Visiting Jane this past weekend, we headed to one of my favorite little spots-the wonderful world of Barnes and Noble. Sigh. It just makes me happy to meander through the aisles, looking at this book or that, the magazine racks, and if something really grabs me, then to sit and peruse my little find, deciding whether I want to commit or not (wow, sounds a bit like dating, only that print material doesn't talk back.) Anyways, I digress...
I found this little gem of a book on manifestation. It's a thin little book, very simply written and it completely seduced me. I took it home and we've been getting to know each other the past few days. The book outlines certain steps to achieving your dreams, and the first step is to write it down. It says to think of your ideal life in 5 years. And write it all down.
Now, I remember back in high school, some teachers would have us do a certain exercise-imagine yourself in 5 years. In 10 years. And I always hated this exercise because I remember thinking, "you want me to know where I'll be in 5 years? Or 10? Are you insane? The world is full of possibilities. How can you possibly expect me to choose something now?! I don't even know all the possibilities?!" And the exercise would generally end there for me because, in essence, I'd refuse to participate.
I see things a little differently now. Maybe if my well-meaning teachers had said, "imagine what you'd like your life to be like in 5 years," instead of "imagine your life in 5 years," then I might have been able to play along (maybe, maybe not. I do tend to stubborness, so who knows.) However, since those high school days long past, I've read more, experienced more and I'd like to think that in some ways, I've gained a little bit of wisdom. Because now, now I see that this exercise has you practice your imagination and sow the seeds for what may come.
I can't remember who wrote it, but I remember reading that you can't get to your destination if you don't know where you're going. And it makes sense. This exercise sets a goal, a destination. It's not set in stone, but without the end goal in mind, you'll wander a bit aimlessly, as I have done, until something does grab your attention.
So, if you feel so inclined, I'd say go ahead and give it a shot-what do you imagine as your ideal life in 5 years? Play with it, let your imagination go hog-wild. Watch out for that inner critic/editor to rear its head when you do this (apparently, my inner critic already had a stronghold inside me those many years ago...) As you think of what you'd like your ideal life to be like, that voice might tell you that you don't need all that, or that you're asking for too much, or who do you think you are to think you can have that, or even laugh at you and say, yeah right! You can tell your inner critic that this is just for fun, it's just a game. Again, this is not set in stone. The point is to let yourself dream.
As I did this, I found that I had a hard time just letting go enough. At first, I found that inner critic speaking, "oh come on. Be realistic. 5 years passes quickly," but as I kept going, it became more fun, like "yeah, that would be cool!" But I realized that just admitting that I'd like to have a certain life, and certain things in my life was difficult, even if it was just to myself. I've been disappointed enough times that I've learned to keep my wants quiet, lest something comes along and squishes my hopes and dreams.
And again, getting it out there, admitting it, writing it down, that's the first step. It's a bit like a vision board-it's sending the universe a message that, yes, you would like things like this in your life. That will get the wheels in motion.