Acting with awareness especially with others is not taught much in schools except indirectly. The Radical Act of Action and Reflection: Who are You? intends to very simply point to this gap and offer some simple ways to become more reflective of ourselves and our world, more able to know ourselves as autonomous and united, able to literally co-create.
Youth who seem always connected and are often taught “collaboratively” are still not taught to know themselves and make choices in a way that is possibly more helpful. We have schools that purposely do not teach independent thinking, that maintains teachers as authorities and then if we are lucky, we go on, becoming another “authority” and “qualified” to earn a living.
This post intends to help end this “transference of power” from an authority, back to a self who is ultimately the authority. Words do not teach. Experience teaches. Resistance and resentment, I believe are just entrenched by current methods and beliefs of who is really in charge of our lives. One friend was so committed to the autonomy of his children he allowed them to go to Denmark from the UK. In Denmark, where they could choose studies and teachers themselves.
As the hookah-smoking caterpillar in Lewis Carol’s Alice in Wonderland asked, Who are you?
In our crazy, hyperactive world, there may be no more radical act than the act of reflection. This post is about acting, reflecting and creating, if you feel called, inspired by your lived experiences and reflections, even your experience of this post.
I offer this post out of my experience. I attended many colleges. Two colleges specifically encouraged reflective writing in which the self, the I, was included as opposed to pedantic scholarly writing with no author revealed, no context for the reader to know more. I am forever grateful for this happenstance.
I am sure you, if a reader, have already been exposed to reflective writing and journaling. While there are many ways I could share this concept of action and reflection, I want to keep it fun and easy. Here is a powerful classic I used in an undergrad class for your consideration. It is A Gift From the Sea by Ann Morrow Lindbergh. (I chose the nicest edition with notes added by the author.) Your library surely has it. While some may consider it too feminine, it is a great opportunity for men to learn a powerful feminine skill (in the Jungian and cultural sense) to begin to gain access to perhaps long-repressed feelings and wonderings.
This might just be your push to begin a very powerful tool: writing down, physically, not on a computer at first (feel it viscerally). I was taught by one wonderful mentor to write my experience as soon after its occurrence as possible and I did this a great deal and gained a great deal. If memories are tough, I believe reading this gentle book may help. I do not promote deep recall of trauma but I suggest a more “sideways”, a gentle approach in appreciation first of yourself, the hero of the story or the creating to become in the future, the dream manifested.
I often went to the web and found pictures that inspired and pasted them in and I had one friend who taught journaling as an art. She drew most of her entries. The main things are doing it as soon after the experience as possible when inspired, and your memory is strong; come up with YOUR way and if possible make it at first by hand (the tactile part is often very powerful and later you can computerize). To the point: keep a journal. You will quickly not only have your dreams memorialized you just may have a product!
What kind of world might we have if every child and adult learned to reflect and act from those conscious reflections together? No wonder meditation is popular. These skills of acting and reflecting and sharing in some form with the community, I believe, are much more useful than meditation alone; life becomes a practice of presence, of aware interaction. Combined with a daily meditation practice, which literally changes the brain? Wonderful!