Mindfulness helps you go home to the present. And every time you go there and recognize a condition of happiness that you have, happiness comes. Thich Nhat Hanh
by Bridget Brewster
Reflection. Introspection. Meditation. Just the sound of these words used to make me wince a little bit. Way too ethereal for me.
Then I changed.
It was a gradual shift from guilt about not feeling in touch with myself to wanting to know who I had become. When I started thinking about mindfulness instead of meditation, something clicked inside. Aha. Be mindful. Think about who I am and how I’m connected to the universe. Okay, that was way too huge a leap for me.
At some point, after reading You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay, I realized that it’s like looking in a mirror and seeing myself. Reflection. I began to actually look into my own eyes in a mirror and take an assessment of what I was seeing. It was a very simple way to begin. I would ask myself if I saw joy reflected? I figured that whatever I saw in my reflection is the same thing that others see.
Somewhere early on my journey to introspection, I found the quote from Thich Nhat Hanh. I started to make it a practice to be mindful of my thoughts. Indeed, I discovered that I reflect what I think. Hmmm. If I think joy. I reflect joy. If I reflect joy, others will feel joy. If I think peace . . . you get the idea.
Making time to be mindful has changed my life. I have discovered who I am…and I like who I have become. This is no small accomplishment, as anyone who has taken the journey to self-discovery will attest. I encourage you, if you haven’t already, to begin being aware of who you are and who you reflect to others. I will say, being with others on a similar path has helped me immensely. Gathering for group retreats not only inspires me, but gives affirmation to my personal work. Self-guided and other-guided approaches broaden my scope of reflection beyond self to see my place in creation. Finally, I can get to the universe idea.
Aside from the miracle of this practice of reflection, I also found value in the simplicity of mindfulness as a way of human being. I don’t have to go away, but I can. I don’t have to stay in place, but I can. In short, I have learned to take moments throughout the day to reflect. No book, no gadgets, no video required.
What is required? Will. Desire. Commitment.
Photo by LK Photography +