A new year is about to approach and the current year is about to end. The time between ending and beginning can be welcomed as a conscious and mindful transition time. Acknowledging and being aware of transition is an opportunity to stop, pause, reflect, review as an act of mindful self-inquiry. And this post provides some guidance for your mindful self-inquiry.
Mindful self-inquiry can be done in a formal practice of meditation focusing on a particular theme or questions. When you are doing this inquiry bring some playfulness to this practice, no force, no pushing, no pulling – simply be curious to the unfolding.
And here are a few guiding questions for your reflection:
- What comes to mind when reviewing the passing year?
- Is there a particular pre-dominant theme, thoughts or emotions surfacing right now?
- What is it exactly that I am noticing and how can this be felt in the body?
- What is the instant feeling tone whilst doing this self-inquiry?
And a few more questions might pop up for you:
- What stood out for me this year?
- Anything that felt very challenging and how was I able to cope with it?
- Is it still around or does it feel resolved?
- What felt pleasant and how did I relate to experienced pleasant events?
- Is there a person that comes to mind when thinking of the last year?
- Was there anything that felt demanding and forceful? And how did I relate to it?
- How did I take care of myself and was has helped to do so?
- If I struggled with putting myself first, what was in the way, what hindered me to allow myself?
Or if too many questions simply check-in and notice what is coming up for you when concluding this year? What are you noticing right now?
Again, bring an attitude of kindness, compassion and friendliness to whatever is coming to mind when doing this end of year reflections.
When deliberately and intentionally reviewing this year, a few things might pop up. Maybe the new year’s resolution of this passing year is showing up. Memories of good intentions, determination and good will including the enthusiasm encouraging you to do everything or a few things differently this year. Maybe you managed to follow your promises and intentions, maybe not.
There might also be some judgment coming up in case you didn’t succeed with your good intentions. Expectations of others, work, society could have been in the way of following the set intentions at the beginning of this year. Because of our underlying need to be accepted, recognised, appreciated, approved and be seen. And if our good intentions to do things differently differ too much with what is expected of us, we may give up and get hooked again in what others want us to do. This could be the result of avoiding being seen as not good enough and not being successful enough. A vicious cycle keeping us trapped and making it harder to step out. Has this happened to you? Please know that this happens to all of us. We all this common humanity.
Nevertheless, recognising this underlying pattern and motivation helps to gain greater confidence and to do whatever you feel is the right thing to do. This is your one life and you are good enough no matter what the EGO tells you, or what others have to say.
Say YES to putting yourself first as part of self-care and as an act of self-love. What are you passionate about? Is it different to what others are passionate about and could your passion possibly be seen as a waste of time? So what, who cares? Do whatever feels right for you.
And this takes us to the coming year.
Consider what is it that you wish to continue in the next year? Perhaps bringing an attitude of openness and friendliness to your experiences and encounters? Continuing with the practice of mindful movement, yoga, Pilates, relaxation and meditation? See whether it is possible to expand on this list and be open for new experiences. Add to this list right now: what other nourishing activities you want to expand on? …
In summary: use this transition time to reflect on what you are grateful for, what you can let go off, what nourishing activities you want to increase and if possible, consider what is it that you would like to try.
You don’t have to do this mindful reflection all at ones, revisit whenever it feels right. Do the self-inquiry whilst as part of your meditation practice (sitting, walking, moving). And use mindfulness of breathing as a tool for anchoring, settling, calming and new beginning.
If it feels right for you frequently check-in with the above questions and change or add whatever matters to you. Doing something different or new can take us straight into overwhelm.
Remember, if you do experience overwhelm or if you feel pushed out of your comfort zone be kind, practice calming strategies, e.g. mindfulness of the breath, soles of the feet, compassionate touch.
May you be well.