At this time of year, it seems customary to take a moment to reflect on things. As an aid, please allow me to invite you to reflect on some or all of the following questions, either by yourself or in the company of others:
- How relevant has joy (and flourishing) been in your life in the past year? Is that something for just yourself, for your loved ones, or for folks more widely?
- What was the biggest source of joy in your life in the past year? Does that suggest any kind of change of focus from where you choose to focus you attentions presently?
- Who matters to you (including yourself)? And how much are you in touch with these folks’ needs?
- How often in the past year have you made some kind of (refusable) request of people around you in the pursuit of getting some of your needs met? Did you feel able to explain your needs in any detail?
- What groups and/or communities have you felt an affinity for? How in touch are you with the collective needs of these groups or communities? Are you moved to attend to those needs?
- Can you recall any specific instances where you were the victim or perpetrator of violence (in the broadest sense)? How did that make you feel? Did the violence achieve its intended result? Were there consequences?
- Can you recall any occasions in the past year where you felt some special or peculiar empathy with other(s)? Did you have the opportunity to express or share that feeling with anyone?
- In the past year, how often have you really talked (spoken openly and listened fiercely) with others?
- Did you experience any epiphanies in the past year?
- Do you feel you found some answers to questions that have long been nagging at you, in this past year?
- What part has spirituality played in your life this past year? Do you imagine you’d be happier with more (or less) spirituality in your life in the future?
- Do you recall occasions in the past year where you’ve acted from the heart, out of non-judgemental (and non-romantic) love? How did that go?
I wonder how you respond to these questions – I’d love to hear about those responses.