Time Travel

If you really truly want to know your future, try this:

….. Find a quiet, comfortable, private space. Sit and let your eyes close… drop into the silence… notice your body.

….. Notice your breath.

….. Be here for a bit. Noticing.

….. Witnessing.

….. Allow enough time for the voices to slow and the world to soften and then…

….. Imagine that it is exactly one year from today. Whatever today is, it is that day, next year. And you are just waking up. 

….. Notice where you are, the room, the colors, the temperature, the sounds. Don’t force anything. Don’t idealize or catastrophize your future-day. Just notice what’s already there.

….. Notice who is or isn’t next to you when you wake up. Notice how you feel.

….. Slowly allow yourself to go about your future-day noticing the details along the way. Where do you go? What do you do? What do you observe about your future-self? Does your future-self seem happy, sad, wistful, angry?

….. There will likely be a voice within you starting to judge your future-day as good, bad, right, wrong. This voice will try to correct things. Gently remind this voice that this is only 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?

….. When you feel ready, come back to today, to the sounds around you, the sensations within you. Let your eyes open.

…. Stand and shake it all off. Take some big breaths and sigh out to hear yourself here, now, firmly planted on the ground.

Congrats! You’ve just witnessed the future. Based on your life’s current trajectory, you’ve just glimpsed a close approximation of what things will be like for you in one year.

If your experience is anything like mine, your future-day will be somewhat of a mixed bag – some parts comforting, some parts thrilling, some parts depressing. Every bit of your vision, however, is useful to you today, because (here’s the real magic)… peering into your future as an observer like this, allows you to see your present as it truly is.

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, to be relentlessly honest with the path that we are currently on, otherwise we just end up grasping at this and that, starting, stopping, avoiding, hitting the wall over and over and over and not knowing why things aren’t going our way. Time traveling like this keeps us honest. If we allow ourselves to see what’s real and to live our lives from this space, all sorts of new insights and opportunities will begin showing up, little ideas and synchronicities that were always there, but we were just too mired in all of our hopes and fears and longings to notice. In other words, we couldn’t see them from “the inside”, we had to get up and out and bear witness without judgement.

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 keep being 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.

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 one part thrilling, one part depressing, and all parts precious, life staring back at us from the page.

🖼 by Man Ray; The Eye That Sees Everything; 1919

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