Forgiveness & Mercy Session Two Scroll down to get started...

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Welcome…

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So here we are in the second month of our online community programme already. Well done for all that you have achieved so far, however much (or little) that might be. I’m very aware that some of you have struggled with elements of the work and are wrestling with your inner saboteur. This is all very normal so no drama (ego loves a bit of drama!). Just recommit in this moment to do the work. That’s it. Each moment we recommit we are waking back up from the collective slumber. 

For most people it is also a good idea to have a set time each day when you do your spiritual practices, otherwise they can slip down the priority list. And do remember like with any gym membership you will get out what you put in. So take a deep breath – it’s a new day and a new month. Begin again now, breathing back in to your radical commitment and get to working out those spiritual muscles. You’ve got this! 

Any questions about this month’s work that arise in you, please make a note and bring them to the online Zoom session on SUNDAY 6th February at 10.30am (after running them by your own wisdom first of course) 😉

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Date for your diary

Our mid month check in will be held on

Wednesday 16th February 18.00-19.30 ON ZOOM. (UK times)

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Do check our private Instagram account regularly for updates on events if you haven’t already. @deepeningintolife

In love and service,
Donna xxx

Personal Enquiry:

Personal enquiry is a personal and spiritual development tool to support people in enhancing their understanding of the human condition and shedding light on theirs and others psyche. In questioning our habitual thoughts, feelings, reactions, judgements, and behaviours, we can begin to move beyond our ego led living and drop into the deeper dimensions of Life. All of the spiritual traditions include periods of quiet contemplation and reflection in some form. Specific time set aside in silence and solitude to meditate on the chosen subjects and related questions. For how can we possibly know and connect to a Higher Power, if we do not take the time to know and connect to ourselves? How can we begin to deepen, without questioning all that we ‘think’ we know?

These personal enquiry questions are starting points for you to deepen into Life. To spend time over the coming weeks and months contemplating each of the questions and how they relate to you and the wider world. I encourage you to add further questions of your own choosing to go deeper still. The suggestion is that you spend at least 2-3 hours per week contemplating and journaling on these questions. This might be broken down into 20-30 minutes each weekday or in one chunk of time at the weekend. Whatever is most manageable for you. Where possible return to the questions throughout the whole month to continue adding further insights and reflections as they arise. Take these questions with you on your walks, in the shower or bath, as you drink your coffee, cook, eat, clean or go about your day (keep your journal close by). Allow the questions to open, elevate and deepen you, and in turn impact how you choose to live your life.

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Questions

Forgiveness:

  • • What does the word ‘forgiveness’ mean to you and what does it not mean?
  • • How did you learn about forgiveness growing up and who taught you?
  • • How does forgiveness show up in your life?
  • • Is an apology an essential part of forgiveness for you?
  • • How do you know when you have truly forgiven someone, how do they know?
  • • What does forgiveness look and feel like?
  • • What does it take to forgive someone who has hurt you?
  • • Is it ever possible to forgive the unforgivable?
  • • What blocks do you have around forgiveness and how might you overcome them?
  • • Why might forgiveness be so important for those on a spiritual path?

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Self-forgiveness:

  • • What does ‘self forgiveness’ mean to you and how does it show up in your life?
  • • How did you learn about self forgiveness growing up and who taught you?
  • • Are there things in your life that you have said and done that you consider unforgivable?
  • • How does your capacity to forgive yourself relate to your spiritual path?
  • • What blocks do you have around self forgiveness and how might you begin to overcome them?
  • • If we forgive ourselves for our mistakes does it make it easier to forgive others for theirs?
  • • Should we focus on self forgiveness before trying to forgive others or the other way around?

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Compassion:

  • • What does this word mean to you and what does it not mean?
  • • How did you learn about empathy and compassion growing up and who taught you?
  • • Are empathy and compassion the same thing, if not, how do they differ?
  • • How does compassion show up in your life, including self compassion and how does it relate to forgiveness?
  • • Why is compassion so important for those on a spiritual path?
  • • How would you behave differently if you held more compassion towards yourself and others in your heart?
  • • What blocks do you have around compassion and how might you begin to overcome them?

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Mercy:

  • • What does the word Mercy mean to you, if anything and how does it show up in your life?
  • • How do you know when you have been shown mercy or shown mercy to another?
  • • What’s the difference between compassion and mercy?
  • • Why are mercy and compassion so important for those on a spiritual path?
  • • Is there a possibility of moving beyond any need for forgiveness at all? To reach a point of such deep understanding that you believe there is nothing to forgive, for yourself and others who have hurt you?
  • • Have you managed to reach this point in your own life, if not, what might it take?

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Daily Prayer Practice:

The suggestion is for you to continue to pray twice a day, first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening. Try to ensure you include the 3 core dimensions of prayer –

Gratitude, Celebration/Worship & Requests

If you already have your own prayer practice, then feel free to continue with that. The main thing is that we all commit to pray consistently every day.

