this weekend i attended the spiritual directors international conference. it's the first time in years i've attended an event as an attendee. i was mostly excited but a little nervous. i completed my training in spiritual formation and direction last december. it's been an amazing process, but also difficult. although i'm drawn to formation and direction, i'm not the stereotypical contemplative personality. i have a contemplative side that i can usually embrace but it's not uncommon for me to feel a little out of place in a crowd of spiritual directors. the conference and the weekend were amazing. i attended 3 really incredible seminars that all touched me in different ways.
one of those was a seminar on celtic spirituality. what little i knew of it prior to this seminar often touched me deeply. i was really excited about this seminar and it totally lived up to my expectations and then some. it helped me to understand some things i'd been wrestling with. after the seminar, i asked one of the two presenters a couple questions to clarify what i thought i was understanding. after the seminar, i met up with friends who were attending for dinner and as we debriefed our afternoons, i went on and on and on about the seminar. when we returned to the convention, we ended up on the same elevator as the two presenters. one of them noticed the first timer flag on my nametag and asked if i was enjoying the conference. i commented yes, especially their seminar. she replied oh thanks...jeannie (a friend) told her i wasn't being polite...that i'd pretty much talked about it all the way through dinner. we ended up talking from the elevator down the hall to the main session. they'd mentioned in the seminar that they were leading a pilgrimage to egypt this fall. i asked if they ever did any to ireland. she said yes, they were doing a women only pilgrimage to ireland next year. i think i might have actually squealed slightly--at which moment i realized i was rapidly crossing the line from interested fellow spiritual director to groupie. i was mortified and gained back a bit of composure. she was very gracious and we ended our conversation nicely. i passed her a couple more times during the conference (it was pretty small--less than 600) and we smiled and exchanged pleasantries and i managed to not squeal or otherwise embarrass myself with her.
now i did manage to embarrass myself later in the conference but that's a story for another time.