July 16, 2019
Meet Erin Goodman: interfaith minister, certified peer recovery specialist and mother of two teens.
Erin and I go way back to an earlier digital generation of mommy bloggers who were posting, commenting, and ultimately connecting around shared interests in homemaking, child raising, and other lifestyle choices in the early to the mid 2000's. Ah, the good ol' days of blogging...
It was a pleasure to finally have a speaking conversation with Erin for the first time in this long, shared online history.
We start our conversation with one of our mutually favorite topics - spirituality, faith, and religion. Erin is both a professional in this area, as an interfaith minister, but also a fellow pilgrim on the journey of belief. Her story is one of leaving the religious tradition of her childhood, finding a new expression of spirituality in her early to mid-adulthood, and then re-rooting in the Christian faith of her youth, but in a different form and context.
Erin's unique history, deep spiritual hunger, formal training as a minister, and heart for community helps her create safe and nurturing sacred experiences for spiritual, but not religious, people. A growing demographic in our North American society.
After talking about Erin's vocation as an interfaith minister, her training for that work, and her unique and important role serving spiritual needs outside institutional religion, in her southern Rhode Island community, we dive into her work in peer recovery support.
In Erin's work as a certified peer recovery specialist she provides emotional and social support to people experiencing mental health crisis, from the perspective of having "been there" herself.
As Erin so generously and honestly shares in this interview, it is her lifetime struggle with anxiety and depression, and her own severe mental illness crisis six years ago that laid the foundation for this work.
Something I appreciate so much about this conversation with Erin is her openness to talk about her recovery, modelling for us the life-changing power of vulnerability, compassion, and courage. And her honesty about the hard physical, mental, and spiritual work of making positive changes in our lives.
photo credit: Dan Aguirre Photography
It's not easy, but with a community of support, Erin's experience shows us how we can move from the depths of crisis to greater stability, security, and connection in our lives. And her work is about providing this support to others.
Life is hard. We suffer physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. We experience crisis and loss. We wonder why these things happen, but perhaps more importantly, we wonder how to survive.
And also life is beautiful in the experiences of love and joy, in its places and people with whom we connect and belong. We experience deep satisfaction in human relationships, connection to the natural world, and a sense of spirit, and yet we hunger for more.
Our spirituality, traditions, and rituals speak to all of this, and religion is often the language we use in our attempt to articulate this diverse and rich experience of being human.
This interview is an exploration of all this good stuff grounded in the lived experiences, vocation, and heartbeat of Erin's life.
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