As we approach the halfway point in the year, it’s a healthy exercise to take some time to reflect. This short meditation and journaling exercise will help you connect with the passionate and precious moments of your year, so you can get clear on what you want to focus on for the second half of the year.
It’s best to do these exercises in order, but they can certainly work as stand-alone practices.
Simple Recapitulation Practice
- Sit up tall and close your eyes. Allow your body to be comfortable and alert.
- Take a minute to settle into your breath; deep inhales and slow exhales.
- Start by just taking notice of where you are at the moment. Notice how you feel physically and mentally, and then begin to observe your thoughts in a neutral, non-judgmental way as they come and go.
- Now begin to re-play through the first half of the year in your mind, as if you were watching a movie reel of highlights and big moments from the first half of your 2015.
- Start with New Year’s, and move through the year month by month, recalling people, moments, emotions, activities, details, highlights—anything at all. Just play through these highlights from the first sixth months of the year little by little in your mind as they come to you. Watch them like a recap of all that happened.
- Start to finish the movie reel of the half-year and begin to settle your attention on your favorite moment from the year so far. Hold it at the center of your mind and take it in through all of your senses. Really replay this one moment in your mind. Try to take that feeling into all of your cells, with your entire mind and heart, and really feel that state you were in, when you were living through this favorite moment. Don’t rush this part—recall how your body felt, what your mind state was, what your energy felt like … Recall any colors, images, sensations. What did it smell like? Taste like?
- As you bring your attention to that positive memory, create the intention to integrate more of this feeling into the remainder of your year in various ways.
- Stay with it for another minute, and then slowly transition your mind back into the present moment by bringing your awareness back to your breath. Deep inhales and slow exhales.
- Take a minute before you open your eyes.
Re-feeling your favorite moment—with all of its colors and textures and sensations—is a great way to identify the types of feelings you want more of in your life. You can revisit this memory any time you need to hit the recharge button.
Writing down your reflections helps to re-enforce the clarity that comes with understanding the highest points from your year. Once you identify them, you know what you’re looking for in the future. You can take two minutes for a short reflection and answer these questions, or you can spend an hour writing, using the below bullets as prompts. Either way, keep your responses relevant to the first six months of the year to stay focused on the current state of affairs in your life.
As a bonus, see if you can choose one thing from each month for each:
- Write down 6 things that you’re proud of
- Write down 6 people or things you’re grateful for
- Write down 6 moments that brought you enthusiasm and a huge smile
- Write down 6 things you did that exemplified compassion
- Identify 6 moments or activities that made you lose track of time
- Identify 6 things that you regret not doing or being a part of
- If you made a New Year’s resolution, goal, or intention, how’s it going?
- Describe your favorite moment. What about the moment made it so good? Use adjectives and details to describe the situation and why you loved it.
- Write down 6 things you’d like to accomplish in the next 6 months
As you open yourself fully to the remainder of the year, use these musings and reflections as fuel to adjust and elevate your world in the ways that are most important to you.