Friday, June 17, 2011

Stairway of Surprise (Friday Five)

Today at RevGals, Jan writes:

I am currently reading a book entitled Stairway of Surprise: Six Steps to a Creative Life by Michael Lipson. His premise is a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson: "I shall mount to paradise by the stairway of surprise." Lipson's book is about practicing or developing six inner functions--thinking, doing, feeling, loving, opening, and thanking.

So these categories of attention are a jumping off point for today's Friday Five:

Pick five of the six actions and write about how you are practicing them today or recently. For a bonus, write about the sixth one you originally didn't choose!

What or how are you

1. thinking?

I'm thinking a lot about some recent revelations, the kind that clarify a few things as you realize that much of what has grounded you is . . .  built upon truths that others have concealed.  How's that for a big one?

2. doing?

I'm doing many scattered things; in the absence of a call taking shape as I had imagined it would (one church, one place, one set of related challenges), I have said yes to too many bits and pieces of opportunity and, therefore . . .

3. feeling?

I'm feeling fragmented (number 2) and disoriented (number 1).

4. loving?

I'm loving doing spiritual direction, and writing about it, and learning more about it, and planning retreats, and hanging out with other people who are doing the same things.

5. opening?

I've been focusing on two things in my prayer life recently, and seeking to become more available to God's desires is one of them.  Since my own are not exactly working out. 

6. thanking?

And this is the other one.  It would be an understatement to describe as challenging the process of exploring and living in gratitude for things that are all a consequence of something horrific and sorrowful.

I think I'll leave it at that for now.


  1. When you said "built upon truths that others have concealed" it took my breath away. I would love to hear more about that if and when you are ever ready to talk about it, even in a general sense. I also wonder how that plays into your spiritual direction vocation. Thank you.

  2. #3...fragmented and very understandable. I do wonder about our call process, if it indeed serves us well.

  3. Sharon, what a fascinating juxtaposition you've proposed.

    It will take me awhile to figure out how to write about it all, much of it simply unbloggable.

  4. Purple: I used to be a big fan of our process. But now, as I see how it plays out (or doesn't) for many of us: not so much.

  5. Your faith shines through the fragmentation and unknowing, especially with the joys of spiritual direction. It seems that revelations so often come through hardships, which you continue to endure. I, too, would like to hear more about those and your spiritual direction.

  6. I had a similar thought as Sharon....and, frankly search processes are ridiculous...I suspect that God is guiding you to where you need to be for you and for others, even if it feels least that has been true for me, in hindsight of course...prayers for you Robin,

  7. I am here from RevGals FF. Wow, Robin, you write with such honesty. I am so sad about the death of your son. I cannot imagine how life would be for me if one of my adult children died by suicide. Thanks for sharing your journey (spiritual, emotional, physical) and for your example of how to go on - albeit brokenly and with great grief.