Try the following experiment. Imagine yourself five-to-ten years into the future. Close your eyes and picture what you look like. Try as much as possible to connect with this future version of yourself. Reflect on the wisdom and life experiences you might have gained. What memories would you hold close to your heart? How is your life different now? After you have taken a few minutes to imagine yourself in the future, open your eyes and look across the room to an empty chair or sofa.
Bring to mind an image of your current self, sitting alone, deep in thought. What would your current self be thinking? What are your current worries and concerns? What are your current hopes and dreams? How does your current self feel? Is the image of your current self smiling or tearful?
Now give your future self the power to communicate to your current self. What would you say? Would you offer reassurance or advice? What messages would you want to share with your current self?
When I engage in this experiment several messages come to my mind:
Slow down. Be mindful. Listen more. Let go and worry less. Look at the bigger picture. Remember this moment. You have already arrived. Get outside and run fast. Say I love you more often. Feel loved more often. Allow yourself to make mistakes. Forgive. Play with your children. You’re doing a great job. Breath. Take it all in – the good and the bad. You only live once.
Take a moment to complete this exercise for yourself. What messages do you have for your current self? Write down a few messages and reflect on these throughout the coming days.
As you reflect you may begin to notice your sense of connection to the present becoming stronger. You may become more aware of impermanence and change. You may notice a deeper sense of appreciation for what you currently have in your life and the people you care about. You might notice a shift in your mindset as you connect more deeply with your values and what truly matters to you.
You can return to this exercise again and again. You can also use this exercise as an opportunity to express self-compassion and give encouraging words to yourself. Give yourself advice from your future self and allow current self to more fully appreciate and connect with the present.
Dr. Thomas Lindquist, Psy.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Visit us at lindquistpsych.com
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