Shifting Perspectives is one of my most popular articles. In that post, I walk through a favorite exercise, enabling you to view a situation from several different perspectives leveraging your physical space to support the shift.
Over the past month, I’ve engaged in a daily practice similar to this one, where I seek the perspective of my future self. Today, I’ll share more about that experience and invite you to adopt this practice as your November topic for your Journal of Awareness.
My Future Self
My exercise was inspired by a conversation with Ken Mossman. He invited me to envision a future version of myself, where I’m living my best life. I imagined myself five years in the future. He guided me through a conversation with that future version of myself and encouraged me to connect with future Josh for a few minutes each day and tap into his wisdom.
I have made this a formal part of my daily morning practice, including meditation, gratitude journaling, and conversations with future Josh. Our discussions are brief, usually five minutes or less. They have ranged from big-picture questions like “What is my broader purpose?” to tactical questions like “What behaviors are important today to be the best version of myself?”
Here are a few examples of the wisdom I encountered in our conversations:
- He helped me recognize it was time to take a break from running and seek the advice of a podiatrist (see last week’s post for details).
- He regularly reminded me to carry the peaceful, present state of my morning meditation throughout my day.
- He encouraged me to examine my values. When I strayed from my protocol (typically with nutrition), he encouraged me to think about what I wanted to change for the day ahead to live the day with Arete.
- He helped me recognize I was on the brink of overcommitting myself and allowed me to take a step back and examine my capacity.
- He helped me remain connected to my value of Teliodosis, balancing my desire to be doing with a healthy dose of being and trusting the universe.
I expected my Future Josh conversations to be a one-month experiment. That experiment has evolved into a habit, enabling me to self-coach myself and engage in reflective practices.
Your Future Self
I offer a guided meditation to help you connect with your future self and seek wisdom. You can read the meditation here, but for the best results, I encourage you to use this recorded version, allowing you to put on your headphones, close your eyes, and get the whole experience.
I’ve written this meditation posing, “What actions will lead me to this desired future state?” I encourage you to substitute what other question emerges for you. Each morning, I allow a question to emerge organically as I begin the practice.
Get into a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Take several deep breaths and allow any distracting thoughts to float away.
You are about to take a walk. Bring to mind a calming space that brings you peace. Take a moment to look around. What do you see? Look with wonder and notice the colors and the textures. Notice if it is day or night. Take a deep breath and examine the fragrances of this space. Listen intently. What do you hear? Feel the air on your skin. Is it warm? Cool? Fully visualize and embody the space.
Begin your walk. Choose a pace that feels comfortable to you. As you walk, continue to notice the space around you with all your senses.
Eventually, you come upon a path (if you were not already on one). Follow this path. Continue to notice the space and how your surroundings change as you walk the path.
You reach a point where the path splits into many possible sub-paths. Take a moment to examine each path in turn. Trust your intuition. Check in with your heart. Select the path that calls to you.
As you walk this path, you notice the space becoming more and more inviting. You feel a sense of calm move through you like waves of energy.
Eventually, the path opens to a clearing. Sitting in the clearing is your future self. This is the best version of your future self. You are flourishing. You are self-actualized. You are in a state of bliss. Look closely at this self. What do you notice? How are they holding their body? What is the expression on their face? What do you feel in the presence of this future self?
Your future self invites you to sit with them. Take a seat. Take a moment to be with your future self.
How far in the future is this version of you? Five years? Ten years?
Now is your opportunity to gain wisdom from this future self.
Ask your future self, what were the choices on this particular path that led us to this state of bliss?
With this question posed, shift your perspective away from your current self and into your future self. Embody this flourishing, self-actualized, blissful future self. Through the eyes of your future self, look upon your present self.
Sit with this question and reflect. What choices have led you to this state?
When you are ready, share with your current self what arises.
If it feels right, shift back and forth between your current self and your future self, engaging in conversation. Take advantage of all the wisdom your future self has to offer you in this moment.
When your conversation has run its course, return to the perspective of your current self. Arise and embrace your future self. Feel the gratitude for the wisdom they have shared with you.
Take in this sacred space, experiencing it with all your senses. Then, walk the path out of the space back to the beginning of your journey.
When you’re ready, gently open your eyes.
Putting It Into Practice
Here are some techniques to tap into the wisdom of your future self:
- Spend five minutes a day connecting with your future self.
- Use this guided meditation to help you fully embody your future self.
- Take a few minutes to capture the wisdom in your Journal of Awareness.
- As topics arise that you would like to discuss with your future self, job those topics in your Journal of Awareness.
Let me know what you learn.
I am an Executive Coach and Life Coach with software executive roots in Higher Ed and EdTech. I coach because I love to help others accelerate their growth as leaders and humans. I frequently write about #management, #leadership, #coaching, #neuroscience, and #arete.
If you would like to learn more, schedule time with me.
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