Discussion Questions, Storytelling, Sharing

  • Who has helped you feel most positive about yourself?
  • Are you more relaxed and familiar with your public or private self? Can you identify a point in your life when you accepted yourself just as you are? What precipitated that realization?
  • Why do you think so many people are resistant to the idea that they have a divine spark within them and that they are signs of God's glory in the world?

Imagery Exercise

"We are aided on our journey by inner guides, or archetypes, each of which exemplifies a way of being on the journey," writes Carol S. Pearson inAwakening the Heroes Within: Twelve Archetypes to Help Us Find Ourselves and Transform Our World. This exercise works with four of the archetypes.

Close your eyes and breathe out three times. In the safety and security of the inner garden, see the Innocent filled with excitement and optimism. Become the Innocent on the journey from dependence through adversity to wise trust without denial.

Breathe out one time. On the inner battlefield, see the courageous and disciplined Warrior preparing to fight enemies to protect others and his or her own boundaries. Become the Warrior devising a plan to confront a great challenge. Live and know how to claim power.

Breathe out one time. In the inner chamber of the heart, see and sense the Lover feeling his or her body's passion for a person, an activity, or a cause. Become the Lover following your bliss and bonding with your love, and connecting with the greater universe.

Breathe out one time. At the inner hearth, see the Sage getting ready to teach the wisdom of the ages. Become the Sage learning from objective observations, from subjective feelings, and by letting go of the ego. Live and know how you are a source of wisdom.

When you are finished, open your eyes.

Journal Exercises

  • Write a brief meditation on the meaning of the following Rabbinic understanding: Every time we walk down the street, we are proceeded by hosts of angels singing, "Make way, make way, make way for the image of God."
  • Identify your special gifts and the talents or skills you have developed. Our gifts-what we are naturally good at-and our talents-what we have chosen to improve-are clues to our calling, what in religious terminology is called God's will for us. Reflect on how well you are fulfilling your destiny.
  • Draw pictures of some of the masks you tend to wear, the outer expressions of your inner selves. Choose the one you would most like to present to the world.