Awakening: Transitions

A Weekly publication of The Awakening Institute for Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Direction and Soul Care

Hi Everyone, I pray that you, at this very moment, are experiencing the presence of God in your day. Now is a good time to be still and let God speak to your heart.


A few nights ago I was re-reading a letter that was sent to Henri Nouwen and published in “Love, Henri; Letters on the Spiritual Life.” Each of the more than 200 letters in the book are worth reading, especially, in my opinion as a great source of Spiritual Direction and as a way for Spiritual Directors to learn from a master director. However there are several that I keep coming back to. One of them is a letter written to a man named Ron. The forward to the letter, written by the books narrator reads; Henri is writing to a good friend and benefactor who is nearing retirement and struggling with health, work and family issues. I keep finding myself returning to the letter not because it strikes a nerve with regard to retirement, that’s a few years off for me, nor do I have any health issues, major work problems, or pressing family issues at this time. I keep coming back to it because Nouwen speaks of transition in such a manner that it may apply both situationally and as a guide to ongoing spiritual transition as well. Furthermore, even though Nouwen is addressing his friend’s situation of retirement and growing old the premise of spiritual transitions holds true for a myriad of similar periods of change in our lives. Here is the section of the letter that I find most compelling; Nouwen writes…

A transition is a new way of being, a new way of handling life, a new way of praying to God. It is a transition from successfulness to fruitfulness, from competition to compassion, from doing to being, from asking to praising.

Love, Henri, pg. 324-325

Obviously this is a time when something radically new is coming about. A seismic shift wants to take place. It is a new way.

A new way of being: an internal and external shift from identifying who we are based on what we do to an identification with who we are. This does not mean we stop doing. It simply means that all we do now flow from and are influenced and guided by who we are. We are children of God. A new way of life: Life is no longer something that we simply get through as much as it is something we give away in the name of God. No single moment is boring or routine, but instead represents an opportunity to see God and to respond to God with an outpouring of self for the glory of God. A new way of praying to God: prayer is an experience of God’s presence. The presence of Christ becomes palpable because we are not rushed as we cherish the intentional moments of prayer as well as the unceasing heart prayer that continues throughout the day.

Transition is a movement from something to something…

From successfulness to fruitfulness: success implies a chameleon like stance in order to make things work our way. Fruitfulness requires that we be authentic. A tree that produces fine fruit is not called successful it is called fruitful. The tree was just being the tree.

From competition to compassion: Our view of others is no longer utilitarian, or burdensome. Instead we find ourselves willing, even passionate, when given the opportunity to the enter into the pain of others and we might be God’s instrument that lifts them up. From doing to being: To be is authenticity. We no longer strive to survive and to accomplish by being something we are not. Now we allow what we accomplish to flow out of our true self, created in the image and likeness of God. That which God does through us now flow from the essence of who we are in God’s eyes, not who we think we are in our own or in the eyes of others. From asking to praising: we discover that we have all we need, “in Christ”, and there is nothing more to ask for. The only thing left is to praise God from whom all blessings flow. Every moment becomes a moment of worship.

Transitions that bring a new way of being, of life and of prayer lead to movements of change deep within us by the grace of God that makes us fruitful, compassionate, and authentic as we passionately worship God in response to God’s blessings showered upon us moment by moment.

God bless you all

Coming in the Fall of 2017

Introduction to the Enneagram Eleven Week Course

This is an Eleven week (27.5 hour) course into the fantastic world of the Enneagram.

This class will include an in-depth look into all nine spaces as well as their subtypes, wings, triads and Holy ideas, with emphasis on its usefulness within the context of spiritual direction and self-care.

Syllabus is now available;

Want to learn more about the important practice of spiritual direction, or are looking for a spiritual director to walk with you in your spiritual journey?

Contact “The Awakening Institute”

321-298-8801 or visit our website

Coming this Fall

Christian Mysticism in Today’s World

Course Description: This is an 12 week course, (2 1/2 hours per session), designed to help the student discover the most important dynamics of Christian Mysticism, both in its historical context as well as the many ways it has, and continues to develop today. We will use a three-fold approach, which includes 1) Defining mysticism historically and what it means for disciples today. 2) Answering the question, “Who is a mystic?” and 3) the way of the mystic.

Syllabus now available, email:

Upcoming Classes and Seminars

  • Introduction to Spiritual Direction

  • Contemplative Listening

  • Lectio Divina

  • Centering Prayer

  • Exploring Spiritual Dispositions

  • Introduction to the Enneagram

And much more…

Request a free syllabus today:

To register please call 321-298-8801

Or visit our website for a complete listing of available classes and a free syllabus for a class of your choice.

Community Bible Experience

This is an encounter with God’s Word designed for those who wish to experience the Scriptures at a deep heart level, as a way to inner transformation.

Coming in the summer of 2017

The Gospel of John

Watch for details

Do you know someone who would like to receive “Awakening” every Friday?

Send us their email address and we will make it happen.

Some recommendations for excellent spiritual guidance…

If you have others to share with our readers please send them to

Something to Ponder

“The journey toward full selfhood is more than just awakening; it involves a letting go that is also a dying.”

Cynthia Bourgeault,

The Wisdom Way of Knowing, 67

Enneagram Training Courses

Introduction to the Enneagram Seminar

A Six hour seminar,

February 18th, 9:30-3:00,

1 hour break from 12:00nonn to 1:00pm

At Epworth UMC

7651 Johnson Street

Hollywood, Florida, 33024

During this seminar we offer the following as an introduction the amazing enneagram.

  • Historic Background

  • The Three Part Symbol and Its Nine Points

  • Body, Heart, and Head

  • Initial Exploration Into Discovering Your Space

  • Subtypes (Self-Preservation, Social and One-to-One)

  • Arrows (growth through stress points and healing the child heart)

  • Self-care (vice to virtues)

Cost for this seminar is $25 prepaid before February 1st and $35 after February 1st

Feel free to email or call 321-298-8801 for further details

A Gathering of Spiritual Directors

This coming spring The Awakening Institute will host a gathering of spiritual directors. The reason for the gathering is to come together in prayer and to seek discernment regarding ways we can, together, raise awareness within the church of how spiritual direction can be a vehicle by which God’s presence and voice can be more deeply felt and more clearly heard, at both individual and congregational levels. If you are a spiritual director and would like to join in this conversation please contact Gene Yotka at 321-298-8801 or email for additional details.

Recommended Reading

(Additional to our daily Scripture reading)

  • Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer, by David-Steindl Rast

  • I Am A Follower, by Leonard Sweet

  • Becoming Human, By Jean Vanier

  • Knowing As We Are Known, by Eugene T. Yotka

  • Let Your Life Speak, by Parker Palmer

  • Desiring God’s Will, by David Benner

  • Walking In The Light, by Steve Harper

  • Thoughts in Solitude, by Thomas Merton

  • Incarnation: The Surprising Overlap of Heaven & Earth, by Will Willimon

  • The Mystic Way of Evangelism, by Elaine A. Heath

  • A Hidden Wholeness, by Parker Palmer

  • The Return of the Prodigal Son, by Henri Nouwen

  • Way of Love: Recovering the Heart of Christianity, by Norman Wirzba

  • Falling Upward, by Richard Rohr

  • Between the Dark and the Daylight, by Joan Chittister

  • New Seeds of Contemplation, by Thomas Merton

  • New! Love Henri, by Henri Nouwen

Have Something You Would Like to Share?

Awakening would be blessed to receive original articles, poems, or artistic work that would be helpful and edifying for those interested in Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Direction, and/or Soul Care for future publication.

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