Self-Reflection Question 13

Today’s self-reflection question is one that feels timely to me:

“What is life asking of me?”

Right now, I would answer that by saying that life right now is asking that I keep things simple. Working from home and keeping up a routine that allows me to get outside and feel refreshed. Daily prayer in the morning, walks with Cricket, finding time to read, cooking supper every evening, drives for a DQ treat, shows in the evening with Kurt.

Life is asking that I stay in touch with my loved ones. As a mom, that means still seeing our kids. It also means socially distanced walks with friends, phone calls, texts and video chats right now. Staying connected and committed.

It also means processing my feelings. I have had some blue moments about having to cancel travel plans including a trip I had planned with my girls to the Azores in June, sad feelings about not getting to see extended family, disheartened feelings about how long this will last. Processing how I feel helps me to land in acceptance (it is what it is) and gratitude (I still have so many blessings in my life.)

And lastly, I believe that life is still asking that I continue with my goals. I write in my blog daily and have started advertising it. I added training into my work day as client hours have shortened. My flower gardens make me feel accomplished, and our new house is organized and (almost) finished – it is amazing what you can order online!

And so, I would say that life has asked me these days to slow down, keep things steady, look forward to life resuming. I can handle that 🙂

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Photo credit: Me! This is a video family chat where we all represented a colour 🙂

Self-Refection Question 12

In our self-reflection series, we move to Question 12:

“What are my small victories this week?”

Based on our current climate of social distancing and staying at home, it is important to recognize our small victories. Mine include:

  • not eating the rest of my birthday cake in one sitting. (This is actually a big victory as it was double chocolate.)
  • having a positive attitude about postponing my birthday plans on Sunday. (We are all doing our part!)
  • figuring out the technical side to HIPPA compliant video sessions. (I can do this!)
  • getting outside every day for our walk along the river. (The earth is still beautiful.)
  • not allowing my fears to take over. (This can be a tough one but every day I remind myself to continue to count my blessings; take it one day at a time, and do what I can to flatten the curve.)

We often focus on our big victories, our milestone accomplishments – but our small victories are part of our every day life; they are the building blocks that pave the way for our bigger goals. Without our small victories, there would be no summit to reach 🙂

What are your small victories this week?

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Photo credit: http://Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Self-Reflection Question 11

When we look back at what has shaped us, we can ask ourselves this question:

“Who has had the greatest impact on my life?”

We all have pivotal people. We have people who have shaped us, influenced us, helped to move us in direction. There are times when the answer is easy and we are able to list those who have loved us unconditionally and who have supported us in our growth.

But there are times when the person who has impacted us has done so in unhealthy ways; where the impact has come with hurt and pain.

It is important to acknowledge that sometimes the impact that we experience comes in both forms; I often say that we learn just as much about ourselves from what hurt us as from what loved us.

The people of greatest impact may be in our past, no longer with us, or are presently still in our lives. They were perhaps only meant to be part of our story. In any case, understanding the impact is an important part of our self-awareness. It may include the act of grace, the need for forgiveness, the practice of gratitude and being able to pay it forward.

Who has had the greatest impact on my life? An interesting question to think about 🙂

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Photo credit: http://Photo by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash

Self-Reflection Question 10

Here is the next question in our Self-Reflection series:

“When did I last push the boundaries of my comfort zone?”

When my girlfriends and I turned 40, we headed to Anna Maria Island in Florida for a long weekend. Part of our adventures that weekend was the suggestion by Kim that we try parasailing, but the caveat was that we all had to go – which for my friend Tara and I was out of our comfort zone. After some deliberating, it was decided that we would go; Tara and I would be partners (they were tandem sails) so as to fight our fears together. I can remember also wanting to go first (let’s get this over with!) and having to wrestle past the nervous energy.

Once we were strapped in, the release into the air from the boat was gradual and relaxed. We were soon at 400 feet and experiencing the exquisite views of the Florida coast and the infinite ocean. I will always remember the absolute stillness that we experienced – it was an unbounded quiet that I have yet to experience again.

Three things to remember?

  1. Don’t get lost in the hesitation. That will keep you in your comfort zone forever.
  2. Take a deep breath. It helps every time.
  3. Remind yourself “I can do this.” We can be our own biggest fan.

Stepping out of our comfort zone is an essential part of our growth. It reminds us that we have the ability to push ourselves past what we thought our limitations were. This can include trying out a new skill, moving past a relationship or job that is holding us back, attempting something new, or challenging a fear.

When we push past our comfort zone, we feel stronger and more capable – creating a balance between what allows us to feel safe and what allows us to grow.

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Photo credit: http://Photo by AJ Garcia on Unsplash

Self-Reflection Question 9

Today’s self-reflection question taps into what we have learned in our lifetime. The growth that we continue to experience as we age, will bring to us knowledge about ourselves and the way we process the world. The question:

“What are five things I have learned?”

will likely change as we enter different stages of our life. As a 48 year old, here are my answers:

  1. I have learned that despite who surrounds us, has shaped us, or continues to love us – we are for ourselves, the greatest agent of change.
  2. I have learned that “I am important and so are you.” In other words, it is important that we recognize our own needs and learn how to ask for them (this has been a working challenge, yet so wonderful to see results).
  3. I have learned that authenticity, grace and creating soulful moments keep me grounded. Having my two feet firmly planted gets me through the storms.
  4. I have learned the importance of movement forward. Process, action, plans, goals – they all equal growth.
  5. I have learned that laughter truly is the best medicine 🙂

What are 5 things you’ve learned?

