Posts Tagged ‘journaling’

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.

I am a co-moderator with the #TeachWrite chat on Twitter. (Note the graphic on the side bar.) One of my colleagues in this endeavor is Michelle Haseltine.  Michelle put a photo on Facebook of a journal page from one of her students.  The page was filled with the outline of a jar and words and sketches were drawn inside the jar.

I took this idea and presented it to my students with a Brene’ Brown twist from Braving the Wilderness. 

We all have times when we feel lonely.  Have you ever felt alone in a crowd?  Like you just don’t fit in? There’s no one around who sees you or that you connect with.

We all have these times.  But when we do, we can take with us a jar of things that make us feel joy, make us feel safe.  What would be in your jar?

One student jumped up from her seat to draw a jar on the board.  She labelled it “Our Happy Place Jar.”  Her instructions were for everyone to draw one thing from their jar onto our shared jar.  (I love it when kids respond to the lesson with such leadership and participation.)

My students drew a variety of jars.  Some were filled with specific things from our class, Slice of Life, read aloud, computer (blogging), friends.  Others find joy in nature or family or funny memes.  Whatever their choices, they engaged with the idea and filled their jars.

Near the end of the week, Chloe announced, “Even if I have to throw away this journal, I will tear out this page and save it forever!”  That’s what I call Joy!

Mrs. Simon’s Sea

We are fish,
fish swimming through a treacherous sea,

a book,
open and full,

a nest,
a place of warmth,

a pencil and paper
for expression,

and a poem.

by Lynzee, 3rd grade

Austin’s Double E Jar

Andrew’s Rainbow Jar

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A new button for the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge!

A new button for the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge!

My journal "visual note-taking" at the workshop.

My journal “visual note-taking” at the workshop.

You will know that I am in the Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”
–John 14:20

As I continue to try to practice Openness (my OLW) in 2014, I signed up to attend a Centering Prayer workshop on Saturday at my church, The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany. I have heard of meditation and the benefits of such a practice, and Centering Prayer is much like this, with a Christian emphasis. The above image shows my journal page as I listened to the presenter, Alan Prater, from Contemplative Outreach.

Alan spoke about friendship and the levels of relationship from acquaintance to intimacy. He said that our relationship with God is like those stages of relationship with others. I realized that my relationship with God has been at the friendliness level. I am comfortable in reflective prayer. I’ve tried to move to the friend level where responsiveness happens- opening my heart, feelings, and emotions fully. At this level, prayer is real and spontaneous, not rote. I asked myself if I was ready for(or even capable of) contemplative prayer, a level of intimacy. Could I open myself up to a pure gift of God’s presence, rest with God, and be totally comfortable in the beloved’s presence?

I was reminded that God does not want a wave on the street from me. God wants more. So I am committing myself to try 30 days of Centering Prayer, sitting in total silence for 20 minutes. I’ve chosen my place, a chair in the loft upstairs away from the household traffic flow. I downloaded the app “Insight Timer.” I’ve chosen a sacred word, “Abba.” One of the best gifts of the app is a journal button that comes up after the bell rings. This way I write immediately after my meditation. The words flow.

Here is my first journal entry:

Angel lights
waves of purple

Gian Lorenzo Bernini - Dove of the Holy Spirit (ca. 1660, alabaster, Throne of St. Peter, St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican) Wikimedia Commons

Gian Lorenzo Bernini – Dove of the Holy Spirit (ca. 1660, alabaster, Throne of St. Peter, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican) Wikimedia Commons

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