Welcome to the second week of my month-long writing workshop for Elul. If you’re just joining in now, you might want to look at and listen to last week’s post to get oriented (see below for Week 1). If you began your participation last week, I hope that your writing went well and that you managed to reserve small spaces in the days to luxuriate in rare precious time just for you. I want to take a moment to extend encouragement and congratulations to you for doing what is often hard, courageous work – sitting down to find yourself on the page, exploring inner voices and truths, perhaps coming to know yourself in a new and different way.
May your courage and openness be strengthened by this Elul work and may it be a hallmark of your day to day life and spiritual practice in the coming year!
Week 2 prompts
~ Remember, tell the story of, a special moment this past year, one of deep connection, a moment when you felt especially blessed by the relationship with a loved one, when you felt full of rejoicing, praising God: What were the circumstances, the details, of that relational moment?
follow-up – Reflect on that experience – what did you do to help make that happen? How might you be attentive to creating more such moments in the coming year?
~ Think of your family and closest friends: are you conscious of ways in which you may have harmed any of them, caused them pain in the past year, fallen short of the mark? How? Choose just one person to focus on: what is the regret or guilt you feel toward this person? What do you want the relationship to be like? What can you do to make amends, bring about change?
~ Has anyone sinned against you this year? Focus on a particular person who has caused you harm – how did they hurt you? Do you want to continue this relationship, and if so, what do you want the relationship to be like? What do you need from them to support repair? Is there something you can do to help bring about that change, healing, justice, reconciliation?
follow-up – Perhaps that won’t be possible, perhaps not even appropriate – if so, how might you help yourself to find inner peace and move on?
~ To whom do you feel grateful this year? Who has shown you compassion, kindness – a word, an embrace, a sign of appreciation or support? Remember and describe the goodness of others who have helped you through the year. How might you show your gratitude? Recall also your own goodness this past year – what are special kindnesses you have shown to others? How can you cultivate that inner goodness as you go forward?