Saturday, July 13, 2013

Picture It

The self-discovery journey I’ve been blogging about for the past few years turned a corner eight months ago when I finally took the steps I had contemplated for such a long time.  My new life and patterns were rocky at first, not at all the celebratory release I had expected.  My idealism is a little unrealistic sometimes.

That was December.  Now it’s the middle of July and I’m settling into my new life.  And celebrating it every day.
One of the many people I have to give credit to in helping me along the way is my consultant friend Mary.  She does radio interviews for me and each January does one about the New Year and her ‘word of the year’.  She chooses one word to attach her key goal or plan for the coming year. I have done the same since I first heard her theory several years ago, although I was in the middle of changing my life at the beginning of this year so I’m a little late in adopting a word for 2013.  But it hit me today what that word should be, at least for the rest of the year.

Visualize.
Balance, focus and simplify are keywords I’ve used in recent years and I continue to let those words guide me.  But visualize is something I have done for years with very positive results and it seems to be an appropriate mantra for directing the next part of my self-discovery journey.

I pictured myself in the place where I now live, saw the life I wanted, the people I wanted to hang with, the things I wanted to do on a monthly, weekly or daily basis.  I wasn’t always aware I was visualizing those things, but I now know I was.
Seeing oneself in a future setting is only a start, however.  Eventually a person must act on the vision.  I have met with incredible success so far with the pictures and the resulting actions.  I pictured an apartment and the furniture and wall art placements and that is exactly where I am at this very moment.  I visualized a walkable neighborhood with mostly local businesses, especially restaurants and bars, and that is where I now live.  I saw myself walking to various parts of this area such as a summer time weekly farmer’s market, local wine stores, local live music performances, etc. and those things are now part of my regular routine.

I imagined in my head the people I already knew and the new ones I would encounter, as well as the interactions I would have with them.  I talk up this neighborhood a lot and last night and tonight met friends from other areas here and showed it off.  Good times had by all.
Another thing I am visualizing is making new friends or expanding on current ones.  One of my closest out-of-town friends visited a few weeks ago and it was very cool spending a whole week with her.  Another close visitor is coming in a few weeks and I visualize the same kind of relaxing, friendship-building time with her.  Neither are dates; both are good friends for mostly different reasons.  Tonight I spent time further developing a few local friendships, last night involved developing a newer friendship with a former co-worker.  I have also visualized having more guy friends and a few weeks ago my neighborhood was the setting for developing one of those friendships. 

Future pictures in my head: playing guitar, speaking Italian, cooking for friends in my apartment.  All three of those visualizations are in some stage of development.
I also picture myself convincing some of my less-than-positive friends that this process always has positive, sometimes life-changing results.  This is NOT some kind of ‘everything will be ok’ kinds of things; sometimes things are not ok.  But trying usually improves things.  I want people who are close to me to be happy or at least to move in that direction.  I will do what I can to enable that.  I often picture myself toasting them and their successes.

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