From another long walk, recently. This one marveling a bit at Provo Canyon, and looking up to clouds mirroring snow-dusted Wasatch Mountains.
For me, one of my reflective practices is writing. There’s this blog, Monday through Thursday. That’s anywhere from 15-60 minutes of connecting belly to brain to fingers on keyboard. But there is also personal journaling, 4-5 times a week, in the morning shortly after waking. That’s anywhere from 5-20 minutes, most often in pre-dawn. And then there is also my dream journal. That one is hand-written, 5-15 minutes. I’m loyal to writing, even the tiniest and most weird dreams. Whenever they come.
For me, another of my reflective practices is breath. It’s also morning practice for me. This one is 7 times a week, again in the early morning, pre-dawn. As little as five minutes. As much as twenty minutes. It’s just slow breath. Stillness. It’s feeling, but with not effort. Nothing needs to happen in breathing practice to me. I don’t punish myself for accomplishment or lack of accomplishment. It is completely about the being and bringing my body online in a different way.
In the last several years, it has become apparent to me that reflective practice is a must. Those that coach me have encouraged continued practice. I do likewise with those that I coach and those that ask me to accompany or witness them on journey. It’s a “start here” kind of step. It’s a “continue here” kind of step. It a “make this part of your day” kind of encouragement. It’s a “don’t save this until the end when everything else is done” kind of recommendation.
The more the complexity of circumstance, the more the importance of reflective practice. I think of it is work of wholeness. It is work of integration. It is work of healing. It is work of sustaining ourselves, particularly as collective tensions, demands, and interconnectedness grows. It matters that we practice connection and develop muscles of going together. It also matters that we practice an inner still point.
Nothing new in this. Just like there is nothing particularly new about looking up to the Wasatch Mountains from Canyon Glen Park in Provo Canyon. Yet still inspiring. And I find, needed. And I find, kind. And I find, important as people seeking to contribute in these times.