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An Authentic Self Connects With Her Future Self

Hello everyone. This is a Guest Post written by a personal friend of mine.

I’d like to introduce you to Deanna. She works in community health care with older adults as a Case Manager.

Like so many of us, she has been on a quest to connect with her life purpose and to apply it in her everyday life.

As an avid reader and promoter of self-development, she has struck out on her journey with determination.

She employed life coaching services with Crimson Compass and was guided on a Future Self meditation.

This is an inner journey where a person is invited to imagine the possibilities beyond the limits they’ve imposed; beyond what they believe is realistic. The Future Self is the core self that a person is becoming on the path to fulfillment.

This journey taps into the intuitive, internal knowing and enables a person to bring this clarity into the light of their current lives.

It’s a challenge to solve problems and achieve goals while feeling influenced by troubling or confusing life circumstances. Having a Future Self identity will give a person a persona to step into to reflect on their life from a different perspective.

Deanna has been exploring this idea on her quest to come up with a Life Purpose Statement and while reflecting on this, she was inspired to write this story. I have ask for her permission to share it.

If you have comments for Deanna, she would be excited to be a blogger for a day and respond to them. And so here, unedited, is Deanna’s story.

The Story of the Wooden Chest

There’s a chest, a big, clunky wooden chest, upstairs in the attic. I’ve just discovered it. Or perhaps, more truthfully, I’ve only noticed that it’s always been there. I can’t decide if I should be surprised, but somehow I don’t think I am.

The attic isn’t familiar to me. It’s not a room in the house where I currently live and I don’t recognize this space. And yet, this attic, this place where the chest resides, is welcoming me and it seems perfectly natural that I should be here.

The chest is old. But then again, I’m not very adept at determining the age of anything, so it’s easy for me to say ‘it’s old’. But it is; it just looks old. Like it’s been sitting in this spot forever, waiting to be found.

The top is steeply curved, which gives it an overall appearance of something rather large and imposing. But the colour is a deep, rich brown, and it is rather inviting. There are wide metal straps embedded on the top and sides, seeming to hold it together, although I’m not sure these are terribly necessary. It gives me no clue that it’s about to fall apart.

The wood itself is nothing exotic, like mahogany or some other rare or extinct species of wood. It’s just brown, ordinary wood, but nevertheless very appealing in a basic and solid kind of way. Like you’d expect an old friend to be, a little weathered and worn, but familiar and waiting to tell you a grand story about where he’s just been.

I have a lantern in my hand. It’s kind of old fashioned in itself, and not a typical thing I’d carry with me into an attic. Usually I’d have a flashlight, but somehow a flashlight seems poorly suited to the job. The lantern seems just the right thing for me to carry, and it surprises me I knew that. I didn’t have to think about it.

However, I notice that I really don’t need much of a light at all, because the chest is sitting near a small, rectangular shaped window, letting in the right amount of diffuse, soft early afternoon light. The warm glow of the lantern was more than enough to get me here, so I extinguish it.

It seems odd to me that there isn’t a lot of clutter or piles of old junk around this chest. Not much by way of cobwebs, dust or litter either. It’s rather quiet, neat, and tidy up here. There’s just the chest and me alone together, in this space.

I pause for a little while. Shall I open the lid? Of course I know I will. It seems to me this is what I’m supposed to do. Why the hesitation? Out of respect perhaps, it occurs to me. What’s the hurry, after all?

I examine the front of the chest, looking for a lock, and although there is a latch, it opens easily, without a key. I lift the latch and push back on the lid, so the top is fully open. I remain on my knees, in front of the chest. I don’t feel the urge to stand. This works well. I’m comfortable.

I’m not sure if it’s the light from the window or something else in my eyes, but now there seems to be something bright and rather all encompassing in front of me. It takes me a few minutes to realize it’s coming from inside the chest.

When I look more closely, it occurs to me it’s mostly a simple, pure light that I see. But it’s not blinding. It’s soft and yet is sufficient to illuminate the entire inside of the chest. At first glance, I can’t see anything beyond the light. When I focus, I begin to make out a blue striped fabric lining, and the outline of a few objects.

The first object is a collection of five to six glass marbles. They seem fairly average in appearance to me. But I pick them up and roll them around in the palm of my hand. They feel cool and smooth to the touch and seem to be telling me to ensure I have some fun. The kind of fun you have when you’re little, and not too worried about much of anything.

Then I notice, and how could I not, the rather large hand quilted blanket in the right hand side of the chest, occupying a good bit of space. I take it out, and see that someone has put a great deal of effort into piecing this together. Is this especially for me? What a comforting thought! I dare not wrap it around my shoulders, just yet. Maybe I’m supposed to wait for something, to use it at its best.

My eyes stray to an elongated cardboard box, not quite standard paper size, and only a couple of inches high. When I open it, there are several sheets of blank paper, finely textured, pearl white, demanding thoughtful recording. It occurs to me that I’m simply required to ‘be reflective’.

