What is Critical Reflection?

It sounds bad doesn’t it? But its’ not, honestly, it’s a good thing!

If you Google it; the University of Waterloo describes critical reflection as:

‘A process of identifying, questioning, and assessing our deeply-held assumptions – about our knowledge, the way we perceive events and issues, our beliefs, feelings, and actions. When we reflect critically, we examine our biases, compare theories with current actions, search for causes and triggers, and identify problems at their core’.

You still think it sounds bad, don’t you? ????

You’ll have to trust me on this one, just keep reading…

It’s always good to reflect on what you’ve achieved; what it is you’re currently doing and what it is you’d like to change.  Whether you do this reflecting regularly or not is the issue, and what I have discovered during the last two months as life started slowing down; is that it slowed down a lot, and it was good!  

For the first time, in a long time I had time to do some critical reflection of my own.  When life is busy and we are rushing from work to pick up the kids, to exercise, to cook dinner, to clean the house, to feed the pets, to wash the car, to care for elderly parents, grocery shopping etc, etc, etc.  The list never actually ends, does it? And as the list grows longer, your opportunity to stop and reflect on life and where you’re at gets smaller.  And before you know it, you’re unhappy and burnt out. Not exactly what you had in mind when you first started out in the world of adulting, huh?

This is where I was when life slowed down and my brain finally had some time to rest! For the first time in a long time I took some time to critically reflect on my life and where I was heading.  At first this caused a state of confusion; not knowing what exactly it was that I wanted or where I wanted to go. I wanted one thing, then I would change my mind. I didn’t want to give up certain things, but I also didn’t know what I wanted to do about another thing, argh!  

But then I stopped, I remembered that where I am right now is a reflection of my thoughts! I remembered that I am the true creator of my reality. And if I was the creator, then I needed clarity on what it was I going to create!!!  I walked, I meditated, I yoga’d (is that a word? ????) and I sat with myself, and then it hit me! I found it! I now know what I want; I am now putting a plan of action into place on how I am going to MAKE IT HAPPEN!

I am ready to create my future in a way that is meaningful to me and will have a positive ripple effect out into the community and to those I serve.  All this because I took the time to look critically at my life, my goals and my dreams; and reflect on them with a new lens.  A lens that up until two months ago didn’t even get a look in on my busy life!

So, I guess what I am trying to say is “As life starts kicking up a notch again, and begins to get busier and busier.  What will you do? Will you jump straight back in where you left off and find yourself exhausted and unhappy again in 6-12 months? Or will you reflect critically on what it is that you want to do with this one wild and precious life? And will you instead start creating a life that brings you the joy, excitement and fulfillment that you deserve?

With love, honour, and respect