Daily Examen

Sit comfortably in your chair or you may move to the floor. Close your eyes. Notice your feet. Plant them firmly on the floor. Relax them. Uncurl your toes. Notice your legs and knees. Relax your back and hips so that your legs are relaxed. Notice your arms. Let them fall loosely. Rest your hands, unclench them. Put your shoulders down, stretch out your neck and release the tensions. Close your eyes gently. Let your tongue drop to the bottom of your mouth. Unclench your teeth. Notice your breathing. Take a deep breath in through your mouth, let it out through your nose. Do this two more times.

Now, in your mind, go back to yesterday. Take a few moments to review the day with thanksgiving. Walk through yesterday’s 24 hours, hour by hour, place to place, person to person, thanking God for everything you encounter.

Notice your feelings-positive and negative- as your re-play the day. Simply pay attention to the feelings as they surface. Feelings are the liveliest index to what is happening in our lives.

Now, choose one of the remembered feelings that most caught your attention. This feeling is a sign that something important is going on.

Now simply express spontaneously the prayer that surfaces as you attend to this feeling-maybe it is a prayer of Thanksgiving, or a petition for help, sorrow for a wrong done or a cry for help or healing.

Now, move ahead to tomorrow. What does tomorrow hold for you? How would you like to live tomorrow? Out of your earlier feelings in prayer, what would you like to do differently tomorrow?

Finally, give thanks for your life. Name all the qualities of your life for which you are grateful. breath, body, people, colors, home, food, work…Speak a word of thanksgiving for each.

Speak a word of thanksgiving for yourself and all that you are to the world.

You may open your eyes when you are ready, and allow a few minutes to write down any thoughts or feelings that arose for you.

Close with the Lord’s Prayer


adapted from Ignatius Loyola in his Spiritual Exercises

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