Hi there. How are you?
Welcome to the second episode of my new weekly video cast – Soul Food.
[You can watch it on the Soul Food with Mark Conner YouTube channel]
Last week we began talking about the importance of self care. Self care isn’t selfish. In fact, the best gift you can give the people around you, is you becoming a healthier person – in very area of your life.
One of the most important habits of self care is learning to pause – to stop … to reflect.
In his best-selling book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen Covey tells a humorous story illustrating the difference between Leadership and Management.
There is the group of people needing to travel through a jungle. The managers are there helping everyone cut a pathway through the thick undergrowth. They’re ensuring that the machetes are sharp, there are rosters rotating the people in work shifts, they’ve provided ample refreshments for the workers, and first aid, if necessary. They’re making really good progress … and the managers are really happy!
The leader is the person who climbs a tree, looks around and yells, “Whoops – wrong jungle!” But the managers are happy because they’re making such progress.
What’s the point? Sometimes like can be like a jungle – there is so much to DO and we can easily get caught up in all of the endless activity of our lives. Every now and then we need to ‘climb a tree’ and check whether we are headed in the right direction.
It is so easy to live our lives dominated by the Clock, always going faster and faster, trying to fit more activity into our allotted time each day.
But if we never look at the Compass, we will neglect giving attention to overall direction of our life. After all, going fast in the wrong direction is not success!
Personally, I don’t find reflection easy because I am such an activistic person. I can be ‘on the go’ from morning to night. But I have learnt the benefit of pressing pause on all of my hyper-activity … I love to sit in one of my favourite chairs around the house (like this one) … and simply be still and reflect … even for only a few minutes … It makes such as difference in my life.
If you have a bucket of muddy water, you can keep stirring and splashing it round and round and nothing much will change. But if you simply be still … and wait … over time the debris falls down to the bottom and clarity comes. You start to see things you couldn’t see before.
What about you? Do you ever stop? Are you ever still? Why not take some time today to be quiet, to be still, and to reflect. I think you’ll find it really nourishing … for you soul.
Maybe morning is best for you – taking some time to reflect about the day ahead and what you hope it will be like … before it gets started.
OR maybe evening could be more suitable for you … finishing the day by asking yourself some important questions like:“What went well today?” “What didn’t go so well?” “What did I learn?” “How could tomorrow be different?”
You know, despite popular opinion, experience isn’t the great teacher. It’s only experience that we reflect on that has the potential to become insight by which we make our life and our world better. We don’t want to simply pile up a heap of experiences but never learn from them.
So re-capping our main points from today’s episode:
Once again, I’d love to hear some comments back from you and why not talk about the practice of reflection with your family and friends today.
This has been Soul Food with Mark Conner.
See you next week when we talk about the benefits of mindfulness.
See you then.