Sunday, 8 February 2009

On Reflection

Definitions of reflection on the Web:
  • contemplation: a calm, lengthy, intent consideration
  • the phenomenon of a propagating wave (light or sound) being thrown back from a surface
  • expression: expression without words; "tears are an expression of grief"; "the pulse is a reflection of the heart's condition"
  • mirror image: a likeness in which left and right are reversed
  • the image of something as reflected by a mirror (or other reflective material); "he studied his  reflection in the mirror"
  • (mathematics) a transformation in which the direction of one axis is reversed
  • the ability to reflect beams or rays

I am going to talk about reflection, in terms of the time you spend giving things your intent consideration. To narrow it down even more, I’ll concentrate on reflecting on your creativity. I am, as you may have guessed, convinced that creativity is essential to everyone’s life in one form or another. But today I want to focus on those who are creative for most of the time and who may even make a living from it.

It is important to be reflective throughout your life. It’s probably a subconscious practice many of you already do, but there’s something about bringing it into focus that makes it even more valuable. It makes you really SEE where you’ve been and what you’ve learnt so you can move forward in a way you want to control. I hear many creative people who say they’re stuck, blocked, at a crossroads, or even lacking in confidence. These things can all be kicked back into motion in a direction that suits you. I’m going to suggest one way in this article. Alongside the mental exercise you will need some physical exercise to pump the circulation of not just your blood but your thoughts and ideas. This is really effectively done by just walking. It works wonders!

So onto the mental exercise. I’m going to set out some questions below which are best answered on paper so you can see where you’ve been. One-liners are all that’s required, but reams are just as welcome – whatever suits you. This exercise is for you alone.

I invite you to ask yourself some honest questions:

What do you enjoy in your creative pursuits?

What don’t you enjoy?

What would you like to do differently?

What skills have you learnt?

What have you learnt about yourself?

How have your creative pursuits had an effect on your life areas?:
  • Home
  • Family
  • Work
  • Career
  • Leisure
  • Health

How has it affected your Self?:
  • Mental
  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Spiritual

If you identified things you would like to do differently, now knowing which parts of your lifestyle and Self are affected negatively, how could you do it?

If you identified things that were positive, could you improve them?

How do you feel now that you have completed this exercise?

Would you do it again?

If you came out of this exercise feeling that you would want to do it again then consider making this a regular practice. Reflecting openly about your creativity, work, life and leisure can keep you on track and help to change anything that is stale or not working for you. I would think that a monthly, 2 monthly or even 6 monthly reflective sessions would be effective. Keeping up with walking and journaling in between would see you on a very healthy regime.

I hope you found this useful. I know that I can’t live without these formal processes as they keep me focussed and truly happy with my life.
Warm Leaves of the Earth © Deborah Eileen Burrow 2009
available at