Reflection: a thought occurring in consideration or meditation.
Looking at this picture, I am drawn into the reflection, wondering about what it is I am seeing in the soap bubble. This bubble captured a moment in time, when the trees were just beginning to bloom, or maybe it was taken when the trees were in the last stage of Autumn, dropping their leaves. I love the blue sky that almost looks like the world. The stillness of the house draws me into the moment.
The same thing happens when we decide to reflect on our lives. It is like looking at the soap bubble, where a moment of our life has been stopped in time and we are trying to figure out what the moment tells us about our life.
I have found one of the best ways to reflect on my life is through the use of a journal. Journals are multi-purpose, depending on what you want to reflect on. I have several journals myself, writing different things in each to keep a record of where I have been, and where I am going.
The first journal is full of my morning pages, the writing I do when I get up in the morning. Julia Cameron, author of “The Artist’s Way” suggests that everyone write morning pages as a way of clearing the mind and allowing our creativity to begin flowing. Many times, my morning pages are a mix of discussions with the Divine, my to do list, frustration at mistakes made, acceptance of self. When I take the time to write my morning pages, the writing I do later in the day is much more clear and creative because I have taken the time to clear the cobweb thoughts away.
I end the day with a gratitude journal, where I write three things that I am grateful for. These are usually grace filled moments that have shown up in my day, but sometimes, when I am really struggling, the three things may be as simple as “I am grateful that I had food today,” or ” I am grateful that I have a car to drive.”
In between the morning pages and the gratitude journal at night, there are many types of journals that can help record progress in my day. I can use a journal to record my exercise, or my food intake, so I know that I am on the right track for meeting physical goals. I may write a journal specifically for my health, where I spend time getting in touch with each body part, and asking what it needs to be healthy. I can keep a garden journal, a travel journal, a journal of stories from my childhood, etc. Each of these types of journals gives me insight into my life.
As the definition suggests, reflection takes place in a state of consideration or meditation. The more we slow down and look at where we are, the more conscious we are about the ways we move forward in the world. And the activity of writing brings us to the present moment, allowing us to reduce stress.
This year, I will be talking about each kind of journal in detail, so you will have the opportunity to see how each journal may or may not fit into your life. Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Let’s see what we can do this year to make our lives a conscious decision to do the right thing, to treat ourselves and others with love, and to reflect on how we are showing up in the world.
Do you have a journal now? What kind and how does it serve you? Thanks for taking the time to share!