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A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine. March's Theme: "Reflection"
Volume 5 Issue 3 ISSN# 1708-3265
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Being Mindful
Reflection and Solving Our Problems

by Janet Alston Jackson

It's important to look back to appreciate how far we have come in our lives. Often times we are so busy trying to get to the next step, the next goal, that we forget our accomplishments. Sometimes we lack appreciation for ourselves and who we are and the obstacles we have overcome.

Positive reflections can give us energy and renew our faith when we don't feel good about our lives. Remembering our successes, someone who has passed on or remembering someone's encouraging words, can help us feel good in the here and now.

But looking back for too long or too often can be detrimental, to the point that we are not living in the moment. We pine for how life used to be, and wish we could turn back the clock, or take back something we did or said. Those moments are over and gone forever.

Refection shouldn't be about regrets which can be a waste of time and energy. Reflection of bad times is only useful to correct errors… and to figure out a better way of doing a task in the future, or how to improve a relationship.

Languishing in our mistakes, and the mistakes of others… is nothing more than a big mistake. Our body cannot distinguish from the messages it receives from past memories or what is happening in the present. So harbouring bad feelings, and dwelling on negative things people said or did, releases toxins in our bodies which become stress and disease.

This is not to say that we should ignore hurts and problems. That can be worse. It's about doing all we can to rectify a bad situation, and then moving on to release those thoughts.

I often give this example in our workshops of the importance of letting go of problems in order to solve them. Years ago there was a study of how geniuses came up with their answers to complicated problems. A group of everyday people was placed in a room together, and the 'geniuses' were placed in a another room. When both groups were given a task to solve, they were observed on how they went about solving the problem. The everyday people were seen huddled together trying desperately to figure out the answer, often angering one another and disagreeing. After the geniuses received their challenge, some went to take a nap, others went to listen to music, and a few went to see a movie. The everyday people could not seem to solve the problem while the geniuses easily came up with the answer. What was fascinating was the geniuses had relaxed and let go of the problem. They simply allowed the answer to come to them. We can do the same by learning to let go.

I have found reflecting on one of my past trips to the beautiful islands of Hawaii was particularly helpful during times of stress when I needed to come up with solutions to my own life challenges. There is nothing more satisfying than to take a few moments, close my eyes, and travel back to the spectacular sunsets, the tropical alluring breezes and the warm crystal waters which tantalized me then, and soothes my soul now. Good feelings like these release endorphins to heal our emotions and bodies. We find our blood pressure is lowered, pains released, and moods elevated. It never fails that when I release the problem and mentally reflect back on my tropical vacations—magically I find the answer was staring me in the face but was camouflaged by stress.

We need to feel good about ourselves and our lives, especially in times of crisis. Reflecting on the feelings we had of the good times helps us over the barriers which seem to stand in our way whether it's a failed relationship, financial problems, or simply boredom. If we reflect and conjure up those feelings when we had a success we can use those same feelings to help us solve new challenges.

A good reflection is like a good meal. We must taste it, savour it… and then release it into the here and now. This moment is what counts, and it's all we really have.

Janet Alston Jackson is the author of "A Cry for Light: A Journey into Love." To order books and CD's, schedule Janet for speaking engagements, or subscribe to Janet's newsletter, visit her website, email, or call Self Awareness Trainings toll free 1-877-796-8288. You can order Janet's book: click here.

Janet Alston Jackson, a certified seminar leader, has facilitated self-awareness workshops to a variety of audiences since 1993. She often teams with her husband Walter Jackson (author of "Sporting the Right Attitude"), to facilitate fun, high-energy motivating trainings for which the couple is known. This unique husband-and-wife team have been guests on numerous radio talk shows around the country, and have made appearances on KCET, public television.

Janet is a certified behavioural consultant, a certified anger management consultant, and a certified seminar leader. Through their motivational company Self Awareness Trainings, the Jacksons have given numerous workshops on "How to Effectively Communicate," "Releasing Stress," and "Mindfulness Trainings" to a variety of audiences including corporate executives, parents, teachers, women in recovery, prison personnel, health care workers, and entertainment industry executives.

Janet co-founded with Walter, Believe In Yourself Inc, a non-profit self-esteem program for children and their parents.

Janet earned her B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the California State University at San Jose. She started her television career as a production assistant for the Los Angeles local CBS station, and she was a news writer for the Los Angeles CBS owned radio station, KNX Newsradio.

A strong advocate for children, Janet was a Court Appointed Special Child Advocate (CASA) and a board member for their fundraising arm, Friends of Child Advocate. Today she is a board member for Child Care Resource Center, which serves thousands of families in Los Angeles County.

The author and her husband Walter, have three teenagers; Ryan, Devon and Jada, and one very loveable Chow named Simba. They live in Los Angeles.

Be sure to read the reviews of her book in our January 2007 Issue.

Copyright (c) 2008 by Timeless Spirit Magazine. All articles are the copyright of the particular writers and cannot be reprinted without their expressed permission. All rights reserved. International copyright laws prohibit reproduction of or distribution of this page by any means whatsoever, electronic or otherwise, without first obtaining the written permission of the copyright holder. We retain legal counsel to protect our copyrights.

Any advice given is for informational purposes only.

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