Is it just me or is it way too easy to miss the important stuff in life?
In the hustle and bustle of my full life I can so easily get consumed by the clutter of agendas and the noise of everyday chatter. Some days I find myself flying down the highway of life full speed, no time for pit stops. Then there are times that life feels mundane and monotonous. My own personal Ground Hog Day, like I am living the same day over and over.
This is why I am an avid advocate of setting aside time to reflect. This can be annually or quarterly, monthly, weekly or even daily. It can look like our yearly dry season family camping retreat to Tree Point in the Northern Territory or a half day set aside each month in a cafe with a vibe that inspires. It can be as simple as a daily reflective journal entry or a weekly regroup with a cup of tea.
Self-reflection cultivates self-awareness. This helps us understand how we tick, what we truly value and how we interact with and are impacted by others.
Self-reflection encourages self-regulation. It nurtures our capacity to respond in a way that is consistent with the woman we desire to be.
Self-reflection reinforces integrity. When we become clear about how we are honouring our core values it strengthens our sense of integrity and leads to more congruent, less stressful decisions.
Self-reflection inspires confidence. Taking time to purposefully and prayerfully join the eternal and earthly dots, identify the moments where the Divine intersects with our every day builds the confidence we need to allow our soul to rest and our heart to say yes!
One of the biggest reasons women fail to live fully alive is because we are just too full of stuff. Our schedules, our minds and our hearts. Taking our days and our weeks to God and reflecting on how we are navigating our stuff decreases the friction and the noise.
Here are four questions that I regularly ask myself and may help you?
What was my greatest achievement over the past week, month or quarter? Narrow down what aspiration realised or achievement bought you the greatest sense of fulfilment. You may be surprised!
What is it about that achievement that I am grateful for? Focus on your achievement and express your gratitude. What are you grateful for, as a result of achieving your aspiration? How have it helped you live the life that God has created for you?
What has been my greatest challenge over the past week, month or quarter? Isolate your greatest challenge. What was it? Was it internal or external? Identifying challenges helps consolidate change.
What did I learn as a direct result of this challenge? As a result of challenges confronted, what have you learnt about yourself and others, about life and God? Gaining clarity about our learning positions us well to apply and pass on wisdom learnt through costly experience.
Here are four tips to make the most of any reflection process…
Seek out a space that is inviting. A space that will invite a connection between earthly priorities and eternal purpose. In a funky cafe with a Latte as your companion, on a beach sitting on a picnic blanket or your perhaps with a pot of tea in your favourite chair. Intentionally creating an space that inspires you helps motivate you and make the process more fun.
Creating margin means you will make the most of what really matters. Prioritise the time and push the urgent into the background. Margin is not solely about prioritising the time. It is also about allocating the soul space to rest from the urgent. You will be surprised how little time this process will actually take when you are clear about what is most important in your life. Allocate at least 30—45 minutes. If the urgent threatens your focus and flow, try this. Simply jot down the urgent thought and return to your flow. Remember, this, here and now, is what is most important.
There is no one to impress here. This is authenticity at it's most authentic! Strip back the cliches, the expectations, the right response and just be as honest as you can. A general rule is that the first response that runs through your mind is usually the most unfiltered and true to you response.
In a world that looks for drive through service it is counter culture to focus for lengths of time without the temptation to check emails, notifications or scroll Facebook for the latest posts. Be mindful that it can take anywhere up to 20 minutes to get into flow, so be protective of your focus. Turn off your phone, put music and headphones on come with a clear outcome in mind. This is where the 4 Reflective questions can be really helpful. Always aim to complete the process in one sitting. It will give you a great sense of completion!
Live a reflective life.
Live a life that is fully alive and authentically you.
I would love to hear what works for you and what helps you nurture the practice of self-reflection?
If you like this post, perhaps you may like to download the new, fresh and FREE Live Fully Alive Ebook?
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