How woo-woo is the title of this post is? I mean, really. Tea? With my “Future Self”? Yet, there it is. Because I’m sharing this part of me in service of you.
I love reading people’s letters to their 20-year old selves. If they knew then what they know now…that sort of thing. And as much as I feel like I could tell 20 year-old Tanya (“enjoy shooters now because you’ll find them repulsive soon”), I’m more interested in what 20-years-from-now Tanya has to say about things. She’s one smart cookie, that Tanya.
I know this because I’ve “met” her. Over a year ago in coach training with CTI…we did a Future Self visualization that blew me away. I saw, quite clearly, the woman I will be in 20 years. She is the sum of who I’m becoming.
The z in the formula x + y= z. And she’s got it going ON.
When faced with a tough choice, I’ll check in with my Future Self and just know what she’d do. Course corrected, wrong righted, inspiration reignited.
Here we go…cue the dream sequence music and wavy picture.
I walk up the front walk way of a stunning home. Gardenias in full bloom…peppery floral scent sweetens the air. The door opens before I can knock it. 57 year-old Future Self Tanya knew I was coming.
In the living room, I settle in to a comfy armchair and take in the space. It’s Dwell meets French country. Reclaimed plank floors are scattered with Persian rugs. Pictures on the impressive mantle tell of a life of family, fun and travel. Colourful abstract art adorns every white wall.
She pours me a cup of tea (Mariage Frères, natch). A little milk and a little sugar. She takes hers black (I wonder when that happened).
(2010 me) - So, you look pretty happy here in 2030. How did we get here?
(Future Self) - You can call it following your heart, your north star, your values, your passion, your truth and it would all be correct.
I call it following my intuition. In 57 years, it has yet to steer us wrong.
And good people. We have very good people.
What am I doing now at 37 that is setting us up for where you are now? I guess I’m asking what you’re proud of me for doing in 2010?
Am proud of so much.
That you started to really respect cash and learned to be with money rather than without money.
That you decided not to let your weight control you (as much as you want to control your weight).
That you do your work with joy in your heart. And that you decided late in 2009 to only work with partners and clients that you really wanted to work with.
That you always smile at strangers.
That you realized that life balance is like an oasis - appealing from afar and yet ever elusive. Kind of dull too, frankly…always the same palm tree and pond. That you realized an alive life is what you wanted and would fight for.
That you stopped living for others, but continued to love them fiercely.
That you do love fiercely.
That you learned to say “no” so you could make room for so many “yes’s”. And there’s more work there for you too, Darling.
What do I need to let go of?
Needing to be right. It’s wrinkle-inducing. You’ll always LIKE to be right (that hasn’t changed) but it’s no longer a need.
The fact that not everyone will like and agree with you. It’s so much more than okay.
Mistrust…of others, but mostly of your own sweet self and your decision-making.
The “shoulds”…fully and completely. Recognize that they are like cigarettes - addictive and smelly at the same time.
Quantity. You’ve always known quality is where it’s at, so sink into it. In everything.
Do you think I should do the project that I've been invited to do?
You're reluctant to because you don't see it as being aligned with your path. And it may not be,as you see it. Yet the partner that you are considering to co-create it with is the right one. This could be a fun process with unexpected outcomes.
What does it mean to have a life of no regret?
To live a life free of regret is to be free of regret. Simple. It’s a wasted emotion…and there are so many other, juicier emotions to be with. It’s self-indulgent goop. We don’t do that anymore. We dropped that as a gift to ourselves when we turned 40.
What do you still do that we used to do at 16?
Eat cookie dough.
Belt out Trooper’s “We’re here for a good time (not a long time)” when I hear it like it’s my job.
Where else in my life can I be digging in deeper right now?
The success is coming. So you can stop fretting about that.
Take that found energy and spend more sacred time with your family and friends. Be patient with Dad. You’ll be glad you did.
At home, play lots more. More puddles, more balloons, more “cooking classes”, more ant-watching.
Final question, when did we start to drink our tea black?
Great story. Funny as hell…but I’ll let you find out for yourself. Let’s just say it happened en route to India.
I thank her for the visit, and we hug again. Like friends who’ll be seeing each other soon.
Back here in 2010, I am inspired and recharged. And I am clear about what my next steps are regarding the project. Crystal clear.