One of the most powerful tools for personal growth is the act of reflection. To reflect on the course of our day is a practice that can help develop gratitude. As well as a sensitivity to how the energy that surrounds us shapes our interactions with those we encounter. Keep in mind, however, the difference between reflection and dwelling. To reflect is to take note of the positive actions and perhaps negative reactions, in order to make adjustments and be open to necessary changes. To dwell and ruminate keeps you stuck in the past. Reflection is a spring board to a better and stronger sense of self if we remain open to the intuitive messages that emerge.
As we reach this time of year, the busy pace of the holidays and the change of season can take up most of our mental and emotional energy. There are many pressures on us to keep up our regular routines and carve out extra time for family, friends, and social engagements. There are also challenges that many of us face with seasonal changes that affect mood and physical health. The holidays can be especially difficult and isolating for some. And in a Covid-era holiday season, there are even greater stressors to contend with.
That is why this year it is especially important to reflect on the positive highlights of the year, as well as to give thought to the hardships that have impacted you throughout. There is much to be grateful for, and there is much to grieve and process as well. With an unprecedented loss of life, and continuing hardship that weighs on our personal health and stretches our comfort zone, we need to take steps to bolster our wellbeing from a holistic stance.
A powerful way to begin to reflect on the year, as we bring it to a close, is to think about the five aspects of our wellbeing, the spiritual, emotional, mental, physical and energetic layers of our Self. These interrelated spheres of our Self have their unique lines of connection that need to be fostered differently.
Ask yourself, how do you feel about each of these layers right now? Reflecting on each of these aspects separately, gauge how the year has shaped you by writing down specific highlights of the year that positively and negatively impacted you. Write something that speaks to each layer of your being. You can break it down by month or by season. If you journal, reread some of your entries to help you remember. Or looking through your planner, reflect on important dates that you have highlighted.
Write down one or two statements that help you reflect on what worked well for you, and what you would have liked to have done differently. Our hardships help build resilience if we can face them without judgment. We can learn more from what we don’t want to continue to be part of our life, which is sometimes easier to identify than focusing on what we do want.
An effective piece to include in your practice is to consider who has provided a source of support for each of these layers of your being. Who has provided support in each area of your life in specific moments? Be sure to thank them directly for their role. Think about the support you have provided for someone else throughout the year. That is a solid source of love and gratitude to carry into the new year and to bolster your own self-love.
As difficult as it may be, ask yourself, how have you fallen short on your commitment to yourself and to those who look to you for support. What area of your life are you leaving unfulfilled? Do you have a spiritual outlook and practice that allows you to connect with the sublime? Do you have a hobby or activity that helps energize you at your core? How do you recharge physically, mentally and emotionally? If you are unsure of how to answer these questions, then a good place to begin is to focus on one thing that you can do to bolster each of these aspects of your Self.
For example, if you do not have a hobby or practice that fills you up on an energetic level, write down one thing that you want to begin to incorporate into your daily practice. Without judgement, remind yourself that what matters is you realized that you need to make a change. Enlist a friend or family member to share that practice with so that you begin to build a community of support.
As you reflect on the past year and identify successes and areas to bolster in your life, you begin the process of setting realistic goals that will help continue to strengthen those ties that build up your spiritual, physical, mental, emotional and energetic being. With a clearer sense of what did and did not work, write down a statement or two that with kindness releases you of the burden of judgement. Identify a couple obstacles, if you can, that perhaps kept you from making other choices. What would you choose to do differently? What worked well? Give yourself credit for the positive review. And look ahead.
Finally, think about how you can help those around you, what kind of support can you offer a loved one that can bolster your emotional connection with others. Giving is a source of strength that helps us grow in various ways.
For ideas on how to begin this important process of reflection, I suggest you read through this article, 63 Thought-provoking Year-end Review Questions To Ask Yourself and choose a handful of questions to focus on. Ask yourself a number of these questions in light of the five aspects of your Self.
Ketamine Health Centers, provides alternative treatments and a holistic approach to mental health to help you address the challenges that confront you. Together we can address the mental health crisis that many face. With awareness, compassion and cutting-edge treatments we can help close the gap and begin the healing process that we all hope to achieve in the year to come. Contact us today to learn how we can help you establish robust mental health through a holistic growth perspective for 2022. Cheers to a healthy holiday season!