A (Seemingly) Dichotomous Journey

I have decided to take the fork in the road on my Lenten Journey this year. Yes, you heard me right, I have come to the fork in the road of my life and I’m going to take it.

I know that normally — for normal people — when you come to a fork in the road you take one path or you take another. But I — definitely not normal — am going to take both paths. I am going to take the Path of Surrender & Silence and I’m going to take the Living LOUD, Living LARGE Path.

I have two guidebooks to carry with me on this divergent Lenten Journey: Words for Silence (Gregory Fruehwirth, OJN) and Improv Wisdom (Patricia Ryan Madson).

Living in Surrender & Silence

In Words for Silence, Fr. Gregory tells us:

“Lent in the monastery is a time of self-reflection and renewed spiritual seriousness. . .Reforming outward behavior, we discover, is only the beginning of the total conversion of life we are called to. Much more subtle and demanding is the work of purifying our inner world of attachments and desires that reveal an underlying self-centeredness even in our most spiritual intentions. Some of these sins have roots so deep that we cannot pull them out by ourselves; all we can do is to be aware of them, and in that awareness ask God to do the work.”

I intend to surrender to What Is. The path of surrender is quiet, thoughtful, sometimes painful, always loving. The path of surrender is not a giving up or giving in; it is the taking up of a way of living in harmony with What Is.

I cannot be angry at Reality any longer, it does me no good whatsoever. In fact, any growth, any potential for learning and understanding, is stopped dead in its tracks when I deny What Is and fight Reality.

I want to learn to navigate through Reality, holding the Hand of God, becoming more open to What Is as I walk (and run) through my daily life’s journey of humble chores and tasks.

Living LOUD, Living LARGE

Improv Wisdom, the second guidebook for this Lenten Journey, is a “book that teaches the principles of improvisation as guidance for a life of adventure and meaning” and it sounds like a whole lot of fun! Author Patricia Ryan Madson’s provides 13 chapters of improvisational strategies for Life.

Just listen to the first few lines of chapter 1:

“This is going to sound crazy. Say yes to everything. Accept all offers. Go along with the plan. Support someone else’s dream. Say “yes”; “right”; “sure”; “I will”; “okay”; “of course”; “YES!” Cultivate all the ways you can imagine to express affirmation. When the answer to all questions is yes, you can enter a new world, a world of action, possibility, and adventure.”

Yup, sounds like crazy fun to me! And how does relate to the Path of Surrender & Silence? See what Patricia has to say about “blocking”:

“Saying yes (and following through with support) prevents you from committing a cardinal sin — blocking. Blocking comes in many forms; it is a way of trying to control the situation instead of accepting it. We block when we say no, when we have a better idea, when we change the subject, when we correct the speaker, when we fail to listen, or when we simply ignore the situation. The critic in us wakes up and runs the show. Saying no is the most common way we attempt to control the future.”

Hmmm, sounds like being angry with What Is and being out of harmony with Reality. So much wisdom, and only 40 days (plus 7 Festive Sundays!) of travel time. I’m excited, this is going to be some Serious Fun!

For the next 3 days…

I have prepared three meditations for the next three days of blog posts leading up to Ash Wednesday, “Live Courageously, Practice Joy, Accept Responsibility.”

And so, for the next three days I intend to spend my time in preparation for this Lenten Journey. I have some manual, some mental and some spiritual labor and chores to do before I can go.

I will check email, but if I normally follow your blog or see you on facebook or twitter, please know that I will be back, BUT I need three days (hmmm, the implications of “three days” just occurred to me – ha!). Three days to prepare.

You. Are. Loved. ♥

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~ by Kimberly Mason on February 13, 2010.

3 Responses to “A (Seemingly) Dichotomous Journey”

  1. You are loved too, Kim. Praying for you.

  2. Few things could please an author more than to learn that her book is helping someone “on the path”. Saying yes to life is an active adventure. I wish you good fortune as you show up and see what life brings. Thank you for letting me be part of that journey.
    Happy Valentines Day,
    Patricia Ryan Madson

    • I have been carrying your book around with me to show to anyone that I think may be even remotely interested. 😀 Including, of course, my son’s drama teacher. He is 18 and a senior in high school, it HILARIOUS at improv. The day after his drama club’s last Improv Night I happened upon your book. I took it as a Sign from Above…

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