Why Don't We Reflect More Often?
Chances are, the reason you don't engage in more rhythms of reflection and intention is because you imagine it to be a much more laborious process than it needs to be.
But what if you could move beautifully out of 2022 and bravely into 2023 without needing a time intensive silent retreat? IF you can get a few days away in silence, by all means, do it! But it IS possible to mark the turning of the year in a significant way without leaving home in just a few minutes.
You've Got 30 Minutes
I designed this "Examen" to be done in 30 minutes. If you've got more time, you can probably fill it. But you only need 30 minutes. The secret is to read the questions in advance and then give yourself a few days to let the questions tumble in your background as you go about your life.
What's an Examen?
"Examen" is a prayer technique described by Ignatius of Loyola. Basically, you just review a period of time - a day, week, month, or year - and look for ways in which you were drawn toward God and ways you turned away or resisted God.
For this annual examen, I used one of the daily requests that Ignatius encouraged retreatants to pray while going through the Spiritual Exercises: "the grace to know You more intimately, to love you more intensely, and to follow you more closely."
Know, Love, Follow
You'll use these three verbs to savor the ways you have grown in the last year, and to name your desires for growth in the year to come.
Why Is This Worth My Time?
"One life on this earth is all we get... we are fools if we do not live it as fully and beautifully and bravely as we can." - Frederick Buechner
There are mountains of research showing that setting goals, intentions, direction for our days massively increases our effectiveness in our work, our health, our relationships, and even our spiritual growth.
Reflecting on our lives and choosing our ways forward is a significant part of "living as fully and beautifully and bravely" as we can.
Keep It Simple.
Download the attachment, block off 30 minutes on your calendar, and savor the best of 2022 and set your intention for 2023.
And allow this simple practice to allow you to live more fully, beautifully, and bravely in 2023!
May you savor the way God has graced your past year and anticipate all His goodness to come in the next!