Whether you grew up with Lent, didn't or don't consider yourself the target audience for this practice you might benefit from new ways of looking at this next 40 days.
When I first learned about Lent (I fall in the 2nd category, didn't grow up with it). It was all about restriction and leaning toward the suffering for Christ. Sometimes restricting oneself isn't bad, while we are not eating sugar, drinking booze, or getting up early we can practice focusing our attention on being more aware of our footprint in this world. But the suffering for suffering sake is not something I am into.
What I purpose for the next 40 days is that you really look at yourself and what you want.
Day 1 Think about what is holding you back: from loving yourself, being vulnerable, walking in forgiveness, taking up space, owning your voice, being fully alive ETC.
Day 2 Spend some time reflecting on what you came up with: is there guilt, shame, bullying, manipulation, control, disregard in there. If there is how can you gently and lovingly dismantle that?
Day 3 Reflect on steps you could take towards dismantling those thoughts, behaviors or inner dialogues. Consider people, institutions or media that might be adding to keeping you stuck.
Day 4 Implement small daily do-ables. The biggest thing that can sabotage this work is making it over complicated or unrealistic. Start small, practical, build it if it seems right. Keep it simple. Keep it loving.
Do it for the 40 days and practice noticing if there are changes in your mood, inner dialog, presence, or just plain care for self and others.
What will I be doing this Lent 2017?.
I have been looking at the role control has played in my life, and my need for it in areas I don't really want to still be needing it.
*Is it possible for me to spend 5 minutes a day seeing where my need for control showed up? In that 5 min, I will look and then reflect where that need might be coming from in each situation. If I can see the link, I can then take it to Jungian Journaling. (I am afraid I will forget so I'm going to put a reminder on my phone).
Another area I want to re-look at in this 40 days is my inner dialog. Why is my personal dialog still so harsh at times and what are the roots there?
*I can do this, in the same way, as I will be doing the above, but already that is sounding like a lot, so I think I will switch it and do them every other day.
My goal is to gather strength, love myself, others, the world and my Creator in a way that reflects my whole person.
What is your goal?