As we begin a new year, I invited guests to reflect on what their #dailystep #towardthegreater would be for 2020. First up is @cobbleworks who utilizes the daily examen in her artwork on Instagram. I love following her drawings and thoughts and she contributed one of those drawings with this post [see 2nd photo] Here’s her daily step:
“Introduce me to something new and I’ll think I should have mastered it already. Offer me possibilities and I’ll think I have to choose the best one or else. I have even worried about the ideal, most effective spiritual practices as if they are performance products ensuring I win at living. My achievement-oriented response to newness and possibility is built on the tired notion that life and connecting to Love is defined by competition, scarcity and a narrow path. Ten years of my own Ignatian examen practice has taught me that this mindset is more habit than a true reflection of reality. ⠀
The realization that my habitual responses don’t tell the whole story about myself, life or Love is one of the greatest gifts my examen practice has given me. My practice is not something I perform for Love to please Love so I ultimately earn Love. My practice is a place my friendship with Love starts to grow. It’s where I get curious about life and can feel Love’s mutual longing for me. And because we grow relationships rather than achieve them, a new habit of wonder gets formed in me. This leads me to my small step: every time I feel myself tighten and withdraw, I’m going to ask Love if there’s more than my narrow vision. When I do, I receive another gift: a wide, welcoming path home to my true self and the work I dream of doing in the world.”⠀
– Jen Willhoite, @cobbleworks
[Jennifer Willhoite writes Little Stories of Love + Hope, a simply illustrated series about everyday existentialism, connecting to Love, and being human. She is an Ignatian educator who develops unique tools introducing the examen practice as an invitation to self-discovery and befriending Love. In sharing her own messy and growing spiritual journey, Jennifer hopes others feel less alone and see their humanity as a gift that is uniquely and abundantly connected to Love. Her spiritual tools and stories are used by universities, spiritual directors, counselors, chaplains, career coaches, business owners and people in their everyday lives as they travel their own spiritual journey.
You can find Jennifer on Instagram @cobbleworks and join her monthly newsletter by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.]