Restoring our sense of direction

When our reflective practice is a "once in a while" kind of thing, we will lose our sense of direction routinely. If we are people-pleasing and seeking others' approval, we will be pulled in too many directions by them. If we are relying on our "rear view mirror" of what already happened, the "bend in the road will be the end of the road" for us. We won't see to make the turn until it's too late, because we're living the past and relying on more of the same thing occurring consistently. We can also be headed on the right path in the wrong direction and feel disoriented by what's going against our intentions. We can even hit a wall in our dogged pursuit of a goal and not know which way to turn away from the dead end.

When we've lost our sense of direction, we can make things worse with our small mindedness. Rather than consider our options, we can become more determined. We hunker down and force ourselves to persist in the previously reliable  directions. We stick to the same avenues in spite of signs to change directions. We try harder to make progress or please other people when "the wise thing to do" has apparently veered off toward other intentions. We can even jump on all the horses and gallop off in every direction at once.

Reflective practice restores our sense of direction by assembling a map. We get a sense of our landscape of alternatives by laying them out in a diagram. We see how the different directions we could pursue compare and relate to each other. We may realize some combinations of aims that make things easier to accomplish. We may perceive some of our particular ambitions to be futile or self defeating. Our map may eventually show us sequences of destinations to line up -- that had not occurred to us while we were feeling disoriented.

When a clear sense of direction for our next step emerges, we feel set up to succeed. We feel safe not knowing what lies ahead beyond the next step. Our sense of purpose has rejoined the progress we're making. We see the value in what we're striving for -- in a context of getting personal satisfaction, learning and growth from this pursuit. We get back to our sense of destiny, being called to do this or having this particular gift to give to others. We're headed in a direction where synchronicities validate our exploration. What comes along confirms where we're headed. We're on a roll and enjoying the momentum. Our reflective practicing is naturally grateful for and fascinated by happenstance in this direction.

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  1. I am really enjoying your posts and I think they are important. If we are ever going to have transformative change we are going to have to transform ourselves. Reflection and trust in ourselves to take steps into the unknown are key elements of the journey.


  2. Thanks Pete! Self transformation is a great direction to take some of our explorations!