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Additional Prayer Practice for February:
Whilst continuing to pray twice a day, the suggestion is to include someone or a group of people that you find challenging/need to forgive, in your prayers for the entire month. If you have a photo of them, place this on your altar. So twice a day you will spend time praying specifically for them. This could be a particular person who has hurt you and you know you need to forgive or a group of people who you believe are ‘wrong’, violent, hateful or abusive. For example, you might choose to pray for all those with a racist/homophobic or misogynistic mentality. Yes challenging yourself to pray for their soul, and that they may find their way back to their hearts.

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Ritual:
Place a picture or image of the person/people you need to forgive in front of you. Have your music ready and find a private space to dance. You will imagine dancing with the spirit of the person/people you are working with in your forgiveness prayers. Imagine yourself safe and protected as you invite them to join you for a dance. Visualise your two pure spirits dancing together, see their face, their body free, fluid and in motion, as is yours. Visualise their hearts opening more and more, as yours does too. As you do this dance you will be sending them your energy of love, compassion, forgiveness and mercy. When complete, bow to thank them and watch them leave, then dance again to a new track by yourself. One that supports you to activate your deeper Love and Joy.

Do this ritual a minimum of once a week for the month, (daily if possible). The more frequently you do this, the more powerful it will be. Afterwards wash your face or take a shower to close the ritual and get out into nature if you can.

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Word of the Week:
The suggestion is to have one word as your focus for each week of the month. As you encounter life moment by moment, allow this word to guide you in your thoughts, words, conversations, and choices. Take these words with you wherever you go. Write them on post it’s to remind yourself. Add them to your altar, pop them into your pocket or purse and carry them with you. Allow them to guide you as you deepen into life.

    1. Forgiveness
    2. Compassion
    3. Self-Forgiveness
    4. Mercy

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Book of the Month:
Each month during our time together in community we will be reading a book related to the subjects of our enquiry for that month. The suggestion is that a different member of our community takes a turn each month to volunteer to organise an online book club, whereby those who wish to can also attend to share and discuss the book and its key messages. (Please DM me if you wish to volunteer for this role).

The book for February:

The Book of Forgiving 

by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Rev Mpho Tutu

For returning DIL members I offer the additional book option:

The Gift of Forgiveness

by Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt

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Service & Acts of Kindness:
Each month identify a specific way to be in service in some way in the world. The suggestion is to identify a person or cause that is important to you and then find a way to offer meaningful support. A minimum of 1 hour per month (ideally this needs to be on top of anything you already do). In addition, consciously find/create opportunities to be kind that involves an element of sacrifice on your part. (so not just giving money away as an example). Ideally a minimum of 1 act of conscious kindness per week, large or small. If you can remain anonymous, even better.

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A Weekly Date with Wonder:
Once a week, (or more if you can) for at least 30 minutes, head out by yourself with your eyes and heart wide open. Take a small notebook, pen, and camera if you wish. (turn phone on airplane mode if using the camera). Head to the woods, sea, park, a museum or simply sit and watch the world go by. Wherever calls to you. Slowly and mindfully take in all that you notice – look up, down and all around. Marvel and wonder at the minute details and miracle of it all. Notice the smells, sounds, colours, textures and sensations of the whole experience. Touch what you can. Reconnect with your Wonder & Awe. Give thanks. This too is a prayer.

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Audio/Film Recommendations:
I would like to offer these additional resources for you to explore the subject of forgiveness.

Mary Foley on forgiving her daughters killer: Listen

The Forgiveness Project – Visit

The Shack  (2017) Netflix – Watch

How self forgiveness saved my life, Josh Galarza – Watch

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Spotify Playlists:
Our new DIL member Lizzie Kempton has kindly put together 2 incredible new playlists to support us all in our prayer practices and in living a more ‘prayerful’ life. Prepare to be moved….literally! One playlist is for those of you who wish to dance your prayers, activating and opening your heart to spread more Love and Joy in the world. The other is music for more meditative times, perhaps when you are journaling on your personal enquiry or to listen to before/after you pray.

Meditative

Dancing

I encourage you to listen to both playlists completely at some point during the month. I will be inviting another member to create our next playlists for March and beyond. Please email me if you wish to offer this for our community – donna@deepeningintolife.com

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Food for thought…
A gentle reminder that a key aspect of spirituality is connection. The remembering of the Oneness beyond our ego stories. So a lovely simple way to connect and inspire each other within this community can be through sharing your words and pictures via our Instagram page. I know some of you are very private and might not wish to contribute in this way and I respect that. Others don’t know how to (my fellow tech numpties), but I encourage you all to challenge yourself to find ways to share and connect with others in our community, because not only is it a form of service, but feeling separate and disconnected, are ways that the ego keeps us all apart and asleep.

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Spirituality is recognising and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning and purpose to our lives.”

Brené Brown

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Wishing you a rich and deep month of enquiry and heart opening.
Donna Lancaster – Founder of Deepening into Life

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Live Sessions & Document Downloads

Click the link here to watch the live session and download the session documents to assist you when working offline and during the live session.

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