photo by John Westrock
Sometimes we are just not sure what to do next. We have all been there. We think we know but for some reason it just does not feel completely clear.
In working in session with a client recently, I used a technique that I had not used in a while. I had been to a recent workshop that had some variation of this technique, so it was brought back up to me in the forefront of my mind. This powerful technique is to Write a Letter From Your Future “WISDOM” Self. I am sorry to say I do not know who to give credit to for this powerful technique. I was so very pleased how this client put it all together as to how it was all going to work out and why. I did the activity with my client and found myself very happy with what my “gut instincts” had to say to me as well.
This technique could be used for a variety of situations in which you feel you need some guidance or insight. And in this case the guidance will be coming from your future “wisdom” self. Some may add a spiritual dimension to this activity if they are so inclined.
Some times it may be helpful are:
You are feeling not clear on a decision you need to make.
You are discouraged and feeling a bit hopeless as to making progress on an issue.
You are looking for a solution to a problem you are facing.
You are feeling anxious about how something is going to work out.
photo by Raw Pixel
How to Write a Letter From Your Future “WISDOM” Self:
Gather supplies to write a letter or note to yourself.
ID what it is that you want insight on as to an outcome of something that is a worry or issue for you.
Project yourself into a place where you are in the future and you have the “wisdom” of being able to look ahead and see what might be the best direction for you to go or to show you how things will work out with your current path and plan.
Have your “Future Wisdom Self” write a letter to you.
Let this flow naturally and without too much analysing
Really look at what has been written. Consider what you have come up with and let this wisdom sink in.
You can put this in an envelope and date it.
Go back and take a peek at your letter as you feel you need to connect with your “Future Wisdom Self”.
photo by Sydney Rae
This very much helps us to know that our real power is right here, right now. It is has been with us the whole time. Be confident. You have got this! Here is to you tapping into your own very special power.
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Not really sure what it is you need to be happy or feel at peace. You might try to access your wisdom from your “future self”. I recently had gotten away from doing my regular meditation. In doing so, I decided to try a new guided meditation. This one was through Hayhouse’s Meditation Mondays series. So I checked out “Reclaim Your Energy Guided Meditation with Lissa Rankin – Monday Meditation. You can find this on youtube.com This is where I came up with my own version of your “future self”. I have used a similar concept in the past. It was a nice reminder of how one might access more of their inner wisdom.
Your Future Self – Tapping Into Your Inner Wisdom
Your “future self” is how you see yourself in the future if things are going the way you would want them to go. You would be doing what you want and living the way you want to live, being with those that make you happy, etc. This is your brighter, how you want your life to be self. In Dr. Rankin’s meditation she uses your future self in 5 years. But you could choose another span of time if it makes more sense to you.
- Find a quite spot to sit by yourself and relax. Take some deep breaths and relax your body.
- First of all imagine your brighter, “future self”. See yourself in detail noting all the things that are going the way you want them to. Take some time. Let it soak in, how all of this feels. Consider what others might be saying to you. Check out your environment. Where are you? Who are you with? What are you doing? Revealing in what you so desire.
- See your NOW self going to meet your FUTURE SELF. Let them sit and talk a bit.
- Ask your “future self” anything that you would like to know. See what they have to say. Remember they are living in place that you see as a way you would want to live. For example you might ask: “How can I find more time to care for myself? How did you do it?” OR “How do I heal my relationship with my teenage son?” OR “How can I feel less overwhelmed all the time?”
- Take in this WISDOM into your “now” self and let it find a special place within you to access when you are ready to use it.
Good luck in your meeting with your “future self”.
Ever need to have a “conversation” with your loved one, but just don’t know how to do it. You just know they are going to shut down and not really talk with you about re-solving the issue when you bring it up. You are not alone. I see many clients who choose not tell their spouse or partner how they feel or that they are having a problem with something that is going on within the relationship.
So let’s look at some specifics as to how to talk to your sweetheart when you are upset or have a concern that will help keep them engaged and not withdraw.
How to Talk About A Problem Keeping Your Loved One Engaged And Without Withdrawing
- Share your feelings when they are low-level enough that you can talk without overpowering emotion. The longer you wait to share your feelings of upset, the more intense the discussion will be when you do have it. The more chance you will have of saying something in a way that you do not want to. When your feelings are manageable, so will the following discussion.
- On the other hand, let go of very small things that really do not matter that you can be ok with. Pointing out every small thing that occurs that you may not like or feels a bit irritating can lead your partner to feeling overwhelmed, which leads to them checking out or “feeling flooded” with too much.
