Journey through the Mist: A Spiritually Guided Lent

Through out the season of Lent and other seasons of our lives, we may find it hard to be still, reflect, and simply to just be. Journey through the Mist: A Spiritually Guided Lent holds space for us to find time to breathe and cultivate spiritual practices that center us, make us more mindful, and reorient us toward wholeness.

As you journey through this 40 days of Lent and Holy Week, take time for yourself and for your soul. Each day of Lent and Holy Week will consist of a recitation and a spiritual pratice. These recitations can be repeated throughout the day as prayers or meditations. Each Sunday of Lent along with Palm Sunday and Easter will also be accompanied with a video meditation that can be found on the Unbound website or social channels.

Remember that you are good, and to breathe.

Ash Wednesday

Recitation:
Though we come from dust and will return to it, life and light centers our being. 

Practice:
Light a candle or set up your centering space the way you feel comfortable. Take out a piece of paper. Write down three things that steal your joy. Fold it up. Take this paper outside. Light this paper on fire. Place it in a bowl and pray a prayer of release. Once this paper has burned to ash, lift up this bowl, tip it over and let the ash blow away.

Day 2

Recitation:
We are good. We are a part of creation. And this creation is a part of us.  

Practice:
Take time today to go outside and connect with nature. If that’s not an option, consider finding your local botanical garden.

Day 3

Recitation:
Oh wisdom that is shared amongst our elders, pour over us and guide us.

Practice:
Talk to an elder in your life. Ask them to share wisdom they’ve gained over the years.

Day 4

Recitation:
Creative Spirit move within us and make that which is good. 

Practice:
Check-in with your creative brain! What creative activity could be added into your day? Painting, sewing, and flower arranging are just a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

1st Sunday

Recitation:
Surrounded by it in our Mother’s womb, nourished by it from rivers and streams, washed by it and quenched by it, oh water of life be abundant always.  

Practice:
From a natural source or from your home, find a water source. Fill up a cup or a bowl with this water. Pray the recitation over this water. Put your hands in the water, or simply look at it. Focus on this water and the images it brings to you. Write down these images and keep them with you this week.

Day 6

Recitation:
Manifest in us the wonders of the Divine.

Practice:
Set your intention for the week. Take a moment to journal a few items you’d like to accomplish this week.

Day 7

Recitation:
Rooted in ground and land, open us up to the energy of our mother earth.

Practice:
Create a practice of tending to houseplants.

Day 8

Recitation:
Each day, I allow gratitude to fill my life.

Practice:
Begin a gratitude practice. End your day by writing 3 things for which you are grateful and then begin your day by looking at these items.

Day 9

Recitation:
Spirit of comfort and true authenticity, breathe within and through me. 

Practice:
Feeling overwhelmed? Curl up with a weighted blanket or lay down and pile a few heavy blankets over your torso. Breathe in for 5 breaths; exhale for 5 breaths

Day 10

Recitation:
I am worthy and valuable, regardless of what I do or accomplish.

Practice:
Take time to rest today, in whatever way that looks like for you (i.e nap, walk, journal). Remember that your worth is not in your productivity.

Day 11

Recitation:
Wind blow upon me. Warmth fill my soul. Energy release me.

Practice:
Add 30 minutes of movement in your day. Try going for a walk, run, practice yoga or anything that gets your heart rate up.

2nd Sunday

Recitation:
Playful spirit, you have created us for joy; teach us how to continue playing like children even as we grow.

Practice:
Feed your inner child by engaging in 30 minutes of uninterrupted play today (ie. video game, sport, puzzle, dress up, explore, etc.)

Day 13

Recitation:
My body, my self, my divine mandate to be at peace. 

Practice:
Take a moment to invite ease into your week. Journal about what that could look like.

Day 14

Recitation:
Creator God, we resist the urge to compare and contort ourselves for others; you have accepted us, just as we are.

Practice:
Spend today off social media; begin and end your day with your affirmation.

Day 15

Recitation:
Relationship binds us and newness moves us.

Practice:
Engage more deeply with your congregation or community through volunteering for a new ministry.

Day 16

Recitation:
Holy One, fill us with your compassionate voice and spirit.

Practice:
Do you have a critical voice in your head? Give it a name and imagine what it looks like. When it begins criticizing you, kindly tell it, “Thank you for your feedback but I’ve got it from here.”

Day 17

Recitation:
Divine wisdom, you have created us to grow continually; teach us how to face the unknown.

Practice:
Engage your curiosity today! Try to read or do something that you’ve never done before. Practice patience with yourself in learning something unfamiliar.

Day 18

Recitation:
We are nature and nature is part of us; we are one with all that is.

Practice:
If it feels safe, go outside barefoot today in some kind of nature.

3rd Sunday

Recitation:
Spirit, move in our dreams, both awake and asleep; keep us watchful and inspired.

Practice:
Journal about a dream you’ve had recently or sometime in your life. What did you learn about yourself or the world?

Day 20

Recitation:
Lighten my heart and move my body, fill me with joy and song.

Practice:
Start your week off with a dance party! Crank up your favorite music and dance like no one is watching. Kids are good at this too!

Day 21

Recitation:
Holy Healer and bringer of full embodied emotion, dwell in our laughter.

Practice:
Engage laughter today! When something funny happens, laugh deeply. Find moments of laughter throughout the day.

Day 22

Recitation:
God who shows us the way, give us the courage to get lost.

Practice:
Take a different route on your commute today. Reflect on how this feels and what you notice that you didn’t before.

Day 23

Recitation:
Souls connected and souls together, calming presence pass through us.

