This month as I dedicated time to self-reflect, I felt much more in tune with my soul, just as I hoped. It has been very rewarding and something I seek to continue on. I find myself paying special attention to how certain situations and actions make me feel, recognize what all I’m blessed with, what I am seeking more of, and goals on how to get there.
I especially love the topic to ponder, what is my gift to give to this world? In the self-discovery workshop I attended, Jane spoke about with every gift you must also recognize there comes a challenge. A friend of mine recently told me she felt I was gifted in friendships. What a great compliment! However, setting boundaries and saying ‘no’ (without guilt!) is a challenge I have been facing for some time, especially recently as my focus has shifted to myself and family. Finding a healthy balance sure is hard, isn’t it?
Thank you for letting me share this experience with you! I hope you can find time for yourself amidst the daily obligations and distractions that surround us all.
*Update on my lab, Niko: the vet called today to report there was no bacteria/infection shown on the blood culture so we are unsure (still) of the cause of his swollen lymph nodes. Niko is getting lots of special attention these days with walks, canned food, and kisses. Thanks for the comments and love!
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?
I recently read the book Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom and the chapter on Happiness really caught my attention. In short:
I knew depression was real, and in many cases required medical attention. I also knew we overused the word. Much of what we called “depression” was really dissatisfaction, a result of setting a bar impossibly high or expecting treasures that we weren’t willing to work for.
To these people, unhappiness was a condition, an intolerable state of affairs. If pills could help, pills were taken.
But pills were not going to change the fundamental problem in the construction. Wanting what you can’t have. Looking for self worth in the mirror.
What makes a man happy?
Be grateful. For what you have. For the love you receive. And for what God has given you.
Week 1 into self-reflection and I seem to be consistently (or inconsistently, if you will) hitting my goal of alone time every other day. I have found writing my thoughts keeps me focused and accountable rather than let my mind wander aimlessly. When I am lost on where to take my focus, I come back to what I’m thankful for that day and make a list:
gorgeous fall weather in KC
my beautiful, healthy, unconditionally loving pups
hubs, home today (and the entire week). no travels. hooray!
a yummy bottle of pinot noir, on sale
my skinny black pants still fit!
time to squeeze in a workout to continue to fit into those pants
sweet clients that make me laugh and my job enjoyable
pork chops and asparagus on the grill. dinner for two.
How blessed I am! What are you thankful for today?
Lexie Anderson here from Design and the City as the September guest blogger! I love the concept of Resolution Revolution and jumped at the chance to attempt my own.
A few weeks ago, I hosted a self-discovery workshop with my amazingly insightful step-mother, Jane Lambert, as our guide through an afternoon journey of soul searching. Jane is a life coach and mentor by profession; I wanted to take full advantage of this resource and share her knowledge with my closest Kansas City friends. It was a fun and enlightening afternoon and ever since, I have been inspired to take it a step further.
Jane spoke of how she was especially passionate about these workshops because she fully believes in living her own life with a sense of purpose and direction. Of course we all do, but how often do we take the time with all of our everyday distractions, to really reflect on ourselves to stay on track? Jane makes a point of doing this every day.
My September resolution is to take 5 (minutes), once in the morning and once in the evening, to sit in silence with nothing around me but my own thoughts. This is such a small time commitment yet I suspect a challenge for any of us to execute in our busy lives.
I’m really looking forward to getting reacquainted with myself again and making my purpose and passions more of a priority! Will you join me?