- One thing at a time helps. Avoid a stream of upset. This helps with your loved one staying in the conversation and not leaving or withdrawing (either physically or emotionally). Not being engaged can be a sign of being flooded or overwhelmed. This is a basic form of protection. When we over share, it normally means we have just let things pile up instead of addressing things as we go. Or it could mean we are clumping our upset with something else into the relationship issue. This could be other stress going on in our life.
- Know your partner’s sensitivities or wounds and consider how they filter information. If you know that your husband was highly criticized growing up, then he will be sensitive to comments that have any feel of criticism. So you may choose to keep that in mind when you have an issue to address. It does not mean you do not share, it just means you are aware and use language that they can hear without being triggered.
- Use a “Gentle Startup” as the Gottman Institute would suggest. A harsh start-up or a highly charged, critical approach will not lead to a productive conversation.
- Admit your part in the issue at hand. By taking responsibility for what you have done that has not helped with this situation, you create a less accusatory conversation.
- Consider when you approach with a problem or concern. Most of us do not do well with facing a problem at the end of the day as we walk in the door. That is normally when we are tired and hungry and want to decompress from the day. This is not always easy as to finding a “good” time. It may be what is the best from what is available. One possibility is to set up a time to discuss an issue.
- Keep your voice at a low-level and avoid accusing. Instead voice your need and ask how you might work on this together. This would mean both of you offering up ways you can shift or adapt to makes things better.
I think one of the biggest keys to resolving issues is to keep everyone engaged and not going into “shut down” mode. This comes with engaging some of the suggestions above. I wish you the best as you engage your loved one in positive communication, one of the foundations for a good relationship.
Finding the solution to a problem is not always about just thinking and working harder on it. I had this concept come home to me again recently. So here is a little story to illustrate this surprising key to finding the answers to problems that you are having trouble finding a solution to.
I was having a tough week, lots to do and not sure how to handle a new challenge that evolved. I had wrestled with it trying to focus and actively find a solution when I was at a point that I felt my brain was fried. I finally decided to go to bed and start anew the next day. Not a bad strategy in itself. I was so wound up I thought maybe a guided sleep meditation might help me go to sleep easier. I had recently reviewed a children’s cd that was devoted to helping children relax and cope with anxiety. I remembered one of the stories being about a harried caterpillar that was all tied up in knots. I thought ok, that’s me!
And I listened . . . A little girl was in the meadow. She saw a caterpillar who was scurrying around all tied up in knots. She asked him “What is wrong?” The caterpillar answered that he was all tied up in knots that he had to find green leaves to eat and find a place to create a cocoon all before nightfall. The little girl giggled and said first let me help you relax. She asked the caterpillar to lie down and had him relax all of his feet and then his body, etc. until he was all relaxed. The caterpillar was no longer knotted up. He began to feel the warm sunlight and gentle breeze in the meadow. The little girl asked him to let all of his thoughts leave his mind and let it relax. His mind was now still and quiet and very clear. As the little caterpillar looked up he saw a beautiful tree full of juicy leaves. And a lovely branch that would be perfect for his cocoon. So he ate and ate the juicy leaves and began his cocoon in the safe place that he was able to find when his mind was quiet and still. He thanked the little girl for her gift of helping him to relax and find the answers to his problem. All was well.
As I finished this story I felt nice and relaxed and begin to drift off to sleep. But before sleep came, I had this lovely solution pop into my head as to what to do with the challenge that had plagued me all day. I was so excited I got up and jotted down this creative and unique idea. Went back to bed and had a great night of sleep. This was a nice reminder for me about how letting our mind rest and clear can create fertile ground for the sprouting of fresh, new ideas.
The story I have shared is a summary of “The Goodnight Caterpillar” found on Lori Light’s cd, Indigo Dreams, Track #4. www.stressfreekids.com . This is great cd for children (and adults) for stress reduction.
This fun story is great for sleep. But one of its key messages is that when we relax our body and our mind, clearing our thoughts and entering a quiet, still place, we can then really see the solutions for problems or worries. Letting go and unwinding and relaxing fully will bring us great rewards. Think about it. When do you find your best solutions? For me it is normally not when I am at my desk, but when I am out for a walk or taking a break from my work or just after meditating. Other times might be while I am in the shower or drifting off to sleep.
So consider not working so hard and letting the answers come to you while you are in a relaxed state. Doesn’t that sound like so much more fun!