I planned to bound out of bed early this morning and get to work. I envisioned an intense, productive day that would leave me fully prepared for my trip this week to the ACSLPA Conference in Calgary. I looked forward to feeling engaged and focused, the work flowing and my mind at ease.
Instead I woke with a jolt from the alarm, immediately resentful of morning’s light. It had been a night of waking and uncertainty – how long have I been awake? was that a dream? – and I felt ungrounded, frazzled, my emotional balance lost.
I knew my own advice: begin with writing, find a way back to myself. But one of the characteristics of not being grounded is resistance. Resistance to what one should do, could do, needs to do, would benefit from doing. Even to what one enjoys doing and wants to do.
She said, “You’ve told us about writing as a way to get grounded. What about the reflective part?”
I spoke about creating space around us, stepping back from the hectic pace and carving out time and space to think, to feel, to ponder: to be. Reflection does not come automatically in a life filled with long to-do lists and competing demands. We have to invite it in, claim it, honor it, encourage it to join us for tea.
So that is what I did this morning. I went outside in the early morning light and walked up and down my street. I did not know what I was looking for, just that I was appreciating the air, the gray skies (yes, we are happy that rain has returned to the Pacific Northwest), the fall colors. I said hello to Smokey, my neighbor’s cat. I watched my anxious thoughts fade and calm acceptance emerge.
Then it was time – I knew when – and I came back in. The frazzle was gone. With my focus restored and my energy rebalanced, I was ready.
Questions for Reflection: What do you notice about yourself when you wake up ungrounded? What helps you move towards a focused, grounded place? What does it mean to you to “create space for reflection”?
Writing Prompts: “I can tell I’m ungrounded in the morning when ______” (then keep writing); “When I wake up frazzled, I know I need to ______” (then keep writing); “My favorite ways of entering reflection are ______” (then keep writing); “As I read this post, I realize I need ______” (then keep writing).
Reflection Options: Reflect in place—Stop what you are doing and breathe slowly, paying attention to whatever is going on inside you or around you. Notice your thoughts and feelings without judgment. Reflect in movement—Take a five-minute walk; notice details and be curious without controlling your thoughts or feelings.