It’s the rush towards the holidays, and before you ‘do’ for others, take time to ‘be’ with yourself! In the midst of winter darkness, invite the ‘return of light’—and practice the art of self-reflection…

Reflection is contemplation, pondering , meditating, musing, cogitation and giving serious thought to one’s life,  perhaps reviewing the past year or enjoying ‘being in the moment.’  It is an executive skill that executives rarely make time for—and yet, most would admit that more space on their schedule and ‘time to think’ would be beneficial before making critical decisions, creating strategy or inspiring vision in their companies.

Find a Quiet Corner

to yourself and ‘be still.’ Listen to your feelings and let your imagination play.  Go inward, be conscious and listen to your thoughts:

  • By the fireplace or fire pit watching the yule log flames
  • Under the Christmas tree with a cup of tea or hot chocolate
  • Soaking in a bubble bath with candles, glass of wine–and a locked door!
  • In an art museum
  • At a concert with inspiring music
  • Walking the neighborhood to see holiday lights


Try filling that blank journal by emptying your mind on to paper.  Record your ‘to-do’ list, new ideas, blessings or ‘notes to self.’ Experts say if you simply pick up the pen (or crayon) and start writing (or coloring) that ‘automatic writing’ can propel you forward. Surprising thoughts may originate from your subconscious and can be spiritual in nature.  See what emerges–you may learn something about yourself, from yourself.  Express yourself in a:

  • Journal or diary you select with favorite colors or quotes
  • Holiday annual letter to family that reviews the years up’s and down’s
  • Card to a special friend in which you message what they mean to you
  • In a photo album you’re updating or giving
  • Thank-you card to that special customer or business colleague

Retreat Yourself to

a different place. Travel can offer perspective and a ‘time out’ from our day-to-day activity focus. Whether it’s a week, a weekend or an afternoon, withdrawing from your normal routine and finding a new place to be alone can be rejuvenating:

  • Visit a Bed & Breakfast and let someone else take care of you
  • Splurge on a wish list trip or cruise to open up new vistas
  • Use a business trip to order room service and ‘hide out’ during evening hours
  • Take a ‘virtual trip’ by reading a good book or seeing a sentimental movie
  • Book spa time to relax and ‘let go’
  • Attend a spiritual retreat to meditate and do ‘inner work’

In this time of frenetic outward activity, give time for inward reflection–let your mind wonder as you wander, detach and observe life around you. Enjoy the colors and scents of the season.  Soak in the light reflected in candles, shiny ornaments, sparkling icicles and snowflakes.  Give yourself the gifts of quiet, writing and retreating to reveal crystal clarity in your own self-reflection.

“We cannot see ourselves in running water.  It is only in still water that we can see.”   – Zen saying

Month of Reflection: Make Time for You