In order to be healthy, productive members of society, we need horizon-time. Time to stare at the horizon, and feel a sense of the big picture. Horizon-time can occur naturally when we are at the beach, but it is also a state of mind. It occurs naturally when we’re walking on the coasts of our life, and although we generate a lot of solutions in our quiet time, it isn’t typically from our home-away-from-homes that we do the practical work of changing the world. So integrating a broad point of view directly into our busy lives can do wonders for our mental health, and productivity.
I hope this article will provide you some friendship around making the most of your horizon-time. After becoming a mother, and transitioning in my career, I have had ample time to reflect. I’m not just talking about journaling, or checking my appearance in the mirror. Yes, this. But, more. I’ve been playing the deep tracks.
I’ve been looking to Mother Nature as a mirror to reflect life upon,
and writing a book of poetry, and poetic thoughts, about my discoveries. I have recently finished the book, and I am looking forward to the process of moving these poems from my heart and hands to yours.
I’ve learned that reflecting doesn’t take much — besides time, intent, and focus. You can leave all of your judgments and criticisms out of it. The good. The bad. Whatever. Who cares. I’m suggesting looking as a practice of love.
No negative feedback required.
Just look // see // breathe // be // feel // accept // reflect
Stand in front of your mirror, look yourself in the eyes, and you are reflecting. See what you see. Breathe. Be. Feel your aliveness. Accept your beauty and your blemishes. There is no need to say anything. Judging and criticizing are not welcome in this exercise. Perhaps consider saying, “I love you” as you stand and reflect. You can then take this exercise one step further by sitting and writing about your experience.
I used to think of reflecting as something we do to our past — (hindsight is 20/20). But doesn’t the act of looking, like in a mirror, take place in the present moment? The art of reflection allows us to see where we came from, who we are, and where we are going — simultaneously.
When we look beyond appearances there is a distinguished difference between liking and appreciating. Liking is important, but it’s also, by nature, shallow. For example: It’s hard to double-click a heart onto my fine lines. Enter — appreciation. I reflect to deeply appreciate all that I’ve seen, the gold flakes in my eyes, and the vision I have for this world.
In this time of reflection I have become clear that I am here to support and empower people as leaders in their own health and well-being. In alignment with my purpose, I am stepping into a new role: I was recently hired as The Director of Mindfulness & Movement for The Well.
It feels good to have clarity on one’s life purpose. When those words came to me, “I am here to support and empower people as leaders in their own health and well-being” I felt enlivened. Clarity can come from the energized feeling that accompanies being aligned, or from the depleting feeling of being off-course. Another great way to integrate reflection into your life is to write down the moments that energize you, as well as those that deplete you. What people bring you to life? What places? What activities? Take note! Just being more aware of what energizes you may begin to gently guide your life choices.
Reflection can turn all of the experiences we’ve lived through into a story, and when our life has plot, it has direction. We can’t have resolution without conflict. We can’t have clarity without reflection. In a state of reflection we can move beyond our personal, individualized, egoic confusion. We can turn our despair into a prayer for others who are suffering.