The Importance of Reflection

"Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful."

Margaret J. Wheatley

Now that school is out for the summer, my days have slowed way down. I am no longer sustaining the frantic pace of keeping up with my full-time job and all that it entails outside of the school day (I’m looking at you grading!), teaching multiple yoga classes a week, while also managing my website and continually creating content.

When I am in the midst of the usual chaos of what is known as my schedule, I often am moving full speed ahead from one thing to the next. The last few months have felt particular draining, as all of my energy and focus has had to quickly shift from one thing on my to-do list to the next. Now by no means is this ideal for anyone’s well being, however it was exactly what my life had transformed into.

During our study with Josh Summers as part of the Yin Yoga Teacher Training I recently completed, Josh provided opportunities after each seated meditation and many of the yin yoga practices to reflect on our experiences. This practice opened my eyes to just how powerful time for reflection can be. By simply giving ourselves the space to freely write or think about our experience, it allowed us to tap into a state of consciousness that we may not have even been aware of during our meditation or yoga practice, further enabling our personal growth. Following that training, I tucked this little seed of wisdom away and quickly returned to my frantic way of being, but in no way did I stop thinking about the knowledge I obtained from the practice of reflection.

Now that I have been granted this gift of a slower pace of daily life, I have returned to that wisdom Josh had planted, and I have provided myself the opportunity to reflect on all that I have done and accomplished over the last year. But outside of simply focusing on what I have accomplished, I have also been able to reflect on how much I have personally grown through the ups and downs I’ve experienced. I have truly surprised myself in what I have been able to do. In all the times I have doubted myself, I have proven myself wrong again and again. I have stepped out of my comfort zone on so many levels, and have continually made strides in creating the life I want to lead and the person I want to be.

However, without taking the time to reflect, I would likely continue to live in a state of stagnation and darkness, unable to awaken my full potential. It is in these periods of reflection that we grow the most. Reflection allows us to learn from our mistakes, to feel surprised by our accomplishments, and to intuitively know when it is time to push ourselves out of our comfort zones in order to further illuminate our path as we make our way through life.