“If we would only give, just once, the same amount of reflection to what we want to get out of life that we give to the question of what to do with a two week’s vacation, we would be startled at our false standards and the aimless procession of our busy days.” ~Dorothy Canfield Fisher
The day began with sunshine and a brilliant blue sky. Being an optimist, I did not think to grab my umbrella or raincoat on my way out the door even though there was a slight chance of rain predicted. About ten minutes into my drive to a client’s office, the sky turned dark and the rain poured down. I was late to the client due to traffic.
When I got to his office, his assistant said he was out ill and apologized for sending me an email, (which I didn’t check that morning), and not texting or calling me instead. Having no umbrella or raincoat, I ended up being wet from head to toe with the addition of having my feet thoroughly soaked from the one singular puddle I did not see.
On the drive back to my office, the highway was stop and go, mostly stop, and it was pouring rain making it difficult to see. It seemed that all the radio newscasters talked about were the dismal national affairs that matched the dismal weather. The morning was a disaster.
“Stop the World! I want to get off!” I screamed into the empty space in my car on the way back to my office. I pounded the steering wheel with my fist.
Just as suddenly as I screamed those words, the sky opened up, as did the freeway. The most amazing rainbow was beginning to appear ahead. I took a deep breath, realizing if I were not at this exact place at this exact time, I would never have seen it. Following this rainbow, I made my way back easily and effortlessly.
Later that night, reflecting on the day, I remembered that rainbow and smiled. I was grateful I saw it. Seeing that rainbow was the most important event for me all day.
It reminded me how important reflection is in our lives. Especially reflection that opens us up to the gifts we have experienced and the things we have to be grateful for.
Conscious reflection helps stop those Gremlins and our Monkey Minds and negative thoughts we come up with.
I appreciate the message in Fisher’s quote. In the past, I have spent so much more time to answer the questions of what to be in action about, the doing, versus how to just be, the being. I was not able to see that perhaps this was not the best way to spend my life. Perhaps I just needed to stop and reflect instead of continuing to check off things on my to do list.
I now have a regular reflection time just before bed, or sometimes even in bed. I try to write during this time, but if that doesn’t work, at least I spend some time reflecting on my day.
I begin with the question, “What am I grateful for?” I discover at least five things I am grateful for during the day, such as, I wrote my blog. I finished a project. I have a warm, dry place to live. I have my health. I have good friends.
I then ask myself, “What was really great about my day?” I find at least one thing even if it’s only that I made it to the end of the day. Some days are like that.
The next question is, “What will I do differently tomorrow?” This is a way to take a look at what might not have worked during my day and create a solution that works for me and begins to focus on my vision for tomorrow.
I end with, “How will I be different tomorrow?” This takes a look at how I want to be with my family, friends, colleagues and those sharing this planet with me. How do I want to show up and stand out in the World? It is a conscious and intentional choice we make and to be seen as a model by others.
Make it a good choice.
“Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.” ~ Peter F. Drucker