Join Carla Orlando for the Three-part Series, Art of Discernment beginning April 13

“Above all, trust in the slow work of God/We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay/We should like to skip the intermediate stages/We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new/And yet it is the law of all progress/that it is made by passing through some stages of instability—/and that it may take a very long time.”

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ

Art of Discernment – Topography

What should I do?

Our everyday lives involve small and large decisions regarding schooling, career, work, relationships, and life commitments. How do we make choices? Weigh competing values?  Discern the right path to take?

This 3-part series will introduce a contemplative, creative approach to spiritual decision-making using tools that incorporate visualization and imagination. Drawn from both Ignatian spirituality and PRH International School of Adult Development, these effective methods of discernment respect the experience and uniqueness of each person, helping them to make good decisions and to become discerning people. Participants learn to clarify the various elements and important influences in making a decision, develop the capacity for stepping back from a situation with greater freedom, and experience a greater sense of satisfaction and peace.

Our first evening will provide an overview of the discernment tools.

  • I identify a decision or situation in my everyday life for the purpose of our discernment evening.
  • What decision am I living in my everyday life? Examples might be: How will I spend my upcoming vacation time? How will I best live this work or personal relationship?
  • I plan to bring my decision or situation to practice for the first evening.


Session one will be an orientation of the two tools. The initial step involves the creating of a topography, a mapping out of the important elements of the decision or situation in a visual format. The exploration of the topography can be deepened with the processes of creative expression, written reflection, and speaking/listening in a group. All practices will be encouraged in this series as means for become discerning people and are transferable to other faith-based settings and groups.


Simple, easy, and inexpensive, meant to encourage freedom and use, located in or around home or found at a local drug store or craft shop. Please do not feel pressured to go to any significant effort or expense to prepare for this program.

  • Sketchbook or plain paper, any size
  • Notebook or lined paper
  • Writing pen

Optional: any creative expression materials found or used at home (colored pencils or paint, collage or mandala-making materials.)

Wednesday, April 13 at 6pm PT, via Zoom. Register here. (If you’ve previously registered for Way to Being, you don’t need to re-register.)

Our Guide:
Carla Orlando, M.Ed, is an educator and spiritual director who teaches discernment, reflective writing, and contemplative prayer at Seattle Pacific University and at the Grunewald Guild for art and spirituality. Carla’s ministry includes Spiritual Direction Services at the Ignatian Spirituality Center, the Spiritual Exercises of Everyday Life retreat, the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, and the Jesuit Restorative Justice Initiative. Carla’s somatic method, training, and supervision with PRH (Personnalite et Relations Humaines) International School of Adult Development is integral to her personal approach and guides her work with university students, faculty, organizational professionals, and people of faith.

Questions? Email Sylvia Sepulveda.

Contemplative Creativity meets the the second Wednesday of each month at 6pm PT, via Zoom. 

Learn more at our Contemplative Creativity Page.

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Contemplative Creativity – April