How often do you step out of your life and reflect?
Is this something you do regularly, such as a daily meditation? Or do you need to go on a vacation to literally change your routine so you can really go deep within?
The process of reflecting can give us a chance to take a look at how we are living our lives and check-in to see if the way we are living our lives is in line with our values. Too oftentimes we get caught up in the day in and day out and don’t stop to see where we can improve. Living our lives and planning our lives are very different.
One of the gifts of the past years in this pandemic is that many of us have had more time to reflect on what is truly important. Have you noticed that your priorities have shifted during the past year? Or maybe you are more aware of your values?
Either way, you always have an opportunity to reflect. But how???
- Carve out time every day in a place where you have some peace and won’t be interrupted. This could be your car (while parked!) or even your bathroom if you can’t find a place without distractions. With more kids home and more people working from home these days, finding privacy can be challenging. You can also wake up earlier than your family or stay up later than them to have some alone time.
- Choose a way that works for you to reflect-try meditation, prayer, or journal writing. It could even be something creative, like painting. Experiment with different ways to reflect to see which you like the best. Maybe walking is the way you choose. There is no wrong way to reflect on your life!
- Once you have your chosen place and way to reflect, ask yourself questions without having to come up with the answers but just allow yourself to have free floating thoughts. Notice what happens in your mind and your body. Questions you may ask could include: Have I been happy of late? How have I been feeling lately? What would make my life more meaningful? More fulfilling? How can I help those around me more? What am I grateful for? What would I like to remove from my life? What would I like to add to my life?
- This process can take anywhere from one minute to one hour. Take as long as you like. Be kind to yourself without any criticisms of how you live. Checking in on a consistent basis can allow us to be more mindful of living the life we want to live and one in which we can be proud.
Following your practice of reflecting, NOTICE what happens throughout the 24 hours afterward. Sometimes we have ‘lightbulb moments’ or newfound awareness, and other times we do not. Don’t stress if you don’t notice anything right away. Allow this process to take time and unfold naturally.
However you choose to reflect and no matter how often you do this, it can be critically helpful to step away and ask yourself,
“How is my life going?”