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Photo credit: http://Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

Grateful for 2019

Yesterday’s post looked at some self-reflection questions for 2020, today we look at some gratitude prompts for 2019. Taking time to jot down our answers reminds us that even in our challenges of the year, we have found moments to be grateful for:

  • A memory I am grateful for:
  • A person in my life this past year who made a difference to me:
  • A change in the past year that I am grateful for:
  • A strength of mine that I am thankful for:
  • Something that comforted me in the past year:
  • Something that I learned about myself in the past year (to which I am grateful):
  • A challenge that I was grateful for:
  • A memory in nature that I am thankful for:
  • A memory of a trip I took:
  • Something new I tried this past year:
  • A decision I made in the past year I was thankful for:
  • A memory of something that I felt in my soul:

When moving into the promise of 2020, we can look back and thank the universe for 2019; paving way to a new year with acceptance and gratitude. 🙂

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Photo credit: http://Photo by Danil Aksenov on Unsplash

Self-Reflection Goals for 2020

Coming upon the turn into a new year, we often begin thinking about New Year’s Resolutions. This post is similar, but instead are listed a series of simple statements that we can use as smaller stepping stones to bigger goals:

  • A book I’d like to read:
  • A movie or TV series I would like to re-watch:
  • A self-care activity I would like to increase:
  • A new food I would like to try:
  • A new place I would like to visit:
  • A creative activity I would like to try:
  • A healthy habit I would like to increase:
  • A way for me to strengthen connections with those I care about:

Curiousity is one of the ways that we allow movement and growth. Answering these types of questions (or creating some of your own), can help us to achieve a sense of accomplishment while working towards the bigger goal of creating balance in our lives.

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Photo credit: http://Photo by Nikos Zacharoulis on Unsplash

Self-Reflection Question 8

Today, in our ongoing series of self-reflection questions (the rest can be found in the categories section), we focus on:

“Am I achieving the goals that I’ve set for myself?”

Soon we will be entering a new year. As 2020 approaches, we can begin to ask ourselves if we have been working towards the goals we have set for ourselves. Sometimes those goals come in the form of New Year’s resolutions; other times they may have been goals that are more general in nature such as “I want to travel more,” or “I need to slow down the pace of my life.” They can be work related, personal, linked to our physical health, involve reducing a bad habit, or something tied to our emotional health.

In any case, we are much better served to become quite specific about our goal. Want to travel more? Have the next two trips planned out in terms of timeline and where you would like to go. Set aside time in your calendar 2 months before to book flights and accommodations; as soon as those are complete, the fun planning begins!

Want to reduce a bad habit? Write down the best way you are going to get there with tangible stepping stones and a timeline. Do I need professional help to guide me? Need to be part of a connected group? What are the specific behaviours I need to do in order to succeed? What are the rewards I can earn on my way to achievement?

Goals are an important part of movement and growth. They don’t have to be big, they don’t have to be achieved overnight, but it is important that we have them as they help us to feel grounded and connected to our own sense of accomplishment.

“Am I achieving the goals I have set for myself?” As we come in the new year, let’s give that some thought 🙂

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Photo credit: Me! This is a picture from our fall trip to Chicago as my niece and daughters enjoy posing near “the Bean.”

 

Self-Reflection Question 7

In our ongoing series of self-reflection questions, we come to this one:

“Have I made someone smile today?”

It is not difficult to get caught up in the activity of our day – routines to stick to, timelines to make, we have to get the kids to their activities, suppers to prepare and houses to neaten. Sometimes we rush from our homes to our jobs and back to our homes again. If we are stretched too thin, we run the risk of becoming frayed; leaving us feeling drained and hardly in the mood to smile ourselves.

The act of making someone smile can become a part of our daily goal. It can be as simple as opening up a door for someone, smiling and saying hello to people you pass by on the sidewalk, a text midday to a loved one (emoticons included), taking time to chat with someone at work, picking up a little gift for someone in your home or circle, saying thank you.  In order to achieve this, we may have to give ourselves permission to slow down – when we feel we can move at a comfortable pace, we feel content and more apt to want to spread the love.

Making someone smile today – seems like an achievable goal to me 🙂

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Photo credit: http://Photo by Kate Kozyrka on Unsplash

Self Reflection Question 6

Today’s question deals with our past:

“Am I holding onto something I need to let go of?”

Past hurts, resentments, feelings towards someone. Past failures, regrets, mistakes. Emotional ties to an ex, emotional ties to someone that has hurt or mistreated us or a loved one. We all have instances in our past in which we are given the opportunity to hold onto things. The bigger question is “Have we allowed them to stew?”

Ultimately this self-reflective question is not about the process piece that is necessary right after we have experienced a hurt. The feelings that we need to go through are necessary and will be a part of our healing journey. Nor is it about the emotions and skills we need to manage trauma. Rather, it is about checking in with ourselves to see if we are holding too much anger, bitterness or sadness in our hearts.

We are better served to work through the emotions; to incorporate the feelings into the overall experience in order to find some inner peace. That might be in therapy or through journal writing. It may be through the words of an author who focuses on residual anger or grief. It is never too late to begin the process of working through what we have inevitably held on to. Healing brings the calm 🙂

Photo credit: http://Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

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