Vinita Hampton Wright is a novelist, workshop facilitator, and editor here at Loyola Press but, above all, she is a wise spiritual guide. She has just published two new books with us and, because I believe that what she says is important, I am going to write a post on each of them.
I sat down with Vinita last week and asked her why she had written Simple Acts of Moving Forward – 60 Suggestions for Getting Unstuck. She explained that she herself got stuck with her fiction writing and turned to short non-fiction essays which began to emerge with the “getting unstuck” theme. Divided into sections devoted to “acts of creativity,” “acts of daring,” “acts of generosity,” “acts of healing,” “acts of integrity,” and “acts of joy,” Vinita provides us with simple, straight-forward and highly practical steps to get us moving again.
Vinita points out that, “We get stuck on the little things, not the big decisions or major projects because we’ve learned to plan and prepare for the big important things… so we get stuck on the smaller daily interactions, decisions and tasks.” Simple Acts of Moving Forward is a book of practical suggestions for how to move forward in the reality of daily life. When I asked Vinita if courage can be learned, she replied, “That’s why I’ve written a whole book of little steps. I’m not talking about huge life overhauls. As people take care of the little steps, eventually courage can become more of a habit.”
I wondered aloud about what great fears we need to overcome in order to get unstuck and was taken by Vinita’s response: “Most of us have a huge fear of failure, whether it’s in our relationships, our jobs, as parents and as Christians. It’s like we walk around feeling the disapproval about to descend. As we look at our faith, we see that failure is an inherent part of growing, but we don’t get that message from our churches or from our culture. We need teachers and homilists to remind us that often the people God uses take that one step forward, make a mess, and then receive God’s grace to keep going. We don’t hear those homilies often enough.”
Amen, Vinita. Amen.