December 29, 2019: The Power of Reflection
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”Serren Kierkegaard
At the end of December, a common tradition is to consider the past year and make resolutions for the new one. If you view life as a tapestry of moments, to tease out the important threads and discern which ones are the most valuable can be a challenge. Yet taking the time for this reflection can give us insights, a direction to move in and the crucial steps we need to take on our life’s journey.
When I was a teacher, I taught my students a debriefing process of three questions they could use after a period of work or project.
1. What went well?
2. What were the challenges, obstacles, or difficulties?
3. What did you learn from the process and how will you do things differently in the future?
These questions became a critical component of the learning process and proved to be a powerful tool for understanding and moving forward.
When thinking about 2019 and setting new resolutions for 2020, I’ve decided to apply these questions to my own life and see what insights I could gather from them.
We are taking a week off from work and heading to Maine, first to spend New Year’s with treasured friends by the ocean, and then to our camp and studio. Both places are quiet, peaceful settings, where there are few distractions and ample time to think about this past year and set the stage for the new one.
“Thankfulness is the quickest path to joy.”Jefferson Bethke
I will reflect on what went well, in both my personal life and in our jewelry business. Identifying the blessings and successes illuminates the golden threads of our tapestry. Being grateful for them brings a sense of joy and a renewal of positive energy.
. “Your soul needs time for solitude and self-reflection. In order to love, lead, heal, and create, you must nourish yourself first.”Louise Hay
Part of this learning process is to identify what didn’t go well. What were the challenges, difficulties, or mistakes that hampered growth and progress? What choices and ultimate actions could have been made differently? This is not supposed to be a self-demeaning act, but one that offers a clear focus and understanding of what happened and why.
“Since everything is a reflection of our minds, everything can be changed by our minds.”Buddha
The final question sets the stage for the year ahead. What did I learn from this past year, and what do I hope to have happen in the next? This culminating question is often the most complex one requiring further time for introspection. A few of the questions I plan to ask myself during this process: How do I create balance between work and relaxation? Am I using my time wisely? Am I taking care of my physical self
As I am living and working with Ron, who is both my husband and jewelry business partner, it will be important to share these thoughts and process of reflection and planning. Two important questions: What changes can we make to have our lives be calmer, healthier and less stressful? What are our hopes and dreams we have for the coming year and how do we plan to make them happen?
I know that more questions will arise, but am confident in how the insights will give us blueprints for the journey which lies ahead.
In the coming year 2020, we wish you health, happiness, and time for reflection to design your own richly, hued tapestry of life.
Additional note: In researching before I wrote this blog, I found an article and additional questions which can add clarity and focus to your own debriefing process and introspection. If you have other ones or a different process for review, please share them in the comments below. As always, we welcome your thoughts.https://positivepsychology.com/introspection-self-reflection/