The School community gathered in the Chapel on Tuesday morning for the first service of 2020. “The new year is completely unused … it’s like a blank canvas, just beckoning us to live our lives in the way that we want to live them,” opened Rev. Holland. “So this is a good time to think about a few things.”
He then urged us to take a moment to think of one thing from last year for which we’re thankful. Gratitude, he reminded us, leads to a healthy mental and emotional state, as it lessens anxiety and helps us feel more engaged. The Rev next asked us to think of one hope that we have for the next year – or even for the next decade. Finally, he challenged us to think of something that we don’t want to bring with us into this new year – bad habits, bad choices, bad patterns in our lives that drag us down.
The resourceful Reverend had organized for paper and pens to be in each pew. He asked each one of us to write down that one thing that we would like to leave behind. These commitments were placed in baskets on our way out of the Chapel. The following day, a small fire was set up in the quad. As students and staff passed by, the Rev invited each person to take one of these pieces of paper and add it to the fire.
“The idea, of course, is that by releasing those things that hold us back, we really just increase our own personal freedom, our ability to be the kind of people that we want to be,” the Rev shared in Chapel. “Of course we all continue to struggle, we’re not naïve,” he continued. “But it helps to be explicit about it. It helps to write it down.”
Thank you, Rev, for this positive and cleansing way to start 2020!
Shawnigan Lake School is a co-educational boarding school on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. The school is home to nationally-ranked academics, arts and athletics, with 100 per cent of graduates accepted to university.