Activity 3: Spiritual Journaling
Activity time: 35 minutes
Introduce the activity with these or similar words:
Today and every day, we are still evolving, still developing our inner self, which we call our spiritual self, our soul, the essence of our being. Think about our developmental process as parallel to the life cycle of an apple tree. Beginning with a small, sprouting seed, it develops into a young sapling tree, then a mature tree. With good moisture, sunshine, and nourishment it develops and grows. At the same time, it is withstanding storms, disease, and drought. Each spring the tree grows new leaves and flower buds that open into flowers. After a while the petals fall off and in the flower center a tiny bump begins developing into a luscious apple. The fruit has become wholesome food for someone and also holds within it more seeds that, when planted, continue the cycle of life. Likewise, we too were nourished and grew, withstood storms and drought, and hold wisdom that can nourish others both now and in future generations.
Part of our time together will be spent writing in our journals. You will be invited to look back at your years of life experience and to write in the journal you received today. You can write notes and reflections about meaningful times in your life, both the happy and the sad ones. Be open to surprises! Writing can also take the sting out of a bad memory.
Post the two journaling questions you have written on newsprint and read them aloud slowly so that participants can write them in their journals, each on a separate page. Tell participants that you will take ten minutes for each answer and will ring the chime when it is time to move to the next question.
After their journaling, invite participants to choose a partner with whom to share their writing, taking turns as speaker and listener. Ask them to refrain from comments and queries when they are the listener, and simply to give the speaker their undivided attention. Partners may begin with the first question and take two minutes each, before moving on to the second question. Ring the bell or chime when it is time to change speakers and time to change questions.
Then regather the group. Ask for comments about the process:
How was this for you? Was anyone surprised by what they wrote?