Spiritual direction is a relationship of equals, fellow pilgrims moving toward wholeness. As a director, I offer myself as witness and companion to those who seek a creative way to engage with spiritual questions. Because I have spent most of my life working in the world of words, and because I believe creativity to be integrally linked with spirituality, I rely on writing, story, and art as touchstones of this work. I’m dedicated to creating sacred containers for the hard stories. For me, it’s about space and permission. It’s about being heard without judgment or shame. People must be able to tell their stories—spiritual or otherwise—in all their beauty and their ugliness, and we must be able to listen without flinching. As a spiritual director, I vow to help others realize their inherent worth and envision what an authentic relationship with the Divine might look like, understanding that this process called spiritual growth has little to do with figuring things out and is for all the world—and more—about trustful surrender. Your stories, and your restless souls, are welcome here.
I am certified in spiritual direction by the Haden Institute and hold a master’s degree in theology from Vanderbilt University Divinity School. I see female directees and charges a fee.
In Pilgrim Writers workshops, we focus on process, not product. We don’t worry about split infinitives or conflicting points of view. Using prompts and exercises, we foster creativity, not critique. No one tells you how you “should” write. Your own words are heard and valued just as they are. Let me repeat that: Your own words are heard and valued just as they are. Material offered within the workshop is kept confidential and treated as fiction regardless of its factual components. No prior writing experience is needed, and we consider all who come to the table to be writers worthy of respect.
Workshops are held monthly in Nashville, Tennessee, and at other times throughout the Southeast. Please email me for the current schedule and locations.
Note: Workshops can be tailored for groups, churches, clubs, and schools, around such themes as grief, spiritual autobiography, life transitions, women’s issues.
“Being in Amy Lyles Wilson’s workshops is better than getting a massage.” —Kristi
Let me help you bring your idea to fruition through one-on-one sessions designed with your specific goals in mind, be it finishing your memoir or jump-starting a collection of poems. This can look like whatever you need it to, from weekly meetings to monthly phone calls, occasional check-ins to daylong brainstorming sessions. Let’s get started.
“Working with Amy Lyles Wilson has helped turn my little guilty pleasure of journaling into a more fulfilling pursuit of writing.” —Jamie
I’ve worked as a professional writer and editor since earning a master’s degree in journalism in 1986 (after a dismal semester in law school). I can review your manuscript (Are your characters believable?), polish your prose (Did you defend your thesis statement?), and clean up your copy (Still get confused about “compliment” and “complement?). How can I help?
“Amy Lyles Wilson is not only a warm, encouraging, and pleasant editor. She is an auto mechanic with words. She’ll give your minivan of a manuscript a once-over, and then turn it into a muscle car. She’ll drop a V8 engine into your paragraphs, tint the chapter windows, and give your sentences all the torque and clip to make your book fly. Be careful: there might soon be a warrant out for her arrest: a ride with her red pen knows no speed limit, and as far as I can tell, she’s only in third gear.”
—Tyler Blanski, author of Mud & Poetry: Love, Sex, and the Sacred (www.tylerblanski.com)
Gather your friends, book group, or church ladies and let’s head off for a weekend of words and wonder. We’ll write together, take time for rest, and listen to those inner voices that so often get drowned out by our pasts, our hang ups, our persistent inner critics. When do we leave?
“Amy’s Lyles Wilson’s grief writing retreat cracked open my heart, helped me find the grief, and work through it to a place of peace. I will sign up every chance I get.” —Cece