Probably about a year ago, I discovered a gal named Sarah J. Bray. She had a web design company at the time -- a service that didn't directly apply to me -- but I liked the way she thought about things and the generosity with which she shared her perspective on business and creativity with others.
So I signed up for her e-mail list. (Something I rarely do.)
Little did I know that soon after signing up for her e-mail list, she would shut down her blog and shut down her web design business in order to reframe and redesign her work. She offered an opportunity to sign up for a "sneaky-peekers" e-mail list to follow her through that journey -- those signed up for the list would be people with whom she'd share more of the details behind her business decision and her process of creating the new thing(s) she was going to do.
I found her offer of a "sneaky-peekers" view of her decision and process quite intriguing and generous, so I signed up for that list too.
And so for the last six to nine months, I've been given an insider's peek at who Sarah is and what she is doing. And I've learned that I really value her perspective. So often, her willingness to put herself out there -- to simply be her quirky, unique self and to share the thinking behind the decisions she's making and to share the ups and downs of the process -- encourages the part of me that deeply believes in the value of every human person and in connecting in meaningful ways with people in this increasingly disconnected world in which we live.
My heart: to provide places for
people to be seen and heard.
Along the way, while being subscribed to her "sneaky-peekers" list, I've been doing my own thing.
I graduated from my master's program in spiritual formation and finished my training in spiritual direction. I wrote a thesis proposal on the intersection of spirituality and digital connectivity.
In response to my thesis research, I began to write week-daily posts on Still Forming. I created -- and then offered -- my first-ever online course. I created a second online course and offered it to a small group of beautiful souls who had taken the first course.
And I continued, in the midst of all this, to offer long-distance spiritual direction.
Through it all, God has been confirming my calling and vocation. He has given me a pastoral heart and priestly calling. He has provided training and experience for my work as a spiritual director. And he has called me, at least for now, to work in online spaces.
One of the pages in my vocation Filofax.
As God has been deepening and confirming my work and vocation, I have been seeking ways to more intentionally hone and focus my life and what I do. The best decision I made all year was part of that process of being intentional and faithful to the way God created me and what he's inviting me to do with my life. I've also become very careful of the things I take on, asking myself, "Is this really mine to do?"
The full thrust of this year, I'm finding, is about moving more and more fully into the work God has called me to do with my life. Stay close and present Christ, he tells me. I will bring the fruit, is another thing he says. Be faithful to what I've given you to do, he tells me. Follow the way I've made you.
And so I keep doing that.
All sorts of ideas about the sizes and shapes this can take have come along, and so I keep filing these ideas away in what I call my "vocation Filofax," adding new labeled tabs for each new idea that seems important and compelling. (The Filofax has sure gotten full at this point!)
A page from my weekend getaway manifest.
I didn't know when I signed up for Sarah's sneaky-peekers e-mail list that what she eventually offered would be something I needed and wanted.
But that's what happened.
Several weeks ago, when Sarah shared her special idea for the Tour de Bliss with us sneaky-peekers, I was surprised to discover that the time was now for me to take the tour. This digital tour is particularly for those who know the work that is theirs to do and want to discover and create a way of working that makes the most sense for who they are.
That is exactly where I am. I know the work I'm called to do, and I'm in the process of figuring out the fullness of what that can look like and the best ways to offer that to others.
At the time she rolled it out, Sarah offered us sneaky-peekers the chance to take a weekend getaway on the Tour de Bliss. In an incredible act of generosity, she created several "excursions" for us to access for free, in order to get a feel for what the tour would be like and whether it was for us.
The photo above is one sample of the many pages just like it in my travel manifest for the tour, completed on the weekend getaway.
It wasn't hard for me to realize this tour is for me. I was energized by the exercises, and my mind filled up with all kinds of interesting questions I look forward to thinking about and answering while I'm on the tour.
So, I'm packing up. The tour departs on Monday and goes for a full year. I'm sure I'll be sharing aspects of the tour experience here with you, especially as it helps me refine the work I'm continuing to do with my life.
Thanks for being here with me in it. xo