Friday, June 17, 2011

friday five: stairway of surprise

At RevGals Jan is inspired by "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 am thinking about so many things! Old work, new possibilities, politics, relationships, working up the energy to do a thorough cleaning of our dog-ruined carpets... Some thoughts emerge of their own accord and some are thrust upon me. Poke me at any given time and you'll find something different on my mind. In June 2011, that's the way it is!

2. doing?
Newly unemployed I am focused on looking for work. So much to say about that, so little energy to say it (at least this morning). Maybe tomorrow this weekend I'll expand on this. I've got the time!

3. feeling?
I'm in that place of coexisting contrasts: grieving what is lost (more than a job), and anticipating with excitement (if not a little anxiety) what lies ahead. I'm not wallowing in the former, but I am trying to honor its truth when it makes itself known. The latter is pretty much a "hot damn!" that comes with some rolling up of the sleeves.

4. loving?
This is my bonus "sixth." Some love is easy. The less easy is the uncomfortable part. Let's just say that there are some people in my life whom I love and whose behavior is hurtful. I'm trying to love my way through the hurt and make good, grounded decisions about how best to navigate the relational stresses. I strive to be honest about the hurt while acknowledging that the complexity of other lives and hearts skew the equation in ways that are difficult to anticipate. Another reminder that I continue to be a work in progress.

5. opening?
This is another category that, to do it justice, deserves a full response. Since I lack the time for that this morning I will simply say that I am opening possibilities.

6. thanking?
I just enjoyed the gift of almost two weeks back on "home turf" in Connecticut, land of my birth as well as of steady habits (CT folks will understand).  My time there with family, driving familiar roads and visiting favorite places (not to mention enjoying amazing June weather) was restoring as much as it was a respite after some difficult months. I am deeply grateful for everything that was part of that time away: reconnection, new connections and letting go. Being in the moment of each moment of that time was an expression of gratitude.


Terri said...

Thinking of you, as you navigate this time. Nine of my friends and colleagues, staff members of the Diocese of Chicago, had their jobs terminated two days ago. Although everyone knew that change was coming as the diocese restructures itself, no one anticipated the abrupt way these terminations happened, leaving long members staff folk and their families reeling...and a lot of us on the periphery, too.

I just hope that those folks, and you, find new life and excitment in new ministry, however that looks, as I have. And, I hope it doesn't take as long as it took me...

talk to you tomorrow?

Purple said...

Opening possibilities...awesome!

angela said...

Such insight on love. It is difficult at best to figure out...thank you for your thoughts. And I am thankful for your positive approach to what could be too painful to explore as you open new possibilities and deal with the closure of the you say, it is more than a job.

The Bug said...

I love all your answers, but my favorite is "hot damn!" Because that really is the best attitude :)

Jan said...

You are in that in-between time, which can also be a thin place, hard though it is. I look forward to your expansions on some of these topics. Your time in Conn. sounds like it was wonderful.

fruitfulwords said...

I would love to be able to daily use the stairs you added to this post.

There is more to life (stairs, relationships, jobs, etc.) than the obvious. Sounds like you are navigating this season of life with a lot of contemplation, honesty and openness. And do I detect a little bit of sassiness? lol

I pray this season flows into something more awesome than you can imagine.

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