The next time you have some quiet time to yourself, try this:
….. Sit in silence… drop in… notice your body… notice your breath
….. Do nothing… just be
….. Witness your being
….. Allow time for the voices to slow and the world to soften and then
….. Imagine that it is one year from today. It is February the 27th, 2021. It is a Friday and you have just awakened.
….. Notice where you are… notice who is or isn’t next to you.
….. Allow yourself to go about your future-day. Pay attention to the details. What do you do that day? Where do you go? How do you feel?
….. Don’t force anything. Don’t create your day. This isn’t about manifesting your dreams. This is about noticing what’s already there.
….. A voice within you will start to comment on your day. It will judge your day as good, bad, right, wrong. It will try to correct things. Gently remind this voice that this is just an exercise, that nothing needs to be done or fixed, that everything is okay. Then go back to simply bearing witness to what comes.
….. What is your life like one year from today?
Congratulations! You have just glimpsed, based on your current life’s trajectory, a very close approximation of what things will be like for you in a year. You have just witnessed the future!
Now, if your experience is anything like mine, your future-day will be somewhat of a mixed bag – some parts will be comforting, some parts thrilling, some parts utterly depressing. Regardless, every bit of your vision will be useful to you today, because (and here’s the real magic) peering into our future from a detached space like this allows us to see our present as it truly is. And if we want to make any kind of real, lasting change for ourselves, we have to be able to clearly see what’s here right now, otherwise we just end up grasping at this and that, starting, stopping, avoiding, hitting the wall over and over and over. You already know this.
Time traveling might bring up all sorts of feelings for you, but you will be feeling, you will be opening yourself to the bare and honest truth of your life right now, and if you allow yourself to stay there, to live your life more and more from that space, all of these insights and opportunities will begin showing up for you, little ideas and synchronicities that were always there, but you were just too mired in your hopes and fears and longings to notice. You couldn’t see them from “the inside”.
You know how you’re really good at noticing what’s not working in your friend’s life, how you know exactly what they need to do to fix things? This is like that, except now it’s your own life that you’re finally, truly seeing.
I encourage you to journal about the parts of your future-day that really light you up, as well as the parts that depress you. And then, of course, get to work on changing what you want to change, but keeping checking in. Be gently but relentlessly honest with yourself. Don’t fall prey to spiritual bypassing.
Once we’ve returned from the future, our task is to stay firmly in the present because the present is the only thing we can change. We cannot change the future. The future is only to be witnessed.
After some time passes and maybe something shifts in your life, even just a little (new job, new relationship, etc), find a quiet place and go time traveling again. You’ll be surprised by the parts of your future-day that change as well as the parts that don’t. Time traveling keeps us honest, it keeps things real.
And yes, accidents and tragedy happens. There is an awful lot that is out of our control. But it’s too easy to play victim to life’s circumstances, to stay inside, within our familiar fears and longings. Living out in the exposed truth of this moment and then this moment and then this moment can feel uncomfortable, even vulnerable, but it is where every ounce of our power and potential lies, and if we allow ourselves to stay here, more and more, we get clearer and stronger and start making real and lasting change, until one day we find ourselves arriving at that future-day, a year from now, reading the words in our journals and marveling at all the familiarities — our part-thrilling, part-depressing, all-precious lives staring back at us from the page.