Reading for Our (Trans)formation

 Photo by  Ben White  on  Unsplash

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Hey, Friends!

I have been doing lots of writing in my journal and for my books, but not as much writing here. So, I thought I would prime the pump again by writing about what I am reading, and how that is (in/trans)forming me. 

Right now, I am reading several books. For a while, I was adamant that I go through one book at a time, stay strictly focused and in order. But I've realized, (much like my experience of the Biblical Canon) I like the disruption of all the voices. I want to hear John on Johns terms without having to harmonize his theological vision with Mark's, but I want to be disrupted, formed, informed, transformed, and challenged to remain open and curious throughout. Like my understanding of the Biblical text, the inspiration is only present insofar as we are invited into a practice, a process, and a posture of transformation. With that spirit in mind, here is a window into what I am reading and how it is contributing to me in practice, process, and posture.

I am re-reading Breathing Under Water by Richard Rohr, wherein he ties together the A.A. 12 Steps with "the marrow of the Gospels." I do not know I have fully named all my addictions yet, but I have recognized my impulsiveness, compulsiveness, drivenness to do and often from a place or perception of lack. Rohr speaks to my heart, as well as to the heart of mystical or contemplative Christianity and how most of us have missed the real point. A beautiful invitation into transformation. 

I am reading Breaking Through Gridlock by Jason Jay and Gabriel Grant. Gabriel is a good friend of mine, and going through his book is not only helping me understand him and his work better, but is a reminder to stop reading and do the exercises. Actually, it's a theme that I am seeing interwoven in all of these books. This book talks about how our conversational breakdowns in areas that matter are an invitation for us to assume a different posture, to see how WE, ourselves, are getting stuck, and to open up connection for mutual benefit and understanding (as well as living in alignment with what we say we want!). 

I am also reading Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. It is beautiful, moving, and inspiring. At the heart, it is an invitation to WRITE. Tell your story. Keep writing. Write when it's shitty. Write whether or not you "feel" like writing, and to watch the process form you and your art. Writing is a meditative practice for me, and I am grateful for the voices who have gone before to shed light and perspective on the larger processes at work. 

 

With any practice I have, it requires showing up. If I do not do my prayers or meditation in the morning, I cannot expect to be formed by them. The practice of showing up and being, doing whatever it is will form us. My posture involves openness, humility, curiosity and acceptance. When I think I am the master of something, I can check out and stop being the life-learner. If I avoid difficult conversations, I will also avoid the work for human thriving which will invariably bring up conflict at one point or another. If I hide my hurts, my patterns and behaviors that create problems, how can I accept myself and how can I grow?

For our transformation, we show up in our practices, processes, and postures.

What are you reading? What are you working on? What practices, process, and postures are you assuming and participating in?

Feel free to email me or comment below. :)

With love on the journey,

Ben