Note: More to Life with Faith and Lois is designed to be heard, not read. We hope you’ll listen to the audio, which includes emotion and emphasis that won’t be on this page. Our transcripts are generated with speech recognition software and may contain errors. 

 

Lois                        

Welcome to the podcast, More to Life with Faith and Lois.

Faith

I’m Faith.

Lois   

And I’m Lois.

Faith

Our podcast explores life’s many transitions that inspire and daunt us.

Lois   

Well, greetings, Faith.

Faith

Greetings to you, Lois. How’s it happening for you?

Lois   

Oh, it’s happening. I’m not sure how well where, what, why, but it’s happening right now and wow, what a joy to be with you in the middle of all these conversations that we’re having about transition in our lives. It’s just a real pleasure to do these week after week.

Faith

It’s so fun.

Lois   

And we really hope that our conversation about self care offered you a way to consider giving yourself space to respect who you are in your body and mind and soul. And if you want to share this podcast with anybody, please do or listen to it. Again, if you didn’t get a chance to listen to last week and sign up for our newsletter by going to www.moretolifewithfaithandlois.com and we will send you our podcasts in your email every Tuesday morning. We can’t believe that we only have a few weeks left in this year of 2019 and we’re really pleased to bring you Episode 103 Transition:The impact of Reflection.

Faith

Are you being reflective today?

Lois   

I will be soon.

Faith

And that’s the whole point is like bringing it in to a point to where you can consider, I think that for me represents reflection to consider what is happening, what could happen, what will happen, and where is your place in all of that.

Lois   

And it feels like a gift. It is a gift. Just saying those words. Talk about self care, right? I mean reflection is almost like the Uber. That’s how I really take care of myself is reflecting on what happened today, what happened last month and what has happened over the year. Yeah. So, so what role does reflection, self-reflection, deep reflection play in your life?

Faith

If I don’t do it, if I don’t have times of, of reflection within my day, I begin to feel edgy and I begin to. So it’s more about what is missing and what is lacking within me if I don’t do it. So for reflection is a time, like I said to consider and it’s a time for me to get quiet and to think about and to, to also feel, because it’s not just thinking if we stay in our minds only, we’re missing a key part, key element and a key part which is the heart and the heart and the mind together draws you into deep reflection.

Lois   

So I do this strange thing called cross stitch and I used to do a lot more, but I still do quite a bit of cross-stitch and, and if you ever do cross-stitch you’ll notice that the pattern has to come to life because when you start cross stitching, you might do all of the blues and then all of the lime greens and then all of the black. So nothing looks, you’re looking at it going, what is this really going to look like? And the more you do, the more the pattern starts to come together, the stitches and the color and the pattern becomes far more clear. And so that’s how reflection impacts me because a lot of times I have no idea why the things that are happening in my life are happening the way they are. But if I pause and take that time to reflect on a daily basis, on a monthly basis, and looking back over the year, I suddenly, not suddenly, but I begin to see the sense of order or chaos that has developed by my choices, my actions, my words. And it then starts to be much more understandable as to what’s going on in my life. So I see it as something starts to weave together when I decide to reflect.

Faith

That’s so good. That’s really, that’s a good analogy. And, and it’s just one of the many ways that doing something like cross stiitch can draw you into deep reflection as well. And so we’re going to talk a lot today about various ways that can draw you into those places of reflection that’s unique to you.

Lois   

So if you’re wondering like what a definition would be for self reflection, it can be a process of bringing your attention to what’s happening in your life in a thoughtful and open way. And as we’re coming toward the end of this year, we thought this might be a time, maybe not this week, maybe tomorrow that you might want to pause and consider how your life has kind of unfolded this year. And there are lots of different ways to reflect.

Faith

Yes there are. There’s so many different ways and we can’t reiterate this enough. It’s based, everything we talk about is based on the uniqueness of who you are. No two people are the same. And so what one person does may not be what’s going to work for you. So keep that in mind as we’re talking about these subjects and topics that find what works for you, what awakens you, what stirs you, what motivates you. That’s where your self reflection time’s going to be.

Lois   

So some of you may journal and a lot of us really like to journal and write things down. Others want to talk to someone and you may want to take a long drive and that’s when you reflect. I may do cross-stitch, you may knit, you may paint, whatever it is. There are moments that you know you are alone in nature or even with someone that you can start this reflection process. So we want to also thank a number of resources including Catherine Beard on www.theblissfulmind.com and Jennifer Porter from the Harvard business review at www.hbr.org who really helped us as we are exploring this topic and we wanted to offer a few ideas on how deep reflection can give you more and more joy and peace and balance in your life.

Faith

That’s the outcome, right? Yes. That’s what, that’s the payoff for reflection.

Lois   

And so we want you to know that, that we’re not just throwing this out there as something to try on. There is a benefit.

