Lent 2023: Part 2 Re-imagine
|“So, here you are.|
Too foreign for home, too foreign for here.
Never enough for both.”
– Ijeoma Umebinyuo
Life as an expat stretches our imaginations and experiences about people, the world, and God in refreshing ways. But if we’re honest, sometimes it also comes with a cost. For all the travel, sights, and experiences, we long for a place of rest and comfort.
Lent offers us time to reflect on the life of Jesus – he was born in a city not his parents’, fled to Egypt as a small child, and lived as a refugee. Through his adult life, he traveled and taught, having “nowhere to lay his head” (Matthew 8.) He spread a message of love, peace and justice that resonated deeply with some, and left others plotting his death. Turmoil churned around him. In this space, he took time to get away from the crowds to pray and quiet his soul. It seems as though Jesus is drawn often to nature – the wilderness, a garden, a mountain… places that restored his soul.
Perhaps you’re feeling a bit displaced yourself right now, or have a sense of not being at peace. May these exercises help you foster space “away from the crowds.” Whatever your circumstances this Lent, we hope this helps you to know a deeper sense of true home in His presence.
GUIDED IMAGERY EXERCISE
|In our first exercise, Lisa Green, LPC-MHSP, our Executive Director, walks us through a guided imagery meditation exercise. This can take somewhere between 10-20 minutes depending on the length of time you want to pause along the way. If you’re not familiar with guided imagery exercises, this is meant as a way to relax your body, find some inner calm and a space of calm to draw on in times of future stress.|
ART THERAPY EXERCISE: CALM & SAFETY
This second exercise can build off the guided imagery video from above, or be done on its own. We’ve offered a couple different methods based on the materials you have on hand and what feels the most comfortable to you. This exercise is a great way to tangibly work toward that feeling of inner peace.
adapted from an exercise by Susan Butler, LMFT, LPC, LMHC, Associate Counselor at Olive Tree
This exercise is about creating a visual reminder of a “safe place.” Use whichever option you’d like based on the materials you have on hand and what you’re most comfortable with.
Before beginning, practice some deep breathing. Think of an area where you feel safe, relaxed, and positive. If you completed the guided imagery video as well, use this image.
OPTION 1: JOURNAL OR DRAWING
Write down words, phrases, or draw pictures representing that safe place. Combine words and sketches on your page in any order your creation you’d like to represent the space where you feel safe and secure. Use this time to be creative and simply work to express the feelings of that image of the safe place. It doesn’t have to look perfect!
OPTION 2: COLLAGE
If you have magazines, old photos, markers and a glue stick you can make a collage to express your safe place. Begin looking through magazines and pictures and cut out images that capture your attention and remind you of the memory or image of your safe place. Try picking the images you find that evoke that place/feeling/experience of safety.
Keep the finished page in a close or visible place for a while and pull it out when you need a reminder of your inner strength and security.
|“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in faith so that you overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:13|
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