Sunlight filters through the grapevine, showering us with confetti light. The breeze gently brushes across my checks and forehead. I look out to the horizon, over the the Med, a perfect backdrop to friends conversing and laughing loud …
I sit back, relaxed, lift my wine glass and take a sip of the red.
“Ah life”, I say to myself. “This is life”.
One of the statements I hear most about my life is … “You’re living the DREAM. I’d like to do what you do.” One woman said to me, “I’d love to do what you do, but not everyone has an opportunity fall into their lap like you did.”
While I'm very grateful for the opportunties I've been given and I’m very aware not everyone has the ideal circumstances to set-up life the same way (and nor does everyone want to), many people are unaware of the steps and side-steps, and the continual moving forward I took to live what I call a Daily Inspired Life.
The first step in my journey was to write my future story …
Live the Life You Love - The First Step
I sat in a comfortable chair under the shade of a Royal Poinciana. Closed my eyes, breathed deeply, connecting to a higher force, the Spirit within me and around me, the one I call God. I imagined how I wanted my life to be. I imagined it in all the detail right down to the daily sensory experience.
When I ask people about what they want, they’ll usually say, “I want a good career”, or “I want to be in a loving relationship”, or "I want to be a mother", or "I want to travel", or “I want to earn a six-figure income.”
This process I’m sharing with you today is going to take you deeper than that. What do you really want to experience daily at the sensory level? What and who do you want to see and hear. What about your other senses … what will you ideally like to taste, touch and smell?
Dig even deeper and ask yourself why you want that. Doing this contemplative work, helps you get clarity, it takes you past what society has conditioned you to think you want. It helps you get clear and start imagining what a life you love looks like.
Next do the following exercise - which I have used and adapted slightly and used with permission from Barbara Sher, Author of Wishcraft …
Write Your Future Story
THE IDEAL DAY EXERCISE
(BY BARBARA SHER)
“Take a pen and paper and start to write … (or record your voice as you dream out loud). Take a leisurely walk through a day that would be perfect if it represented your usual days-not a vacation day, not a compromise day, but the very substance of your life as you'd love it to be.
Live through that day in the present tense and in detail, from getting up in the morning to going to sleep at night.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? What do you have for breakfast? Do you make it yourself-or is it brought to you in bed, with a single rose and the morning paper? Do you take a long, hot bath? A bracing cold shower? What kinds of clothes do you put on? How do you spend the morning? the afternoon? At each time of day, are you indoors or outdoors, quiet, or active, alone or with people?
As you go through the hours of your fantasy day, there are three helpful categories to keep in mind: what, where, and who.
What are you doing–what kind of work, what kind of play? Imagine yourself at the full stretch of your capacities. If you'd like to sing or sail, and you don't know how, in this fantasy you do know how. Where–in what kind of place, space, situation? A beachside villa, a London flat, an Oregon farm, a fully quipped workshop, an elegant hotel room, a houseboat? Who do you work with, eat with, laugh, and talk with, sleep with?
You will undoubtedly want to write some of your favourite real people into your fantasy; you might also want to include some types of people you'd like to be surrounded by–writers, musicians, children, people your own age, people of all different ages, athletes, Frenchmen, financiers, simple country people, celebrities. Just as you did with your ideal environment, turn your imagination loose.
Don’t put down what you think is possible – put down the kind of day you'd live if you had absolute freedom, unlimited means, and all the powers and skills you've ever wished for.
Writing your future story by defining your desires in the present tense is the first step. The beginning of a new journey. This is one of the most important exercises I did to discover what I really wanted from my life. I continue to use this process to regularly reflect and review what I want from life.
If you’d like hear more about how I use past, present and future stories to create a life I love, then pop me a comment below, and I’ll share more in upcoming issues of Daily Inspired Life.