US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Soul Fire: Accessing Your Creativity - Discussion Questions

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Discussion questions from Skylight Paths for Soul Fire: Accessing Your Creativity by Thomas Ryan, CSP.

1. Where would you locate yourself in these four phases of the life cycle?
We learn.
We apply.
We step back and reflect.
We savor.

2. If the path through life is a tension between two energy systems—fire and ice—and there is no possibility of getting through without being singed or frozen at the edges, which of these two images speaks most to your present life situation?

3. Do you relate to any of these lines?
-A sense that you have brought to your present work all that you can and it is time for a new challenge.
-A vague but pervasive feeling of discontent with the configuration of activities and relationships in your life.
-A growing desire to step out and allow a recurring fantasy to become a reality.

4. What are some of your interests and abilities that seldom get tapped?

5. Think back to your years in grade school or junior high. Do you remember having any areas of instinctive natural interest that, as you moved on into high school, you were not allowed to develop or indulge? Rummage around a bit in your “shadow side” to see what undeveloped interests may still be lurking there after all these years.

6. David Whyte says that when we lose faith in our own voice, or have no faith that our inner and outer worlds can meet, we are like one hand clapping. But “when the inner and outer worlds do meet like two hands clapping, you get a sharp,
clear sound.This is your soul, your poem, your voice.” What experiences can you point to in your life when your inner and outer worlds met and there was a “sharp, clear sound” that expressed the fire in your soul?