Preparing for the Days of Awe - Mirror of the Soul

Jacquie Serebrani-Kesner

As part of your journey in preparing for the High Holidays, also known as the Days of Awe, here’s an activity that will engage you in finding new ways to make discoveries, and extend understanding beyond verbal and written modalities into the language of texture, rhythm, color, movement and sound.


  • Acrylic paint (red, yellow, blue, white, black)
  • Paint brushes (small and medium bristle)
  • Water jug for rinsing
  • Dabber for blotting
  • Mirrored paper or inexpensive mirror (bargain brigades or tag sales)
  • Pointed stick


Begin with a piece of open, unmarked reflective paper. Observe the light, the shadows. Next, move your face closer so you can see your reflection. Take time for observation. Scan your senses. How are you feeling? What have you last touched and tasted? What do you smell? What do you see?  What are you looking for?

Select a color, something that moves you, something you connect with. Perhaps you love the warm blue of the sea, the whisper of yellow in morning light, or the rich red in your favorite wooly sweater. Begin painting on the mirror using your single color. Explore lines and curves, small strokes and large strokes. Explore the space; you’ll feel like you are skating through your painting experience. When you are ready, introduce another color.  Observe the color itself, and then the colors that emerge through the connection. What grows? What remains the same? What deepens? Where is there light shining through, and where are there curtains of darkness?

Set the painting aside and allow it to dry. While the painting is drying, free journal about your color experience. Extract a few descriptive words from your free write. Using those words, create a new word list with what you are “setting aside,” and a list with what you are “striving toward.” After the painting has completely dried, scratch those sentiments that you’re striving toward into the mirror by scraping the paint away. The mirror (the light beneath) will shine through your strivings, a visual and optimistic reminder of the work ahead.

If you enjoyed this activity, be sure to check out more activities to prepare for the Days of Awe:

Filling Your Well
Creative Color Connections
Journaling with Symbolic Objects
Revealing Values

The above activities are selections from my upcoming book Life Through a Creative Lens being published by Creative Arts Enrichment in 2017. 

© 2016 Jacqueline Serebrani-Kesner