Monday, January 7, 2013

Flourishing Resolutions -- Visualize

Instead of setting "goals" -- though I'm always a fan of a good list -- this year, try a visualization exercise. Find somewhere quiet for a few minutes, and repeat it throughout the year whenever you can.

Believe that your life can be good
Believe that blessings await you

Imagine the hardest part of your life or the hardest thing you anticipate coming up this year going perfectly, smoothly.  Picture it, walk through the details of it as if your wishes came true for that problem or event.

Now picture the best part of your life, visualize the good things you expect to come, the sweet moments that are ahead of you on this path.  Be sure of them, let them in.

Lastly, take a moment to realize how many people love you and wish you well.  God first of all -- if you’re inclined, pray and ask him and get that reassurance -- and then your family, friends, neighbors.  Understand how much goodwill is coming your way, how many people stand ready to help you through the unexpected if you allow them to.

See? If you're like me, your goals were embedded in there without you having to articulate them. Of course, there's no direct accountability or progress report with this method; but if you do remember to revisit your images, you'll find that the details change over time and your progress not only is apparent, but reflects your true nature rather than an outward achievement. And that's really how I want to flourish, to live up to my true "selfness" most fully.

I've paraphrased this exercise from one my mom used to do with me before every recital or performance, and which I continue to do with my kids. (After three failed sessions of swim lessons in which she was the oldest student, this visualization was the final breakthrough moment for my water-fearing daughter.) I don't know where my mom got it, but it seemed time-tested enough in my own family to put out there for you.

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