This post will probably guarantee that my friends and family, who read this missal, will certify me completely deranged and in dire need of psychological assistance ;)
It's okay guys...I realise this is purely imagination and I promise I won't take it literally to the point of believing it to be an actual outcome.
However, in the interests of trying to figure out exactly what on earth I'm doing in this place right now, I do think it is a valuable exercise even so. We barely do enough dreaming and imagery work these days in our practical, success-like-NOW, physically centred lives anyway. The really ancient spiritual practise of simply imagining can lead to very cool insights and is as valuable a technique as any logical goal-setting and future planning activity.
I did this because I want to explore what I MIGHT be like in 10 years time. Where am I at? How do I come across? What sorts of things do I say? What is my demeanour? How to I appear to be positioned in life?
The exercise is to slow down and stop and simply meditate with the specific task of visiting with your future self. You imagine knocking on a door and being invited in by yourself. You see yourself, slightly (or very much more) older than you are now with evidence of a whole bunch of life experience you know you have to go through before you get into her shoes. She sees you and smiles remembering all the stuff you've got to go through before you get to be in her shoes.
You know each other very well, but you're also somewhat strangers for that reason of Time being shifted between you both. It's like catching up with an older, wiser, more experienced and very close sibling in a way.
So anyway, I did this trippy thing this morning. Sat on the bed, closed my eyes and allowed my mind to wander into this territory.
I knocked on a door. A woman answered it and smiled this big smile of genuine joy to see me. She seems warm, open, kind and also very happy in herself. She comes over and gives me this big generous bear hug and kisses the side of my head and strokes my hair as if she were my parent rather than my own older self and she smiles at me very warmly and with a great deal of love in her expression.
I start to weep a little at her forthright open-ness. And this is what she says:
"Oh it's okay honey! No need to cry but yeah...I still do that too! Can't help it so I just accept it now. It's who I am and I don't fight it anymore. I'm simply weird in that I cry when things get a bit emo!" And she wipes away a tear in her own eye as she laughs about it and moves on.
She is not much thinner or fatter than I am currently. I have these grand hopes of being so very much thinner so I'm a little disappointed but she seems quite content in her skin really so I ask that very rude question about whether she ever did "go raw" in her diet and this is what she says to me:
"Oh yeah! Failed dismally! (laughs a big joyous belly laugh that comes from somewhere deep inside of her) I learned to just accept I like food and that the secret to me being healthy is to simply move as much as possible every day. Find stuff to do that makes you move mi! Nowadays, I walk whenever and wherever I can...even to work. I dance, I run a little, I learned to do what bat does and I pace when I'm talking on the phone! Great strategy for keeping the weight stable" and she smiles.
I express some surprise she is wearing a beige - almost cream coloured - dress suit. I hardly wear anything of the kind, spending the greater portion of my adult years in trousers, slacks, track pants and shorts. This is what she says to me:
"Yeah! Took me ages to get my legs to a point where they didn't chafe between the thighs (leans and and whispers conspiratorially) but there's some fantastic creams out now that really help...I suggest you go looking honey" and she winks at me like she's just given me this huge very important secret tip that will change my life forever.
I ask her about her life so far and this is some of what she says to me:
"Well, I have a pretty good life actually. I write a lot and I make money from writing but it's not my job...more my passion and hobby. The kids are doing great....(some words of encouragement about my/our children's future...they'll be fine :))...I live in a lovely house and I get to travel regularly every other year or so".
It turns out she designed the house herself in consultation with a draftsman and its very "green" efficient with a reed bed water filtration system in the back yard. She hires a gardener to tend the garden and the vege patch. She earns enough to be able to do this.
I ask her about the chain around her neck and this is what she says to me:
"Yeah! I designed it myself!" and she smiles looking down at it with obvious pride and pleasure. It's a triskele in silver on a long silver chain. I ask her about the Faith, Hope and Love chain I designed nearly 13 years ago and this is what she says to me:
"Ah yes! Well I wore that thing for so long you almost can't read the words engraved on the disks now... that thing should go into the family "Smithsonian" vault (laughs), I loved it but a few years ago I wanted to design another symbol of my Faith System and this is what I came up with (fondles the chain around her neck happily). It represents much of what I hold to be dear to me across a number of different areas of my life including my Spiritual Life and be damned anyone who tells me I should think otherwise!" she hints at some possible dissensions in some of this and I can see the fiery steel of determination underneath her warm persona to be exactly what she chooses to be including what she believes. This woman doesn't modify her beliefs and behaviours by what she perceives 'the group' wants anymore...she does her own thing and is fiercely determined to be exactly herself and not another!
I ask her about love and this is what she says to me:
"I have a couple partners yes!" she smirks with evident pleasure and the joy inside of her literally glows more warmly "I don't live with them though but we are very intimate and close. I found out that I very much prefer living by myself for the most part. But, I also have lots of house guests (I look askance at her..and she laughs and says "not like THAT!" and takes some time to regain her composure at my misunderstanding of her meaning, laughing uproariously for a few moments)...they simply stay at my house...in the spare rooms...and its something like a mini international bed and breakfast really. I make them comfortable and welcome and show them around the Wimmera and stuff. Oh! And...I ended up continuing those German Lessons you started and they've proven very handy" she smiles very deliberately at me and I can tell she is making a strong hint to make sure I keep an eye out for doing more "German Lessons" in my future! I take note.
"You will be surprised to learn though that I have chosen to be...poly..but please don't make that just too public...not many people actually "get it"...even now" she sighs deeply and I blink in utter and absolute surprise! A very private conversation between us ensues and I won't elaborate on it here. Safe to say that I am astonished by this admission. Part of me rebels against it but she seems so utterly free and open and content with her arrangement...I'm still blinking!
The woman before me is utterly unselfconscious. She has this warmth and open hearted generosity of spirit that is so appealing...if a little disconcerting. She seems to have accepted a lot of her flaws and is content to simply be in the moment. I ask her what the most important things are that she has learned since being in my position and this is what she says to me:
"Always have a really good financial planner mi! What you are learning now about financial management is going to set you in very good stead in the coming years but you will need a good financial planner and a good accountant to help you through."
I immediately ask if she is wealthy. She laughs, leans in close to me, looks me square in the eye and says very cryptically "Oh..I'm extremely wealthy!" and then she laughs uproariously again at my obvious struggle to understand what she exactly means. "There are many kinds of wealth mi, as you will learn...but yeah... in your current definition..which I gather is financially, I'm pretty well off now and am planning on getting that apartment you always wanted in the Melbourne CBD" and she smiles with obvious pleasure.
I ask her what else there is I should know and this is what she says to me:
"I've learned to be a lot more content with myself mi. To let go of the struggle to be something I'm not, the struggle to make sense of a future I can never guess and to let go of the past I can never mend. I'm only responsible to myself and my kids and the man I'm in partnership with right now. I have learned to accept that what you think about is generally what you will notice in the world so I stopped noticing what I didn't want and began noticing what was already there and things got very much better for me after that"
There were other things we discussed that are too private to blog about.
An exercise in imagining that has uplifted me and even if its crazy and a little bit too "out there" for those of you who know me and read my stuff... keep it in the back of your mind and perhaps when I'm 10 years on from now, you can tell me if what you read here ever turned out to be sorta true or sorta not true.
Time will tell.