Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Hindsight, Humor, and Hope: An Adult Program

Handout 1: Looking Ahead to Workshop 5

My future starts when I wake up every morning. — Miles Davis

Life is a continual process of letting go…and moving forward…and letting go… and moving forward.

For there are times when our souls are set on fire, and deeply cherished dreams must die...and we are forced once again to create new visions…to weave new tapestries from the fragments of the old…

Yet these new visions born from the fire of wisdom at the deepest level of our soul, may well become far more powerful, more expansive, than what once was…

And as we weave and mend, rearranging the pieces of our lives into patterns that reflect our newly won strength-gained-through-struggle…we shall survive, go on, and ultimately…thrive…not despite our immense challenges, but truly, by living through and with them… — Caroline Joy Adams. Used with permission.

Stretching Exercise

Adapted from Five Minute Massage by Robert Thé, (Sterling, 1995)

Take a deep breath and slowly raise up your shoulders as high as your ears. Then, as you slowly breathe out, release your shoulders to fall back to their original position. Do this three times, releasing any tension you might be holding in your shoulders.

Next, circle with your right shoulder backward and around, keeping the circle small at first and then slowly expanding the motion until the whole area moves freely. Try changing direction, circling the shoulder forward. Repeat with your left shoulder.

Now, try moving your shoulders together in the same direction, making different sized circles. Move your shoulders gently up and down to finish.

For Next Time

In Your Journal, respond to these questions:

1. What would I like my obituary to say about me?

2. Do I remember when I became aware that one day I would die?

3. How do I see myself in connection with the universe?

Remember to bring your lunch, your mug, your Journal, and your Art Toolkit.

Future Workshops

[Date] Workshop 5: Making Friends with Mortality

[Date] Workshop 6: Hindsight, Humor, and Hope

Find Out More

For further reading about mandalas:

  • Jaffé, Aniela, ed., C. G. Jung: Word and Image (Princeton University Press, 1979)

For an inspirational story about forgiveness:

  • Kraybill, Donald B., Steven M. Nolt, and David L. Weaver-Zercher, Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy (Jossey-Bass, 2007)

For more inspirational words from Caroline Joy Adams, who is a speaker, writer, and writing coach, visit her website: