If you could do anything you want, what would you paint on the canvas of your life?
Confronting the Present
It’s not just our past that’s troubling us. Most of us are also confronted with the way our present looks. Darn it! I said I was going to do X, Y, and Z, and I haven’t, or maybe I have, and it’s still not enough. Another exercise you can do to get complete with the past is to acknowledge the What’s So of our lives.
What’s so is I make this much money. I live in this house. I’m married to this man, and we have these children. This is what my life looks like. There’s nothing wrong with where my life is, right this minute. It may or may not be where I want it to be. It’s just what’s so.
- In a notebook, document what’s so with your life right now
- Primary Life Purpose or Focus
- Marital Status/Primary Relationship – primary focus of the relationship
- Where you live: Location, Dwelling, Condition
- Primary Employment or Educational Pursuit: Title, Job, Employer, Income
- Other Situation you want to document
- Then choose 3 to 5 areas of your life that you might like to design your future around. The list can be any broad category of life: Relationships, Finances, Career, Health, Self-Expression, other. I don’t want to limit your list, rather I want you to make these broad enough that you don’t get bogged down in the minutia. For each of the 3 areas you pick, document what’s so by looking at the last year (12 months ago till now):
- What are your 3 primary accomplishments in that area?
- What is the Impact of each accomplishment on these areas?
- Your Family
- Your community (you can pick any applicable community: neighborhood, church, city, social network, work/school, etc.)
- The world—don’t be stingy with this one. You are a gift to the Universe, and you are making a difference in the world, or what you are up to has a potential to ripple out to a larger sphere than you may see from where you’re standing right now.
- What does someone who’s accomplished this want next? We’re all used to wanting something we don’t have. And most of us have experienced getting it, only to realize there’s just a little bit more we want. The man who gets a new job wants a raise, and the one with the raise wants a promotion with more authority. The one with more authority wants less responsibility so he can enjoy his new toys. From where you’re standing, what’s next?
- Form where you’re standing right now (in this year, with those accomplishments)
- What are your primary activities
- What do you hope for
- What do you complain about
- What do you worry about
- What do you want next
Glimmer of the Future
You might notice while you do this exercise, you’re already starting to get a glimmer of the future. Exploring the what’s so has a tendency to unlock some of the things we wanted that got pushed to the wayside while we were climbing the ladder to someone else’s dream for our future. So, if you want to, start making notes about the things that you want to create in the future. But before you go all Van Gough on your canvas, I’d like you to take one more peek at your past—just to make sure you don’t forget something important.
- What did you want to be when you grew up
- What did you want to do with your life that you didn’t
- What Inspires you
- What are your complaints — If you think about it, what you complain about is a clue to what’s important to you.
- What would you change if you were in charge for the day
Standing on the Edge
As I stand at the edge of the universe,
Daring to look into the vast unknown,
I quiver and shake.
My heart beats wildly in my chest.
What’s out there?
Everything I know is behind me.
Could this next step be my last?
Could it be my first?
Am I enough?
Can I leave all my knowing behind,
Face whatever comes next,
With this body . . . this soul?
Dare I say yes, and step forward,
Across the threshold of a new day,
A new year . . . a new life?
Yes, I say,
Energy surges through every cell of me.
Whoever I am, I am.
Whatever comes next, comes next.
I stake my claim.
This future is mine.
Today is my day!
~ Nita Bauer