Time To Reflect

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Time to Reflect

“I’ll tell you what I think,” said Wiggin. “I think you don’t grow up until you stop worrying about other people’s purposes or lack of them and find the purposes you believe in for yourself.”
– Orson Scott Card, Xenocide

I just returned from a few days of vacation up in the San Juan Islands at Friday Harbor, Washington. I went to visit my mom and dad by seaplane from Seattle, which stirred old memories of flying as a child with my dad in his Piper Cub through the Florida Keys! If you ever want to discover the beauty of the San Juans from a different perspective, I highly recommend flying in a seaplane (they supply the earplugs!).

Looking out the window, 75–150 feet above the water, I saw many things in a different light, elevated. Above the trees instead of in them, above the coastline instead of walking it, looking down and seeing the geological patterns of rock and earth, the clusters of homes, the wake of a ferry bringing vacationers to play and explore. Patterns of life revealed.

My whole time away was like that, taking time to look at things from a different perspective. Spending time with my mom and dad without the responsibilities of being wife, mother, teacher, or business owner—just being me—was exquisite. We had time to be together in a way that words cannot express. Yes, my parents are growing older, as am I, and to spend time appreciating each other, both quietly and boisterously, filled a space that had been waiting to be filled for all of us. To share dinner conversation with their friends and to listen to their concerns for our country, our children, and our future opened more new perspectives.

As I listened, watched, and interacted with my folks and their friends, I became aware of a new sensation in my body that I had never felt before with my folks. I was relaxed and peaceful…nothing to prove. My goodness, I felt like an adult, an equal in the presence of my parents! I was giddy with the awareness.

Another realization quickly followed. In my desire to prove my worth to my parents (and anyone else who happened to be around), I had narrowed my focus to things I could intellectually prove were right. Ouch, self-righteousness!
Have you ever gotten so involved in your own way of thinking, feeling, and acting that you forgot there are many other ways of doing things? When I forget to listen and open my eyes, my world narrows instantly. My task, way of doings things, way of feeling, etc., seems like the only way. I defend, justify, and explain, and I distance myself from those I care most about.

When we took my parents’ boat out of Mitchell Bay and into the sound to fish and check the crab pots, I held these two discoveries in my mind. I stood at the stern of the boat silently watching everything, breathing in the pure air. Finally, my eyes settled on the wake of the boat. There is an old saying that every moment holds the stuff of enlightenment. The wake reminded me of the wake each of us creates as we move through this world, our impact. Looking at the wake set into motion a whole series of questions I asked myself while I relaxed and spent time looking at clouds.

What kind of a wake do I create?
Do I take the time to notice how my behavior affects those around me?
When I am out in the world, do I value the people who have different points of view?
Do I invite new information and learning?
How wide open is my perspective, my heart, and my attention to the wake I create?

After being with these questions for the remainder of my visit, I made three deep commitments to myself:

1. To use my personal power authentically, maintaining my sense of equality with my parents.
2. To be curious and open-minded, accepting myself instead of proving myself.
3. To give myself the precious time to reflect, for in those moments I find truer ways of being my simple self.

No matter how full our lives are, we all deserve quiet time to reflect, to quietly try on new perspectives and notice if they fit, to expand our worldview and invite learning.

Reflections:
1. How often do you give yourself the gift of a true time-out? Nothing to do except be with yourself?

2. What are the questions you would ask yourself if you gave yourself the gift of time to reflect?

3. What are the questions you resist asking yourself? Why?

I encourage you to share your responses to the reflection questions in the comments section.

With love and gratitude,
Kris King

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4 Responses to “Time To Reflect”

  1. Kevin E. Goodrich says:

    What kind of a wake do I create?
    This of course depends on the moment, situation, or event. There are times when the wake is deep and strong, creating its own current that touches far shores in ways I potentially cannot imagine. (Love or Meta?)-v-(Fear or confusion?) At other times the bow of my boat slips through the water slowly, quietly even seeming reluctant to break the surface. Only the most vigilant of observer knows that I have even passed this way.

    Do I take the time to notice how my behavior affects those around me?
    Yes, absolutely . . . Well . . . most of the time, I am human and I do have my moments. I have days of deep melancholy in recent weeks and oddly enough the great highs in those same weeks are often the driving force in those lows. I try to avoid others in these times, as I know my despondence affects others, at times deeply. Often I find myself attempting to pour MORE love into others as this is one of my favorite ways to bring myself back to an even keel.
    Where I feel like I fall short is in monitoring how others behavior affects me. I notice that I all too often take others attitudes as my responsibility. At times, I want to help improve or change that attitude/behavior because it is affecting me, other times I think I am attempting to rescue or fix things I see as “my responsibility” or that my actions have caused when that may in fact not be the case.

    When I am out in the world, do I value the people who have different points of view?
    Yes, absolutely. If I do not challenge myself, how do I grow? I tend to look for people who disagree rather than agree. If I cannot stand firm in the face of adversity . . . do I really believe what I am saying? Further, and I am working on this, (using the wheel) I like to keep my passion about a subject under control and not become so animated or loud during some if not most discussions. While there are times I think that passion and vehemence is not only important but proper, I am finding that I need work on being more conscientious about those times, mostly in interpersonal relationships, much less so with people I have significantly less attachment to.

