Updated: Dec 21, 2020
VISUALIZATION: My hope is that you will continue to care for yourself through visualization. But here on the last day of this challenge I want to change it up a tiny bit. From your sacred space, take 5 looong, deeeep breaths. Set a timer if you need. Try to spend at least 5 minutes here. Today, you are the child and just let Jesus gaze upon you as many of us so easily do ourselves with babies and children (even the ones that don’t belong to us). Let yourself be loved by him. Let his sacred heart be poured out onto you. Just bask in the true Love of Christ. He is Love's Pure Light. Notice any resistance that comes up for you and just ask the resistance to move along and return to letting Jesus gaze upon you. When you are ready, read the following letter:
Dear Sister in Christ,
Yes, I am talking to you. I hate good-byes.
But first, I sincerely want to thank you for being here. For showing up and participating on whatever level you were able. I said it before and I will say it again, I have prayed all along that something along this journey was fruitful and enriching for you. I hope you experienced or at least got a glimpse of more energy and vitality while being inspired by our faith during this season of Advent. I hope you feel better today than you did on day one. May you carry on each day with the visualization and practices that can easily be woven into your daily life. Thank you so much to those who reached out with their comments, input, feedback, etc. It means a lot to me when you take the time to do so.
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Don’t be shy and don’t be a stranger!
Have a truly joyous & Merry Christmas!
Peace & Love of Christ,
P.S. Send your testimonials with permission to share, or any feedback regarding your experience during this challenge to firstname.lastname@example.org
Or @catholicwomangonewild on Instagram
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I leave you with one final challenge:
EAT. PRAY. MOVE. With someone.
Let’s go back to Mary’s visitation with Elizabeth and take another Lectio Divina look at it. This is really a fascinating and mysterious relationship if you get curious about it. Mary made her way to Elizabeth in haste (why?) and then at the end of this story from Luke it says Mary remained with Elizabeth for 3 months. Couldn't that have put Mary there for the birth of John? That is a long time to have a house guest that presumably showed up somewhat impromptu, even if it is Mary, the one full of grace. She was probably THE ideal guest, helpful, tidy, no annoying habits. But I believe it tells us something else very important. Given the circumstance of them both being with child and entering into a transformative time in their lives, where their bodies and souls were undergoing huge change, they DID NOT WANT TO GO AT IT ON THEIR OWN, alone. I imagine them, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, coming together in a spirit of supporting one another in a way that maybe no one else in their lives could at the time. I imagine the talking endlessly as women can do, and the bonding over the 2 miracle infant children within them.
Your last challenge has 4 parts. They can all be combined, or done separately. I personally like to stack my activities to meet many needs at one time.
1- First, I give you one last invitation to build awareness. Become aware of the ways you go at parts of life alone, especially when you don’t necessarily have to or even want to. Is it out of pride? Is it out of resistance to being vulnerable? Fear of rejection? What stands in the way of reaching out to someone for company or accountability? When you figure this out, make haste and find someone to share in what you need them to share in with you. You will both benefit.
2- Next, from now until Christmas, intentionally make a plan to once again plan and eat a healthy low-carbohydrate, nutrient-dense meal with a friend or family member you haven’t seen in a while. Indulge in each other’s presence and maybe an activity you both like in place of indulging in any alcohol or sweets.
3- Finally, you guessed it, phone a friend or family member, or gather together in person to pray together however you see fit.
4- Then, intentionally make a plan for a time you can spend moving with a friend or family member that you don’t live with. Grab your coffee or tea to go and walk to look at Christmas lights, take a hike and get that sun on your skin, or do one of the videos from this challenge together.
Here is one last suggestion, stack the last 3 and meet each challenge at one time. Pray the rosary as you walk, or alternate giving thanks out loud for what you are grateful for as you walk or hike. Afterward, share a healthy low-carbohydrate, nutrient-dense meal, ditching alcohol or sweets and replacing with hot tea or one of these immunity elixirs. ( I have no affiliation with this website or its author).
A closing prayer for the end of this Advent-ure: God the Father, the darkness of the season is drawing to an end as the imminence of Christmas is near. We joyfully await Love's Pure Light, Jesus Christ. May his light reveal to us what we need to see in ourselves in order to be more humble, more healthy, and ultimately more joyous. Amen.