(The book referenced below is called “A Hidden Wholeness” by Parker Palmer, and the recommendation activities are for December 3.)
“We grow toward true self in a space where our growth is not driven by external demands but drawn forward, by love, into our own best possibilities.”
READING: Read chapters 4-7. Read slowly and allow your mind to move toward stories in your life triggered by the reading. Pay attention to these stories, trusting they have something important to teach you. If you find you are coming to your reading as a chore, put the book aside for the time being and choose something more meaningful instead.
KINDNESS: Choose at least one of the “five features of this form of community” as described in chapter 5 and apply this feature in some meaningful way in your life. I understand this may require some interpretation or creativity, but see if you can allow it to happen in whatever way makes sense to you. Pay attention if opportunities for kindness emerge as you do it. If so and if it feels right, complete at least one of these in the way you feel it is meant to be done.
JOURNAL: In longhand, write out in your journal the poem “Love After Love” by Derek Wolcott found on page 86. Complete this act mindfully, allowing whatever images and thoughts inside you to emerge. Trust these and in some way take note of them.
REFLECTION: Spend some time contemplating and reflecting on the concepts of “instrumental” and “expressive” speech on page 119. How do these concepts apply to you? You may want to consider this question in the context of self-talk, within your family, and in the various settings you find yourself. Note, I’m not suggesting one is preferable to the other. I’m simply suggesting you spend some time considering the concepts in the context of your life.