The Avowal

As swimmers dare
To lie face to the sky
And water bears them,
As hawks rest upon air
And air sustains them,
So would I learn to attain
Freefall, and float
Into Creator Spirit's deep embrace,
Knowing no effort earns
That all-surrounding grace.

— Denise Levertov

About Mary Ellen & GrowingAwake


All my life I've been seeking God. As a little girl I sought God in the coziness of confined spaces — an opening between the lilac bushes, the hull of a boat, even underwater. I kept an ongoing conversation with God until I began questioning who, or what, was on the other end. For a long time I thought the answers to my questions about God could be found by closely following my religious tradition. Yet not only did the questions persist, they grew deeper and more theological.

When none of the answers I was given satisfied me, I enrolled in Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry. There, while I was seeking knowledge about God, God was inviting me into a deeper way of knowing. I was being drawn back into those contemplative places that I naturally sought as a little girl. And it was from those places of solitude and reflection that I realized what I was searching for could not be found in a book or even articulated in words. The answers to my questions were planted deep within my being.

This awareness led me to a much different understanding of the spiritual journey as an awakening to what is already there. Within every one of us dwells the Divine Presence, which many call God. All of creation is held in this Presence. We cannot be separated from the Divine Presence, yet we can be asleep to it. The spiritual journey is about GrowingAwake. It is about connecting with the indwelling Presence and allowing that Presence to flow through us and out into the world.

My passion as a spiritual director is to accompany others on their own journey of awakening through retreats and workshops, spiritual growth groups, labyrinth walking, SoulCollage®, and individual spiritual direction.

My Credentials:
• Master of Arts in Transforming Spirituality with an emphasis in
   Spiritual Direction, Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry
• Veriditas Accredited Presenter and
   Advanced Trained Labyrinth Facilitator
• SoulCollage® Facilitator
• Certificate of Completion from Awakening the Creative Spirit:
   Training for Spiritual Directors in Expressive Arts
• SALT (Scripture and Leadership Training) Certificate
• Membership in Spiritual Directors International, Veriditas,
   The Labyrinth Society, SoulCollage®
• Member of the Executive Advisory Board for the
   Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry