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 heart are 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 interspiritual 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. You already have within your God-created essence what you need. You are enough. Yet, most of us have places that have been covered or ignored and need to be healed and restored. That is the journey I would like to walk with you to see and live into.
The 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 distant or out of your grasp. This is where one or more of the quiet, contemplative 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 flourishing 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?” If you realize you are deconstructing your faith, which worries you, you are in the right place. You may be craving a new way to connect with God: body, spirit, and mind. This may be your next step. Becoming 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 problems or trauma in your life that need real attention and care. This Enneagram path of inner transformation is to awaken you to personality patterns.. 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 or habits from early childhood to address how they shaped you showing up in the world. It reveals many Jungian concepts in Object Relations. Best of all there are no judgments as to why. The beauty of the Enneagram is to see, claim, and adjust to how you respond to yourself, the people around you, and the world. There is no shame in how we respond to life, only new opportunities to ask, "I wonder why I do that?" 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.
Here is a Welcome Video... More about Jill is below...
"Contemplation is the loving sense of this life, this presence and this eternity."
About Jill Smith
Rev. Dr. Jill Schneider Smith, a pastor in the United Methodist Church for over twenty years, sought a new way to connect people with God. Working in the local church and being heavily involved in pastoral care of others, 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 received: Doctor of Ministry in Christian Spirituality from Fuller
Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California
Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Charlotte,
North Carolina campus
B.A. in Sociology from Gordon College, Wenham, Massachusetts
Accreditation as a Practitioner in the Integrative Enneagram (IEQ9)
Year-Long Enneagram Certification in Conscious Living with Russ Hudson and Jessica Dibb
Is currently in a program to become a Spiritual Director with the Haden Institute
A member of the International Enneagram Association
She serves locally on the Board of Directors for Rowan Vocational Opportunities
Jill loves big dogs and has two tri-color collies, Lexi and Selah. She loves dark coffee and deep conversations. She plays recreational soccer on a team with one of her two adult sons. She prefers movies with deep plot twists and books that are more profound than entertaining. World travel is an unrelenting desire she hopes to satisfy more if the pandemic allows and airports get their sh** together.
All this, and helping others see the possibilities life has for them in the God image they bear, are things that energize her. Every. Single. Day.
Jill and her husband Wayne, Lexi and Selah currently live in Salisbury, North Carolina.