Activity 1: Losing Heart and Finding It Again

Activity 1: Losing Heart and Finding It Again
Activity 1: Losing Heart and Finding It Again

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Participant journals
  • Variety of writing and drawing implements
  • Timepiece (minutes)
  • Optional: Bell or chime

Preparation for Activity

  • If participants may need journals, obtain notebooks with unlined pages. Gather a variety of writing and drawing implements.
  • Prepare to relate an experience from your own life of when you tucked away your personal feelings in order to get by.

Description of Activity

Introduce the workshop strategy using these or similar words:

Today we will use personal insights from Margaret Fuller to help us focus attention on how we sometimes lose heart and how our religious faith helps us to regain what we have lost: a deeply private, personal sense of integrity and wholeness. Fuller had to hide what she felt. But she refused to "go mad," as she put it. Instead, she went back to the place where she had lost heart.

Invite participants to recall a personal experience from their own lives, an experience in which they were discouraged and tucked away their feelings in order to get by. Explain that it is appropriate to focus on a minor mishap, not necessarily a major emotional trauma. Invite participants to find their story in silence, and then to write briefly about their experience in their theology journal. Allow four minutes for writing.

Then, invite participants to consider what they did or continue to do that helps restore their emotional and spiritual wholeness. Allow another four minutes for writing or reflecting. Signal when time is up.

As the workshop unfolds, invite participants whether recalling their own experiences of losing heart and finding it again is helping them understand Fuller's story.

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