Criminals Beware

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THE ART OF INTROSPECTION

By: Mozelle Forman

Although introspection is valuable at any time, it is especially significant in anticipation of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

What is introspection? When
you consider how your actions, behaviors, needs, values, and feelings affect your life and the lives of others, thatis introspection. Introspection is not an inspectionwhere you are looking for faults. In fact, it is free from judgment and lets you honestly assess the areas of your life that can use some tweaking. The goal is to come upon changes you can make to improve yourself and your relationships with others.

To whom is introspection useful?Anyone wishing to acquire self-knowledge and bring about positive personal change will benefit
from introspection.

Where should introspection take place?Anywhere free from distraction. Being busy causes us to avoid looking inward. We occupy ourselves to prevent our “judging voice” from recounting our missteps with others. In order to introspect, put away the busy work, relax your mind and suspend self-judgment.

When should one introspect?In order for it to happen at all, introspection must be scheduled. Set aside a specific time and day for introspection. You can even suggest to your spouse the idea of introspecting together. Maybe this will be the year that the two of you refocus your energies on a specific aspect of your marriage and encourage each other’s personal growth.

How does one introspect?After creating a quiet space where you will not be interrupted, ask yourself questions that will inspire better self-understanding. Questions like:

What do I love most
about myself?

What are my deepest values?

What am I most grateful for?

What is my greatest source of sadness, fear and anger? What can I do to change it?

Am I using my time wisely?
If not, how can I do better?

Am I taking anything
or anyone for granted?

Am I letting things that are out of my control stress me out?

The time you spend having this conversation with yourself will help you set personal goals that will ensure a happy, healthy, and peaceful new year.

Mozelle Forman is a clinical social worker
in private practice for 20 years.
She welcomes your comments at
mozelle.relationshipsbydesign@gmail.com.