good life – reflections
Part of cultivating a good life is being regularly and intentionally reflective.
As we draw the curtains on this year of 2014, a lot of us find ourselves reflecting on the past year. We might have a full range of emotions – from regret and hurt to resolve and hope. I personally find the actual process of reflecting to be a very worthwhile and therapeutic way to spend my energy. It is taking that time to be reflective that often brings the moments of clarity that I need. For this reason I’ve been feeling the importance of being more reflective — more often and with even more intent.
Reflecting on the “big picture” is important. Since the time that David and I were married nearly 20 years ago, I have found some of our favorite conversations to be those of a reflective nature. I love to initiate those questions: How are we doing? What are we doing well? Where do we need to improve? What do I need to work on? What should we be doing more of in our family? As we draw a close to this calendar year and begin anew, this is a great time to “think big” and be introspective and set some goals.
What I really want to point out, however, is that reflecting on the “small” stuff should not be overlooked. Taking a few minutes each day to be STILL – truly still and quiet – can be such a meaningful part of our routine and a beautiful way to be reflective on what’s happening around us, how we’re handling it, and what we can do from here.
At the beginning of 2014 I started implementing something in my daily routine that was very intentional and reflective. I haven’t been perfect about keeping up every single day, but most days this year I have spent a few minutes at the end of the day being reflective and writing down one thing I noticed about each of our children in their respective journals. You can read all about that here. I’m pleased to report that this is something I was able to keep up with throughout the year.
The thing about this little exercise is that I was regularly and intentionally reflective. In this case, it was specific to my role as a mother. It was specifically something I wanted to do for my children — but what I found is how much more aware it made me of the little moments, the tiniest details about something they did or said. I have felt more in-the-moment with them, more in love with their personalities, more grateful for the amazing young people that they are.
Reflecting is personal. Whatever this means for you will not be exactly what it means for your best friend or sibling. For me, seeing the sun go down each day is a reflective time for me – even if for just a brief moment. Prayer is also a personally significant way of reflecting on a daily basis. I even find that traveling is usually a reflective time for me. Whatever it is for you, I encourage you to be more intentional and regular with your reflection than ever before.
May blessings be poured into your life as you ring in the new year this week. May you be filled with joy and hope and a resolve to cultivate the best life possible in 2015.