Conventional wisdom says that we should start the year with some goals or resolutions. I have a different take. I say we should start and end the year with reflection. Only when we have undergone our reflective practices should we start setting a goal and then start the planning with the goal/end in mind as we design our action plan.
Sometimes, reflection is done in the most deliberate of ways like a guided journal page or gong through a set of questions or even facilitated sessions. Sometimes, reflection happens at the spur of the moment; impromptu. Which ever way you arrive, what is important is that you reflect. Recently, in my recent family vacation, a pleasant reflective moment happened in the sweetest and gentlest of ways.
During my recent visit to Yogyakarta, Indonesia to visit the Borobudur, I also took in a private museum by the name of Ullen Sentalu in Kaliurang, Yogyakarta. It is a museum dedicated to the life and times of the royal family of Yogyakarta. In the many exhibits, housed in quaint little rooms made of Mount Merapi lava rocks, was a room dedicated to about 29 letter written by cousins, nephew and relatives of a particular princess by the name of Tineke. These hand written letters in Dutch was wall mounted with translations of the text displayed below those images. These letters were written to console Tineke that was recently heartbroken. Isn’t it a gentle, sweet notion?
Among the letters, there was one in particular that struct me to be very unique in its approach of consoling. The content invites Tineke to reflect, be forward looking and be in action. This was done in a most gentle way.
I find the series of reflective questions to be useful even for me; even till now. It has an almost meditative chant to it.
Let me reproduce the letter below and hope that you could also use them to reflect as we plan ahead for our 2019.
Ada baiknya melihat ke dalam hati
Sejenak sebelum tidur
Apakah dari pagi hingga malam tidak
Apakah kamu tidak membuat mata
tidak memberi kesusahan kepada
Atau apakah kamu telah mengatakan
kata-kata penuh kasih
kepada orang-orag yang tidak punya
Kenangan dari Koesdarmilah