When you look in the mirror you see your physical self reflecting back at you and when you look into the ocean you feel your soul reflecting back to you.
When I was deeply unhappy with my life looking in the mirror was hard. I hated everything I saw. My eyes were scathing, and my mind was unforgiving. Every curve was criticised, and every fat roll rebuked. My physical reflection was like an ugly scar. I did not want to see it or accept it.
The truth is, in not being able to acknowledge my physical reflection made it difficult for me to do any kind of soul reflection; to stop for a moment and ask, “How can I love myself more?”
Pausing is powerful.
It gives you a reprieve from the negative noise of your thoughts. It gives you that brief second between the in-breath and out-breath to be in the present moment and to be you. It gives you peace.
And in that peace, you feel a sense of safety; to be vulnerable, open, and honest with yourself; a space to reflect and in the process re-connect with that that makes you smile or start humming or dance a little as you walk.
Why mid-year reflection is important?
We all too often wait until the end to reflect: the end of a year, end of a relationship or end of a business venture.
By the end, so much time has passed and so much stuff has happened in-between that if we had but paused and re-evaluated mid-way through, we may have taken another turn, made a better decision or chosen a different path.
In business we find a mid-year audit review totally normal. We understand the need to assess targets and goals and re-adjust if necessary.
In our personal life, not so much.
Even if you have no targets or goals, a mid-year reflection is an opportunity to look back at the past six months and ask yourself if you are happy, and if you are in love with yourself and your life?
Sometimes our reflections scare us and sometimes they inspire us. Granted it is not always easy to hold ourselves accountable and do a review on our personal lives, but it is necessary for growth and direction.
How to self-reflect
Create a comfortable, quiet, safe space for yourself. Light a scented candle, wrap yourself in your favourite blanket, pour some tea, grab a pen and book, and settle in. This is your “being at the ocean moment.”
Acknowledge the wins.
If you look back at the last six months, you’ll probably surprise yourself with all that you’ve accomplished. Give yourself a pat on the back for all the small wins. If you felt depressed and you managed to get out of bed, shower and dressed, that’s a win. We’re not looking for grand gestures, we’re focussing on all the wins, big and small.
Ask the following questions
If you did set some goals, re-connect with them, and ask yourself why you set them?
Are you happy with your life at the moment?
Is there anything you wish you could have done differently over the last six months?
What can you do to go from where you are to where you want to be?
Who have you become in the last six months? Do your goals reflect this becoming?
What is your vision for yourself and your life at the end of the year?
Plan of action
Once you’ve answered the questions above, you’ll be in a better position to write down your next action steps. When doing this always have your WHY in mind. This will give you motivation to do it. Plan and schedule your tasks and action steps. Block out time in your day and become unavailable so you can focus and get it done. If you are one of those people who say they never have time, wake up one hour earlier to get it done.
Just start doing it. Create some momentum and take it from there.
I feel like I’m the happiest and most fulfilled I’ve ever been in my life. It didn’t happen overnight nor was it easy to get there. I had to do some serious self-reflection and I still do. It’s on-going like the ocean. There are tides and there is a rhythm and there is always change.
Life is so unpredictable at the moment and things are changing so fast that a pause, even for a brief self-reflective moment could be the most precious and powerful gift you give yourself.
Lisa Marie Lawler is a writer, health and wellness advocate, content creator and traveller.