The first quarter of the new year is coming to a close.
If you let it happen, the wisdom of all that you have become and learned will sweep with you into the next season. I like the sound of wisdom sweeping with me into the next season. However, something is lost if the holy magic doesn’t find a place to tangibly land. In other words, the wisdom needs a place to stick, and grow in you.
For me, tangible, fertile ground lives in my writing. When the magic transforms to words and the words release into the world, I can then take wisdom with me going forward as well as return to it when it escapes me.
In order to make your wisdom “sticky”, I’m offering you four steps to help you move forward. At the bottom of this post, you can click Page Two to read my First Quarter Reflection. Whether or not you have time to read my reflection, you will have all you need in these four steps to begin, or make deeper, your own reflection practice.
STEP ONE: Choose Your Landing Board
What is the sticky landing place for the holy magic that has taken place in your life? What is or where is the tangible landing board for your hard-earned wisdom?
The answer lies within your gifting.
My daughter dances. My mom gives the shirt off her back. My grandma cracks one liners (possibly to your detriment). My son looks you right in the eyes. My friend Melissa hears and holds burdens. My friend Susie encourages you into believing again.
What is your gifting? That space is likely your landing board.
Don’t spend a ton of time choosing your landing board. That’s a lifelong adventure. Pick something for today and go with it. Choose the pen like me. Grab a stone from your yard and write a word on it similar to our brother Joshua after he crossed the Jordan. Make a collage of pictures for your wall or phone wallpaper. Get a temporary tattoo. Take a reflective, memorial walk for the purpose of honoring your hard earned wisdom.
The point is that we need a space to commemorate wisdom. Without a stone of remembrance or a journal entry or visual or physical reminder, our humanity will naturally move us on to the next moment in time. If we make the good choice to reflect, the wisdom will not just sweep with us but seep into us.
STEP TWO: Understand Why Reflection is so Hard & Move Forward Anyway
Reflection is hard because it uproots the past. The past can be painful, or stressful or dumb. We don’t want to relive that again. We also get uncomfortable by the humiliation or embarrassment that may arise from reliving the emotion or fears that ran through us in months or weeks earlier. Last but not least, moving forward is so much more fun than moving backward!
Rather than hide from reflection, I look to sisters who do reflection well.
For example, my friend Steph has logged journals for decades. She goes back to the very day, one year ago, five years ago, ten years ago. She reflects on how far she has come. I aspire to her bravery.
Another friend Susie has a prayer journal that has taken her through the years. She goes back to cross off answered prayer. I love her discipline and ability to celebrate success and continue to pray through the not yet.
Therefore, don’t get stuck in your emotions when it comes to reflection. Remind yourself that skipping reflection also passes over the wisdom gained by the experience.
STEP THREE: Set Yourself up for Reflection
Reflection won’t happen without time, space and intention.
Reserve an hour of time before your world fires up. For me, that means before 8:30/9am when the work email and phone calls begin.
Or, in the alternative, look for an hour on the weekend when your home or space is quiet. Reflection rarely works when you are in a space where there are questions to answer, work to be done or people to serve.
Other than your home, you can choose a bench at the beach, a coffee shop plus ear buds or even your parked car. All of these spaces have served me well.
I highly suggest that you reflect around the close of each quarter of the year. That way, the repetitive, reflective flow will help your wisdom grow.
STEP FOUR: Begin Reflection
Even though I don’t find it easy, my heart draws me to reflection. Typically, I experience gratefulness for insight. At the same time, I have a sense of urgency that I’ll lose the holy magic if I don’t structure a way to remember it. Reflection starts with a feeling and then, with intention, moves to its landing space.
Since my life is mostly powered by paper and my phone, that’s where I start. I look at the paper I’ve accumulated (there is a lot of that). I also scroll the notes in my phone, my calendar and the pictures I have taken.
NOTE: It’s a good idea to consider how to make a paper trail of your insight so that when you aim to reflect and remember, you can follow the breadcrumbs.
As you ponder these insights, ask God what He is saying through that experience, event or impression. Wait. Think. Let the moment move past your own wisdom or understanding. Presume that God wishes to take you further than your own thoughts. Let your thoughts flow to Him and wait for His thoughts to flow to you. This exchange will lead you to godly wisdom. The kind you receive and record. The kind that only comes through quiet reflection.
You have all you need to begin reflection. The steps make sense and you are ready. I recapped them for you below.
For those of you who want to read my first quarter reflection, click Page 2 below. Love you Sisters.
Pages: 1 2
Thank you Sasha for these rich insights! I look forward to completing my own first quarter reflections for 2023. My big picture thoughts include the desire I have of my husband and me growing old in peace with the wisdom we have earned and learned intact. Peace to accept the deep pain and struggle of complicated experiences, people and situations in our lives as well as the joys and graces of God, to celebrate the utter privilege it is to walk with Jesus in community. The reflections you identify help me to highlight the steps that are happening along the way. The steps that lead me closer to my goals and those that move me off course. This is a new thing for me and I love it!
Martha, yes! Reflection helps us pinpoint the choices that lead us toward and away from our goals. It’s hard to be mindful of that without intention. I love your focus on peace. I think we all desire that! ♥️