Friday, December 6, 2013

Do You Have A Vision for Your Life?

Having no vision for your life is like being in a rowboat without oars: you go where the water takes you, or doesn’t. If coming up with a vision frustrates or confuses you in any way or makes you anxious, this may help.

Hermann Hesse wrote: “Most people are like a falling leaf that drifts and turns in the air, flutters, and falls to the ground. But a few others are like stars which travel one defined path: no wind reaches them; they have within themselves their guide and path.” We get the importance of his statement, and he’s right that each of us has our guide and path within us; but if you feel you’re drifting along in life without a vision and feel unsure what to do about this, his statement might cause you to judge yourself. I want to help you shift this. And about having one defined path, what if that’s not about doing but is about being, say, joyful, instead? Does that shift your energy about this even a little?

Wallace Wattles said: “You must form a clear and definite mental picture of what you want; you cannot transmit an idea unless you have it yourself.” Wattles is right as well; however, the thought of getting to this clear mental picture is intimidating for a number of people. They concern themselves with questions like: What if they pick the wrong vision? What if by picking a vision, they limit themselves? What if their vision is too large or too small? What will others think about their vision, or how might they judge it?

The first thing I ask you to do is allow that if the thought of coming up with a vision for your life makes you uncomfortable in any way, we want to shift how you think about this so you can feel better about it, because it is likely your beliefs about this that hold you back. For instance, rather than think about your Vision For All Time, think about the vision of your life for the next year, or the next six months, or next month, or next week instead, to get into practice. This takes the pressure off of having to come up with The Grand Vision. And that’s another thing you want to let go of: what anyone else will think about your vision; that your vision has to impress others or have their approval or it won’t be worthwhile—not that you have to tell anyone. In fact, practice self-restraint for as long as needed or desired about this: keep your vision silent and sacred.

One thing that may affect your ability to come up with a vision, whatever time-period you now want it to cover, is believing it has to be practical (so you can appease others or your ego-aspect). Practical isn’t necessarily magical. I recall going to a car dealership years back. I didn’t like anything about that experience. When the saleswoman came back from having “the talk” with her manager about what kind of “deal” they could make for me, I told her no. She asked what kind of deal I was looking for, and I told the uncensored truth: “I want an attractive car with all the bells and whistles, and I don’t want to pay a penny for it.” And I meant it. She was, of course, shocked and told me that was unrealistic. I was completely serene and even joyful as I smiled and said goodbye and left. Within several months, I was driving a sporty Lexus with all the bells and whistles, and doing so without a penny ever coming out of pocket. I share this example so you can see that sometimes being practical can stand in your way. The Universe has an interesting way of filling our orders once we know and state what we want—fearlessly—at least to ourselves, then get out of the way. 

Another thing that blocks creating a vision for your life is attempting to do this from a feeling of desperately needing to change or fix your life. Desperation is not the energy you want flowing through you when you consider your vision. For one thing, you aren’t thinking clearly when you feel desperate for change. Your energy is focused in the opposite direction at such a time, like on lack, frustration, fear, and so on. Before you sit down to work with your vision, you want to take some deep breaths to relax your body and mind. You want to connect with the infinite love of Source, to relax your emotions and stimulate your spiritual connection to the abundance and flow that Source has made available for you to receive, as soon as you allow yourself to do so. When feeling desperate, you block alignment of your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual energy with your vision.

Joseph Campbell said: “We’re so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget that the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it’s all about.” Yes! You see, one thing that blocks people from crafting a vision, among the other blocks I’ve already mentioned, is they get so focused on Doing that they forget to focus on Being first.

I know it’s recommended that you get specific when you craft a vision, but this may be so intimidating that you just abandon the idea of crafting one. Note: A vision for your life is NOT meant to be the same as a goals list and the steps to reach goals. So, try this: Write generalized specifics. What I mean is, for example, instead of coming up with a fixed number of the amount of money you want to receive each month, state that you want money to come to you from Source’s infinite resources in the amount that is three times (or more) than what your actual monthly expenses currently are—or whatever feels realistic and possible at this time. Don’t impinge on your alignment with an amount your subconscious doesn’t believe is even in the realm of possibility. Head and heart alignment is important here. As you move forward, you can always increase this. And, instead of stating the work you do in your vision, state that you do work that you love and enjoy and find fulfilling, if work is part of your vision. This suggestion to be generalized-specific is to help you get into practice of allowing yourself to have a vision for your life. When you get comfortable with this process, and what I explain from here on, then you might want to craft a vision that is more specific, or, instead, also craft a goals list.

