Reflection. A word to sum up this year. A year of hopes and plans that would ultimately be disrupted. A year of canceled gatherings, traditions, and travel itineraries. This year forced us to take a pause from the external world and turn our focus inward to explore what we might not have normally invited ourselves to do during the normal hustle and bustle of daily life. 2020 has been a better year than any to reflect on ourselves, our needs, our values, our actions, and our relationships while also processing the state of our communities, our country, and the world.
Self-reflection is a practice that we all deserved more of this year. It’s often difficult to process our own internal experiences (i.e., our thoughts and emotions) when we can easily get distracted by never-ending to-do lists and deadlines. Thus, this break in the mundane doesn’t have to mean that we stop living and evolving “until things finally go back to normal.” To quote the American poet Robert Frost, “in three words, I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” These words still ring true today. Plans may be on hold but life will go on. However, external restrictions don’t have to deter internal growth. We have an opportunity to work on ourselves while we are still limited to social distancing from the comfort of our own homes.
Reflect on experiences. Live in the present. Understand old patterns. Re-prioritize what’s important. Adjust expectations. Practice gratitude. Roll with change. Make meaning from the mess. Find your own peace.
Allowing ourselves to continue to grow as people is how we can make use of this wild, unprecedented year. I invite you to take a moment to reflect on this year and give yourself what you need. If you’re stuck on where to start, begin with the basics: live presently, tune into what your mind and body need, and align your actions with your values.