Faith

So one of the first things is it allows you to make sense of things in the confusion, the chaos, the upheavals of life. If you’re facing a crisis in life, if you stay just in that crisis alone, you’re going to feel caught up in it. But if you take time to reflect on it, like what is happening, why is it here? How can I best move through this? What is going to be my response? Just taking some time to ask some good questions. You are moving into being more reflective about that chaotic moment. And you know if you’ve taken the time to journal or you’ve spoken to someone and let’s say you’re in a relationship that’s difficult and you are wondering what’s happening here.

Lois   

And if you go back and look what was going on three months ago and maybe six months ago and maybe nine months ago and 12 months ago and you say, Oh wow, every like four weeks this was happening. Have I been there? Yes, a long time ago. But having been there and being able to see that thread – and it was like, what? What is it about this that you’re not seeing lows? And guess what? Those were my responses on paper to what was happening in a relationship. And only then when I was willing to read those reflections, could I say, Oh wow, this is why it’s happening again.

Faith

Exactly. That’s insight. So reflection can take you to insight and to a deeper understanding to where you can make a better choice.

Lois   

And you can uncover breakthroughs. At the same time. You can actually write these things out as we’re talking about, and then you may come to an answer all by yourself because it’s like, well, it’s right there that’s been staring.

Faith

It’s kind of obvious, right? Those obvious moments like, yeah, that’s exactly why you want to reflect writing down things, talking to someone. I’m a verbal processor, and so if I can speak it, I oftentimes find the answer just by talking about it. It’s like, Oh, I get it now. You know? So that’s the uniqueness of who I am. And some people love to journal, some people hate to journal, but find what works for you. Artistic mediums are great too. Drawing, painting, doing clay, just spending time. Uh, for a long time I did a lot of playdough and clay and just would hold, t my hands and mold things. And that was reflective because all the energy was going in out through my fingers. But my mind was relaxing and my heart was awakening to things. I got a lot of good answers by doing that.

Lois   

Because when we’re in a chaotic situation we can often bury what it is that’s really bothering us so that we can do our work so that we can take care of our children so that we can do all sorts of things. So when you take that time to reflect, you kind of release this tightness that you’re holding and the answer is there. And when you do what you did described with your hands, it is, there is a physical way of releasing that tension or writing it down. So we are just encouraging you as we look at deep reflection for the outcomes that you might possibly get if you’re willing to step into this.

Faith

Exactly. And then another thing is to challenge your thoughts. Oh, I don’t always like to do that because I think like what I’m thinking is right.

Lois   

Right. But every now and then we have to say, okay, I keep ruminating on this thing and is that true? Yes. Is that really true? And and am I thinking about it? Is there another perspective I could look at it from? And you can do that when you’re in deep reflection. Absolutely. When a lot of other times it’s so busy. All you can say is no, what I’m thinking is correct. But when you pause, you have a moment to breathe and say, Hmm, where would I be without that thought? I mean, what if I really just moved from that thought and it’s, it’s not like a snapping your finger and everything is over, but it is considering that everything you’re possibly putting into your head might not all be completely accurate.

Faith

So true.. That’s absolute total truth. And it’s looking at other possibilities. What are the other possibilities to what is happening here besides just what I’m thinking? Cause there’s always more options than what we can imagine.

Lois   

And reflection will give you the time to then look at those options and those possibilities where sometimes you shut yourself down. Again. The life happens and we get into these cycles and so we’re encouraging and calling us all out to reflect so that maybe we can start shifting and challenging some of the stuff that’s going on in our heads. So we have some new news that we want to share from our sponsor: A Stepping Stone.

Faith

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Lois   

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Faith  

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Lois   

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Faith

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Lois   

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Faith

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Lois   

So we are back now on More to Life with Faith and Lois, Episode 103. Transition: The impact of Reflection. And one of the great things about reflection is you start to begin to see how far you’ve come.

Faith

Isn’t that nice, I’m not where I was.

Lois   

That’s the beauty of sharing with somebody or of writing it down or processing it in a way that you can collect those thoughts.

Faith

Yes. It’s so important to look at the timeline of your life and to recognize, you know what? I was struggling over here, but look, I’m not struggling there anymore or I used to behave this way and I’m not behaving that way. I used to not have peace and I have more peace now. Those are all reflective insights that help you know that your life is moving forward. You’re becoming more, and you’re feeling more centered in yourself.

Lois   

You know it’s so fun to run into somebody and you notice about them something really different and you share it and they go, Oh wow. You can see that and it’s great to express that. So by the way, do that on a regular basis whenever you notice that. But when we do that for ourselves, it’s extremely powerful as well because we’re shining the light saying, Oh wow, I am doing the work because we forget. Sometimes we get in the throes of it and even when we’re journaling or sharing with somebody, because it’s moving slowly or not the way we had initially thought it could go, we wonder if any progress is happening. But one of the things that really does take hold as we do deep reflection is we start noticing these incremental steps that are changing our outlook on life.

