A New Year’s Reflection Process (by Barbara Sutton)
I WALK INTO 2021 HOLDING IN MY HANDS…
Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” And he said, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!” Mark 4: 1-9
On January 3, the first Sunday SoulCollage® Circle was inaugurated at the Center for Spirituality and Enrichment. Our theme: Leave Your Intention at the Door. This is different than the tone “Leave your attitude at the door!” or “Leave your personal life home, don’t bring it to work!” To leave your intention at the door is to place your guiding principles for how you want to be, to live, and to show up in the world at the doorway of your soul.
The threshold of a new year brings an opportunity to revisit the past year and look towards the future with renewed guidance. I invite you to consider your intentions for 2021 by listening to the Parable of The Sower (verses are cited at the beginning of this blog post) and the inner landscape of your soul, both awaiting tilling to yield resiliency for the year ahead.
THE REFLECTION PROCESS
This reflection is scripted for individual exploration and journaling. To begin, bring the gift of presence, creativity, and imagination to this reflection. The archetype of The Farmer of Our Inner Field brings knowledge and wisdom about our inner landscape and the elements of nature such as rain, wind, erosion, soil depletion while collaborating with nature for our food supply and sustenance.
Reflection on the Images
Pray with The Sower illumination from The Saint John’s Bible (at the top of this page), listening for a word or phrase from the Scripture passage to ruminate on, and seeing with the eyes of faith the illumination’s artful message. What do you hear and see? Use your senses to see literally and metaphorically.
Consider the pictures above and reflect on them as a doorway to your soul. You may explore other images for the field to inspire you. Let each picture become your voice. Notice that each picture provides a different voice for you. Ask the picture questions such as:
Q: Who are you? Journaling Prompt: I Am One Who…
Q: What do you have to give me? Journaling Prompt: What I give you is… My gift to you is…
Q: What do you want from me? Journaling Prompts: I want you to…. I want you to know that… I want you to remember that….
Q: Is there anything else you want to say to me today? Journaling Prompts: I want you to know that….
Respond to these prompts one at time, one picture at a time, resting to ponder the deeper meaning.
Reflection on the Farmer of Your Inner Field
Allow your journaling and the sensibilities of these pictures to imagine your own inner field and the seeds you want to plant for 2021. Respond to the following prompts to develop an awareness of what you will hold in your hands as you walk into 2021.
1) Describe the farmer of my inner field through the larger story of The Sower and my personal story.
2) What is the field I must till today?
3) Desiring that the seed be planted in the best possible soil, discern the best way to prepare the field. What do you need to do to prepare the field? If your imagination gets triggered or side-tracked, breathe deeply, removing anything that will keep the seed from growing and will not support its growth.
4) Imagine the seed and set your sacred gaze on it. What is the seed? See the seed. What does it need to grow? Listen to the seed grow in your inner field. What fruit will this seed bear? What fruit will this seed produce? Use your imagination to see yourself plant the seed into your field, into the soil you have prepared to receive it. It can be a quality, an object, a word or an idea. See yourself hold the seed in your hand and place it in the soil. Let your imagination bring this to a closure. Admire your work. Note to the farmer: the seed will produce what you plant. For example, if you plant carrots, you will get carrots, not apples! If you plant cabbage, you will get cabbage, not broccoli!
5) As the farmer, look over the inner field. What does the farmer do when the field is ready? What blessing do you bring for the future? Open the cradle to receive the seeds. Farmers will bless the land with whatever feels right. Make space for the mystery of unknowing to propagate. Bless the land for whatever you need that will come your way. Bless it so you can be the best you can be. Bless this moment that it is the most opportune time to plant. Bless the lands with the hope that what grows will bless God and the community. What is the blessing you bestow on the field? The field needs a moment of silence for seeds to take root and for the farmer to notice their own self .
6) Imagine yourself carrying all the support and gifts of these pictures, along with your written inspirations. How will you be in the world? This is different than what you will do.
7) Your final prompt for discernment is I walk into 2021 holding in my hand…. The more clearly you can see, hear, touch, taste, smell, and feel yourself living and being in this extended state, the more you will be reminded to step into it daily.
8) Using some of the images you have reflected on, cut three of them and form a new image on a 5 x 7 card to illuminate your response to the prompt I walk into 2021 holding in my hand….
An example of my reflection for 2021:
I walk into 2021 holding in my hand heart strength.
I am the One who is gonna push through to the light I was born with.
I am the One who wants to color the world with peace.
I am the One who gives you a push and a prompt to use all the colors.
I need you to not be afraid to pick up a new color.
I am yellow, fresh, clear and motivated.
Barbara Sutton, D. Min. facilitates SoulCollage® programming for the Center for Spirituality and Enrichment. To read more about Barbara and what programs we have available, please click here!
Thank you for this beautiful inspiration. Soul Collage has been an amazing surprise each time I participate.
Good to hear from you and be inspired. I have missed Soul Collage!