There was a time when you felt like you were on top of the world. You had a great future ahead of you. Life ahead was all lined up and you could see your dreams coming true. You saw the perfect man, the perfect wedding, the perfect kids, the perfect career. Money was abundant. You traveled to foreign lands and met people from many different cultures. Some became friends and you stayed in touch over time. Life was perfect and you never wanted for anything. It was a beautiful dream.
OOPS, NOT YOURS
Oh, wait a minute. That was my dream. It didn’t happen of course. Life happened instead. I met a man who made me laugh and we got along great. We had some things in common and I told myself the things we didn’t have in common wouldn’t matter so much. After 12 years, I finally allowed myself to believe I was hurting both of us by staying and “honoring my commitment”. Neither of us was thriving. We were only existing. We wanted different things out of life and it was time to call it a day. No harm, no foul.
When I left my marriage, I had no idea what to expect but I was heading into a land of possibilities. I began to dream again. At that time, I didn’t have the tools to build what I wanted. Instead of thriving I spent many years thrashing around and trying to survive. I was trying to find who I am and what I want for myself. Whatever confidence I originally had, slowly eroded until I found myself at my lowest point. It was there that I finally, and I mean this literally, had an argument with the Universe. I knelt on the floor of the run-down motel room where I had been living for the past year, cried and yelled, “What do you want from me?” “Why do I have to go through this?” What did I ever do to deserve this?”
It was pretty dramatic as I look back on it. About here you might be expecting me to say the clouds opened up and a light shone down and a deep voice from above gave me words of wisdom. Nope. I got up, dried my eyes and went on with my day. Such as it was.
It took a few more years for me to finally start to rebuild my life. Little by little, I learned that I wasn’t such a bad person and that I do deserve to be happy. I had to begin to believe in myself again. The motel I was living in happened to be across the street from a Barnes & Noble. I spent countless hours sitting in their comfortable chairs reading every self-help book on their shelves. I learned to open my mind, try new things, and get indignant when someone disrespected me rather than shrink back and allow it. Over time, I found my way back and found a much better version of myself.
I also condensed all the lessons I learned and put them together for you here in case my story resonates with you. If you lost touch with that ideal life you always dreamed of when you were younger, here’s a few tips on how to plan a reunion:
- RE-CONNECT WITH YOUR VISION – You pictured your perfect life. But then life happened. Don’t let go of those dreams. Instead, take inventory. Is your current vision the same as it used to be? If not, where did you veer off and what showed up instead? Did what show up make your life a little richer?
- IDENTIFY OBSTACLES – If you haven’t realized your “perfect life” yet, have a think on what got in the way. How did other people or circumstances show up that weren’t part of the original plan? What do you tolerate? What can you control?
- ENVISION THE POSSIBILITIES – You’re not dead yet so anything’s possible. You can make your life be whatever you want it to be. I didn’t say it would be easy but it can be. What’s possible for you? What can you do differently? Once you achieve your vision, how will it feel?
- DISSOLVE BARRIERS – There are some things you can control and others you have no control over. Focus on what you can change and take some positive action toward moving things around a little. What can you control? What’s out of your control? How can you change your current circumstances to support your vision? Identify what you can change and put a plan in motion. Recruit help if needed.
- STEP INTO YOUR NEW LIFE – Spend some time meditating and visualizing you living the life you always dreamed of. How does it feel? Who’s there with you? What are you doing? Where are you living? Have fun with this process.
If this visualization stuff doesn’t feel comfortable, know that there is scientific evidence that will back up its validity. It won’t happen overnight but you can re-train your brain to believe that what you visualize is reality.
This is a simplified version of a 12-week program I use with my coaching clients. Consider it a free appetizer from me to you. Hope it helps.
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