Franciscan Spirituality Center920 Market StreetLa Crosse, WI 54601608-791-5295https://www.fscenter.orgSteve Spilde: I’m excited to welcome someone I consider a dear friend, Kristy Walz. First question: Who is Kristy Walz?Kristy Walz: That’s a really interesting question. Why do you ask? That’s an ever-evolving response. I think it depends on the day. It depends on the circumstances. I could give you that cliché that I’m a spiritual being having a human experience. I don’t know that I have an answer to that today. Sometimes life puts you in these stages of transformation and evolution. I would say that I am going through one of those right now, so to have an answer to that is difficult. I’m married. I’ve been with my husband 20 years. We celebrated 18 years of marriage in February. We have a 15-year-old daughter who is the most wonderful human being I know, [and] also often at this stage sometimes the most challenging human being I know. We have a pet therapy dog, Walter, who is a Catahoula Leopard. He was a rescue from down south. He is this calm, delightful presence when I have Spiritual Direction folks that come to my office to meet with me. He will oftentimes lay right at their feet. We love his energy around this house.Steve: When you came to this program, how would you have described your religious tradition?Kristy: None … n, o, n, e – none. I did not grow up churched. My experiences of the divine came through nature, primarily nature. [My experiences came through] nature, other people, art, music, sensing the energies around me [and] always feeling like I was held even though I don’t know that I really knew what that meant. I always felt a part of something outside of myself bigger than me and sensed the connection between human beings. I think my religious tradition was very experiential.Steve: What does Spiritual Direction mean to you?Kristy: It’s a lifeline. It’s a gift. It’s a blessing. To be in the directee chair is this revealing, loving path toward wholeness that I have not experienced in any other situation. And to be in the director chair is very much the same experience to be walking with people and have the gift of hearing their stories is truly a blessing.Steve: Do you meet with people for formal Spiritual Direction, Kristy?Kristy: The answer to that, Steve, really has two parts. I meet with people for formal Spiritual Direction that are coming [and] choosing to invest their own resources in coming to Spiritual Direction. And I also primarily the way that I practice is I practice in a corporate setting. What I will say when I start a new relationship with someone in a corporate setting is, “I’m not an executive coach." My friends that are executive coaches say that some of the work that we do is similar, but my training is as a Spiritual Director, which means that you can bring anything here. This isn’t work-related; this is whole-life related. We ebb and we flow out of those two spaces, and what impacts us at work impacts us at home, and vice-versa. I try to be very clear with them that you can call it whatever you need to call it for the contract or for your board. But what we’re really doing here is Spiritual Direction.