Faith

That’s so true. With reflection, one of the interesting things is that oftentimes they will take us unaware. They just happen driving a car, doing something rote like cooking or going gardening or shoveling snow, which is one of my favorites because when I shovel snow I go into deep reflection. Or standing and shallow water in the ocean and hearing the waves. It takes you into those places. Those are the unexpected gifts of reflection that come to you, but in addition to that, it’s important to schedule time for yourself as well to enter into reflection and to find that time of day. I always tell people, pick your best time of day. Don’t give it your worst time of day when you’re exhausted and tired. So if it’s in the morning or if it’s in the evening, whatever works for you or lunchtime, take even five, 10, 15 minutes to quiet yourself, to breathe, to maybe close your eyes and just to reflect, to be still can take you into a deeper place of understanding about what’s going on around you.

Lois   

Last week we spoke about self care and how having the discipline or the intention behind taking care of yourself is so critical. It’s the same with reflection. And I do believe this is one other area where it’s easy for those of us who think we are so busy that we can’t add this to our day. Oh, I’ll get to that at the end of the week. I’ll do like a an A through Z on Friday and then we may have missed major things that were happening along the way. So what often like to do is start really small. Do not expect to fill out three pages on your first day. Maybe you will. Maybe that’s who you are, not me, but just maybe you are, but don’t be disappointed if the first day you have like three things. Well this is what happened. That’s okay. You know? Or if you’re talking to somebody and you know, one or two things, try to build it up because then it becomes more of a natural flow where you’re capturing the events of the day. And then as you schedule this time, you have time to examine what it is that you’ve kind of written down. But do put it in some kind of order because then maybe you’ll do it. I think that’s the only way I find myself doing it when somebody actually holds me accountable so Lois, how, how was the journaling? Oh, that’s right. No, actually, no. I’m actually doing it more regularly, but that was how it was at first. I actually asked people to hold me accountable to just ask me nicely, you know? That’s wonderful. How’s it going?

Faith

That’s wonderful because it just, it helps you to recall. It’s not a guilt thing. It’s a, it’s just an accountability of for yourself. It’s not about what they think of you. It’s more about, is it how you see yourself and what you want for yourself.

Lois   

And then it starts springing from yourself. Now, I don’t need someone to ask me that, but if that’s what it takes to get you going or put a timer on or an alarm. I mean, there are so many ways now with technology, we can help ourselves. You can put it on your calendar, on your Google calendar. I mean there are things that can spark your thoughts so that you will go and write something down or speak to somebody or take time to shovel the snow and reflect.

Faith

But do the thing that’s encouraging, not the thing that’s a distraction or you get mad at. If you get mad at it, if that alarm goes off and you get mad at it, that’s the wrong thing. Find what works for you so that you will respond. You want to respond to enter into reflection.

Lois   

So we’d like to ask you how, how do you like to start? How would you like to start? Because in order to do this, if it’s not part of your regular plan, there is something that, a step that you will need to take. And sometimes that’s a little frightening because what if I find something I don’t want to find? We’re talking about you. We’re talking about you and you know who you are and you get to reflect on the things you want to reflect on. You don’t have to reflect on things you don’t want to reflect on. So this isn’t necessarily a, you know, a deep dive into how I felt when I was, I don’t know, four. It can be what you’re doing this week and starting at that level so that you can get this process and feel comfortable with just describing what’s going on in your life.

Faith

That’s so good. That’s really good. And as you continue into reflection and it takes you deeper, as you just said, there may be some things that do rise up, but if they do, that’s not a negative. Just note it and then decide what am I going to do with it?

Lois   

And there are so many great resources. I mean, you know, you can consider working with a colleague or with a therapist or a coach to help you make the time or to work through some of the things that come up. Because in reflection, as we all know, you just mentioned something could come up that really does need and want to be addressed in your life. And that’s the moment to do it. And if you don’t reflect, you may not discover that and wonder what’s itching, you know that you just can’t seem to get to.

Faith

And that’s such an annoyance.

Lois   

Annoyance, you know I love this quote from Peter Drucker who definitely knows the value of reflection and he writes, “follow effective action with quiet reflection from the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.” And when you think about that, if you’ve taken a break and taken some time to pause and taking some time to look at what it is that you’re doing in your life at this time of year toward the end and where you want to go next, it’s so helpful to pause. And the effective action can go bigger and bigger and bigger.

Faith

If you avoid taking time for deep reflection, we encourage you to consider a process that matches you best.

Lois   

Write in a journal or talk with a friend or ride a bike or walk alone or shovel or with a partner.

Faith

You get to choose how to reflect on your day or week or year. And we hope this process brings you more balance in all areas of your life.

Lois   

Please share this podcast and join us next week for Transition: the Impact of Peace.

Faith

Get the latest news on our social media platforms and on our website, and please subscribe.

Lois   

More toLife with Faith and Lois is a podcast to support, encourage and uplift you.

Faith

As you transition through all sorts of change. We want you to know there is more to life.

Lois   

We’ll be back next week.