Training Your Mind: How to start Reflection Practice?



I often get asked, how do I start Reflection practice? How did I make it a regular part of my life? Starting regular reflection practice and continuing it can be frustrating. Over the years, I have realized that beginning the practice as a conscious and structured process helps in making it a lifelong practice.

The Goal of Reflection Practice


The most important goal of the Reflection Practice is Self-Acceptance, understanding yourself without judgement. It is daunting to be honest with ourselves without becoming unkind to ourselves – without thinking we need to fix ourselves. This makes remembering the goal of Reflection practice important.

It is daunting to be honest with ourselves without becoming unkind to ourselves!

The Method


There are several methods of Reflection you can try to find out what works best for you. Some people like to close their eyes and sit quietly. Some people like to listen to soothing music with dimmed lights. Some people like to go on a walk or a run. Some people like to write down their thoughts. No one method is more effective than the other. You can try other methods that feel right for you. The method that works best for you may change over time. For me, in the beginning, writing down everything in a notebook worked best. Now, I mostly do my reflection while sitting quietly or on a walk.

The Routine


Over the years, I have found that to develop a long lasting Reflection practice, it helps to set a routine. Choose day(s) and a time that works for you every week. Decide how long you are going to spend on Reflection, and at the start of the practice set a timer. The goal of setting a routine is to make sure that the time of Reflection is as stress free as possible so you can focus on Reflection without worrying about the logistical details. If you miss your routine one time it’s ok, just come back for the next time. I had started and stopped Reflection practice multiple times in the early days of my journey, but I always came back because of how much it helped.

The Approach


Reflection


After years of Reflection practice, I still have to remind myself to be non-judgmental, honest, and kind with myself at the beginning of each Reflection practice. Our minds have a tendency to forget that we are human beings and we are not perfect. It helps to remind ourselves of this fact to cultivate empathy and compassion. Compassion for ourselves and others.


Every Reflection practice can be focused on what is on your mind. I recommend starting by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What is causing the most passionate reaction or emotion in your mind? 
    • Keep asking yourself if that’s the most important thing on your mind until you are satisfied that it is. 
    • It is important to keep asking this question because the obvious answers may not be the real reason. 

  • Why is that topic so important? 
    • Again keep asking yourself why is it so important until you are satisfied with the answer. 
    • It is important to keep asking this question because the obvious answers may not be the real reason. 

  • What would you like to change about that topic? 

  • Why do you want that change?
    • This is the most important question. Be honest and kind to yourself.


Don’t accept the obvious answers your mind tries to give you. Go deeper. Keep asking yourself the same questions and trust that your mind will give you the answer. Sometimes it may take weeks to find the actual answer, but it will come to you. Trust yourself, and keep asking yourself those uncomfortable questions. 

Remember the goal


Remember the goal of Reflection is to accept ourselves without judgement. Don’t try to fix yourself based on your reflections. Knowing yourself and acknowledging the real reasons for your actions brings a different awareness and clarity of thought to your future actions. 


Trust this process, trust yourself and be kind to yourself!


You can contact me privately or post a comment below if you have any questions you would like to discuss.


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