“When the rainbow is in the cloud, then I will look at it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”  Genesis 9:16

“In owning and honoring our pain for the world, and daring to experience it, we learn the true meaning of compassion: to “suffer with.” We begin to know the immensity of our heart-mind. What had isolated us in private anguish now opens outward and delivers us into the wider reaches of our inter-existence.” Joanna Macy, Work that Reconnects

There is no magical formula for letting go of pain, regret or anxiety, but we can be intentional and create sacred space to sit with and honor those things that haunt and hold us. Letting go is not a magical once and for all moment. We are called to the ongoing work of honoring our pain with God as our compassionate partner.

Below you will find a spiritually modified version of a cool experiment I witnessed in one of the many schools where I’ve worked.

Set aside about 30 minutes of quiet for this practice.

What you will need:

  • Skittles (2 small bags or 1 large box)
  • 5 Slips of white paper –
  • Shallow, white bowl or plate with raised sides
  • Pitcher of Warm water
  • Salt
  • A tea light or two 

Begin by bringing all that you need for this practice into a quiet space. Place the bowl in the center of your setting.

Write a word or phrase on each slip of paper to represent something to you want to let go of. Set them aside for a moment. 

Sort the Skittles onto the five slips of paper, choosing which color is best associated with that which you are releasing.

Light the candles 

Place the Skittles around the inner edge of the bowl, alternating colors as you like and reflecting again on what each color represents to you.

Take a deep breath.

Add a small pinch of salt to the water and offer the following blessing.

Prayer for blessing the water –

Bless this water and salt

by your loving Spirit.

Remind us, oh God

that we share with

All creatures a thirst for

Freedom from suffering. 

Slowly breathe in and out all that the words you’ve written represent to you today. 

Gently pour the water in the center of the plate or bowl.

As the colors of the rainbow begin to appear, slowly breathe in and out hope, peace, and freedom.

When the moment feels right, thank yourself for exploring this experience and gently blow out the candle.