TEMPERANCE — “Eat not to dullness; Drink not to elevation.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
Perhaps you’ve already begun to look forward to your two minutes of reflection?
PERSPECTIVE — “In the meanwhile, while they are robbing and being robbed, while they disrupt each other’s repose and make one another miserable, life remains without profit, without pleasure, without moral improvement. No one keeps death in view, everyone focuses on remote hopes. Some even make posthumous provisions—massive sepulchures, dedications of public buildings, gladiatorial shows, and pretentious obsequies. But the funerals of such people should be conducted by torch and taper light, as though they had in fact died in childhood.” ~ Seneca, On the Shortness of Life
2 minutes: Pause life. Read. Think. Resume life.
BECOME MINDFUL OF ATTACHMENTS THAT LEAD TO CLUTTER AND COMPLEXITY — “For example, if you are attached to sentimental items, you won’t be able to let go of clutter. If you are attached to living a certain way, you will not be able to let go of a lot of stuff. If you are attached to doing a lot of activities and messaging everyone, your life will be complex.” ~ Leo Babauta
Many of the prompts I’m sharing have been chosen from the generous gifts given me by others. When I’m explicitly quoting, they are attributed (as above.)
AM I AN ENERGY-GIVER OR -TAKER? — Strive to lift others up; to leave them feeling better than before the encounter. While being mindful of my own energy level, seek ways to create a zest for life in others.
Remember: 2 minutes. Pause life. Read. Think. Resume life.
For each of these prompts, grant yourself 2 minutes for self-reflection.
The prompts will be hit and miss; some will resonate with you and ring your thoughts as a beautiful bell. Some will fall flat leaving you to think I’m daft. Never you mind that.
Let’s guess that you have 37 seconds remaining of today’s 2 minutes. For today’s “Think”, please count slowly to 37. …yes, stop reading now, and count to 37.
In this, our journey of small steps, reflection means self-reflection. That requires self-focus.
When you are self-focused—I’m talking about the small time you’re using right now to read this—you are the most important person in the universe.
You focus on you. I focus on me. They focus on themselves. Each of us self-reflects.
We know that other people are not resources for our consumption. It turns out that the best way to change the world… to be happy, to serve others, to be fulfilled… is to work on improving ourselves. Then we can each best do whatever it is we’re called to do.
Our experienced universe is not zero-sum. That means that it is possible for me to improve myself without causing other’s loss. In fact, my self-improvement improves the world. My relationships with others are a part of myself. Improving myself improves my relationships, which—since those relationships are also part of others—directly improves the people with whom I am interrelated.
This is our reason and rationale for bothering to spend any time practicing reflection.
It took me many years to develop my personal habit and routines around reflection. On this blog, I’ve written a lot about the changes I’ve attempted in my journey of self-improvement, including a post in particular detailing what my morning reflection looks like. However, I’m not going into great detail of my habits and routines.
What are you thinking right now, after reading that paragraph?
(Sit with that question for a bit.)
What do you think about what I wrote?
Are you curious to know my story in more detail?
What do you think about being reflective?
Are you curious to know more about yourself?
Whatever you’re thinking, that’s perfect.
What you’re going to do—now through March 1st, is practice being reflective. You’ve done the easy part: You’ve decided to practice.
The first three posts—this one, January 2, and Sunday January 3—are going to explain how this works. In this post, I’m simply introducing you to being reflective upon being prompted.
That’s all for today.
If you are not already subscribed to my blog’s daily emails, please subscribe here:
My intention is to show you how to develop the skill of personal, self-reflection. I am excited that you are joining me for a journey of small steps!
Today is the best time to share this with your friends. Those joining later can access everything they missed, but experiencing each morning’s post is a key part of showing you how to develop your ability to reflect.
What is this?
This is a sequence of posts which will appear on my blog early each morning through March 1, 2021. (At which point my blog will go back to its usual daily routine.)
There’s no catch. Everything is free.
There’s no sales pitch at the end either. This is simply my gift to you.
Each day’s message has something to spark your reflection. You can simply read it. And you’re done.
If you are not already subscribed to my blog’s daily emails, you should subscribe here:
If you’re reading this in a forwarded email, please go to the original web page to subscribe, https://constantine.name/2020/12/31/practicing-reflection/
Starting on Saturday, January 2nd you and I will be going on a journey of small daily steps. Today’s post is a preamble for you, my cherished regular readers.
I’ve prepared 60, daily posts designed as a journey of reflection for your new year. The final one will appear on March 1st. Tomorrow (Dec 31st) and Friday (Jan 1) will be two preliminary posts that set the stage for the sequence through March 1st.
The tone of these coming posts will be familiar, so I think you will be delighted. My hope is simply that these posts help you find tranquility as we head into 2021.
As always, I’m just a Reply-button away. I’m always delighted by any thoughts, feedback or conversations these posts instigate.
A while back I reworked the front of my web site, https://constantine.name If you’ve not seen it recently, it used to be a list of recent blog posts, now it’s an overview of the various things I’m working on.
My work in the podcast space
I’ve updated my creator page on Podchaser. Podchaser is a web site that helps you follow shows or specific creators, hosts, guests, etc.. My latest appearance, (in a podcast as a guest,) is in Vivian Carrasco’s Within (U) podcast, in an episode titled, Cultivating Curiosity That Leads to Compassion.