The Power of Reflection

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As the end of January approaches, I have to admit folks that I have been tempted to quit the things that I have resolved that I will do in 2015.  I know I am not the only one.  The gym industry makes thousands of dollars off of us with all of our good intentions which seem to fade a month or two after we figure out, “This is hard!”  I’d like to end this month by reminding us that, nothing worth having comes easy.  Keep the faith.  One tool that I’ve found incredibly helpful in staying on track is journaling.  

I mentioned journaling regarding the weightless journey to my mother and she immediately had a look of disdain upon her face.  It took me a few minutes to figure out that her impression of journaling was writing down all her food for each day.  Well, that is not quite what I mean by journaling.  What I’m speaking of is more writing about your thoughts and actions to make you aware of your feelings, thoughts and choices.  This is called reflection.  The goal of writing in a journal is to reflect on your life periodically.  For those of us that are completely out of touch with ourselves this is an amazing tool.  I want you to write about how you felt when you just had to have that ice-cream or when you were compelled to keep eating, even though you were full.  I just want you to be aware of why you are doing what you are doing.  Ask yourself in the moment…how am I feeling?  Or what feeling am I trying to avoid having?  Just write about it.  You don’t have to preoccupy your mind with how to change the feeling in the moment.  The key is to get at the root of the matter.  Once get into the habit of identifying the feeling in the moment we can then begin to think about what happens next.

Personally, I advise that this is a good time to connect with creator God in your spirit.  Now is a good time to ask for revelation as to why these feelings keep coming up.  Now is a good time to ask what is a better course of action than stuffing the feeling with food, sex, work, television or alcohol.  These things are often what is hindering us from getting to our desired outcome for whatever our resolution is anyway.  I often end my time of reflective journaling with prayer.  Sometimes you will get clarity about what you need to change during the course of journal writing but, sometimes you will need a little divine guidance.

The other nice thing about writing your reflections down is that it serves as a constant reminder of the things that had us bound.  This month, when I was tempted to give up, I was able to think back over my life and consider the alternative.  I was able to remember how miserable I felt when I was led by my gut and then, make a better choice.  I was able to remember how absolutely fed up I was with that job that was easy to get.  I hated it and therefore, I push forward with the better direction for my life.  Along with struggling with your own thoughts and feelings, there will be people in your life that love you who don’t understand your vision or your purpose.  They will give you “helpful” advise for an easier way but, they will get you off track to your destiny.  What is that thing that is sitting in your spirit that you desire to do?  I once heard Dr. Myles Munroe speak at a business conference in Atlanta.  He said, “If you hate going to work, you shouldn’t go another day.”  It is a radical thought and one that requires much faith but, today, I live by those words.  I have found that I am a much happier person because of it.

The third thing that I believe journaling is good for is to inspire you as you remember all the good things that have happened.  Look how far you’ve come!  Write about your triumphs or about the inspirational things that have happened to you.  There may be no other greater motivation than to see the universe make way for you to move down the path to your desired outcome.  As I remember how the Lord opened doors for me into the world of student services and how that led to another position and another, closer to what I want to do…it reminds me that if I stay the course, doors will continue to be opened for me.  I just have to stay the course.

Definition & Resources:

What Is Reflective Journaling? (according to teacher vision.com)

Reflective journals are notebooks or pieces of paper that students use when writing about and reflecting on their own thoughts.  The act of reflecting on thoughts, ideas, feelings, and their own learning encourages the development of metacognitive skills by helping students self-evaluate and sort what they know from what they don’t know.  The process of examining one’s own thoughts and feelings is particularly helpful for students who are learning new concepts or beginning to grapple with complex issues that go beyond right and wrong answers.

Mind Tools has an excellent website to help you get started;

http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/journaling.htm

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