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Jackie Schuld Art Therapy Blog

Hiring for a Spiritual Manager

My physical therapist has a personal assistant. She says her personal assistant changed her life and is more like a spiritual manager. She helps to manage all of her energy and maintain her boundaries.

My physical therapist knows that if she was left to her own devices, she would fit another client into her schedule, even though it is already maxed. She also knows she would accept another invitation to speak, even if she had a packed schedule the week before. She wants to give and give and give… to the point that it isn’t good for her.

Enter her “spiritual” manager. She fields all requests. She also fixes mistakes made by my physical therapist, such as sending emails like, “I’m sorry, but she is not going to be able to attend…”

Why does she call her a spiritual manager? My physical therapist has a medical condition (I’m not disclosing for respect of privacy), and stress dramatically exacerbates it. She needs to know her priorities and live by them. In our highly demanding culture, that is very difficult. Her personal assistant, who has developed into a close friend, helps her to remain in alignment with her values and priorities.

Continuous Line Illustration by Jackie Schuld

Before a critic drops a line in the comments saying, “Sounds like that physical therapist needs to address why she feels she needs to give so much and not rely on her spiritual manager,” let me assure you that the physical therapist is aware. She is working on that. However, as with most things involving psychology, this doesn’t change overnight. It takes time, consistent self-exploration, and practice. In the meantime, she has extra support from her spiritual manager.

I LOVE it. I want one.

I originally went to the physical therapist for help with my tinnitus. What we’ve learned is that stress is one of the key factors. When stress is present in my life, I unconsciously clench my jaw. This then pulls on structures in my ear, leading to my ear ringing to increase.

Stress is a tricky little bugger. We cannot eliminate every event or experience that can trigger stress. No, it’s all about how we interpret and respond to what is happening. That makes it really difficult to decrease stress.

Furthermore, we can easily slip into judging ourselves for feeling stressed in the first place - which then just leads to more stress. It is a slippery slope.

I admittedly don’t have it all figured out. I go through periods where I think, “Damn Jackie, you’ve got this machine of life running smoothly” and periods where my tinnitus flares up and I clearly need to address things that are adding stress to my life. These things take time to tease out. And while we do it - would it be lovely to have a spiritual manager (or whatever name you’re comfortable with).

Maybe we cannot afford to pay someone, but we could certainly request help from a friend, or offer to be accountability partners with someone.

A little support could go a long way.


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