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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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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Self-Reflection Question 5

Today’s self-reflection question is an interesting one:

“Does it really matter what others think of me?”

Interesting because I would say that the answer is “It depends.” If we tend to suffer from low self-confidence or self-worth, we can often spend far too much time worrying about what other people think of us. We begin to fear that others are judging us, which can lead to denying invitations to social functions or gatherings. If we tend to lean into perfectionist tendencies, we may also care too much about others think, as we are trying to aspire to expectations that are unrealistic.

Other times, we may not care enough. Indifference to others, a need to have our own needs met first, or leaning into an over-confident nature can lead us to a place where we are only considering our own thoughts and become dismissive of others.

It would seem that if we care too much about what other people think, we carry the weight of the hurt and if we don’t care enough about what other people think, we run the risk of hurting those closest to us.

Perhaps the answer lies in who and not what. Perhaps, when we think about what other people think of us, it should be the people that matter to us the most that we think about when answering that question. “Does it really matter what my loved ones think of me?” And the answer to that should be “Yes!”

Photo credit: http://Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

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Self-Reflection Question 4

The self-reflection question today is a bit more practical:

“Am I waking up in the morning, ready to take on the day?”

What is our attitude in the morning? I have to admit that lately, my mornings have felt a bit dull. Perhaps it is the darker, cooler mornings. Perhaps I find myself a bit sadder these days as we build  up to the anniversary of my mom’s death. Perhaps it is simply the day of the week. Probably a combination of all three of these things, I have come to notice that perhaps my attitude towards the day is a little slower to start than usual. And although it is good that I can spend a few moments to focus in on my mood and to sort out where it is coming from, ultimately, it is also my responsibility to shift my thinking. To decide in those moments “What am I going to feed today?”

And so, I take a deep breath, perhaps smile at myself in the mirror, stand a little straighter and tell myself “You got this, kiddo.” (A term of endearment I picked up from my Dad.)  I instantly feel lighter, I decide that I am ready to take on the day. And when I have made that choice, I continue to make choices that support it – I choose a podcast to listen to on the drive that keeps my attention captured, I take time to appreciate the beautiful sunrise that erupts in the sky half way along the drive, I go for a walk at lunch, I chat with one of my daughters on the way home from work. I feed my comfort system.

Take on the day….are we ready? 🙂

Photo credit: http://Photo by David Mao on Unsplash

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Self-Reflection Question 3

In our ongoing series on self-reflection, we come to question number three:

“What do I want to be known for?”

This is an interesting question as it really probes at our self-identity. Will we choose to be known for a role that defines us such as who we are as a parent or the type of work we do? Or will we lean into qualities and characteristics that we aim to be in our every day life? Will we be known for our interests outside of work? For the type of friend that we are?

I would most likely suggest that what we want to be known for will encompass many facets of who we are. It will include some of the more tangible things such what we do for a living, but it will progress to some of our greater qualities as well. When clients are sometimes struggling with self-identity issues, one of the activities I suggest is that they go to the people in their life who know them the best and ask them “What are my three best qualities?” They are often surprised to see the same qualities repeated and this helps cement for them a sense of who they are.

Perhaps when pondering this question, we can also ask ourselves “Do I live with intention?” For it is often in the act of building and designing our lives, that we discover within ourselves what we most bring to the table. For at the end of the day:

“The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.” — Bruce Lee

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Self-Reflection Question 2

Self-reflection is an important part of getting to know ourselves; it is a requirement in “doing the work.” The self-reflection question for today is:

“Am I using my time wisely?”

This appears to be quite a simple question. And yet, it is worth the moments we take to think about how we are using our time. Do we say “yes” to everything? Do we wake up in the morning and don’t stop until our head hits the pillow at night? Do we choose mindless activities as a way to zone out or fill time?

How do we spend our spare time? How do we organize our tasks when we have a busy day ahead and time is limited? Do we allow enough time to relax? Unwind? Feed our comfort system? How is our time spent with others?

It is important to evaluate how we spend our time so as to feel balanced. To know that despite busy schedules, we will set aside time for ourselves and our loved ones; that we can give ourselves permission to slow down, to enjoy, to appreciate the moments that we find when we choose our time wisely. For as Mother Teresa says, “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”

Photo credit: http://Photo by Amanda Jones on Unsplash

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