I love embracing the act of reflection this time of year. In witnessing the leaves changing into vibrant hues of red, orange and yellow, I am reminded that we all have fleeting moments of beauty, when we shine brightest, feel our best, most confident selves. Usually this is when our truest colors are on display, when we are tucked safely into the knowledge that who we are right then is just right. Again, these moments are fleeting, one minute we take a deep breathe and anything feels possible. We don’t know how long that moment will lasts whether it be just a moment, an hour, a day, a week or maybe even a whole new chapter, undefined by time. What we do know is, this is the good stuff. These are the moments to pay attention to, when everything feels aligned, possibly in one particular area of life or more widely reaching. Stay present. Noticing all of the seemingly minute things happening within us may seem just that, “small”, but in actuality, this is when we are our most powerful beings. You learn to recognize these moments and must capitalize on them. Envision yourself with a pen and an endless sheet of paper to sketch and design your dreams on. Grab these incredible and sometimes rare opportunities to reflect, align with your deepest desires and take action.
People often assume that lasting changes require big steps. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The idea alone that we “can’t” achieve something, is a story we create and perfect over time. One that becomes our reality, if we’re not careful. Instead, try taking incremental steps towards something you love.
- Brainstorm Ideas. Maybe it is a stream of consciousness you jot down in a notebook. An idea that pops into your head, before doubts and “what ifs” enter stage right. Keep these initial thoughts genuine, unhindered by the questions of how you’ll get there, just be in these ideas and let them flow.
- Research. You get an idea, test it! Who else is thinking these same or similar ideas? Perhaps there is web content that can continue to spur your creative process. Seek out connections, whether in your existing network or completely new, that could provide potential inroads to your new ideas.
- Share. Identify your audience. Do you have a business idea? LinkedIn may be a great resource to connect with likeminded people, creating an avenue for sharing ideas and or mentorship. Is your idea one of health/wellness? Parenting? A hobby? Social media outlets like Instagram and Tiktok are chock full of inspiration. Making connections will help spur these ideas into action and create potential partnerships for motivation and support.
- Consistency. You’ve taken an Aha moment or a particular experience of clarity and now need to create a habit. Think about and create space for your new ideas on the daily. We won’t always have days that feel inspiring, that is for sure, but even 5-10 minute of carved-out focus can keep a new goal or way of thinking alive, even when our days are chock-full of other responsibilities.
- Gratitude. We’ve all heard by now that having a gratitude practice can fine-tune anyone’s day from worse to better. It is way too easy to slide down hill on days the sun isn’t shining, we’re lacking energy or desire or just plain don’t feel like “it”. These are times we need to dig deep down and focus on what is good. There is always good. I’ve woken up on days where my job feels cumbersome and working out is the furthest thing from “fun”, but if I list out 3 to 5 things I AM grateful for, the mundane becomes a little easier to face and most often, the day turns out better than it started.
- Reflect. Everything comes full circle. I started out this article in appreciation of the moments we encounter when everything around us seems crisp and fresh and possible. For me, this feeling is especially palpable in autumn, for an intensified appreciation of the outdoors. I’ve never been a cold weather person, despite growing up in the Northeast US. However, the change of seasons remains magical to me. One day the trees are lush with bright colors and within a few short weeks, those beautiful leaves become a blanket covering the ground, preparing us for winter with trees bare and ready for a rebirth come springtime. Each night, whether it be through meditation practice or journaling or even settling down in your head before bed, take a few moments to reflect on the day. What did you do well? What made you grow? What will you hope for tomorrow to bring?
I’ve done a great deal of life work lately and I feel an amazing “lift” in all the areas of my life – health and wellness, selfcare, personal relationships and vocation. What I’ve learned is, to be graceful and patient with yourself and others. I spend more time observing and less time reacting. I feel more at peace, trusting my current reality is absolutely where I’m meant to be and in the knowledge that I have the power to drive my experiences, to steer my life. What a freedom it is to not look externally for contentment or for answers, things that can truly only come from me. What will you do with your next moment of reflection, your next chapter? Be open, be daring, be present and believe in possibilities.