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Reflect, Replenish, and Restore!

It’s June 2021! We’ve completed the first half of our year’s journey. But we still have a long road ahead. So, we must continue venturing towards our planned destination.

We continue to maneuver through the unexpected twists and turns or highs and lows. I am sure most of us never envisioned our world, country, states, and cities ravaged by a pandemic with the magnitude of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Our focus on protecting our health and our loved ones and fellow citizens has required significant changes in our daily routines, great sacrifices, and innumerable self-less choices, resulting in a new normal.

Then, as if dealing with this historic health emergency was not enough, we again saw the recurrence of many unconscionable and unjust acts against fellow humans that made us rise up and heighten the call for change. In the face of what could have torn us apart, we have seen unity amongst people of different races, creeds, nationalities, genders, and identities. We’ve seen a unified demand for action and tangible change now, refusing to accept the status quo and refusing to go back to the way things were. While we recognize the strides in this effort are getting longer and taking us farther, there is still much to do and a long road ahead.

As we forge into the second half of the year, each of us must stay prepared to make a positive contribution by replenishing and re-energizing ourselves to continue doing our part to make the future brighter for all. A significant step in our preparation and our effort to replenish and re-energize is self-reflection. Through self-reflection, we can:

· Sort out our thoughts, desires, likes, dislikes, strengths, and weaknesses

We can all take self-inventory to weed out the bad and find the good we need to build on. Advancement comes from self-evaluation, where we take time to uplift ourselves by recognizing our accomplishments and make plans for the future by identifying self-improvements.

· Assess our actions, contributions, associations, and affiliations

Also, reviewing specific activities, endeavors, and exploits gives us concrete evidence of efforts that brought results and joy as well as those that failed and disappointed us. It also helps us to align with organizations and individuals that meet our wants and needs.

· Solidify our beliefs, principles and, convictions

Having completed a self-evaluation and examined our activities, we can definitively confirm our convictions. Then we can reinforce our effort to stand on our beliefs and work according to our principles to not only represent our convictions but use them to drive the change.

· Define opportunities for learning and growth (and execute them)

Knowledge is a tool that we can use to proactively operate from a position of strength because we are informed and not assuming or guessing. Therefore, we should welcome all opportunities to gather more information and expand the scope of our understanding as we travel along life’s journey.

· Determine the need for rest (in some format) and take it

Relaxation and recovery allow us to re-fuel and prepare to handle routine activities and overcome challenges effectively. If we are tired and cannot focus or concentrate, we cannot dedicate ourselves to the necessary tasks or complete them successfully. Therefore, rest or relaxation is essential to re-energize, stand firm, and work to make our beliefs real.

Self-reflection is an empowering and necessary exercise. Collecting and reviewing this set of information, taking steps to increase and broaden the scope of our knowledge and understanding, as well as merely taking some time to rest are all critical factors as we prepare to move forward successfully. Our effort will allow us to organize and better utilize our arsenal of talents and tools to be well equipped to achieve our own goals and reach our desired destination. Additionally, these steps will prepare us to help someone along the way and become a factor in enacting change by our direct effort or giving support to others as they work to gain lasting social and economic change.

But self-reflection can be frightening because it requires acknowledging behaviors and attitudes less than complimentary and not how we “see” ourselves. But self-reflection can also be empowering because it gives us the impetus to transform our body, heart, and mind. We can improve and strengthen commitment and willingness to act on our convictions instead of merely standing and watching from the sidelines with transformation.

As we transform our lives, we identify our philosophy and position on relevant and critical subjects, concepts, and issues. Our transformation then leads us to replenish and re-energize our dedication to actively pursue and support those efforts that are not only of interest but of significant concern to our well-being and the betterment of our society.

When we replenish our being, we can operate at peak – at the highest standard. We are alert, prepared, willing, and able to perform at exceptional levels. Replenishment fuels something inside that strengthens us to forge ahead against all the odds, believing that love and justice are tied together and propels us to act as such to invoke equality and unity amongst our citizens.

If we want to perform well under any critical circumstance and react quickly but be proactive in our planning and actions, we must do so by operating at a high capacity. When tired, drained, and overwhelmed, we are more apt to make mistakes, respond slowly, inappropriately, or inaccurately. But when we replenish and restore our body, heart, and mind to full strength, we can meet high operating standards and perform at peak levels.

So, as we move forward, let us continue to include reflection, replenishment, and restoration in our tool kits. These elements position us to stand, persevere, pursue, perform, and successfully achieve results that are effective and enduring. And, the first half of this year, we not only experienced events we did not perceive, but we have also seen changes that, although we desired, many of us did not expect to come to fruition – at least not this year. Still, we clearly understand that there is a lot more change needed, and there is a long road ahead. However, the past year and a half is evidence that (together) we are powerful, and we can not only demand change but can make it a reality. We can achieve, fuel, and effectively use our power when we organize in unity, stay bonded in love, operate with determination, and willingly stand on our convictions. But to do so, each of us must remain strong in mind, heart, and body through reflection, replenishment, and restoration.

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