I started reflecting on 2017 back in early November. Initially it started with a hint of defiance and judgment. I use the word defiance because when I started reflecting, it did not feel much like reflecting, in fact, it felt like a questioning of why certain goals I intended to accomplish I didn’t. Having been down that sort of a thought spiral in the past I know too well what sort of a black hole it can become. (Detour coming up ;-])
..It has been only very recent that I started practicing self-compassion. Only a couple of years ago I learned (and am still learning) a better approach to reflection; I have realized these words to be very true – “The inward journey to peace and self realization begins with self compassion.” I do not remember where I heard this but it had a profound effect on me. Also, by practicing mindfulness and compassion towards others I understood how paramount it is to practice self compassion…
While I started with a very dangerous way of reflecting, very early on I caught myself being cruel to myself and therefore I was able to correct and adopt a loving and compassionate approach to my reflection. I am careful also not to mistake non-judgment with justification of actions. It is also important, for me, that I am objective when I am reflecting.
This has been a wonderful opportunity for me to dig deeper and understand myself better. I have come to understand the reasons behind my actions – some are driven by emotions and some by logic, both give me an insight into my thought process.
Today was perhaps when my reflection was at its peak as I sat on the shore of the grand Pacific Ocean and looked out at the massiveness of the ocean, the infinite horizon and our gloriously burning Sun. When I first planted my backpack and then my tushie on the sand I felt melancholy and that brought up to the surface some unpleasant feelings. After sitting there for a while and letting my emotions flow and making every attempt to connect with those emotions in an attempt to understand the reason(s) behind it I was able to feel less emotional (in a good way) and more objective. Following those moments, I was 100% in the moment and began to enjoy the scene in front of me and not be distracted by the scene being played out in my mind. It was sheer bliss as I took in the warmth and magic of the late afternoon sun while seeing surfers catch waves, dogs digging holes, humans walking or simply laying on the sand. Just by sitting there and taking it all in made me smile. I felt connected with the moment. Nothing else distracted me. Towards the end when the sun started tucking itself under the blanket of the horizon and the breeze started feeling a bit too cool for my comfort, I consciously thought about what I wanted to do for the rest of my day, I wasn’t ready to go back to the concrete walls. I drove along the coast for just long enough to witness the golden hour as the sun said its final au revoir for the day.
Now I sit in a lovely vegan restaurant savoring my dessert and penning my thoughts down on here. I feel hopeful and optimistic about 2018, I know what I can do differently and what I can do better in 2018, thanks to the lessons I’ve learned, the observations I’ve made.
I’d like to leave you with this…. for most of us it’s easy to get caught up in what went wrong thereby missing to appreciate and celebrate our victories and what went right. Hope you all take time to appreciate the victories of 2017 – events, things and all earthlings that made the achievements of this year possible. I also hope that you take the time this year to make objective, non-judgmental notes for what can be done differently in the new year.
WISH YOU ALL A FANTASTIC 2018. MAY ALL BEINGS BE HAPPY