Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Looking Backwards, a Hindrance or a Help?

What do you believe about looking backwards over your life? 
  • That it's a wasted effort? 
  • Leave the past in the past and move on?  
  • No use dwelling on what went wrong.
This is certainly a prevalent view.  Is it yours?

Or do you enjoy ruminating over the past? 
  • Either the happy times "that were" and you wish could still be.
  • Or all the things that went wrong and made your life miserable (at least that's what you're believing at that moment).
Kind of the glass half empty model.  How's that working for you?

Is there another way? 

What about taking a moment to examine your day to see if you're living in alignment with your highest beliefs (call it Spirituality, Divine rules you live by, or Universal laws to how to treat others & yourself).

One way to do this is through the Examen Practice or using your own version of these principles.  It's been around since days of old and was used by St. Ignatius.  It involves 5 steps which I've adapted:

1.  Be still in the present moment and be at one with your Higher Power: 
That may be God/Goddess/Source/Intuition, whatever you tap into for guidance.  Ask that you be given clarity and understanding around the events of the day.

2.  Apply Gratitude:
Take note of the bright spots, moments of joy or beauty.  What gifts did this day bring?  Think of the work you did, the people you interacted with - what were the blessings and how were you a blessing to others?  Food you ate, natural wonders you saw, catching all the green lights - the smallest things are worth noting.

3.  Observe Your Feelings and Emotions:
Some of our best insights are here.  Were you angry, excited, anxious, or joy filled?  What do these mean?  What would you go back and change if you could?  What is your intuition telling you to do?

4.  Focus on One Event and Ask for Guidance: 
Wait in the stillness for a message about one part of your day -  whether it was positive or negative, what clarity or advice does your higher self have to offer around this?  Don't force an answer, but listen to whatever arises.

5.  Look Toward Tomorrow:
What's on your to-do list?  What are your challenges?  Pay attention to the feelings  that come up around these.  Feeling eager anticipation or not enough?   Ask for help, know that that guidance is always there for you to turn to.

Use this process today or periodically to check-in with yourself.   See if the path you are on is still the one you want to take.  Turn on your inner GPS.  Are you are on the path that takes you where you want to go in the most direct route.  If you feel stuck, imagine you are a wise strong eagle flying overhead observing you at a crossroads of paths unsure of which road to take.  What does the eagle see that you can't because you're too close to the situation?  Listen to and follow through on the guidance you receive, otherwise you may find yourself wondering around in a maze of detours by tomorrow again. 

Looking back to see forward more clearly!  Try it today!
Please leave a comment if you've had an experience like this that gave you gained insight and clarity.

Image from Master isolated images /


Anonymous said...

Jude this is great I love reading your words Noeleen

Jen Waller said...

Hi Jude,

What a lovely written piece - I love the imagery with the eagle :)

I always find that connection has a very different feel to it. One that makes it much easier to get clarity on a situation and what the next step could be.