Self-reflection is one of those practices I take seriously, albeit I often times forget and it gets swept under the rug amidst scheduling, deadlines, and emails. It’s hard to get to it all – let alone yourself. However, we also understand that time to self reflect is not only important but also imperative.
I get lost in it too: the Instagram scrolling, the social commitments, my favorite new TV show, my work ambitions.
Or there is the flip side: I am just plain lazy and neglecting my spiritual self. Perhaps I am emotionally clogged and distracted with something else. Perhaps I just don’t want to “go there.”
Whatever it is that isn’t getting me to a place of quiet, self-reflection, it is merely an excuse – something that can come as fast as it can go and something that I have complete control over.
So, let’s begin. Take a few deep breaths (it always starts there) and recognize that to self-reflect is to self-connect.
Here are all the ways I turn inward to ground, process, and repair.
Disclaimer: I am terrible at meditation. I can’t figure it out. I can’t sit through it. It is tedious and uncomfortable. So, my form of meditation is just lying down flat on my back (in shavasana) with lavender oil rubbed on my upper lip and nostrils and breathing in through my nose and out through my nose. I usually do this before going to bed (or I suppose going to bed since I usually just slip into sleep) to ground my mind and rid it of anxieties as to not puncture my rest. This lasts at the most five minutes before I turn over and allow slumber to take over.
So, that is my form of meditation: breathing for a couple of minutes. I suppose they say there is no wrong way of meditating but I am still convinced I do not do it the conventional way.
Perks of meditation? Scientific studies show that it can help you sleep, help reduce stress and pain, and makes you happier overall.
Ah, my favorite. This one I have been doing since I was a little girl. There is something so releasing about just writing down stream of consciousness everything you are feeling without judgement, reservation, or hesitation. It is pure and it gets those inner most feelings or fears or insecurities and it purges them from you onto the paper.
Sometimes, in times of more need, I like to write the Serenity Prayer over and over and over – almost as if I am chanting a mantra, except instead of saying it, I am writing it.
The Serenity Prayer: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
If I am not rewriting a mantra or free-writing, I am writing down a list of things I am grateful for or I am writing a poem or short story. Journaling encompasses so many mediums. Find the one that works for you and let the pen do the work.
Perks of journaling? Scientific evidence shows that journaling can help you get to know yourself better, reduce stress, and allow your mind to work out and process your thoughts.
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Emotion and motion are largely connected. When in yoga, I am focusing on my body in such a way that is slow, deliberate, strong, and cleansing. This type of movement allows me to go into a natural meditative state where all I am doing on my mat is working for and with myself. Ironic for self-reflection, it takes you out of your mind and into your body. This shift can be key for returning to yourself. An hour of yoga additionally allows you the space to self love. Disconnected from technology, at the mercy of your teacher to guide you, there is nothing more than the movements and your breathe.
Perks of yoga? Yoga can transform people in so many ways: stress relief, increased energy, a sense of inner peace, better physical flexibility, and body detoxifying.
DINNER DATE BY YOURSELF
I went on a dinner date by myself, which I recounted the perks of here, which was so wildly beneficial. I got really dressed up (only for myself!), did my hair and make up, made a reservation for one – the whole shebang. It was such a grounding and calming night. I felt a sense of self-love because after all, I was truly treating just myself, spending time with only me, and showing myself the respect and special treatment I would my fiancé on a date. The entire experience made me want to turn this into a monthly routine.
Going on a date by yourself allows you to stop your schedule and say, “My turn. I am important. Let’s go spoil me.”
Perks of being alone? You get to know yourself on a better level, refresh without all of the social stimulus or distractions of other people, your creativity shines through since it is just you making the decisions, and you get to practice self-love.
For me, it’s the ocean. Walking down to the shore and watching the waves break in silence is one of the most powerful and grounding practices. Additionally, I love being on my father’s boat and watching the endless ocean in the horizon and the dolphins play with the bow. The ocean is vast and majestic and sublime – like most of nature. It makes me feel small in the best type of way. It allows me to ground to reality and the world around me instead of nit-picking or magnifying the real estate in my brain.
Taking off your shoes and grounding with the sand is even better. Sometimes we forget what we are a part of. In the face of nature’s expansion, we immediately remember and feel humbled, recharged, and connected.
Perks of being in nature? It is scientifically shown that looking at nature causes feelings of happiness and balance while simultaneously causing depression to significantly drop.
Time to recharge, reflect, and reground darlings.
Blue Cardigan from Pink Lagoon. Visit Pink Lagoon here.