R e f l e c t
"Learning without reflection is a waste. Reflection without learning is dangerous." Confucius
In order to recharge our resolve to create a brighter, more positive experience ahead, reflection is key. I find little use of looking back to the past, but do find value in this quote by Roy T Bennett 'The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence; the past is a place of learning, not a place of living.'
Referencing back can gift us with a valuable resource, laden with answers, learnings and experiences. Without judgement, criticism or overstaying our visit, we can use our past experience to cultivate an objective overview abundant in self awareness and understanding.
Personally, to do this, I took time out to write and consider what I hope to learn from reflecting. I looked into:
What has been positive over the year? What went well, what did I enjoy most?
What am I grateful for?
What have I learned?
What do I want to bring into the future?
What has been helpful? What has been self caring?
What has hindered me? What could I do differently next time?
I genuinely enjoyed bringing awareness to what a year it has been and what my most valuable learnings are. I also relished the opportunity to highlight all the things that I want to be part of my regular self care going forward. I realised that in the absence of tending to these needs, I'd feel off or stifled or uneasy. Self care is the necessary foundation on which to build our dreams. And I have many a dream to build.
This reflection has required me to stop and take stock. This is something I haven't done in a little while and I could feel it in myself. When we keep moving without checking in ourselves, we can easily lose track and forget where we wanted to go in the first place. Making a date to pause and figure things out will offer us way more progress than just plodding on mindlessly.
Having spent a lot of this year travelling and building homes in different places, my environment changed often and taught me different lessons on how I react, where I need to cement some learning and what thought and behaviours patterns emerge when I am uncomfortable. Interesting and challenging learnings at times, but learnings nonethless and ones that will serve to improve future experiences when I act upon them.
That's the thing, we can and will make mistakes but reflecting and learning from these, will enrich our understanding and save us from continuing to make the same ones. (Though revision of the same ol lessons is definitely necessary sometimes and recommended!) We need to forgive our flaws and let them teach us, honestly, about ourselves.
From reflection emerges clarity. And honestly, that's what I was craving most in anticipation of the year ahead. And that's where I wanted my questions to guide me. I had some confusion and knew clarity was key to diffuse this. In reflecting I could get curious about where I'm at, what has brought me here and what will bring me to my next point. This led to creativity, here, where I can share what my ideas are and from creativity, I've gotten contentment.
In contemplating how to use these reflections to recharge my energy, I'm excited to see what's ahead. I know what I want and how I'm going to get there. I understand what I need and the importance of connecting to those things. I realise how lucky and grateful I am and what an amazing thing life is.
High, lows and everything in between all provide colour in our lives. I'm delighted that nothing is ever perfect because I know it'll always be interesting, there'll always be opportunities to grow, there will always be change.
Ahead of the new year, take time to reflect on the many colours of your life. Still the waters of your experience and take a good look at the picture that forms.
Then we'll move on to Reconnect, tomorrow.
Photo by @sstromphoto