhood and see how they shaped how you show up in the world. When you see these patterns, there are no judgments as to why. The beauty of the Enneagram is to see, claim, and adjust to how you respond to yourself, people around you, and the world. The Enneagram offers a beautiful opening to more of the joy and challenges life offers. It is a grounded, conscious, and healthy way to live.
To flourish is to be at one's prime, the height of excellence. The verb flourish means moving into something with contentment and passion. To flourish is to bloom beautifully without pretense.
Perhaps you would like to explore that in your life. Welcome to Flourishing Souls.
"Contemplation is the loving sense of this life, this presence and this eternity."
About Jill Smith
Jill Schneider Smith, a pastor in the United Methodist Church for over twenty years, sought a new way to connect people with God. Upon discovering both Contemplative prayer forms and the Enneagram, both brought her an understanding of herself, a closeness to God, and inner healing, she looked for ways to get these gifts to the kingdom of God.
The richness of events throughout Jill's life allows her to see God at work everywhere: in the painful and beautiful parts of life. In 2019 Jill received her Doctor of Ministry Degree with the thesis, Inner Healing Through Centering Prayer in a local church. This work, paired with years of pastoral experience in the church, convinced her people are hungry for deep inner connections to God that most typical US religious institutions do not teach or know themselves. These were the seeds for starting Flourishing Souls.
Jill has a Doctor of Ministry in Christian Spirituality from Fuller Seminary, a Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, a B.A. in Sociology from Gordon College, Wenham, MA.
She is an Accredited Practitioner in the Integrative Enneagram (IEQ9) and will conclude in the Spring of 2022 a certificate for the Year Long Enneagram Training in Conscious Living, under Russ Hudson and Jessica Dibb.
She is also a member of the International Enneagram Association.
Jill loves big dogs, dark coffee, and deep conversations. She prefers movies with deep plot twists and books that are profound more than entertaining. World travel is an unrelenting desire she hopes to satisfy more and more IF THE PANDEMIC EVER SLOWS DOWN. All this, and helping others see all the possibilities life has for them in the God-image they bear are things that energize her every. single. day.