!DOCTYPE html>

Susan Mashkes

Susan-Mashkes-2017-4x3.jpg

What was it that first called you to train as a OneSpirit interfaith minister? When my father died there was no funeral, and I found that deeply troubling for reasons I couldn’t articulate. I found myself wondering how it could have been different, and how as a therapist I might help people deal with the practicalities around a loved one’s death. Synchronistically, someone told me about OneSpirit, and it felt like exactly the right thing at the right time.

In which year were you ordained?   2011

What is your minister’s vow, and your relationship to it?

It’s changing. My vow is quite long and it feels like it needs to be much shorter, and I’m circling around the exact words. But the long vow continues to serve me, because it unintentionally syncs up perfectly with a body prayer that I love, so it’s a beautiful way to begin my daily practice.

What was the most important thing that changed in your life as a result of the training?

I came home to myself. I am more able to trust myself, others and the universe. A friend recently described me as being more “of the earth”. Perhaps the most important thing has been the extraordinary friends I’ve made and the feeling I’ve gained of being part of a community.

How does your ministry or your life’s purpose manifest in the world now?

I’ve spent the last few years working with people to help them find their purpose. In doing so, I’ve found my own: I’ve realised that my gifts are around mentoring and one-on-one work as a therapist. I delight in my continuing commitment to study, both as part of a Mystery & Mastery programme group and in doing my Masters degree in Mindfulness-based Psychotherapy. I’ve recently stepped into a role as trustee of OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation, and am about to take a job helping to train psychotherapists.

What main sources of inspiration or guidance do you draw on for your continuing spiritual journey?

I’ve learned to connect to my soul and to trust its wisdom. I know that my soul is a droplet of the divine, that I am connected through that beautiful image of Indra’s net to all of life. And I’m surrounded by people of great awareness, many of whom I know through OneSpirit, who continue to inspire me.

Where is your ‘edge’ currently — what most challenges you on your path?

Over-committing myself.

How do you envision your ministry developing in future?

It feels like it’s all about bringing together the threads of my life so that I can authentically, consciously and fearlessly offer my gifts, whether mentoring, counselling, guiding, administering or learning.