Reflection is necessary for our development. As a mindfulness practitioner and coach, I obviously believe that the magic happens when we’re in the present moment. This includes noticing the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that are arising in real time. With that being said, it may be considered counterintuitive to spend time in a reflective state when we’re working towards being fully conscious and aware in each moment.
I believe that part of the spiritual path includes a certain level of introspection, insight, and contemplation. As we work on integrating a stronger, more mindful level of presence in our lives, we would be remised to not reflect on the journey. Part of this reflective and contemplative process can come through tapping into our mind-body, using a reflective meditation script, and of course it will come as no surprise to those of you who follow me; it can also come through journaling! Please check out three ways listed below that you can develop your own reflective practice.
MIND BODY REFLECTIONS
When we push our bodies physically, our brains produce endorphins. These endorphins allow us to step into a different headspace. If you’re looking to reap the benefits of a reflective practice, you can capitalize on the time post exercise called the “cool down” period.
Be intentional about allowing your mind to get still and be open to the possibility of greater self awareness. During this time, breathe deeply and allow yourself to notice the physical sensations throughout your body. Following this short body scan, start to bring your attention to your breathing and enter a short self inquiry meditation. This type of meditation aims to support a greater understanding of the self and help you recognize the thoughts that may be harmful or self-defeating. If we can reflect and bring greater awareness to our thought habits, we also have the power to steer them toward a more constructive space.
I recently did this practice as I wanted to dive deeper into a behavior that had manifested in a new relationship. I didn’t gain immediate insight, but the next morning I had been able to see with great clarity what emotions were being triggered in me and why I reacted to something a certain way. I had done this Mind Body exercise following a 6 mile run and I will continue to integrate this as part of my own regular self inquiry practice.
There are many different ways to practice reflective journaling. You can write about a certain feeling or emotion that seems to be reoccurring for you and start to peel back the layers to explore why it may be coming up and what you’re uncovering from the experience. You can also note an occurrence or event that you’ve recently experienced, diving into what meaning it has for you. We are “meaning makers” and often times it gives us a greater sense of purpose and insight when we start to assign meaning to the events that impact us on a deeper level. This also gives us time to digest and process what we want to learn from each situation and determine our next move.
HONOR THE DAY
At the end of your day, whether it's right before you go to bed or maybe at another time that resonates with you as part of your wind down process, take time to reflect on the lessons you learned. Research has shown that people who spend time reflecting in this capacity not only perform at a higher level, but they report to be happier as well. This can support us in minimizing stress, reducing chance for burn out, and most importantly supports us on our journey of continuous development and growth.