Today’s value is #reflection . Taking a step back and look at the bigger picture and how that might change over time. I am a participant in a long-term research project about religion, spirituality and worldview and every few years I get interviewed with quite in-depth questions covering life/death, good/evil sorta stuff, key incisive moments in life and what happened, how they influenced who I am and how I go about things. This goes pretty deep, and often there are no easy answers as I work my way through “weeeeeellllll, that depends…”. That answer that drives everyone bonkers, even when it is true. Especially when it is true. Life isn’t always that simple as we try to do the big questions justice, thinking out loud to an answer that sounds and feels right.
Last Friday was another round, it took all morning. A very welcome opportunity to reflect on my life and what I care about, and it also takes me completely through the wringer (again, every time). Some of it is pretty clear bordering on well-rehearsed as it’s not the first rodeo given what I do for a living. Some things I realize the first time when I hear myself say it. Some of the examples are still raw and hurt. A lot. I am touched by my ability to still surprise myself.
The interviewer is supportively neutral so as not to influence, and sticks to a script. Some answers were likely the same as in the last round, some have definitely changed with the massive changes of the past 4 years in my life, particularly since starting my coaching business and writing the book.
I keep coming back to values, time and time again. It just works, rain or shine, no matter the circumstances. I use my values as “North Stars” and decision guidelines and it has made things better. It also made me a lot more literate to explain to others what is going on inside of me, and that led to better and deeper conversations. And I can be more helpful with people in difficult or stressful situations that have big decisions to make. It is the baseline that the melody of my life undulates around.
The remainder of the weekend was spent in an appreciative, reflective mood, as the afterglow of the questions and the personal examples I shared still reverberated. These questions don’t lend themselves to quick soundbites, and in a world of quick snappy quotes and tweetable lengths, that is a nice change of pace.
Do you take time to reflect? What works for you? This might not be life/death or good/evil stuff, but do you make time for things to go deeper? To connect with a person you can have a good conversation with? To reconnect with yourself?