Time for reflection

Last year I was challenged to write a series of blogposts on hope for the 12 days of Christmas. To my surprise I felt that I had a lot to write about that topic. Some days the inspiration came easy, other days it took a while, and each day I found something to write about that felt right.

I was considering, if I should do something similar this year or just chill for the holidays. And I decided to go for the challenge.

I couldn’t figure out which topic to choose, so I asked on twitter for suggestions, which I got a bunch of. Sitting here this evening and trying to decide, I found it hard to choose even from those, so I decided to change my rules. I will choose a new topic each days instead. After all life is full of experiments – or at least it is more fun when it is… πŸ™‚

For the first day of Christmas I pick “reflection” suggested by Tobias Geyer πŸ™‚

I am good at helping others reflect and learn. It is something that I really focus on in my work and that I hope to inspire people to do more of.

Our strongest tool at work (and beyond?) is reflection followed by actions and experimenting. Yet this is not something we have a lot of time for in our busy world.

Even for retrospectives I find that many fall into the trap of “what went wrong, let’s do this” almost in one breath, which might be efficient, but not effective. It very easily becomes treatment of symptoms instead of looking at the root of the issue. I have yet to consult in a company without working on retrospectives at some point. πŸ™‚

Taking the time to reflect in retrospectives, meetings, or any other setting may not be efficient – it takes time, but it is what we need to move, grow, and learn.

We need to take that deep breath, take a step back and look at things, consider things, feel things, and stop up long enough to see what is there instead of guessing and assuming. Then and only then can we act on what is.

And how am I doing on this myself?
I am not good at reflecting at least not on my own and not about myself. Last time I really tried was a while ago with my good friend Morgan, where I had suggested that we reflected on our own years just doing it together. Strangely enough I cannot recall if this was one or two years ago. I do remember how I felt.

Morgan asked “Why would you like to reflect?” and that triggered a lot inside: much sadness, frustration and feeling helpless and very small. I broke a little and cried a lot. This happens sometimes and for once, I was lucky enough to be with someone and not just someone. A friend where I am able to let all guards down and be what I am in that moment. This is a rare things for me as I almost always keep an element of control; not deliberately, but still I do. (Thank you Morgan for always being there)

So what about now? If anything this is a year to reflect, to consider what it is important in life, what is important to me, what is important to the world.

I still struggle reflecting and that is something I will work on in the new year. Not so much the reflection I think, but how to open that next layer of my emotional onion without breaking. Or maybe find someone professional, who can help me open and break in a safe setting, and get up again, put the pieces together and be stronger ,because I am embrace that new layer. I guess this counts as reflection – it is a start, and that is what I can do now.

I started this reflection post by thinking I would reflect in my last Christmas days post from last year: “What are my hopes?” and yet my writing took me elsewhere as it tends to do. My reflection on that is this:I still have the same hopes; they were not fulfilled and I still hope they will be.

What are things you want to reflect on? Or things that you are afraid to look it? What would make you feel safe enough to look at it and reflect?

Blogpost for the second day of Christmas 20/21: Unicorns
Blogpost for the third day of Christmas 20/21: Raining again
Blogpost for the fourth day of Christmas 20/21: Being or doing
Blogpost for the fifth day of Christmas 20/21: Gratefulness
Blogpost for the sixth day of Christmas 20/21: Having people in my space
Blogpost for the seventh day of Christmas 20/21: Family
Blogpost for the eight day of Christmas 20/21: Uninspiration
Blogpost for the ninth day of Christmas 20/21: Fear (and courage?)
Blogpost for the tenth day of Christmas 20/21: Jumping in puddles
Blogpost for the eleventh day of Christmas 20/21: The choice is yours
Blogpost for the twelfth day of Christmas 20/21: Anticipation

There is still hope

On the 14th of December, Dave Snowden tweeted and asked for inspiration for themes for 12 days of Christmas blog.

I suggested gratitude, and Ed Strafford from New Zealand suggested hope. I really liked having positive themes and found that those could be inspirational, which I find lacking in the world.

Somehow it ended up with a mutual challenge for Ed and I: We will each make blog posts on hope for the 12 days of Christmas.

The modern world is magical: two people, who never met, from opposites of the world – almost as far apart as you can get, who did not even know of each other 11 days ago, will go on a common mission: spreading hope into the world for 12 days.

On to the first post:

Yesterday was Christmas evening, which is the time, where we get presents in Denmark. I was celebrating with my extra family – my chosen family – Elisabeth and I met in β€œgymnasium” in 1987 and have been friends ever since. Now we are as close as sisters and her kids are my kids as well.

Her and her family have supported me as I have grown from being afraid to stand outside the norm to being my whole self with all that is. I think they have not just supported me; they have enabled me to grow.

The whole family: husband and kids, parents, siblings, and all.

A really good example of the acceptance and care is the gift that I got from my boy and his girlfriend: a big fluffy dinosaur in perfect colour πŸ™‚

Niels remarked that I looked like a seven-year-old girl sitting on the floor unwrapping my plush toy – and that is how I felt as well.

If I can go from using all my energy to fit in to a person that will appreciate a plush dinosaur gift, then there is hope.

We can change, we can embrace who we are, we can be all of ourselves.