Questions to Ponder as 2023 Winds Down

 In Reflections

“The marvelous thing about a good question is that it shapes our identity as much by the asking as it does by the answering.” —David Whyte

Whether you’re still experiencing the glow of Christmas, wrapping up work for the year, or getting New Year party plans in place, an end-of-year writing tradition may be calling to you this week.

Journaling (or contemplating) your responses to questions about 2023 can help bring closure to the year, remind you to take any wisdom gained into 2024, and inspire a joyful start to the new year.

You may have some tried and true questions you use, but here are a few to consider if you need some inspiration:

  1. What one experience this year had the greatest impact on you? Why?
  2. What wisdom will you take with you into 2024 because of that experience or others you may have had?
  3. Which three experiences brought you the most joy in 2023?
  4. What activities can you put on the calendar now to ensure opportunities for joy abound next year?
  5. What was your greatest source of inspiration this year (a person, place, or experience)?
  6. Crossing the threshold into the new year can symbolically support you in leaving some behaviors or thoughts behind. What are you ready to let go of now?
  7. What is one new habit or practice you can create to deepen your relationship with the Holy One?
  8. What question is your soul longing for you to ask?

May you be blessed with good questions to ponder as you begin to wrap up 2023 and anticipate the arrival of 2024. And may the answers delight and inspire you into a better new year.

A Prudent Question

“A prudent question is one half of wisdom.”
―Francis Bacon

No Answers

“Many questions don’t have answers, but they’re still worth asking.”
―Jennifer Adam

Holy Stopping

“Holiness is reached not through effort or will, but by stopping; by an inward coming to rest; a place from which we can embody the spirit of all our holy days, a radical, inhabited simplicity, where we live in a kind of ongoing surprise and with some wonder and appreciation, far from perfection, but inhabiting the very center of a beautiful, peripheral giftedness.”

―David Whyte, excerpt from his essay Finding the Holy in the Holidays

Sometimes

Sometimes
if you move carefully
through the forest

breathing
like the ones
in the old stories

who could cross
a shimmering bed of leaves
without a sound,

you come
to a place
whose only task

is to trouble you
with tiny
but frightening requests

conceived out of nowhere
but in this place
beginning to lead everywhere.

Requests to stop what
you are doing right now,
and

to stop what you
are becoming
while you do it,

questions
that can make
or unmake
a life,

questions
that have patiently
waited for you,

questions
that have no right
to go away.

—David Whyte, from ‘Sometimes’ in DAVID WHYTE: ESSENTIALS

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