Is my reflective practice good enough? is a question I have asked myself many times over my years of coaching and supervision and my answer was always no, I always felt it was inadequate.
I have never been able to settle to writing out my reflective practice. Sitting down with that laptop or journal and making lots of notes. Mine was, and still is, a list of bullet points and scribbled notes which may be in any journal to hand! This made me feel my reflective practice was lacking in some way. But I then found myself starting to make biro intuitive drawings both realistic and abstract, almost doodles, particularly when there was lots going on and where thoughts and sensed experiences would tell me there was something I needed to pay attention to. This has expanded into art journals and bigger pieces. Being able to express myself through image making and art has enabled me to settle those thoughts and complex feelings that can come up in practice and life, enabling me to connect to them, understand them and respond to them. I had found my way of literally, creating a reflective practice.
This experience has shown me that we all reflect differently and creating a sustainable reflective practice is about finding our best way to reflect. One that enables us to enjoy that curiosity led and developmental process.
Finding your own way to reflect
If my experience resonates with you, this is what I say to other coaches and clients who are perhaps feeling their own reflective practice isn’t what it should be and to encourage them to find their own way…
Remember your reflective practice is all about your personal development and growth. It isn’t an academic exercise that is going to be critiqued or assessed in any way. It is your space to be curious about you and your practice or your work. It is a private and confidential space just for you.
Your reflective practice will also be many things to you, it may be about strengths, weaknesses and challenges, as well as positive experiences and successes, or it may be a space to express how you are feeling and allow experiences to settle so you can make sense of them. It is whatever you need it to be in that reflective moment.
So be kind to yourself and find a way to reflect that you enjoy, and want to come back to, where you can be completely open and honest with yourself and be you – this is your way into creating a sustainable reflective practice. You may, of course, already be doing this and you just need to give yourself permission to reflect your way.
An image from my creative reflection