© 2009 Lynsey

077 – Reflective practice

People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering. — St Augustine

I was not exactly a great diary writer as a kid. I did write intensively when I was keeping myself safe during a particularly bad patch when I was in my early twenties. I didn’t know I was keeping myself safe at the time, I was too busy keeping myself safe. I’ve written pretty regularly in one form or other over the last 30 years. I’m interested in reflective practice – the gentle art of talking to oneself about oneself, usually in the context of work, study, or some other developmental process.

Many days leave me feeling frazzled, so I make a few notes – a few reflections – here and there, in an effort to find meaning, or at least patterns, in the chaos. In some cases the reflection is fuzzy, however I find it’s worth the effort. I like to think of it as mapping out my journey – and as with all journeys it is difficult to map forwards any real distance, but it is possible to map where I’ve been, and to take soundings about the depth I’m operating in right now. Even a fuzzy map is better than no map. Over time I’m able to go back and see the bad things weren’t unmanageable and that sometimes I could finesse the good things into even better things. There’s sure no point in dwelling on the regrets side of the ledger – I can’t get the time back – so I need to work productively on the next step. And that’s when things become sharper – in better focus. I take a sounding – where am I right now? What am I feeling, and how can I move forwards in a solution-driven way?

In part, the Fresh New Day process is about reflective practice – we’re making the daily image, and then responding to the image in writing. It’s taking a sounding – where are we – as individuals and we – together? Are we on the path we want to be on? In part the process is also a workout for our mental muscles – at the same time as we are considering the content there is an exercise in left brain/right brain processing; plus of course, we are influenced by our awareness of you, our audience.

Hello, by the way, lovely to see you here. What are you reflecting on?

Manifesto
03. Every day is an opportunity to reflect on the past.
13. Every day be better than you were the day before.
48. Every day there are things you can’t change. You can change the way you think about them and deal with them.

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