The other day, I read an article on Oprah.com about her journaling styles throughout the years. It looks like Oprah also practices gratitude in her daily reflections which has to mean I’m onto something here, yes?: 😉
“In my 40s, I got wiser. I started using journals to express my gratitude—and watched my blessings multiply. What you focus on expands.”
This week has been an emotional roller coaster as my furry friend, Niko, suddenly developed huge swollen lymph nodes and my vet prepared me for the worst. Lymphoma. He kept Niko for a couple of hours to do a biopsy and blood work and in the meantime, I tried to keep it together. Niko has been a huge part of my life for the last 11 years.
Practicing gratitude leading up to this really helped me cope. I felt so very fortunate that my husband was in town and not traveling like he typically does. Those hugs were much needed. He walked Niko slowly around the neighborhood each day and helped me clean up accidents in the house that were caused by Niko’s medication. It was heartbreaking to watch yet comforting to know we were in this together.
Results from the tests came back with questions still unanswered so we went in for additional testing. As I left the vet for the third time and drove us back home, I started adding up the vet bills in my head. It suddenly occurred to me that the commission check I received the week prior was within $2 of the vet bills all combined. Isn’t that something? The money was all there, preparing me financially for this week.
I’m still in awe of how extremely blessed I am during such a challenging time. The biggest blessing of all? Niko’s swollen lymph nodes have significantly gone down today after experimenting with some antibiotics, which is very encouraging that this could just be an infection, not cancer (going against all odds of what the vet has witnessed in his profession).
Maybe we do have control on our blessings multiplying or maybe it’s merely being more aware of the things we should be thankful for. All I know is that I’m hugging my little family closer these days and am thankful for the time we have.
“Learning without reflection is a waste, reflection without learning is dangerous.” – Confucius
Self reflection hasn’t been as natural of a process as I thought it would be for me. I have kept a journal off and on throughout my life, however, in the past I only tended to journal when there was drama around me. Now that I’m in my 30s (and thankfully my relationships have matured), I’m discovering that it’s a challenge to find things to reflect about. Life is good; what is it exactly that I’m seeking?
I do believe that the simple daily exercises of practicing gratitude and jotting down basic insights is a good start, but there are days that I want to dig deeper.
Today, I stumbled upon a list of questions to prompt self reflection and wanted to share some of my favorites:
- What are my most important values?
- What does it mean to choose? To live proactively?
- Who am I at my best?
- Who am I at my worst?
- Who am I becoming?
- What am I avoiding or resisting?
- What would I do if I were ten times bolder?
- What am I most grateful for?
- What am I settling for?
- If I knew I would die a month from now, what would I do?
- What is my gift to give to the world?
Read the entire article here. (it’s a goodie!)
What about you? Are there specific questions or exercises that you practice in your self reflection time?