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A Brief History of My Time (A Reflection Practice)

Set aside 30-60 min for this exercise.

This self-titled exercise begins with choosing a specific period of time (a year) in your life to look back to and journal on. Spend about 10-15 min there writing anything and everything you can remember about that year of your life. Where were you? Who did you live with? What were you doing daily? Where did you go? What were your beliefs? Who were your friends? Remember some details, and follow a few different threads of thought.


Now, do the same thing for where you are at right now. Spend about 10-15 min writing anything and everything you can remember about the past few months of your life.


Once you have journaled both of these events, take 5-10 min to compare these different times in your life. What has changed? Has anything remained the same? Did your goals in the past align with where you are now? Were there any detours or roadblocks on that timeline between events? Are there any happy surprises you didn’t see coming? What were your biggest successes? Where did you feel lost, or challenged?


After giving yourself the opportunity to reflect and digest these experiences, allow yourself to set-up goals or visions of what that amount of time in the future looks like for you i.e. if you chose to review 4 years ago, finish writing about 4 years in the future. Spend 10-15 min or more on journaling, drawing, or collaging your vision. Know that you may never feel ‘finished’ with this process, and that is ok! When you are able to conclude your practice, set this note aside for yourself to look back on when you feel the urge to.


In returning to this particular exercise a few times over the past weeks, I am once again shown the power of this comparison tool. When I think as I try to list everything from this year I actually acknowledge that damn, I did a lot this year. And yeah, it was real, and yes, it makes sense that I am totally overwhelmed with this on top of, the state of the world, and seasonal depression and... How could I be anywhere else but in the middle of it? But then I can remember to breathe, because it’s not permanent, nothing is. And I can see it, in plain text, right in front of me. I have been somewhere difficult before. I re-enter the vision, the emotion, the sensations and review it. That makes me feel secure in knowing that I have persevered when I have faced challenges and fatigue before. I begin to learn to face challenges now as I recognize them as a friend. Oh, hey Difficulty, How’s it hangin’? Wanna take a yoga class together sometime?



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