Saturday, October 27, 2018

Holy Will

Type Two EnneaThought® for October 27th

The Holy Idea for Type Two is Holy Will, which means you can relax your efforts because everything really is "in God's hands." See if you can connect with this truth today. (Understanding the Enneagram, 42) 

So I had to understand what the "Holy Idea" thing was. It is a another concept I hope to understand better when I go to the Enneagram Seminar next week. Here is what this website says: 

"The Holy Ideas of the Enneagram are in service to the alleviation of suffering and the recovery of our true nature through remembering our Essence qualities.  The Holy Ideas remind us of who we truly are beyond our attachments and identification with the construct of the egoic mind.  As we observe our attachments and defense of the ego we become aware of the ways that we suffer.  We can choose to end our suffering.  Suffering is truly optional.  Pain is endemic to the human condition and must be faced squarely and experienced.  Suffering results from clinging to the dualistic, fixated patterns of believing that things are right/wrong (Type 1), that we are loved/unloved (Type 2), successful/unsuccessful (Type 3), abandoned/connected (Type 4), depleted/abundant (Type 5), unsafe/safe (Type 6), limited/free (Type 7), controlled/in control (Type 8) and important/unimportant (Type 9)." 

Here is what it says regarding this Holy Idea for Type 2:

"The experience of surrender is at the heart of Holy Will.  We surrender the illusion that our personal efforts are required to make good things happen.  As we loosen the belief that we are indispensable to making good things happen for others, and that we must manipulate to create good things for ourselves through the force of our personality, we become more humble.  Humility places us in proper perspective [to God] (the Enneagram Institute says to the Universe). Personal will attaches to outcome and we suffer through this attachment.  Through recognizing Holy Will and living in humility there is an awareness that things will always be taken care of."

Learning this concept is perfectly timed after ten days of "praying toward the peace" with a situation I learned about on Wednesday, October17 . I have arrived at a place of true surrender. God told me, up front, that a person's problems were not my issue and to let it go, but I had to pray through my feelings and continue to listen. So I have let it go (and feel nothing but compassion and love for that person's problems). This is my surrender. My personal efforts are not required to make the situation any better for that person. Humility is the realization that He is God and I am not. Selah! 

Friday, October 26, 2018

46. The Practice of Spiritual Direction by William A. Barry and William J. Connolly

These two authors are sages in spiritual direction. I found their wisdom engaging, and it added to my knowledge in the field. I am eating all of this reading up! So glad I made the switch to this curriculum for personal growth.  I also liked that they are Ignatian in their spiritual direction. 

Here is the definition of Spiritual Direction from the book:

Spiritual direction is “help given by one Christian to another which enables that person to pay attention to God’s personal communication to him or her, to respond to this personally communicating God, to grow in intimacy with this God, and to live out the consequences of the relationship.”

Spiritual direction focuses on religious experience. It is concerned with a person’s actual experience of a relationship with God.

Spiritual direction is about a relationship. The religious experience is not isolated, nor does it consist of extraordinary events. It is what happens in an ongoing relationship between the person and God. Most often this is a relationship that is experienced in prayer.

Spiritual direction is a relationship that is going somewhere. God is leading the person to deeper faith and more generous service. The spiritual director asks not just “what is happening?” but “what is moving forward?”

The real spiritual director is God. God touches the human heart directly. The human spiritual director does not “direct” in the sense of giving advice and solving problems. Rather, the director helps a person respond to God’s invitation to a deeper relationship.

Monday, October 22, 2018

As we grow older . . . we must move towards forgiveness, towards letting go and accepting responsibility for our lives at the present moment. This means letting go of grudges and resentments that drag us back into the past and sap our enthusiasm for the present and future. Forgiveness and letting go free us from the endless repetition of past stories of injustice and hurt that we tell as if they were the events of yesterday.
. . . But perhaps the greatest and most difficult challenge of later life is to forgive ourselves. We are called upon to forgive our own failings and mistakes and sins, and to love ourselves as God loves us. Forgiving ourselves means letting go of our regrets, accepting our limitations, and coming to peace with the decisions and actions that we can no longer change. Forgiving ourselves is the final fruit of accepting God’s forgiveness, and the only path to peace.
“The Spiritual Exercises and a Spirituality for the Later Years” by Gerald M. Fagin, SJ

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

43. The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self Discovery

28268515This is my second time through this book, and it helped so much to do so. I listened to it last time. This time I combined listening with my Kindle Book, and I made highlights. This quote about my Enneagram Type Two really confirmed my decision to leave the Renovaré Institute. I needed a smaller group so I could work on my soul. The needs in that Institute were too overwhelming for me. I have found my people with the Spiritual Direction Boise Cohort! 

