For these last days in December, I am participating in a blogging challenge, which is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next.  Reverb provides writing prompts to elicit my reflections on 2010 and to generate my intentions for 2011.

PROMPT:  December 21 – Future Self. Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?) (Author: Jenny Blake)

You know what, I have stopped doing this.  I have stopped imagining the future and planning for the future in a way that compromises my present.  Think I am joking?  Call my financial advisor.  I recently cashed a retirement fund with the click of a mouse button.  I did not need the money for anything specific or any sort of financial mess that I am in.  I just wanted it.   My intention for that money is to help me become the person that I want to be TODAY because I am not that person yet.  And it is time to be her.  So what have I done with some of that money?  I have enrolled in a professional herbalist program that hopefully will lead me to acupuncture or naturopath school, because I would like to be an authentic healer for my family and community.  I am holding on to some money so that I can enroll in a course to become a certified yoga instructor.  I have taken a recent retreat for myself and I am going to do it again until I am all retreated out.  I am going to get a tattoo that I have wanted for a long time.  I treated my husband to a really great pizza in Asheville, NC a couple of weeks ago. I purchased some clothes and shoes that actually fit my current body…not the body that I want to be or the body that I once was.  Besides, what was that money doing anyway?  Expanding and contracting in imaginary ways in an imaginary account for some future that may or may not happen.

So what advice would I give myself for the current year?  STOP LOOKING AHEAD.  Be here now.

We have been told that we must plan, save, project, aspire.  But no one ever told us to just BE.  I am telling you now.  Just Be.  Warning: this may hurt, but look up from this screen and look around.  What is around you now?  The felty grey walls of a cubicle?  A messy kitchen?  Are these places where you want to be?  Are there people around you that you wish were not around you?  Worse yet, are there people you wish were around you right now who are not?

Even worse than that, are you, the person you want to be, the one who is missing?

In 2010, I discovered that I was missing.

For 2011, I have set the intention to find the person that I want to be.  I had to step out of my financially responsible self to do it.  I have also had to step out of my people-pleasing, comfort-seeking self to start to shed the situations in my life that are no longer working for me.

Are you ready to transform the place where you are into the place where you want to be?  What needs to be shed from you?  What needs to be found for you?

Now for the “bonus” portion of the writing prompt:  Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?

Dear 23-year-old self,

Your plans are solid and in place and what everyone has ever wanted for you.  They are the plans that you want for you.  But do yourself a favor.  Stop planning.  Put the becoming aside and let life awaken your true self.


Your 33-year-0ld self who is learning as she goes and grateful for every moment of it.

[Image from here]