Friday, October 7, 2016

The harvest of reflection

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by Ojanae Ellison
The seasons change, fall comes, the weather shifts, and so do we. As we officially settle into the autumn season, the seeds we planted in the spring and summer months have come to harvest. In this new season there is need for reflection. To gather the harvest and determine what we keep and what we must let go. This essential process helps us to determine our place in the present so that we can grow forward in our desires and dreams.


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Now, as we rest from the flurry of summer activity and prepare for the long winter ahead, is the perfect time to evaluate the relationships we’ve nurtured to find if they are healthy. To determine which friendships need work and which ones aren’t worth our time. It is sad but true to say that some friendships that once provided sustenance or support on our journey, now only require extra energy to move forward.

In the article 5 Types of Friends You Need to Ditch, sociologist Jan Yager says, “negative friendships can cause stress, frustration, and even put you in harm’s way if their behavior puts you in situations that could jeopardize you and your loved ones.”

Although you may love a person, letting go of the aspects of the relationship that aren’t working may be the best way to achieve happiness and health in everyday life. Evaluating and maintaining  healthy relationships can reap amazing benefits.  The Mayo Clinic article,  Friendships: Enrich your life and improve your health, points out that when in healthy relationships/friendships, stress is reduced, trauma is more easily navigated and self-worth, happiness and confidence improve, among many other great things.

Relationship with self

Then, after you have cut off all the unhealthiness around you, it’s time to focus that laser inward--to determine where you excel and where you can improve to be a better, healthier you.

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Helen Elizabeth Williams of writes that introspection (self-reflection) “helps you understand yourself, gives a clearer picture of your surrounding, makes you wiser, makes you soulful, liberates you from anxiety, turns you into an empathetic person, broadens your horizons and grows you as an individual.”

This type of introspection requires deep reflection and the ability to learn from mistakes.  This is a harvest of self. It comes from evaluating life, surroundings, friendships, successes and failures, and putting each harvest in its place so it can sustain us as we focus on reaping a life of happiness and success.

This year, while picking pumpkins and apples, think about the figurative seeds you sowed this summer and what type of fruits they bore.

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