Since returning from the Creative Joy Retreat, I've reconnected to my contemplative spirit. Oh how I'm savoring some meditation time each morning and my creativity is activated by my (almost) daily blogging practice.
Last week I picked up Joyce Rupp's book, Open the Door: A Journey to the True Self and found my heart saying, "Yes! Let's open the door to my heart and see what's inside!"
What I loved about my time on the retreat was the time I made for listening and reflecting. I want to keep listening and I'm looking to this book to give me a daily area to focus on. The book offers daily reflections over a period of six weeks. Last week as I read the introduction it dawned on me that if I started this journey, six weeks would land me on Christmas week. "A-ha! I exclaimed. This is an Advent Journey that I'm about to embark on." I'm taking it as no coincindence that I reached for this book when I did. My heart was craving more "retreat" time and this little book will be one of many vehicles to help me to create this sacred space on a daily basis.
Oh how I love a good metaphor. This book will be exploring the doors to our heart. In day 1, Joyce asks, "What kind of door is the door of your heart? Does this door assist or hinder your spiritual growth?"
Joyce offers a lot of ideas about how we might see our door from screen doors where people can easily see in, a revolving door where you are constantly changing and walking in circles, to a "doggie door" an example one of her retreatants shared about feeling like she has to get on her knees and crawl through a small opening.
Are you open or closed to spiritual growth?
Over the last nine years I've seen a huge shift in my spiritual growth. I was once an atheist, who couldn't comprehend how people could believe in God. Where was the proof? My analytical mind reduced God to a fairy tale that people told themselves to get through life's challenging times. A shift happened when I asked myself, "What if?" I opened my heart and began noticing "signs", "coincidences", "serendipitous events" and it has become clear to me that we are part of something bigger than ourselves. There is a current of intelligence that is unexplainable by our simple minds. I was catching up on Super Soul Sunday episodes and Oprah's interview with Rob Bell and much of what he spoke about echoed my own experience. "It is okay to be open." Rob says. It was so affirming to hear that I'm not alone in recognizing an awesome presence in our lives.
Am I open to spiritual growth? Yes! Bring it on. My door is flung open and I'm fueled by my curiosity. I'm an awe junkie who looks for the awesomeness in the mundane daily routines, in the splendor of nature, and in connecting with others.
I'm not sure what I'll uncover on this journey and I'm sure there will be some tender spots along the way. In this moment, my door is open. Are you interested in joining me? If so, pick up this book and work through it at your own pace and swing back here and let me know what you are discovering. I'd love to hear from you.
Let the journey begin!
Kathryn Costa, Collage Diva
PS - The photos in today's post were taken at the Garrison Institute where I had the pleasure of staying for the Creative Joy Retreat.