"The unexamined life is not worth living." ~Socrates
Are you amazed or stunned at where you are right now compared to where you thought you'd be when you made your resolutions for 2012? Why is this? Well, the sky (and you could read God here also) works in strange ways to put us on the right path, and over the last year there has definitely been a course adjustment.
Astrologically 2012 was the year of the retrogrades (see dates of retrogrades 2012 here). First there was the Mars Rx in January that stopped unimpeded forward motion causing the pace of life to become two steps forward - one step back (for some individuals it was more like one step forward - two steps back). Then in May of 2012, Venus reversed directions and we all had the opportunity to realize just how jaded our values had become. Of course there was the normal three per year Mercury Rx transits that shifted our perceptions and changed our minds. But these just skim the surface of the astrological year 2012 which began with a disrupting Mars Retrograde, included the first of seven Uranus/Pluto squares that will extend to March 2015 and ended with a painful, disturbing, and devastating Uranus station direct on December 13, 2012.
It seemed everyone experienced the ecstasy and agony of wild expectations and traumatic disappointments. As the year 2012 brought each of us to a crossroad in our lives, a decision had to be made. For many 2012 was the end of the world as they knew it, and for most a new chapter in life was about to begin. The almost unprecedented emotional highs and lows of 2012 seem to make it even more important than usual that we spend time examining our lives and reflecting on the year just past before impulsively leaping into 2013.
New Year's Day is the perfect time to ask yourself the questions below and reflecting on your answers:
What happened in 2012? How did you act/react? Could you have done it better? Or differently? Where did you change? How could you have handled certain situations better or differently? What have you learned?
How did you treat people in 2012? Were you too abrupt? Not diplomatic enough? Was there something you could have said or done but didn't? Who were your major teachers in 2012? What lessons did each bring to you? Did you learn? What events in the world shaped your life in 2012. What inner feeling and longings moved you in a new direction? Did you walk a moral path and retain your values and beliefs despite threats to your career and/or personal life?
Did anything or anyone in 2012 make you choose between what you knew was right, moral and of value and what was not? How did you handle the challenges? Were you successful? Do the choices you made in 2012 allow you to sleep at night? Did you walk your truth? Did you give up on any of these because you were afraid for whatever the reason?
Where and how did you grow in 2012? Emotionally? Mentally? Spiritually? Are you at peace with yourself? If not, where does work need to be done?
Reflection is a dynamic learning tool. We examine our lives through reflection and our ability to reflect allows us to realistically assess our own knowledge, values, qualities, skills and behaviors. Reflecting enables us to become aware of our experiences and learn from them, it guides and informs our personal and professional development as it allows us to clearly recognize our own strengths and weaknesses. Because we reflect on ourselves, we are able to articulate our skills and abilities to others.
It is only with the self knowledge that honest reflection brings that we become aware of who we really are and see ourselves as others do.