I started a new reflection practice a few months ago after listening to an episode from one of my favorite podcasts, The Next Right Thing by Emily P. Freeman. I thought I’d share a portion of my reflections with you today.
The structure of the reflection that I adopted is to note aspects of your life that a) give you life, b) drain your energy, and c) teach you something new. While you could schedule time for reflection, I tend to be a pretty reflective person in my day-to-day thinking so I chose to just jot things down as they came to mind in my planner/journal.
I structured my thoughts under three headings and I’ll share just a few notes under each below.
- Traveling to Montana in early May cleared my mind and gave me fresh perspective
- Consolidating all of my learning from graduate school in preparation for qualifying exams made me excited about how far I’ve come in graduate school and hopeful for a career where I can apply what I’ve learned
- The act of completing my qualifying exams (i.e., writing for 4 hours straight for each of 3 days) totally took my mental energy away
- *When close friends or family didn’t reach out to acknowledge things going on in my life I found myself feeling drained
- *Need to speak up (or more clearly) when I want something from other people and not assume they can read my mind
- Stay curious about others – ask questions!
I think this structure for reflecting was a profound way to discover new things about myself. The notes marked with an asterisk are reflections I really didn’t expect to uncover through this exercise, or felt very surprised about when I considered which heading the thought I was having fit under. I will also say, not all of my personal reflections fit in one of these areas or sometimes they fit under multiple (e.g., Drain & Learn often overlapped for me), and I think that’s OK too!
I hope to continue this type of journaling over the next three months to document and possibly share additional discoveries. Do you engage in reflection or journaling? What works for you?