Begin with Vision | Transition into Summer with intention and heart

BEGIN WITH VISION

If you have school-aged children, the looming summer vacation can trigger so many feelings and anticipations. Transition of any kind can do that, but I find Summer to be particularly daunting, because it bears the weight of so much expectation.

NOW is the time to make lifelong memories with your children!

…but don’t over-schedule—make sure they have the opportunity to get bored and use their imagination.

Take this chance to explore your hometown! Take a day-trip a town over!

…but also, make space for your family to find their inner homebody.

Tackle those big projects! ORGANIZE YOUR GARAGE!

…but take a chill-pill, lady. Summer is the time to slooooow down, and go with the flow.

Are you feeling me here? Lots of tension. Lots of expectations. And if you’re like me, carrying all that around can squash the joy right out of whatever is coming next.

In an effort to nip this transitional anxiety in the bud, I’ve started incorporating a reflective practice into the beginning of new things of significance (like a specific project, or a season of life). I take 10 or 15 minutes to respond to the questions I’ve pulled together, and then I use that information to structure (to the extent that I can) the project or season I’m moving into.

If having a bit of a vision might give you the clarity and confidence you need to move forward with ease (and maybe even loosen up the space you need to feel joy), then I’m including this guided reflective practice as a free download for you. If the idea of beginning with reflection is new to you, I’m certain you’re going to get a lot out of it, and my hope for you is that this (or something like it) becomes a lifelong habit. (The link to download is in the middle of this post. You can’t miss it.)

My intention is for this is to support you in purposefully slowing down and finding your bearings as we transition from the drum-beat of the school year, to the wide-open summer—but this guided reflection is good for every new beginning, so hang onto it, and re-use it at the beginning of the school year, a new job, a new volunteer gig, you get the idea.

Why reflect?

Whether we’re looking forward at a specific event, or a season of life, personal reflection is valuable tool for anticipating what’s to come—the stuff that comes with ease, and the stuff that’s more challenging. When we have a vision for what’s to come, we see the hurdles in front of us, and we can prepare ourselves in advance for what we’re likely to experience.

When I don’t make the time to pause and consider what’s coming, it’s like I’m running an obstacle course with a blindfold on. Maybe I’ve seen this course enough to sort of anticipate the hurdles and pits, but unless I’ve run this exact course 10,000 times, I will certainly run headlong into most of the obstacles in my path, and if I clear any of them, it will be mostly by sheer luck.

Why would any of us do this to ourselves? Yet we DO do it. Summer after summer. Endeavor after endeavor. And we wonder why day-to-day life can leave us feeling so bruised and weary at the end of the day.

 

Below, I’ve included the guiding questions I ask myself at the beginning of a project or season. If you like to write things down by hand (which I do), there’s also a printable for you to enjoy. You can print these guiding questions out and tuck them in your journal to refer to, or you can print as many sheets as you need if you’d like to do this activity with a group.

Guiding reflection for beginning with intention

 

Click here to download the Guided Reflection for Beginning with Intention

 

Final thoughts

(This is related to the previous post I wrote about “Finishing Well: Reflections for Parents at the End of the School Year.” Click over for the reading, and a free guided reflection download.)

The idea of a reflective practice is common, so I don’t want to give the impression that I invented it. I’ve cobbled together elements from a lot of different sources into a practice that works for me. You’ll have your own preferences so I expect that you’ll make alterations that will afford you some ease in adopting this new practice.

Let me know what you think! You can comment below, send me an email, or PM me on Instagram.

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