I sat down yesterday to work on a few personal projects. One involved writing three versions of my future life. I can do that, I thought. I’m continuously curious as I often ponder what the future could hold and live my life through a visionary lens.
I open up a new Google Doc and gently rest my hands on the keyboard. I said. “What do I want my future to be?” Crickets. Nothing. I found myself staring blankly at my screen. Not a single idea inside my head. I felt pressure behind my eyes. This didn’t feel good. I took a deep belly breath. I can do it. Give it time. Keep going.
As I continued to breathe, staying calm in my body I thought, “So this is what it feels like when I attempt to do something that is difficult, unpleasant, unknown, and scary.” “Welcome home self,” I think, as I start to let my mind relax with the acknowledgement of the feeling. “Yes, just sit, and feel.”
I sat and breathed for a minute. I realized that this pressure I felt was created by me. Oh shit, that’s not good! I have to do something!
So I continued to move slowly. I focused on what was a manageable first step for beginning to write about my future life. (This was actually really hard for me because I was blocked by fear, daring to dream of such uncertainty).
I asked myself, “What was holding me back from being able to dream a little?” I thought about my son, my home, my land, myself. Ah, now I know. I don’t feel like I can dream too far into the future until I have established a safe and secure financial baseline for us, my family.
Divorce is tough for many reasons, but getting your finances back on track after splitting everything in half is like standing between giants, paralyzed and immobile. My divorce payout was just less than a year ago and it still seemed impossible to know what the next few years will look like.
I began, Future Story #1.
It starts with dreaming of my future where my son is well taken care of, I’m well taken care of, life is stable, and I slowly see continuity recreating my financial security. I let the feeling soak into my body. Yes, “Damien, you don’t have to worry about things like before. You’re financially secure.” Ah, I feel relief, gratitude, and pride. My entire mental state shifts.
Before I continue, what you’ve just read is how one processes through stuckness. Leaning into identifying your feelings. Where are they coming from? How can you come to terms with them? Only then can you begin to take the next step, toward growth. Welcome to Coaching!
Continuing on, I dream about whether I will continue to live where I do, to what degree will I run both my coaching practice and other small business. I imagine what it will be like when my son, now three, starts school. Will that influence my decisions?
What I learn is that my dreams of the future are fairly limited compared to what I perceive others’ might be. I’d like to be in a committed loving partnership again one day. I’d like to keep enjoying a life based on simple pleasures. I’d like to have a beautiful home to raise and nourish my son’s growth. I’d like more kids. I’d like to have a strong community around me.
That’s it. No huge big city moves, visits to all the national parks, travel to every continent, become a millionaire, or speak on a stage in front of thousands of people (where everyone knows my name).
Now I don’t mind any of those things happening in my future, but they are not what I dream of.
As I wrote out my other two futures I felt very settled in what makes me feel full and rich in my life. I played with my scenarios some to see how I felt about career changes, big moves, different ways of finding a partner.
How it made me feel inside was the most intriguing part of the process because I definitely have my preferences. I am now emotionally mature enough to realize that life is not predictable. Things change. Life is full of the unexpected. I have complete acceptance that what I write and desire for my future now might be completely different in two, five, ten, or twenty years. And that’s ok.
I enjoyed the process of dreaming once I was able to sink into it, addressing the hidden fear that was holding me back. Resolved it, at least for the purpose of my dreams.
Now I know that as I continue to grow and heal from what was my past married life, my need to establish a safe financial baseline is a cornerstone to moving on. Ah, it feels so good to have A’Ha Moments. I knew that my finances were important to me but now I see with clarity the why behind it. I feel like I can’t dream or move forward too far into the future until I have achieved this goal.
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