“Learning without reflection is a waste, reflection without learning is dangerous.” Confucius
Who Are You Really?
When I start feeling restless, I know I need to stop, quiet myself and go within. My restlessness always comes from being too engaged with the outside world and not taking the time to reflect on who I really am and why I’m frantically rushing around.
Usually, when I’m rushing, it is because I want to be efficient or productive. At that moment, I think it’s important to cram as much activity as possible into the day. It’s like dancing the salsa without the sensuality. I define myself as the one who gets things done, the one you can depend upon to complete the task on time. I buy into our cultural idea that being productive is what gives us value and that not being productive is laziness. I am off-center.
When we take the time to be quiet and go deeper, to save the salsa for another time and sit in silence, we find the dance within is smooth, a solo performed at adagio or lento, rising and falling with our breath. What is unnecessary drops away. We awaken to who we really are spiritually. Here we can see that society’s and our self definitions are not who we are. We are Oneness.
The book Oneness by Rasha points out the significance of these moments when we connect to the Divine. “When one is in conscious alignment with the sum totality of one’s connectedness to All That Is, there is no limit to what can be experienced or created in physical form.” (p. 230)
So here is the secret to infinite success. It is inside of us. This is the connection that awakens us and empowers our dance of life to be all it can be.
Tools For Awakening to the Dance Within
There are many ways to experience reflection. Sitting quietly or meditating is one. If our quiet minds are disturbed by fears, then we need to direct our minds to release this fear. During this quiet time, we may choose to ask for guidance or simply be open to whatever insights or thoughts emerge. Walking or sitting in the forest or near the sea shore, any place where we have contact with Nature, may be very helpful. This approach is what I would call passive reflection.
There are other, more active ways to reflect. Journaling about events may stimulate new perspectives or insights. Writing down our feelings is very healing and often inspiring. I have been surprised a number of times when I wrote something, then suddenly thought, “That’s not true. That’s my ego blowing this incident out of proportion.” There are also times when I only become aware of a significant insight after I’ve written it down.
Similar things happen in the silence when we read from spiritual or inspirational works. A truth suddenly appears in words we’ve hardly noticed before. An idea that conflicts with our current perspective on an issue may shock us. These discoveries are part of the dance too. Reflection provides us with an opportunity to learn, as Confucius said.
Understanding Reflective Inspiration
An understanding of the lessons we need to learn from our experiences doesn’t always come at the time we are experiencing the lesson. Time and distance often give us clarity. Twenty years after a long-term relationship ended, I was still having dreams in which issues from this relationship were resolved or new insights appeared. I had spent an extraordinary amount of time trying to understand the conflicts of the relationship soon after it ended, but it took years for my reflections on this subject to reveal the truths hidden underneath. Never assume that a reflection that doesn’t produce immediate insights is wasted. Reflection provides an opening where wisdom may appear in its own time.
How do you make time for reflection in your life and what have you learned from it?
© 2011 Georganne Spruce