Reflection For RE/SHAPE

How often do we all take the time for reflection? I think the older we get the more this becomes relevant and a natural process in all aspects of our life, if we let it. 

Often times we must look back to go forward and learn from ourselves just as much as we may learn from others. But do we make this time a priority as we should? Not only is reflection important for life’s major decisions but also with our day to day. At the end of a calendar year, do you reflect? Do you think about what you spent your time doing the year prior? Do you promise yourself that you are going to reshape a few things for the next year… but then find yourself in the same pattern? 

I really believe that reflection needs to become a present and intentional part of our lives so you are in touch with yourself and stop long enough to recognize where you are in the world that you have built around you and if everything around you gives you life.  

Reshape is an on-going process in life and reshape cannot happen without reflection. 

Steps for reflection: 

Reflection is the process of exploring and examining ourselves, our perspectives, attributes, experiences and actions / interactions. It helps us gain insight into ourselves and helps us evaluate how to move forward. 

Reflection is often done by writing, possibly because this allows us to feel our reflections and develop them more thoughtfully. If your reflection does not encourage a dialogue with yourself, in whatever format you choose, that includes reasoning and judgment about your personal knowledge or actions, it is not likely that your reflection will lead to in-depth learning, growth of modification. 

The 5Rs of the reflection (Bain in 2002) is an ideal framework to set yourself up for a positive and expected outcome.  

The five elements of this framework are Reporting, Responding, Reasoning, Relating and Reconstructing. … when used effectively, reflection can facilitate significant personal and/or professional growth.

When we use the word ‘reflection’ we usually want to describe a process of thought that is active and careful. It is an activity in which people ‘recapture experience’ and evaluate it. It involves three aspects:

  • Returning to an experience – recalling or detailing a particular moment or event(s).
  • Connecting with feelings – this has two aspects: using helpful feelings and removing or containing obstructive ones.
  • Evaluating experience – this involves re-examining experience in the light of one’s new aims, knowledge and perspective. It also entails integrating this new knowledge into one’s conceptual framework for moving forward. Remember time and distance can change things. Just because you may have reflected at the time, doesn’t mean you may not need to go back and process at a different time in life when you have a new perspective and lens to process through. 

There are two types of reflection:

  • Reflection on action: This type of reflection is at a distance from the actual events that required reflection.  This type of reflection involves descriptions, analysis and evaluation of occurred events, decisions made etc. Therefore reflection on action gives the reflective individual an opportunity to get wiser, settle the emotions, and make movement forward.
  • Reflection in action: This type of reflection is tied to the context in which an event occurs. The reflection is often very tangible and in the moment for particular decision making. 

It is my hope that you will be intentional about your personal time of refection in every area of your life. I love using a journal as your thoughts and feelings are put to paper with you as the author, what could be more authentic? You can re-read a week later or years later and can pull up your exact emotion to then evaluate it through your eyes and feelings of today – not where you were when going through it. 

These practices in life are so important for you to live a life that you love. By reflecting and  focus on reshaping the areas of your life connected to your heart, soul, mind and health, you will create the best version of your self and the world around you. 

Related: Your Thoughts are Your Reality

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