By Doris Deits
In my study of Metaphysics much time is devoted to understanding cycles. Cycles rule everything. The hours in a day, the seasons, food, work, sleep, sports, activities, holidays – you name it. Cycles determine what, how and when we do things.
The fall and winter months are typically a time of reflection. It’s a natural time for slowing down in nature which also influences our physical bodies and psyches. As our physical activities of summer and early fall wind down, we have more time for our thought life. A time for rest and reflection.
It’s important for everyone to take time to go inward and reflect back on the previous year at things or events that molded or influenced us or an aspect of ourselves into something new or different. For we are ever changing, adjusting and adapting. Who we are now is not the person we were a few years ago.
As we live our lives and witness how we are changed by it, we begin to understand who we really are. Self-realization is all about understanding the wisdom of our experiences. This is the spiritual metaphor of spinning yarn into gold. We extract the wisdom (gold) out of common daily life (yarn).
There is danger in not looking back and extracting the wisdom of our life experiences. It can lock our psyche (belief system) into a stagnant version of who we think we are without realizing who we’ve become. We can feel disconnected and a stranger to ourselves.
Sometimes we can get locked into believing we are not enough if we don’t look back and acknowledge what we’ve accomplished. When we believe in ourselves, we become powerful and confident.
Self-reflection is important for character building as well. If we want to add or beef up a particular characteristic like Kindness or Patience, it must be a conscious decision. Once a decision is made, we use our creative minds to come up with fun or interesting ways to express it.
A year from now we can look back and see proof that effort was made. Effort is the goal, not results. We become more Kind because we made the effort, not because someone came up to us and told us how Kind we are.
Self-reflection can be expanded to our surroundings and environment. It’s important to see how the world around us is changing and growing, too. Looking back at the social and political landscape we can see evidence of progressive forward movement.
The recent legislative attempts to ban Gay marriage in several states was struck down in Federal Court. Looking back, we can see the long, emotional struggle on this issue. But this year, within a relatively short time, the issue is resolved.
The women’s abuse issue was suddenly highlighted in the unlikely arena of NFL football. Looking back, we can see that male athletes and celebrities hitting their wives and girlfriends is nothing new. But suddenly, this year we can’t seem to stomach the behavior anymore and there was an uproar.
The extremists in the political parties seem to be losing potency. Many candidates are moving into a more balanced perspective. Only time will tell if this trend has indeed taken root, but there are signs.
In America we live under the pressure of a go-go-go, busy, busy, busy lifestyle. This is stressful and unnatural to the rhythms and cycles of the body. Perhaps the first step towards self-reflection is just giving ourselves permission to do nothing. To sit in silence with no distractions and just look back at our life.
So, as we move into the winter months, take time for some hot cocoa and quiet reflection, and spin your yarn into gold.