    Do I invite new information and learning?
    Invite . . . I am ravenous for it! I will challenge you to “show me” if it does not ring true, but, if you can stand firm in your belief then I am willing to take up the challenge and look at most subjects at a deeper level.

    How wide open is my perspective, my heart, and my attention to the wake I create?
    Most days, I believe my attention is wide open, at times I form a belief that I allow myself to let it be too open and I do not take care of me. Other times I choose to take care of others first and I form the belief that this is a good thing and the world would be a much brighter place if more people chose this route.
    My heart . . . my heart right at this moment is screaming at me to close. That part of me is hurt and afraid. I am consciously choosing to keep my heart open and form positive beliefs and express them verbally when others would convince me that I am naive. Some of this is self-protection I am loath to admit. My work strongly depends on my judgment and if I have erred so inexcusably then all of my judgment comes into question. However that said, most of my reasoning to take this path is that I form a belief that I am creating win win and my intentions will come to fruition. I notice that I feel so very full and there is a strong desire to pour that love (Meta) on to those around me. This appears to me to go back to question two. I have enjoyed a number of very positive interactions and receive grand gifts of love from the time I arrived in Albuquerque. I believe this started to happen the day I made a different choice on how I was choosing to feel about circumstance beyond my control.
    Faith. Hope. Love. The greatest of these is love. I choose to believe that love will prevail.
    My story is that the Beatles got it right . . . The love you have, is equal to the love you make.
    1. To use my personal power authentically, maintaining my sense of equality with my parents.
    2. To be curious and open-minded, accepting myself instead of proving myself.
    3. To give myself the precious time to reflect, for in those moments I find truer ways of being my simple self.
    1. How often do you give yourself the gift of a true time-out? Nothing to do except be with yourself?
    A true time out is not what is difficult at the moment! I get a grand number of those. My difugalty (sic) is just letting it all go blank and not asking myself questions and just accepting the decisions I have made . . . there comes a time when you just have to surrender and stop questioning! Of course, when I surrender to something and then it still comes apart at the seams . . . guess what pattern comes up for me . . . hmmm how does that horse keep crawling out of that hole? Bad horse! Play dead! Or was that STAY dead!
    2. What are the questions you would ask yourself if you gave yourself the gift of time to reflect?
    3. What are the questions you resist asking yourself? Why?
    Again, see above. I have asked and asked . . . I form the belief that I act with my heart and live in my head . . . it is a little schizophrenic. Although I do believe that the vast majority of the time, my thoughts words and actions are in alignment. This can be a negative when your thoughts are negative. I am working very hard on maintaining positivity. I have been known to go to a very dark place and fall into the self-sabotage mind trap. While I have not put enough dirt over the top of this horse, I do tend to see he is still breathing at times and beat him severely with a large shovel . . . every now and then he bites back!
    What if your real job is to live an extraordinary life.
    I have a miraculous life. I choose this word as it is much more powerful for me and my life frankly is no longer ordinary in any way. I know love in a way I have previously denied myself. Further, I see how strong my manifestation skills are. I suppose I am like an x-smoker . . . a little hypersensitive. I used to pride myself on being “Joe average”. Therefore I choose to be anything but ordinary, and more than ever not extra ordinary.

  2. Lisa Tandarts says:

    Hi thanks for yet another very interesting post. Where do you find your inspiration for all this :|?

  3. Lorrie Jones says:

    After a life threatening injury with months of recovery, I had assumed I would “catch up” with all of my downtime tasks. I pictured organized computer files, up to date photos (highly organized, of course) and correspondence completed and off in the mail or electronically. Ha! I am now able to get around quite well and much to my surprise, I have not completed these tasks. In fact, there is much still to do…and more everyday. Being a Wings grad, I summoned my personal courage and did the most difficult thing for me to do: stop. I have committed to taking time each morning at dawn to pause, reflect, meditate mindfully…and even do a bit of simple yoga. There were many voices shouting their “bad advice”: you could be getting SO much done! So the journey began….from thinking accomplishment was supreme and reflection was an indulgence (that I didn’t have time for)…to cherishing this early morning reflecting time and noticing how the rest of my day is much calmer and more tranquil. Reflection, I think, is essential ~ and beautifully necessary to living a life on purpose and with love, compassion and service.

  4. Kim LaFever says:

    1. I do this almost daily now and find it opens up space for me that I didn’t know was available.
    2. I have been asking myself a lot lately what do I want to create for myself? And keeping notes and lists and pictures of all the things I am creating or about to.
    3. The biggest question for me right now is what are you afraid of and why not do it now? Why do I resist these questions? As I realize more and more what I want to create for myself, it requires change for not only myself but others in my life. I guess it’s the old fear that still comes up from time to time – they won’t like me. I don’t have that much fear for myself about the changes. I just recognized in writing this that I have been holding onto the “they won’t like me” piece and didn’t realize it. Whether they do or don’t is really not up to me. As I act authentically I do so with integrity. There was a time when I didn’t put myself first and practicing in this way is definitely pushing my beyond my comfort zone. And that’s a good thing. I am so glad I paused for a moment this morning to experience your words. I gained some clarity in doing so and responding.