"If Twos are going to learn how to attend to their own needs as much as they pay attention to the needs of other people, they have to work on their soul in solitude. If they try to do this work in community they’ll be tempted to help those around them grow spiritually rather than focus on their own development. In this situation Twos’ tendency to drop everything to help people in crisis is more a defense against facing their own needs and feelings than an act of service. In their time with God they might ask themselves, Who am I when no one needs me?"

“A humble self-knowledge is a surer way to God than a search after deep learning.” Thomas À Kempis

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

41. Anatomy of the Soul

This is a reread because it is part of my Module II for Spiritual Direction training. I thought it was more fascinating the second time around when I took notes. 

I love how he has spiritual disciplines to go along with what he is explaining is going on in your brain. I especially liked how he talked about how brains can be changed when we tell our story to an empathetic listener. I have long believed in the power of story. This just added to my conviction about this. 

Anatomy of the Soul (xiv) – “an important part of how people change—not just their experiences, but also their brains—is through the process of telling their stories to an empathic listener. When a person tells her story and is truly heard and understood, both she and the listener undergo actual changes in their brain circuitry. They feel a greater sense of emotional and relational connection, decreased anxiety, and greater awareness of and compassion for others’ suffering . . . Dr. Siegel labeled the change ‘increased integration.’” 

42. Unoffendable: How Just One Change Can Make All the Difference

22574570  This is about not being angry, surrendering all in humility, and loving God and others. It had some endearing stories and the author is pretty funny. 


I had not been offended for quite a while. Wouldn't you know the DAY after reading this book something happened that probably would have offended anymore, but I am SO GLAD I had just read this book because I was able (by God's grace) to not be offended and respond in compassion and love. Perfectly timed book! 

Monday, October 08, 2018

40. Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction

20447591I didn't particularly feel like this book added anything new to my understanding of spiritual direction. I think maybe this was included in my curriculum because she was such an early pioneer in the resurgence of this practice among the lay people. I liked Sacred Companions and Candlelight much better. Also, she has a decidedly liberal bent that I found distracting in the book. 

“The greatest gift the director can bring is a loving presence.” (p. 135)

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Tuesday Twelve: In Praise of Good Decisions

This is my praise for making a good decision. I just did not feel right in the Institute I was a part of. I know the majority of the people in that Institute are having a phenomenal time, and I do not knock their experience of it. We are so uniquely created. In addition, our histories are all varied and different.

As I have gone through my overlapping Sacred Story (for Spiritual Direction Training Boise Cohort) and Graced History (for the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life Portland Cohort), I realize how incredibly blessed I have been with mentors and friends. Right after having made a total surrender and commitment to God at 19 years old, God brought me these wonderful wise women and men who taught me to dig deeper into my relationship with God. I think this is what the Institute was trying to do, giving people what they didn't have in the beginning of their journey. I was unusual in that I had it, and it was FREE whereas the Institute was NOT FREE. It was also not as personal as I would have liked it, and there were not personal mentors like I had the first time around. There were teachers who taught in an academic way. That was not what I wanted or needed. I have already been blessed in that way. Now it was time to go deeper. 

The Spiritual Exercises have been that "deeper still" and "excel still more" of 1 Thessalonians 4 (because love is the ultimate overflow of the Exercises). The Spiritual Direction training gives me a smaller cohort of like-hearted people and very personal and accessible mentors without a smidgen of academics. No writing papers that fit academic parameters or answer the questions they pose. We write one page summaries of the one book a month we read answering personally and not academically. 

It was a good move. I was doing it for personal growth, and a review is always good, but the habits they were attempting to instill have been firmly rooted in my habits and life, and it has been all for free. 

The first weekend in Boise was phenomenal, and people asked me questions about myself which did not happen very often in the Institute. I did a lot of listening, but I do that a lot in my life so I was looking for something more mutual. I have that from the Boise Cohort, and I also have my Best Boise Buddy, Debbie, to debrief after each day of training. Such a plus!

So I better go. It was great. I am so glad I made the radical decision to take the SEEL/Spiritual Direction offramp to a new FREEway on the road to the glory of God! 

Monday, October 01, 2018

39. All the Light We Cannot See

19398490I made the mistake of reading this AFTER one of the best books of all time: Les Miserables. So, this book doesn't compare to that classical novel, but it is a good book. It is also a sad book. I thought I would be wowed by it because of all the rave reviews. I wasn't wowed, but I did like it. It made me want to keep reading to the end to see how all the characters ended up. I loved hearing about St. Malo and Paris since I was in Normandy and Paris last summer. That was fun. War is a sad subject though. :( 

Tuesday Ten Minute Freewrite

I am going to go great guns for 10 minutes on this freewrite. I am meeting with a person (not sure if she wants direction - she just wanted ...