Reflection, Perspective, Clarity

When I woke up on Saturday morning, knowing it was time to prepare for Two Hours of Perspective, I was grumpy.

“Why do I do this?” I grumbled. “Why do I invite people over and offer to make cookies and volunteer to design and facilitate a two hour event on my weekend? Why?”

Fortunately, my semi-conscious state fired the answer back at me immediately:

“Because you’re clear on what you’re about in 2011. You’re committed to sending clarity and integrity into the world. You do transformative work. You create the time and space for people to reflect and process. This is what you’re on this earth to do.”

That sort of clarity, which I’m so grateful for, is — I hope — what Two Hours of Perspective participants gained from our gathering this weekend. Ten of us came together and used a series of structured and unstructured activities to reflect on 2010 and prepare for 2011, reflecting on our own, in pairs, and as a group.

If you weren’t able to attend but would like a taste of what went on, drop me a line and I’ll send you the reflection and perspective questions we used, and a visioning exercise we undertook to look ahead to the year to come.

A Bright Shining Light

As I prepare to host Two Hours of Perspective (yes, there are just two spaces left for a lucky person or two out there!), I’m doing my own reflection on the year I had in 2010 and my plans for 2011. Given that setting intentions worked so well for me last year, I’ve been doodling with a new set of intentions to bring to life.

This year, I’m finding myself drawn to big themes.

My overarching 2011 theme:

Be a bright shining light of clarity and integrity.

Additional themes I’m toying with:

More Laura. I’ve heard from clients, from my therapist colleagues, and from wise people kind enough to say so that they want to see more of my being and more of my personality shining through. What would “more Laura” look like? I’m holding this question as an inquiry to explore.

Work whole-souled. I love what I do. “Work whole-souled” means bringing every fibre of my being into the work I am creating in the world. To do work that I can approach with love, care, attention, and talent.

Do transformative work. Do the work that I’m best at, and let the other things go. Focus on the transformative work that lights me up, and that lights up my clients.

Get my yang back. The past year has felt far from hot yoga, half-marathons, karaoke shenanigans, and being in the public eye. I want to dedicate space and time this year to rebuilding my yang.

Follow my heart and trust my inner wisdom. My heart always knows. It always knows. I just have to quiet my head down enough to listen to it. I predict that this theme is going to express itself via a budding meditation practice.

And what about you?

Maybe you’re yearning for a resolution or a goal. Maybe you’re noticing a theme that keeps popping up and inviting your attention. Perhaps you’d like some support this year as you pay attention to your theme(s) (which is what we coaches are here for!), or perhaps you’d like to share your themes with a group that will support you and hold you accountable.

If a theme is knocking about in your awareness, I invite you to give it some time to let it teach you its lesson. Perhaps you’d like to share your theme(s) here in the comments?

To a healthy and happy new year!

Your Invitation: Two Hours of Perspective

As the end of each year draws to a close, I find myself overwhelmed with all things December, and yearning for a quiet space to reflect.

Last year, I decided to do something about it, and I instituted Two Hours of Perspective, an intimate gathering for folks to reflect on the year past and look forward to the year ahead.

I’ll be hosting the 2010-2011 Two Hours of Perspective gathering on January 22, 2011. You are invited.

Two Hours of Perspective, 2010-2011 edition

Between holiday parties, friends and families, and the onslaught of year-in-review lists, where’s the time for us to think about what our last year meant to us and where we are in the bigger story of our lives? It’s here, at Two Hours of Perspective.

In a two-hour, intimate group gathering, I promise to provide thought-provoking questions, good conversation, and quiet time for contemplation and journalling. I’ll arrange the questions and conversation-starters, chart out the flow of the two hours so that you get personal and private reflection, and the chance to reflect with others, and I’ll have some art supplies and wine/eggnog/something on hand. You bring a journal or notebook, or anything else that will help you look back on the year past and look forward to the year to come.

I look forward to welcoming you to reflect!

When: 3pm-5pm, Saturday, January 22, 2011
RSVP: the event is now closed.

As always, please feel free to share this invitation with others who might be interested.

New this year: I’m planning on a spin-off group from Two Hours of Perspective, inviting people who are interested to commit to meeting monthly (virtually or in person) for all of 2011, building off the reflection and intentions you set during the January 22 event. Imagine a community coming together to support each other in our 2011 endeavours, and to hold that community all year long. Join us!

Conversations for Processing an Event

In light of Toronto’s municipal elections, and thinking of the many wonderful people I know who have been intensely involved in campaigns, here are a few conversations you might use with yourself (journalling) or with a small group to consider your reactions to the election outcomes.

These conversations have been adapted from the sample conversations in The Art of Focused Conversation: 100 Ways to Access Group Wisdom in the Workplace.

Focused Conversation #1 (for personal reflection)

Objective Questions:

  • The outcome of the election has really affected me. What is it that happened?
  • What were the basic elements involved?
  • How did it begin? How did it progress?
  • How did it end? What was the core of the event?
  • What was my part? What roles did other people play?

Reflective Questions:

  • How did I feel as it was happening?
  • How do I feel now?
  • What other events of my life does this remind me of?
  • What sticks out now and grabs my attention as I look back?

Interpretive Questions:

  • What is the meaning of this event for my life?
  • How am I different after this event?

Decisional Questions

  • What is the “so what” of this event for my life?
  • What is it demanding of me?
  • What decision do I need to make?

Focused Conversation #2 (for use with a group)

Objective Questions:

  • What have been some of the key events for you during this election season?
  • What have been the major elements? The minor elements? Which have you worked on or contributed to?
  • What other events do you remember – important conversations, or decisions made?

Reflective Questions:

  • Describe the dynamics of this election season. When was it like an earthquake, a bear, a turtle, a desert, or what?
  • What was the big surprise of the election?
  • When were you most frustrated?
  • Which events made a big difference to you, or changed how you thought or felt?

Interpretive Questions:

  • What did we learn from the things that went well?
  • What did we learn from the times where we struggled?
  • As you reflect on all of this, how would you talk about what we have accomplished?

Decisional Questions

  • How will our experience and our learning affect what we do in the days and months to come?
  • What do we wish to do differently?

One More Option for Reflection and Processing

Head here for a sample guide for a DiY Reflection that calls on more creativity and personal exploration. (Just adapt the timelines to the event that you want to reflect on.)