Retreat to the Beach: Perfect Life Visualization and 5 Year Letter to Self

We also did another exercise Thursday that I thought was coherent enough to get its own post. Tammy walked us through a visualization that asked us to imagine that it’s 5 years later and everything in our lives has turned out exactly the way we wanted it to: What would that look like?

This was both fun and weird for me. Being a life coach, I’ve both done this and work with others on this so many times, it’s like an ER doctor doing a basic first aid course. Let’s just say, I’ve had a lot of practice with this one, and my perfect life varies little:

Setting:

I see myself living in an open, airy modern-style home built with green/sustainable/natural materials and methods like bamboo or cork floors, passive solar exposure, etc., in a mountain landscape. I’m usually padding around the house in some sort of Auntie-Mame-meets-the-yoga-instructor outfit – loose, flowy pants with an elegantly (but restrained) styled tunic or loose shirt in a rich fabric and tabi socks, and I’m generally holding a steaming cup of tea and staring out a large glass door over a stone or tile patio out at the landscape.

Job/Career:

I see myself doing some sort of “helping” work, giving advise and helping people find and live the lives they want, but in a mass-delivery setting – workshops, seminars, maybe even to a spiritual congregation. I’m respected enough (and skilled enough) that people are actually listening, taking my words to heart, and making changes in their lives, and as a result living happier, healthier and more rewarding lives that bring out their natural strengths and joys. I see myself making a comfortable living with enough money to support myself and put a good amount back for later, leaving enough left over to contribute to humanitarian and personal interests as I see fit. But never making so much that the money is the point, or that I become slaved to a desire to increase and accumulate. That would be a real nightmare.

Odds and ends:

Of course, there’s Mr. Pitts and the puddie tats, probably many more of the latter all strewn about the house in their favorite sunbeam spots.

A contemplative and natural LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) way of life.

Lots of good food and wine.

A garden full of food, flowers and beauty.

A small cadre of intelligent, dynamic, light-hearted and fun friends who are at that “show up at random and come in without knocking to hang out with your shoes off” stage of comfortable “adopted family” familiarity.

Oh, and since this is the perfect life, a bio-diesel conversion replica of a 1935 Auburn Boattail Speedster. Yanno, just to make it perfect.

We were also assigned to write a letter to ourselves and seal it in an envelope with an address that we could be reasonably assured of being capable of getting it to us in 5 years, when our director would mail it out. I always feel stupid doing these things – I mean what do you say to yourself that won’t just be all eye-rollingly pompous or woo-woo when you get it? So I just basically wrote down the results of my 5 year visualization and a few questions to see how far I’d gotten toward that goal and what was left to accomplish (I’m really hoping for that Auburn).

I had it addressed to my gran’s house, which was a bit unsettling because, although her address has always been the automatic go-to in these settings because she’s always seemed to be a permanent, unmoving fixture in my life, she’s finally reached an age and a stage where there’s every possibility that she won’t be there in five years and that the house will be sold or otherwise uninhabited as a result. This was a bit of a shock when I realized it, as I was automatically beginning to address the envelope. However, a brief mental tour of my family brought up no one and no other address (myself included) that would be anything other than even less predictably there, geographically and personally, so I went ahead and went with gran’s.

(It occurred to me later that my dad will probably be where he is for at least that long if not longer, but since he’s such a recent addition to my life, I have to admit it was a distant “oh, yeah” afterthought. That, and I didn’t have his address at hand, anyway. Still, it was a gut-wrenching moment to realize that something I always seen as immovable and as immutable as the constellations for as long as I have been alive was now to be moved into the “might be there, might not be there” section of reality.)

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