Do a rough draft of your vision, so you get started. Consider it an exercise only, so you ease up on yourself about this. Let this draft be more like play. Hand-write your draft, and write it as though it’s happening now. Let how you want to feel about your life assist you with this draft. Remember, let go of being practical, of impressing anyone or needing anyone’s approval. Allow yourself the right to adjust anything in your vision that you feel the need or desire to adjust. This is for you and only you. It’s like a garment you create for yourself: you must tailor it to fit you; you must love the color, texture, and feel of it. You must feel terrific when you put it on. It must feel exciting and empowering to wear it.

When you play with your draft vision, if you feel the need to be practical, go ahead and write out a practical one. Then, allow yourself to write one where practical isn’t a factor. Again: Practical isn’t necessarily magical. So if it will help you, create one draft titled My Practical Vision and another titled My Magical Vision, and cut loose with this one. What time do you want to wake in the morning, or what kind of schedule flexibility is desired? What do you want your day and what you do with it to feel like? How do you want to feel about your day and life when you go to sleep at night? How do you want to feel about your financial matters, secure or serene? And so on, with anything you want to add.

Remember: Write both versions in present tense, as though each vision aspect is already happening. Then read each vision in turn. After you read the practical version, add a paragraph about how it makes you feel when you read it and how it affects your energy; do the same after you read the magical version. Which one excites you? Which one feels like your right fit? Keep in mind that a magical vision will have practical aspects appear to support it. So don’t be afraid of writing down what you really want.

Once you decide on a draft vision, read your vision aloud to yourself every morning and evening for the first seven days. Each following week, spend fifteen or so minutes once a week to read your vision and feel it, believe it, trust it, and adjust it in whatever way feels right to you, because you are always changing and growing. Allow your vision to change and grow as well. Each time you make major adjustments to your vision, repeat the seven-day morning and night read-aloud process so you really get your vision into your energy field and mindset.

Release the HOW. That’s up to the Universe (like my car example), but pay attention to inspirations that lead you to actions then follow through. You can also use your vision to verify that any ideas or opportunities that show up in your mind or life as actions to take actually match your vision, so your ego-aspect doesn’t lead you astray, which it often does, as it tends to operate from desperation and fear. It’s better to be still and wait for an inspiration you know is aligned with you and your vision than to rush into action that uses your time, energy, and other resources in spinning-your-wheels activities. Never confuse activity with productivity. Inspired action is what you want to follow, and these generally come to you when you’re being quiet or still or doing something unrelated.

How do you want to feel about your vision? What feelings, thoughts, and self-talk do you need to support your vision? What would your vision need to include for you to feel joyful, enthused, fulfilled, excited, confident, comfortable being you, and—whole? Keep in mind that this is for the time-period you’ve decided it’s for, whether it’s for the rest of your life, the next year, month, or week. Take some time to craft your vision as described here. Then read it and ask yourself how much of your vision you are doing or living now and perhaps don’t realize it. This may, or may not, surprise you.

Don’t rush crafting your vision. It’s important enough to take the time you need, but don’t put it off either or try to write the “perfect” draft the first time. It may take a few or several tries for you to feel comfortable enough to allow yourself to write a more magical vision. And keep in mind that you want to allow the flexibility to adjust your vision as you realize more of what you really want and want to feel and allow yourself to include these in your vision.

Once your draft vision is written and it feels right, don’t try to rush it or force it into your experience. Watch for signs of it taking form in your life. Watch for inspired ideas. Allow yourself to love and accept and approve of you so you allow yourself to receive your vision as your experience. It’s a good practice, one you’ll appreciate.        

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer

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