One of my directees put me onto the book, “The Inner Work of Age; Shifting from Role to Soul” by Connie Zweig. I have found it to be an important book to be digested slowly. I am in a small group of women who are working our way through the book together. One of the exercises there intrigues me very much. It is called a life review. You draw a long horizontal line on a BIG piece of paper. This is your life from age 1 – 100. (why not be optimistic!). Then you divide the long line into decades. You post this some place where you can randomly make entries onto it or add drawings or other small marginalia. Some things to include might be; key events, important people, books that influenced you, mentors, allies, enemies, your creative endeavors, regrets, mistakes, songs, key moments, sacred events, events from the point of view of your heart. Give yourself time to let this timeline develop. Keep adding things that occur to you. It occurs to me that one could also do this in a large sketch book or notebook divided into ten decade segments.
The idea, of course, is to see what kinds of patterns might emerge from our choices. To recognize what kind of life we have made for ourselves with what we were given. To give up denial or blame and to become accountable for the life we’ve lived. To see it all in one place.
At church yesterday, this pastoral prayer was read. It seems to not have an attribution – but it feels related to this idea of making a life review;
Every minute someone leaves the world behind.
We are all in line without knowing it.
We never know how many people are before us.
We can’t move back out of the line.
We can’t step out of the line.
We can’t avoid the line.
So while we wait in line,
We make moments count.
Make priorities, make the time, make your gifts known.
Make nobody feel like somebody.
Make your voice heard.
Make the small things big.
Make someone smile.
Make sure everyone is loved.
Make sure to tell people they are loved.
Make sure you have no regrets.
Make sure you are ready.
So may we live. (So may we die.)