I am going to start collecting things. I have a folder, somewhere, of articles that I’d been inspired by, notably, one about Sofia Coppola when Lost in Translation came out. Loved that film. But, lately, since I read so much online, I assume that I’ll be able to go back find at any moment “that link” or “the story” I just read that made me stand up and say “YES!” pointing at the computer screen. Odds are – I probably won’t.
I read an article in New York Magazine about the state of penitentiaries for teens. It was terribly disheartening. But I could visualize myself reaching out to under-privileged forgotten youth through a writing workshop and positive thinking, similar to what I did when I was a counselor at Circle of Tapawingo. I have been meaning to take that article from the issue of the magazine sitting somewhere in our apartment and put it aside, in a folder, or a notebook, to save. It will remind me.
I’ve heard people advocate “vision boards.” This is something I could also try. I love making collages. I collaged an entire closet door in my childhood bedroom. I’d sit for hours and hours clipping things out of magazines. And I’d tape them to the door. I could chart the evolution of my year, from corner to corner in the way things were cut and arranged. What would I be trying to visualize? My future self? Well, yes, I guess so. A writer with a penchant for fitness who supplements her advances and royalties with profits from teaching fitness classes. Hm. (Note to self: buy some kind of oak tag and a glue stick on the way home.)
For coaching, we had to write our ideal vision of our lives in 18 areas of being. We also had to write “where we are now.” Perhaps because I am complacent and too accepting or adaptive, I rated myself way too high for each “where I am now” section. I would write all these non-ideal circumstances (for example: under the heading of “BODY” I wrote that I sometimes say some most unkind things to myself. But because I feel I have come a long way and have, to some degree, accepted my body, I awarded myself an 8!) The thing is: I could do better. I could do better in everything.
I signed up for coaching because I felt like I was coasting and I was ready to kick it into high gear. I guess the first step is identifying exactly where you want to be, and then charting a path to get there. I am not sure I am 100 percent sure where I want to be. Then again, I am totally sure. I can feel it. I can feel the freedom and the air and sun on my face as I go to the gym, or walk home. I feel the sun on my back as I sit at my desk in my writing room at work on another novel. I can feel it. So I know where I want to go. I have to move confidently in the direction of my dreams. And that’s not just a saying. I have to make promises each week, breaking down each goal into manageable tasks, and follow through on them. Each one of those is like stepping on a paving stone on the path to the life I want to live.