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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Haskell


METANOIA // implementing simple changes of mind and heart // I typically try to steer clear from religious topics, however, my faith is also such an integral part of who I am, there are times it is very hard for me to put it aside. As a Catholic, one of those times for me is Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday (tomorrow) and ends with the Easter celebration (April 12). Lent, in general, is a time of reflection, refocus, and repent, both literally and spiritually. I have put a lot of thought into this Lenten season, not only from a religious perspective, but equally so, from an individual perspective. Religiously, Lent focuses on being more Christ-like, to be more like Him, to grow our relationship with Him, and to do so using three main themes: prayer (devotion), fasting (self-control), and almsgiving (service to others). However, in a recent article I read by Reverend Daniel E Pilarczyk called “Lent: More than Penance”, he introduces the word metanoia with the Greek definition, “a change of mind and heart – altering one’s mind-set toward whole new ways of thinking and acting, this involves taking a look at where we are and trying to see where we ought to be…” Religious or not, we can all implement metanoia practices into our daily lives. We can look at this Lenten season as if it were a New Year’s resolution with a more practical goal – implementing simple changes of mind and heart for 40 days, not something on a larger scale for an entire year with a definite goal. Forty days of self-awareness and self-care - something we all could use more of. Although the purpose of Lent is not to necessarily focus on ourselves, I truly believe by being the best versions of ourselves, we can create a more positive and encouraging environment for those around us, and ultimately be more Christ-like. To help encourage some metanoia methods, here are my personal goals I wanted to share for this Lenten season, in hopes you can partake in these goals with me, or find some inspiration within these that work for you and your family. // READ (devotion) // Dedicate 10-30 minutes a day toward reading a day. To read something tangible, not on a screen. An extra book to your kids every night. The Sunday morning paper. A book you received at Christmas but have yet to open. Poetry. A New York Times best seller. The Bible. A self-help book. A journal. Prayer. // MINDFULNESS (self-control) // Be kind. Be thoughtful. Be present. Be remorseful. Be generous. No gossiping. No judgements. No complaints. Listen to others. Show gratitude. Smile. Prayer. // GIVE (service to others) // Give one thing a day. Time. Money. Something you own. Cookies for a neighbor. Share your skill. A thank you letter. Volunteer. A phone call to an old friend. Donate. Plant a tree. Give blood. Mentor a teen. Prayer. ** photo credit to Dane Roberts **


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