As my most recent, incredible FDSA class wrapped up I spent quite a lot of time reflecting. In fact, through the class, we all reflected a lot and sometimes we stewed a little. We all had lots happening in life, in a lot of different ways. This is certainly not an easy time in general.

Then I did an analysis for the day job and was told I am an “Advisor” and an “Influencer”. Apparently “Advisors are practical, concrete thinkers who are at their most powerful when reacting to and solving other people’s problems.” I think powerful might be a bit of overkill – but I certainly enjoy breaking down issues (including my own) and coming up with some strategies and tools to test until we can find a solution. Influencers “engage people directly and convince them to act. Their power is their persuasion.”

I am far too much of an introvert to feel like an influencer ever, but if ever I have persuaded you to do something that is good for – I am absolutely delighted by that. I am a little discomforted by the reference to power in both summaries. You have a super power. I encourage you to find and use it. I just am.

Isn’t the human mind a funny thing? One word made me want to slip right past the actual meaning of the blurbs. In a nutshell I like helping people (of all species). And that, my friends, is truth.

When you are feeling the pit of rumination threatening to swallow you whole there are some definite things to do to move from despair to hope. You might want to listen to 3 hours of the saddest music you can find, instead, listen to one tragic song sure to induce tears. Cry. Cry a lot. Then wash your face and move forward.

Reflection is one tool you might turn to. Reflection is a way to learn from an experience or a feeling rather than being consumed by something.

Reflection allows us to feel but also to stay calm, steady and aware. You might want to take a grounding breath or tap away a difficult thought but you can think as you reflect. Curiousity can be a hallmark of reflection as questions are a part of it. ” Why didn’t we earn that ribbon?” “What would could I have done differently?” Rumination might track like “I can’t believe we didn’t the Q, my dog is awful, the judge was mean” or even worse “I am an idiot”.

If your brain is full of negative thinking or limiting beliefs odds are you are ruminating. Ruminating a little is human and to be expected but spending a lot of time there can lead us to depression, increase anxiety and feelings of sadness.

There are lots of tools to stop ruminating – distract yourself, STOPP, adapt your plan, avoid triggers, conciously build self esteem and more. But one of the most effective methods is to transition that ruminating moment into a reflective one.

Catch your breath, ground yourself. Identify the ruminating you are doing then deliberately start to ask yourself questions. Perhaps starting with any of:

Why I am feeling this way?

What am I afraid of?

What is blocking me letting go of this thing?

Will give you a starting place. Picking up a journal and writing, or talking to a friend can be good tools too.

Helping you move into a reflective personal practice to overcome rumination is always one of my goals when working with people. I got inspired and if people are interested have a cool little kickstarter MAKE100 project coming up! Check out the teaser! Let me know what you think. And ask to be notified when it goes live!

To be entirely simplistic but honest here – reflection is positive, rumination is negative. We get limited time and energy in a day to invest – we might as well invest it in positive things!

HEY! I nearly forgot to say – I updated the website, yeah this one nearly every page has an update of some sort I think. Check it out! Can you find the playlist I put together for you?