Area Director, Sarah Kinsel shares from the Program Staff toolbox:
“Here we are at the midpoint of the JV year, in the middle of winter. Now is a time when JVs often struggle to stay present to their year of service while also feeling pulled to look ahead to what comes next. Here are some tips from Ignatian discernment resources that we share with the volunteers:
Ignatian spirituality encourages everyday, regular practices to prepare for times of decision-making. If you are not actively deciding something, these can be helpful ways to start preparing. Noticing patterns can lead to greater trust in ourselves and our ability to move through life awake.
The Examen can be a very effective tool, particularly in its simplest form, of daily consideration of our places of consolation and desolation. Try asking yourself each evening…
Where is there joy? What opened my heart today?
Where did I close down? What drained me? When did I feel sad or upset?
What do you notice after a week or a month? Doing this daily for five minutes builds our spiritual discernment muscles.
If you are generating ideas, or feeling at sea, here are some questions to center your search. You may want to journal about these, or draw your responses, or take the questions on a long walk to help yourself come at them from a heart-place.
Where do I want to be in five years?
What gifts have I been given to share with the world?
What breaks my heart?
What makes me feel alive?
May we stand firmly in the present while remaining joyfully open to what comes next.”