These days most of us rush to ‘get things done’, often multitasking in some desperate attempt to make life efficient and productive, both at work and at home. Most people are told or choose to “get the job done” any which ways!
I think this is a problem. The problem with this is from a learning or transforming perspective where we constantly “do” or “act” and we cannot learn or benefit from our actions and experiences.
Real learning and success requires Reflection and Integration. And in our mad rush to “get the job done”, we do not make time for either.
Instead of a day that goes like this: Action-Action-Action, a better day might look like this: Action-Reflection-Action. Only then can we examine what happens as a result of our action choices, and learn valuable life-lessons to move ahead. This is a good way to foster change. However, wise teachers show us that in order for this change to be transformative, our days need to be even more different, as in: Reflection-Action-Reflection.
The process of reflection allows us to review, question and reassess experiences or theories, revealing new insights. So through reflecting, you do not just experience or conceptualise things, you learn; and you do not just learn, but integrate your learning into the larger, broader, more meaningful picture of your life.
Reflection can be used as a basic skill for problem-solving or goal-setting, focussed on day-to-day productivity, as a psychological tool for personal growth, or a deeply spiritual practice, or for a balanced temperament.
Through Reflection and Integration, we can be healing agents in our families, communities, organisations and nations.
Reflection is best done at the end of the day. Those who use them also swear as to how doing this form of processing gives them a peaceful, untroubled night’s sleep. In the form of a nightly practice, this could mean asking ourselves:
– What am I living for?
– What did I do towards my goal today?
– What did I do counter to my goal today?
– What is something that is more important to live for?
– Who or what inspired me today?
– Who or what challenged me today?
– What surprised me today?
– Where was I touched and moved today?
One could work for some time with above questions, and then add the second, deeper set when you feel ready:
– What was strengthened in my nature today?
– What was softened in my nature today, some of the rough edges rounded?
– What was opened in my nature today?
– What was deepened in my nature?
– What fell into place or came together as part of the deepening process?