Do you know how to order up your future self with the same ease and assurance with which you order food from a restaurant menu? My friend Amy does and she proved it to me recently.
Amy wrote a vision of her future self several years ago as a participant in a program led by Denise Brouillette. This week Amy was looking at past program materials and unearthed her vision for her future self and emailed it to me. I was gobsmacked when I read it because it’s pretty much EXACTLY what Amy’s life is now, and has been for over 5 years, and not at all what her life was like when she wrote it.
Order it Up
This is the vision Amy wrote:
“Forest, stream, waterfall, trees. House, all windows — open, white and wood. Birds singing. Pasture. Horses grazing. Sitting by the fire with tea. She is casual. Relaxed. Peaceful. Not afraid to be alone.”
At the time that she wrote this vision, Amy was director of talent at a tech company and living in her 1200-sqare-foot condo in Mountain View. No forest, no pasture, no horses. As of 5 years ago, Amy lives full-time on her 115-acre ranch, Wisdom Ridge, in the Sierra foothills where she has 6 horses, 6 chickens, 2 dogs, 2 cats, and an abundant organic vegetable garden. She points out that although she doesn’t have a stream on her property, “there is one I ride to at the property next door.”
Amy didn’t literally order up her future self and get herself delivered on a platter. But she did envision what she wanted for herself, and she did make it happen. There was work to do to get there, of course. But the vision made her way clear. It shined a light on her deepest values and gave her insight into the future she wanted for herself. It guided her decisions and actions in the right direction. It also helped her keep her eyes on the prize when she faced challenges on the way to her desired future.
And, crucially, in addition to envisioning her future self and what she wanted, Amy also envisioned the obstacles that she thought she would encounter and planned for how to overcome them. Research shows that if you want the best results from visualization exercises, it’s not enough to focus on the outcome you want; you also need to visualize your anticipated obstacles as well as how you’ll handle them.
Paying it Forward
Amy will be leading a group of us through a similar process in January as part of the Annual Intentions Event in Menlo Park, California. This program was run for the previous 16 years with LeaderXpress founder Denise Brouillette either at the helm or nearby; it was Denise’s wish that we carry it forward, and in 2017 we are holding the event in Denise’s honor.
In the photo above, Amy is leading one of her horses, Zinfandel, onto the labyrinth at Wisdom Ridge Ranch. The labyrinth was built last year, and grew out of a vision Amy had had the year before.
Your Future Self
What are you envisioning for your future self? On my part, I’m working on a possible move, a new creative project, and a way to keep community and connection central in my life. I’ll be at the 17th Annual Intentions Event in January, envisioning my future self and planning how to handle potential obstacles to my desired outcomes. And along with the whole room, I’ll be creating and sharing my theme and intentions for the year. We’d love to hear what’s happening with you — please be in touch!
Photo credit: Lars Howlett