Then I see another small, square box in the far left hand corner of the chest. When I open this one, there are several ‘nuggets’ that for some reason I immediately recognize as fuel for my lamp. I also know that this is enough fuel to last indefinitely, to light my way and for others who follow. Isn’t that amazing?

Ah ha, so now I understand what’s going on. This is a chest of gifts dedicated to self-care. My wise future self sent this to me, knowing that in order to be a guide to others on my journey I must first take good care of myself.

* * * * * * * *

Imagine that you have come across a wooden chest in your attic. When you lift the lid, what items are waiting there to support you?

Or, if you were going to put items into it that symbolize your strengths what would they be?

* * * * * * * *

Meet Your Future Self – FREE

Receive a 20-minute meditation  (long distance fees not included). Includes a 15-minute debrief and a transcript of your notes.

To schedule an appointment send an email to crimsoncompass@gmail.com with Future Self in the subject line. Promotion ends January 31, 2009.

Setting a New Year’s Resolution for 2009?

This special deal would be perfect to support your efforts!

Within two weeks after receiving your Future Self meditation choose one 30-minute follow-up coaching session at a 50% discount. Session includes:

1. Goal-setting for 2009.
2. Tips on how to connect with your Future Self to support your goal.
3. A written summary with accountability steps included.
4. Within two weeks, a follow-up email or 15-minute phone call to review steps you have taken towards achieving your goal. We’ll look at what is or isn’t working.

The cost for all this is just $35. Offer ends January 31, 2009.

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I thought this was a nice t-shirt when I bought it.

I believe in living as a free spirit so this was the perfect T.

A free spirit has been defined as a person who lives by their wishes and beliefs and who is unconstrained by society’s rules.

My definition of a free spirit is someone who is powerful, happy and free. Someone who embodies the spiritual, who is full of love and all that colourful loveliness of being alive. Oh, la-di-da!

Pollyanna step aside.

I’ve been kidding myself. I have only dreamed about being a free spirit.

I aspire to live unconstrained by society’s conventions because I want to hide in my safe little box. I’m afraid (no, I BELIEVE) I’m not good enough to belong anywhere!

This is a pattern I’ve lived with for most of my life, and I’ve kept my spirit contained because of it. Sad!

In grade seven I was ostracized by a group of girls. We would stand in a circle at recess and talk. Well, most of us talked. I just listened. I was very shy, afraid to talk and afraid to be seen.

One day, one of the girls approached me and told me they didn’t want me hanging around with them anymore. I was devastated and spent the next five years in school looking for some sign that anyone might like me, that I belonged and that someone wanted to be my friend. I wanted an invitation.

I suffered in silence. The only person I spoke to about this was my mother, and that was only because she saw me running from the school bus one afternoon in tears. I ran straight to my room and she followed.

“Nobody likes me,” I sobbed in answer to her concerned inquiry. I can’t remember what her response was. I just remember sobbing uncontrollably and she eventually left without a word.

I went to therapy to heal this wound but the pain never went away. Why? I kept making those girls responsible for my pain. A part of me still wanted to believe they were insensitive cruel bitches (that felt good!), but I know now as an adult that kids will be kids.

The reality was that I was already in pain before being ostracized. I believed then that I didn’t belong and I didn’t have anything to offer. That was why I stood in silence in that circle during recess. In a sense I was using them to keep up an appearance. Why shouldn’t they kick me out? I was their weakest link.

What happened was only a reflection of my belief system. Thinking back, I didn’t dispute this with those girls. I accepted that there was something wrong with me and continued to live my life in a box, afraid to be seen.

So how can I free my spirit?

Somehow I don’t think that ripping this t-shirt off while walking along a busy downtown sidewalk is the answer.

I’m still learning that living as a free spirit doesn’t require an invitation from anyone but myself. It needs to be exercised and that will not happen while living in a box. And, there is no la-di-da here either.

These are 10 actions I believe will exercise the spirit into remembering the freedom that is its birthright.

  • Take the self and everyone else less seriously.
  • Make rules and then break them.
  • Make lots of mistakes; laugh at and learn from them.
  • Stop trying to have everyone else conform to my rules.
  • Give other people permission to be themselves and make their own mistakes.
  • Respond, don’t react.
  • Let creativity speak and listen to it; practice what inspires you because that strengthens the spirit.
  • Get out of the head and follow the heart more; practice to learn the difference.
  • Envision myself as already living as a free spirit.
  • Take my place in the circle; recognize that I have gifts to share and just share them!

I will leave you with this quote that a friend shared with me just today. “Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.”

As for that box I mentioned, are you in or out? How has this affected your life?

Please share your comments below and if you enjoyed this article don’t forget to subscribe to my feed. My next post is entitled “Creative Luny Landing in the Sand”.

Photo Credit: Davina Haisell

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