A time for reflection
This is my first piece of writing this year, and it was a very deliberate break for me over the Christmas/New Year holiday as I diligently prioritised my own needs after two HUGE years supporting other people with their mental and emotional health through the messiness of the pandemic. (There will be no more COVID references in this week’s blog.)
Full disclosure: I have really struggled during the last two years to ‘justify’ downtime for myself because there has been so much we couldn’t do (“what’s the point if we can’t go anywhere or do anything”), and the one thing I could do that in some way felt productive was to work. (Don’t worry, I fully appreciate my flawed thinking here, and it’s something that I have been working through with my own therapist!). Anyway, a rest was very overdue and I really appreciated how separated I felt from the misplaced sense of needing to work.
The one thing I had on my ‘do-list’ for the holidays that resolutely refused to ignore was my annual reflective practice that I have been doing for I think seven years now. I am absolutely against the ‘new year, new you’ bollox. I detest the idea of new year’s resolutions. I find them shallow and something that only really serves to set people up for failure. What I am a huge proponent of however, is the time and space to retrospectively review and reflect on what the last 12 months has taught me, how I have grown as a human on this crazy earth, and what habits I have inadvertently picked up that I’d like to put back down (Biscoff biscuits for example). I work through a reflective practice, a values review and a considered intention setting for the upcoming 12 months.
I thought I would share my practice with you here because I have found it such a profoundly beneficial experience that you might like to pick and choose elements of it that work for you. It’s a practice that I have refined over the last seven years and it started the summer that I spent many weeks recovering from bilateral hip surgeries where I would normally have been out in the ocean competing in the summer open water swim series. Back then, I was a competitive swimmer in my spare time and my summer months were spent travelling to various beaches on the east and west of Melbourne to swim my heart out in the Great Victorian Swim Series and I found it super challenging to be out for the season laid-up in recovery mode, so I turned my head to crafting this reflective practice (and spending a fortune online shopping at Kikki-K)!
Over the last seven years the refining process has resulted in a practice that went something like this:
- Review of my core values (see previous blogs HERE and HERE)
- Selection of my ‘word’ for 2022
- Unravel your Year Workbook (click HERE for link)
- Annual intention setting for 2022
When we set aside time to reflect on our own experiences, we allow ourselves the space to grow. If we want to be and feel different, we need to do different, but in my experience, this needs to be something we do in a considered manner – it is rarely successful when we leave it to chance.
If you have decided that 2022 is the year that you start therapy, or if you’d like someone to help you reflect and support you with your intentions, we have a team of therapists at Thea Baker Wellbeing and we have IMMEDIATE availability – please reach out to us at: email@example.com / 03 9077 8194.