Entries by a MOOC participant
This week on Day 10 of the 21 Day Teacher Empowerment Challenge, we have been asked to consider How often do you take time to reflect on what’s working and what’s not working? The idea stems from John Dewey’s quote “We don’t learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience.”
My colleague, Maureen Maher has decided to embark on a journey of 750 words. Quite frankly, that freaked me out. Every day? 750 words. I don’t think I have it in me. I have tried alot of things to be more reflective. One of the outcomes for the 21 Day Challenge is creative empowerment through awareness and practice. The idea being, that if every day, you actively choose to be aware, to be creative and to practice, you will achieve your desired goal. My ultimate goal is to blog once a week, but to date, I have not been successful.
That being said, I went looking for ways to incorporate reflection in my daily round without being overwhelmed by it. Small steps….That’s when I stumbled upon Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits Blog and he had the following recommendations to make reflection a Daily Habit:
1. Start a one-sentence journal.
2. Focus on doing it at the same time every day. No exceptions.
3. Reflect while you exercise.
4. Think about your day, your work, your life. In that order.
5. Write about it publicly.
I loved it. This was Zen. This was doable.
The next thing I had to do was check out Gretchen Rubin who influenced Leo with her “Why I started keep a daily one sentence journal.” (And this is what I love about the Internet. One idea leads to another…and another….and then you can craft your own).
Like me, Gretchen found the idea of “keeping a proper journal…far too daunting.” Gretchen is the author of the Happiness Project and “Mastering the Habits of our Everyday Lives.” The results of her experience — she printed out a digital book of her first year journal. This project contributed to her happiness formula that to be happy, “you must think about feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right….all in an atmosphere of growth.”
Ok. Now I am getting somewhere. Intrinisic reward. Happiness comes from reflection. Recording our reflection gives us an opportunity to look back on our growth because small changes on a regular basis will make all the difference in the long run.
And then I found that there is a whole world of people out there participating in OneWord365.
Choose just one word.
Discover the big impact one word can make.
One word. 365 days. A changed life.
You can choose your own word. You can join a tribe of people who are focusing on that word. Go try it for yourself. My word was catalyst. There was only one person in my tribe. And, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to spend an entire year focusing on just one word. I need to find a way to reflect that would work for me. Let me keep looking….
I started thinking about my friend, Amy Burvall. She started her own #oneword campaign “What if I could essentialize my day into one word?” I love this idea. Amy uses iconic pink, black and white drawings using Paper 53 to illustrate her one word. “I like it because it gets me into a reflective habit of mind — I’m always on the lookout for things that force me to get into a creative habit but aren’t time consuming or difficult.”
So thanks to Leo, Gretchen and Amy, I’m going to try this daily reflective practice. For me, I will focus on one idea. One word, one sentence, one thought.
Every day. Join us!
Be aware. Be creative. Be empowered. Stay tuned….
How creating works by hand opens the mind, establishes a sense of self and brings peace.
Doug Belshaw's blog
Amy's Whimsical Musings