I couldn’t resist the opportunity to use a 2020 riff at least once this year.
For most of us, 2020 is a turning point — the start of a new year, a new decade, and perhaps with new clarity or vision.
Unless we pause to reflect, we may not recognize the times last year when we experienced inner joy, the confidence of doing the right thing, or using our gifts wisely.
Likewise, until we stop to think about it, we might never see the reasons for our moments of emptiness, fear, loneliness, or apathy.
The Examen, an Ignatian spiritual exercise, is an opportunity for prayerful reflection. We are invited to find the movement of the Divine in the people and events of our day. The Examen is a simple set of thoughtful questions for you to ponder throughout the day.
Think of it as an eye exam. The Examen helps me to gain clarity before I look ahead by looking backward. It helps me learn how to see rather than what to see or what to do next.
There are four essential questions to ask ourselves regularly to develop a 2020 vision. Before you set goals and boot up your new schedule–block out a couple of hours to examen 2019.
This past year,
When was I moving toward the Divine? – When did I experience joy, being on track, using my gifts to serve others, or make the world a better place?
When was I moving away from the Divine?–When did I experience isolation, anxiety, or lack of empathy? Name them, accept what is there, knowing that you’re fully loved even with all your imperfections.
What does Wisdom need me to learn?–Becoming human isn’t transcending your humanity but actualizing your possibilities. The previous questions are a source of learning and growth. They empower you to become the person you’re meant to be.
How do I limit the spirit within me, and how can I stop? To live a purposeful life, we need to see our belovedness. Too often, we pay attention to the inner limiting negative voices without realizing it. Which spirit am I listening to? What am I doing that limits the spirit’s work in me?
For thousands of years, people of all faiths have been reflecting and responding to the divine work in themselves and the world.
It all begins with the decision to learn how to see.