Quietly reflecting and connecting with change by Yvonne Thackray


Thinking about what to write for this blog has been quite a challenge particularly as I was not sure whether to write from a global perspective of the global changes occurring, or from a national perspective, or just plainly from my own personal perspective. My normal mode of operandi would be to write from a larger perspective, discussing changes that can affect an individual and their relationships within organisations and how it impacts the bigger system. Today, though I wanted to take a quieter and more personal approach and share how I observe my reflections with change.

Change has and always will be that one constant in our lives that we can predict, however, the outcomes and results of those changes can either impact us head on or at a glacial pace without us even realizing that we are changing. It is often easier to pin point those momentous moments when we have, hopefully, positively shifted with the change because it is branded into our minds. However, taking the time to see how those changes occurred, noticing those inconspicuous signs that are often hidden in plain sight takes a bit of analysis, critical thinking, and reflection to connect those dots.

The question then becomes how do we make more sense of those small changes. Minor transitions we take for granted yet it could be the accumulation of all those minor transitions, impasses, even decisions that we have made that resulted in change being sustainable, significant and overall 'just feels right'. For every fibre and sensation in our mind and body agrees with it and often those who support us is aligned with us –  it has become that win-win-win situation. As you read this, you might be a bit cynical, which is far dues, but I would like to ask if you’re open to it to take just a minute and think back to a moment where you felt that momentous occasion, however big or small, that made you feel good. Take a deep breath, close your eyes and just enjoy that moment. …. Excellent (even if you didn’t, congratulations for putting up with what I wrote)! Now, just think – if there are any for you - of all those small moments that pushed you forward to reach that moment – and just consider how you behaved during those moments. You might have been aware, or not, but that’s ok because you know of them now.

If after doing that quick reflection you felt that it’s worthwhile to take time, perhaps, to record these changes, fleeting thoughts, connections, emotions, then I highly recommend taking the time to journal or keep a diary. It can be a time consuming process, keeping a diary, but it’s important to have that clear intent of why you are doing it – to record past facts, to be creative, to measure progress, to vent, to share private moments, to formulate plans and ideas, to just enjoy writing – it can be for just one or a combination of all of those reasons. And, it’s not necessary though you might be inclined to write every single day in the diary – I think you can tell what my approach is! Write as much or as little as you want because its often only you who will be reading it, unless you have chosen to share your diary online. I’m slightly old fashioned and like to write down my thoughts with a pen on a page in a diary with the occasional doodle. Then at opportune or random moments or even after reflecting, take time to read through your diary or extracts of it and perhaps it will give you even more perspective of how you and your environment potentially conspired to give you more of what you want, or less, depending on the change. Perhaps also work with a coach and have dialogic conversations that could help you to gain a broader perspective and deepen your own individual awareness of yourself – your identity - and meaningfully connect to those intentions.

Reflecting about change at an individual level helps us create our personalized narrative of how we are doing, perhaps even flourishing, personally and socially. Taking the time to reflect could also help us to try and make sure we don’t repeat and make the same mistakes and perhaps help us to formulate our possible future. That is why taking the time to do a little reflection can help maintain our balance and sanity in the chaotic world we will always live in.