I seem to be in start and stall mode right now. I start writing a piece and then it either seems too darn depressing unintentionally, or too fluffy. I can't seem to find the middle ground. And I wonder why. I think part of the reason is that I am juggling many tennis balls right now, and the activities or projects are compartmentalized in order to manage and sort them....in order to prioritize. Consequently, my thinking is the same. It's like I have a short term narrow view and if I go beyond those borders, I find my thoughts and feelings are just too broad to explore within the timeframe I have to offer.And yet........... I have many stories in my head simmering. They want to be told. They all want my time and attention. But I only have time for snippets. I only have time for quick glances when really they require more than that. So, I stall...........halfway through a story and I'm left wondering if I can bite off more than I have time for.
Reflections take time. Reflections are open ended journeys which have a life of their own because one never knows how connected they are to the iceberg of thoughts and feelings down below the surface of the original thought. One story, one encounter, one experience, one activity in a day of many of all of those..............leads to a myriad of others. Our lives aren't compartmentalized. Our lives are strands of interwoven threads which link and knot and connect and blend together to form our own fabric. You start pulling on one of those threads and you never know where that will lead you. I guess I'm feeling like I don't have time to pull the various threads all vying for my attention.
Writing offers me a venue to empty my personal cup of life which by the end of a week is full, full, full of deep red wine. When I write, it's like I am dipping a piece of bread into the wine to soak up it's flavourful body. The cup becomes lighter, easier to manage as I dip and sip and stop to reflect on who and what helped fill it............to reflect on how it makes me feel, on why it makes me feel.............to reflect on the feelings and activities of people I brushed up against this week. If I don't, the wine spills over and stains the threads......turns them into a different pattern, or perhaps hides the real lessons found in the pattern. If I don't take the time to dip the bread, I may miss out on assessing the meaning and significance.......the impact the interactions have had on how I think and feel.
Reflection is a key part of counselling as well as in living a more aware life. It's a pertinent part of the debriefing process so that one encounter doesn't blend into another........so someone else's hurt doesn't leave me bruised and myopically observant of the next person I meet with. When I don't take the time to sip the wine and eat the bread, I feel replenished. I will only feel weighted down with heavy full cups that will spill too easy.
Luckily the process of reflecting can happen during any other activity too. It doesn't need written words. It needs acknowledgement. It needs breathing space. The pattern of the threads can be touched and reviewed while sipping from the cup, while doing other tasks. Reflections can accompany other activities..........housecleaning, errand running, dog walking, dish washing, grocery shopping......all the "must do's" .......... Though it's best when one can sit down with another person keen to do the same for an open ended evening of unrushed unravelling. But we can't have that optimum all the time. Life is too busy most days. Still, it's not something one can ignore.
The stories and the written words may have to wait for another time, but the reflections can't wait. Today I will go about my busy schedule all the while looking back on the week, reliving the feelings, and sorting it out. If I happen to have a faraway eyes in aisle 10 at the grocery store, you'll now know why. And for goodness sake, don't be jumping out in front of me.....I startle easily when I'm multi-tasking in my head.
I'm off to the market. Saturday at the market is where the reflections begin for me. I always feel replenished after my meanders and chats at the market. I always have time for that.