We recently had the pleasure of a conversation with Kim Langley about her signed book contact for a study group resource on Hildegard of Bingen. Kim is a speaker, trainer, minister, writer, and teacher. She leads individuals and groups toward greater emotional intelligence, spiritual and creative education, and personal growth through her organization, Life Balance Enterprises.
Kim has been asked to explore Hildegard for adult parishes. Kim’s background is well-suited for this project, which calls for an educational approach.
Like many people we encounter who have discovered the inspiration of Hildegard, Kim’s story brings together the deeply personal aspects of spirituality and growth with the common challenges and blessings of life that bring us together.
Kim began her journey as a high school theology teacher, with a master’s degree in religious education. She sought to bring meaning to the world through a religious lens, which eventually led her to seek out spiritual women who were instrumental in their own time and place. In her 30s she joined a women’s group, the leader of which – an older woman, shared with Kim her love of Hildegard.
The group viewed Hildegard as intrepid truth seeker, who stood fast in the face of intimidation to pursue her gifts and her ideas on faith and theology. Kim quickly found her own inspiration in Hildegard as powerful ally in maturing and following her own gifts. She then started introducing Hildegard to others and was subsequently invited by a women’s group to talk about Hildegard. This led to a deeper dive into all things Hildegard.
Though Kim is not formally trained as a Hildegard scholar, per se, Hildegard’s brand of spirituality had an early and lasting effect on Kim. Hildegard’s flaws made her all the more approachable and the notion of Viriditas left a particularly meaningful impact. For Kim, like many of us, Hildegard serves as a powerful illustration of what it means to be a mature human being by following those unique gifts that each of us receive and honoring those gifts through a life of discipline, moderation, and virtue.
Her study of Hildegard dovetails with much of her work on emotional intelligence and spiritual direction. Hildegard has become a strong thread in her conversations with her clients and workshop participants about how to deal with life’s challenges and how to position and strengthen for change and self-improvement. As Kim continued to incorporate the lessons and inspirations of Hildegard into her work, others began to respond to the powerful themes of faith, connectivity, and creativity.
Through serendipity fitting of a Hildegard enthusiast, Kim was asked to write a book that would help people connect, to help others address their own gifts by exploring Hildegard. Her book will touch on the life of Hildegard and her words, while offering questions and reflections geared toward small groups in churches preparing for lent or advent.
Today, Kim makes her living primarily as a public speaker and emotional intelligence coach. She is certified as a spiritual director through the Haden Institute, and often uses Hildegard in her retreat work to reference the inner-word and eventual joy of self-actualization.