Practice:
Calm your nervous system by petting or playing with your pet. If you don’t have a pet, consider volunteering at your local shelter.

Day 24

Recitation:
Energy of goodness and worth, consume the forces of chaos in our spaces.

Practice:
Take 30 minutes to declutter your favorite space in your home. Keep the things that bring joy and good energy to your space.

Day 25

Recitation:
Artistic Spirit, speak to us once again in the music and in the dance.

Practice:
Create or find a new playlist today on your favorite streaming platform that is uplifting.

4th Sunday

Recitation:
In the new world, we shall be led by the children.

Practice:
Talk to a child/youth in your life. If you don’t know any, search the internet for youth engaging in change. What is something that is important to them? What are their hopes for the world?

Day 27

Recitation:
Bringer of nourishment, open our minds and bodies to the care we deserve.

Practice:
Be intentional about scheduling your favorite self-care activity into your week. It doesn’t have to cost anything either. Try self-massage, a warm bath, reading, or even drinking your favorite tea slowly. Whatever helps you care for your body and mind.

Day 28

Recitation:
Voices of truth and justice, sing and shout.

Practice:
Feeling down about the world. Take a small action toward solidarity here: www.votervoice.net/mobile/PCUSA/home 

Day 29

Recitation:
Divine Gardener, remind us that all foods are good and for our enjoyment.

Practice:
Focus on eating mindfully today. Push back on diet culture by enjoying your food slowly without rushing. What do you notice?

Day 30

Recitation:
I am good. We are good. Our souls are the beloved.

Practice:
Wash off the day. At the end of the day, take a shower and envision washing everything that happened and all of the emotions off your body. Watch the water spiral down the drain.

Day 31

Recitation:
Way Maker, keep our hopes alive, even as the way looks bleak.

Practice:
Draw a picture of your hopes for the world today.

Day 32

Recitation:
We are not self made; we are connected to a people, and always surrounded by a cloud of witnesses.

Practice:
Engage in some way of connecting with your ancestors today, those you knew and those you did not.

5th Sunday

Recitation:
Spirit of God, teach us how to breathe deeply into the air you have given us. 

Practice:
Pay attention to your breathing today. Pause and notice how often you breath in a shallow way. Make an intention to take deeper breaths.

Day 34

Recitation:
Joy and thanks in our hearts.

Practice:
Send a handwritten note to someone you’d like to show some gratitude. They will be surprised and you’ll be glad you did!

Day 35

Recitation:
Our hands and attention are steady and focused; we are not swayed to the left or to right.

Practice:
Resist the urge to multitask today. See what happens to your nervous system when you try doing one thing at a time.

Day 36

Recitation:
There is no place where the Spirit of God cannot be found.

Practice:
Spend 30 minutes learning about or engaging a spiritual tradition that is different than yours (i.e podcast, article, etc.)

Day 37

Recitation:
Emotive God, allow our anger to teach us what needs to be healed.

Practice:
Angry? Let it out! Tear up some paper, grab a pillow and scream into the pillow, clench your fists and then release, or punch a punching bag.

Day 38

Recitation:
We are capable of dreaming of relationships beyond punishment.

Practice:
Journal about what forgiveness means to you and what it doesn’t. In which ways can repairing relationships transform our world?

Day 39

Recitation:
In our humanity we are connected and a new creation is born.

Practice:
Meet someone new today whether that be in person or on-line. Notice how this new interaction makes you feel.

Palm Sunday

Recitation:
Holy one, teach us about power that starts not from the palace, but from the trenches.

Practice:
Draw a picture (or take a picture with your phone) that represents a healthy use of power.

Holy Monday

Recitation:
God of the here and now and far away, keep me grounded in your love.

Practice:
Find your Rest.

Holy Tuesday

Recitation:
God of the here and now and far away, hold me in your peace.

Practice:
Find your Rest.

Holy Wednesday

Recitation:
God of the here and now and far away, nourish me for what is to come.

Practice:
Find your Rest.

Maundy Thursday

Recitation:
In the breaking of bread, there is the fullness of joy and love.

Practice:
Eat a meal that is culturally different from your own, either alone or with others. How does this transform your understanding of breaking bread?

Good Friday

Recitation:
God of sorrow, you are acquainted with grief & hold us in times of lament.

Practice:
Write 3 things that you are lamenting in your life or the world. Resist the urge to rush through the negative feelings associated with them.

Holy Saturday

Recitation:
Though the shadow grows, it will not consume.

Practice:
Spend some times in a dark room or time alone. What is the darkness or quiet telling you?

Easter

Recitation:
New life is bubbling up among us, even amongst the tombs that surround us.

Practice:
Donate to a local or national organization that you believe is doing healing and justice work (outside of church!)

Creators

Jennifer Evans (she/her) is the Associate for Communications and National Partnerships in the Presbyterian Hunger Program. She is also a yoga instructor but considers herself a lifelong student of yoga. Jennifer’s passion for social justice, yoga, and meditation help deepen her understanding of how to care for ourselves, our communities and Creation.

Rev. Brooke Scott (she/her) is a queer Black woman originally from the Philadelphia area. She is beginning her first ordained call in Delaware as both the part-time pastor of Church on Main and as the Presbytery’s organizing pastor in Wilmington stationed at Hanover Presbyterian Church. She holds both a Master of Divinity from Duke University and Master of Social Work from the University of North Carolina. Brooke is passionate about helping people heal religious/spiritual trauma. She believes in using faith to liberate and empower historically marginalized communities, as well as transform unjust systems.  In her free time, she enjoys reading books, writing, listening to music and podcasts, collecting vinyl records, practicing yoga, and traveling.