It’s Not You, It’s Me: My Number One Personal Development Tool

by Gail Jankovski on December 14

Here at Spiraling Up we are a diverse group with a common passion—personal development. But what is personal development, anyway?

It means different things to different people, but I think that most people would agree that the definition includes some variation on the theme of striving to become one’s “best self.” Whether we are seeking more success, spiritual fulfillment, connection, creativity or productivity, we strive to grow and expand in our lives and in our perspectives.

In our varied personal development journeys we have each encountered and experimented with numerous concepts, techniques and strategies—but there is usually one concept, technique or strategy that we would describe as life changing for us. During one of our group conversations the question was posed: What personal development concept has changed your life the most?

Without a doubt for me that concept is: Everything is a reflection.

Everything is a reflection; you get what you give; as within so without; karma is a bitch. However we say it, it suggests not rules and authority, but rather a natural harmonic balance. It encompasses a range of beliefs that touch on the Law of Attraction (LOA) and subjective reality. And while I don’t necessarily argue it as an absolute objective truth, it is a useful perspective that we can lean into and work (and play) with in our lives.

I personally love the reflection perspective because it is like a theory of everything for me. I love that such complex concepts can easily be boiled down to four simple words that elucidate a philosophy that validates the way I see the world. And I love that that philosophy encompasses all levels of my being: metaphysical and spiritual, as well as physical and practical.

Metaphysical and Spiritual

From a metaphysical perspective, the concept that everything is a reflection so simply represents the experience of being a conduit for consciousness. I picture that consciousness, projected outwards, creating the actual reality we see reflected back. It evokes for me a picture ubiquitous divinity and connection, and of being a participant in creation.

Creator and creation as one: there is power in that. But there is also comfort—the comfort of knowing that anything we may seek is available within ourselves. And that that comfort can be accessed in personal and experiential ways, rather than through distant and ancient texts.

On a spiritual level, everything being a reflection also speaks to me of an innate moral conscience that is independent of any need for external validation. And a moral fabric that emerges from our individual and common consciousness, and mirrors the inherent balance of the universe, occurs to me as that much more powerful than one that is imposed on us by some external force or deity.

Reflection1Physical and Practical

Though we live in a physical world, we enrich that experience through the practical application of our philosophical belief systems. So as lovely as the metaphysical and spiritual interpretation of “everything is a reflection” is, the perspective is also a powerful tool for use in our here-and-now personal development journeys.

That the outer reality of our lives reflects our inner most thoughts and feelings and beliefs has a host of practical applications in our lives. Everything that we may wish to change, create or expand must start with self-inquiry and change from within—whether it be positive habits, healthy relationships, fulfilling work or increased creativity and productivity—before it is reflected back to us in our experiences.

Emotion and Reflection

Everything that has ever been created began first as a belief, idea or thought, which is then reflected back to us. This concept can be extended to include ourselves—starting with our emotions and our “inner state”. I think we have probably all had the experience of our emotional state, positive or negative, influencing how we experience our day. When we wake up feeling happy, confident and ready to take on the day, events tend to align for us.

When we begin within, and pay close attention to our inner state and emotions, we can use them to help fabricate the reflections we desire. In my work with clients, and in my personal life, I have seen the power that inner emotional shifts can have in creating positive changes in our lives. Any steps we take to clarify and refine our thoughts and emotions will be reflected back to us in our daily lives. But don’t take my word for it—anyone can begin a simple meditation or self-hypnosis trial to create those results for themselves.

Visualization and Creation

Visualization is a powerful tool for channelling those positive thoughts and beliefs, and creating that reflection of our inner desires. Taking some time to hone, define and visualize our chosen reality, is the first step to having that reality reflected back to us. Visualize with intent and emotion, enjoy and believe in your creation, and let it go. Then remain open to the possibilities that arise to move forward, and act upon them.

Maybe it is LOA in action, or maybe it is simply that our visualized creation opens us up possibilities that may have been presented to us anyway. It doesn’t really matter to me; I just know that positive “coincidences” abound for me when I visualize my desires—and I’m OK with that—regardless of the mechanism that supports that.

everythingisareflectionThe Relationship Mirror

But what of our unconscious and ongoing creations? Is the reality of our lives also a reflection of our buried beliefs, as we look into the “mirror” of what we are creating? I have found relationships and how others occur to us in our interactions to be the most powerful aspects of that mirror into ourselves. I have never had a negative or uncomfortable pattern of interaction “fail” the self-inquiry test.

When relationship difficulties occur—be it in our intimate relationships, or work or friendships—always look within. Don’t let fear and denial of your own personal responsibility rob you of the opportunity for growth, as negative patterns will keep occurring for us until we acknowledge and deal with them. There may well be negative actions being taken by others—but there is always something for us to learn about ourselves as well. Reflection and self inquiry create more empathy, and less drama and negativity in our relationships, and thus our lives.

Empathy and Connection

That increased empathy doesn’t end with our personal relationships, but rather extends and increases our connection to others on a larger scale as well. What I sometimes call the “dark side” of reflection is the way our own darkness is reflected back to us in negative events around us, and in the world at large. We don’t all do horrible things, but we all have a touch of darkness within us. Encountering reflections of that darkness is a powerful mirror and can be confronting. It can also serve to highlight our connection with the world, to grow our empathy, and remind us of our commitment to each other as humans. The reflection of our own darkness is a compelling reminder to check our own intentions, and to project our best selves out into the world.

In my ongoing journey to becoming my best self, I have discovered (sometimes the hard way) that all roads lead within. Whether trying to make sense of how events, interactions and relationships are already occurring for me, or forging a path towards something new in my life, reminding myself that everything is a reflection is the best way I have found to remind myself to start with self-inquiry.

What does “everything is a reflection” mean to you? Does it resonate with the experiences of your life? Or is there another personal development concept that has changed your life? Share your ideas and experiences in the comments below.

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Gail Jankovski

Gail is a certified hypnotist, life coach, and aspiring writer and poet. Her approach to personal development is pragmatic: baby steps are OK—and small changes can add up to big rewards. She also keeps busy as an admin assistant, wife, and mom to three grown children.

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