The MicroShifts Examen

young man looking out car window
Author Gary Jansen recommends approaching personal transformation by making “small change[s] in the way you look at the world or in the way you live your life,” a practice he calls MicroShifting. While the practice can be applied to many different areas of life, Jansen has come up with the MicroShifts Examen. He explains:

Though Ignatius suggests we perform the Examen before we retire for the night, I recently decided to MicroShift the prayer into all parts of my daily life. Its effects have been transformative. I am calmer, less anxious, and I’ve been feeling closer to God in the things I say and do. So whether I’m stopped at a red light or walking to work or cooking dinner or waiting for my son’s baseball game to start, I can take the steps of the Examen and use them to help bring me a greater awareness of the Almighty in those in-between moments that we all experience throughout the day.

Read how Jansen applies his approach here. Jansen is the author of MicroShifts: Transforming Your Life One Step at a Time.


  1. Interesting thoughts and an intriguing proposal. Personally, I’ve found the Jesus Prayer to be effective for connecting with God through a chaotic or not so chaotic day. Ignatius prescribed the examen as a means for quiet and personal reflection. I think we should be reluctant to amend the prayer to fit our own preferences and schedules, but in humility consider how we might amend and orient our lives toward God and honor the examen for the purpose it was given.

  2. This idea resonates with me..I often forget those little things as I write in my journal at night so really seeing and being aware throughout the day makes sense. Even the cold brew that I’m drinking this morning is a gift that I would have overlooked at night.

  3. Yes, I too try to Examen at all parts of the day. It helps me remember the small moments during the day, which I often forget at night. I have just started this system and hence I forget very often. I am confident though that it will become more regular as time goes by.

  4. Yes! I’ve been doing the same thing for years. During a stressful day pausing to make the Examen helps bring the light into my life that stress has darkened.


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