In "The Shaping of a Life," Phyllis Tickle recounts her life and her spiritual journey with honesty and humor, richly conveying both the external events and the internal insights and emotions that drew her to a life of prayer and contemplation. She shares stories of her childhood in eastern Tennessee as the only child of the dean at the local college -- including her first inkling of the power and comfort of prayer, and her realization that prayer required a disciplined routine, that it is "best practiced by a composed mind and spirit." She writes of the sense of freedom and independence she discovered at college, where she fell in love with the language and the teachings of The Book of Common Prayer and decided to leave the Presbyterianism of her childhood and join the Episcopal Church.
As Tickle chronicles her deepening understanding of prayer and the rewards of a spiritual life, she reaches across the boundaries that separate one denomination from another, and presents a portrait of spiritual growth and transformation that will appeal to devout practitioners and their less religious neighbors as well. Within a very personal story, Tickle reveals the keys that will help readers of all faiths find the path that leads from the everyday world of "doing" to the special place of simply "being." Lively, entertaining, and inspiring, "The Shaping of a Life" demonstrates and celebrates the relevance and significance of spirituality in our fast-paced times.