What does it mean to reflect about your life? Your life choices? Your relationships? Your behaviors?
Reflection is the ability to focus on one’s strengths and weaknesses. It’s about taking the time to identify how you feel in the present moment and to contemplate how others may feel as well.
When you take the time to stop and be in the moment which is sometimes referred to as ‘the sacred pause’ you are able to see your life with greater clarity and wisdom. This time allows you to make better decisions about what and who is most important in your life.
Taking a few belly or abdominal breaths or practicing a mini meditation or relaxation technique creates the space for the sacred pause. It is in this space that you can make a profound and positive change in your life.
Perhaps this means letting go of some people and cultivating relationships with others. So much depends upon the discoveries that you make while reflecting on the bigger picture.
Do you sometimes think about what really matters? Am I wasting my precious time on stuff that doesn’t hold true meaning for me? Am I bickering over nonsense? Am I spending time with those that are negative and lead me down a downward spiral?
We have the power to choose how we live our days—and how we put together our days is how we lead our lives.
Five ways to build your ability to reflect:
1. True reflection always begins with the ability to relax. This creates the opening into your mind’s eye and intuition. By regularly initiating a relaxation response you will improve upon your sensing and feeling skills and you will continue to improve with practice over time.
2. Involve all of your senses when you reflect on your experiences. Hear the sounds, smell the scents, feel the sensations in your mind and body, visualize the memory and notice the tastes that may have been involved. The more you can connect with this experience and contemplate the associated feelings, the more likely you are to gain perspective. From there you’ll be able to make wiser decisions moving forward.
3. Tune into the events around you. Heighten your awareness by becoming curious and awake to the circumstances in the present moment. Most of of the time we’re rushing through the day without taking the time to simply be “in” the moment and we miss rich opportunities that would connect us to each other and to the environment in which we live.
4. Make it a daily habit to review your day, your work, your life. Consider what most mattered to you during the day. What made you happy? What brought you down? Are you moving in the direction that brings you joy and meaning? Then consider how you might tweak tomorrow and bring it more closely in alignment with your heart’s desires.
5. Engage in a flow activity. A flow activity is when you become so completely immersed in a particular interest that you lose track of time. Examples of this might be the practice of yoga, singing, running, painting, writing or doing anything that you thoroughly enjoy. Doing this kind of activity frees up your mind in a way that opens a space for creative reflection.
The autumn is a wonderful time to build sacred pauses into your day and reflect upon what’s most important. As you learn, self correct and grow—you ultimately shape your best life.
What do you do to make sure that you’re on the path—leading the life of your dreams?
As always I’d love to hear your thoughts, comments and feedback.