How did I get into reflective practice?
The first time I got introduced to reflective practice was in a workshop during a work trip. The activity was for us to draw a mountain of our life, recounting experiences where I had felt supported, where I had felt I had failed, critical life decisions I had taken, what had influenced those decisions and what I was looking forward to.
That was the first time I had sat down to go over my life history. Since then I have done this activity multiple times. Some things have remained constant and some have changed. Every time I have gone back to my life history I have gone into greater depths of understanding myself and what has shaped me. In the process, I have discovered things about myself which have made me uncomfortable as well – like all the times I wanted to stand up for myself but I couldn’t for the fear of making people angry, not getting into a confrontation or just because I was following acceptable social norms.
I have discovered my own values – of how freedom is very important for me – freedom to choose and take my own decisions. In the process I have also been confronted by my own double standards of how sometimes I value my own freedom more than that of others. In this I have come to understand empathy and what it means to be empathetic towards my own self and others.
For me the mountain activity was a trigger to go deeper into the journey of self awareness using reflective practice. Since then I have been doing reflective practice in different forms – journalling, meditation, art and more mindful conversations. In the process I feel I have become much more self aware and curious about my own self.
I have become more conscious of who I am being, of articulating my needs, of being able to call out what I am feeling and what is bothering me. In some ways I have also become more mindful of the other people and how I influence them, of becoming patient to understand where they are coming from and also curious about them.
Reflective practice is a journey. For me it has been trying to make meaning in all the chaos that keeps happening around and finding my stillness in all the movement.