Recently the team from Enable Me To Grow posed some questions on Facebook about how we can involve our children in cluster reflection meetings. These questions really got me thinking, and inspired me to write a simple song that we can sing with our children at reflection meetings or anytime we reflect together.
[button link=”http://www.enablemetogrow.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/TimeToReflect.mp3″ color=”silver”] Download MP3[/button]
It’s Time To Reflect!
By Laura Harley
It’s time to reflect
It’s time to reflect
It’s time to reflect
Let’s consult together!
We try some things to serve and teach
Praying all along
We come together to share what we learned
And cheer each other on!
What is going well this time?
Let’s do more of the same!
What’s not going quite as well?
Let’s see what we can change!
As I wrote this song, I wondered: How can I help my child incorporate the habit of service and reflection into his life?
In a message dated 27 December 2005, the Universal House of Justice states:
[quote]Key to the progress of an intensive program of growth is the phase dedicated to reflection, in which the lessons learned in action are articulated and incorporated into plans for the next cycle of activity. Its principal feature is the reflection meeting–as much a time for joyous celebration as it is of serious consultation.[/quote]
After reflecting on this quotation, I thought about the way that children seem have a natural capacity for and attraction to the practice of reflection. For example, my two-year old son enjoys reflecting on his day each evening with me and my husband. On a given evening we may reflect on going to the park, the new things he tried that day, the things that were fun, and the things that were hard. He seems to find a certain comfort in this practice and it seems to fill a need within him to process his experiences from the day. It also serves to prepare him for the what comes next as we talk a little bit about what we may do the next day.
Cycles of growth in our communities can serve a similar function. They help us live each day consciously, encourage us to reflect on our actions, and incorporate learning into the next actions we will take.
My hope is that my family can continually strive to align our activities, thoughts, and planning with the rhythms of our community. A simple way to start is to serve together (through making home visits, hosting core activities, praying, building friendships, etc.) and talk about these experiences afterwards. We can talk about what happened, what we learned, and what we’d like to do next time.
With very young children this may take a very simple form. For example, after visiting with friends we might say to our child, “We went to visit our friends today. They were so happy to see us! It fills my heart with joy when we are with friends. What did you enjoy about today?” Perhaps this simple practice can help our children begin to live the rhythm that The Universal House of Justice is guiding us towards, and to do so with joy.
I hope this reflection song is of use to you and would love to hear what you are learning in your community and in your family!
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.enablemetogrow.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/lh.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Laura Harley is a stay-at-home mom to a wonderful 2-year-old boy. She also maintains a (part-time) life coaching practice and helps her clients navigate their lives with confidence and compassion, overcome obstacles and get “unstuck”, and live fulfilling and meaningful lives. She is also a singer-songwriter and makes music to soothe the wounds of modern life. She blogs about living a meaningful life and parenting, and gives tools to help people find and utilize their inner resources. (http://www.lauraharley.com)[/author_info] [/author]
To read an interview with Laura about her music, published on Enable Me To Grow in June 2012, click here.
Does reflection play a role in your family and Baha’i community life? How do you integrate your children into this process?