In reflective mood today. What’s new, eh?
Actually, that’s a very good question, because that’s exactly what I’m asking myself.
November always seems to me a good time for introspection, for evaluating how my year has been: looking at changes implemented – by me or others; revisiting those things I’ve said goodbye to because I’ve outgrown them or they’ve ceased to be useful to me; welcoming those new things which have filled the created space; examining how I’ve grown; what still needs to be done to reach (or get closer to) the goals I set for myself this time last year…
Now, those of you in the throes of Thanksgiving week may not be as thrilled as I am to do a check-in in November. You may not have the mental (or, indeed, physical) space for it this week.
But those of you who can may think, as I do, that it’s far enough through the year to do a little evaluating, yet not so late that you can’t make any adjustments in the remaining weeks. We can still achieve things: finish uncompleted projects; adjust our thinking or our actions if we’ve strayed off track; celebrate those achievements that have moved us forward…
Whenever you choose to do this type of work, it’s important that it happens sometime, because from deliberate thinking blossoms new awarenesses, revelations, ideas that would never reveal themselves to us if we didn’t lift our head and taste the breeze in the air occasionally.
There are lots of tools we can use in this work:
- personal journaling
- guided programmes that ask deep, resonant questions requiring deep, resonant answers
- group sessions on key themes (relationships, creativity, work, family, balance, etc.) with like-minded friends
- visualizing exercises or creating vision boards
- prayer and praise interaction with the Divine
But, above all else, the best tool we can use is our own heart. Because it’s there, in the heart’s deepest recesses, that your inspirations and motivations are born. It’s there you’ll see your knowledge, skills, experiences, talents, and connections simmer and brew, until that special ingredient that comes from the great creative spirit alights on you, at which point a curious alchemy occurs that gives flight to your next glorious imaginings.
Suddenly, you’re making connections you’ve never thought of before. Ideas, unexpected and, at first, perhaps even unwanted, move their way across your mind. Some of them depart quickly, some hover for a while before fading away, but some of them will lodge themselves, out of sight, yet not far enough away to be out of mind.
They’ll secure themselves in hidden places until you’ve almost forgotten they’re there, until some new experience or connection will immediately fire them to the surface again.
And those are the ones you need to be paying attention to. Even if they’re difficult or scary – in fact, ESPECIALLY if they’re difficult or scary!
Because it’s in those spaces that your true mettle is found. When you feel that you can’t move forward – it’s too hard, too much work, too challenging, too big a dream – that’s exactly when you MUST move forward.
Because it’s at exactly that spot, exactly that moment, when we’re confronted with the choice of going ahead or turning back, that determines our path from henceforward. We can either retreat into our comfort zone (nothing wrong with that; I like a good, safe comfort zone – I just don’t want to live there!) or we can step forward into growth and maturity – moving into the abundant life that’s created through moments just like these.
And don’t we all want that?
‘When your views on the world and your intellect are being challenged and you begin to feel uncomfortable because of a contradiction you’ve detected that is threatening your current model of the world or some aspect of it, pay attention. You are about to learn something. This discomfort and intellectual conflict is when learning is taking place.’ (William Drury)