“It’s a general moral principle that the more power you have over someone, the greater your duty is to use that power benevolently. Well, who is the one person in the world you have the greatest power over? It’s your future self. You hold that life in your hands, and what will be depends on how you care for it.”
~ Rick Hanson
It sounds BIG, doesn’t it? This power we have; this responsibility for how we bring our future selves into being.
And yet, in spite of the awesome grandeur of this task, I realized I felt comforted by the idea of being able to hold my future self in my hands. Meaning, this something – someone – starts out small enough for me to cradle and nurture.
Think of all the responsibility you’ve accepted over the years: raising a puppy, raising a child, projects at work, planning a wedding, hosting holiday gatherings, planning and planting a garden. Each of these things you’ve done, you did one day at a time, one small task at a time.
Our future selves can be cared for and nurtured in the same way: one day at a time, one commitment at a time, one small daily step or action at a time.
What keeps us, I believe, from starting right NOW is the tendency to see ourselves as one GIGANTIC self-improvement project. There are so many changes we want to make for ourselves and to our lives; it all feels so big, so heavy, and so HUGE.
And, what if you started now?
Now at the end of October.
Now with the holidays right around the corner.
Now when you’re feeling too busy, too stressed.
And, what if you started small?
Let’s look out as far as the next 60 days, to the end of December.
Who would you like to be during these next two months?
What single aspect, of your future self, will you focus on through the end of the year?
What is the one small, daily action you can take to support the growth and evolution of your future self?
Yes! That’s right – playful practice. No need to get it right. No need to be perfect.
What if nurturing your future self didn’t have to feel so SERIOUS?
What if you could simply let yourself have fun, be playful, laugh with yourself?
What if the next 60 days were simply the opportunity to PRACTICE becoming the person you’d like to be?
Perhaps in your mind’s eye, your future self goes through life relaxed and peaceful.
Let the holiday season allow you to practice what this relaxed, peaceful state might be like for you.
- Maybe you will commit to a daily meditation session of at least 10 minutes.
- Maybe you’ll commit to practicing mindfulness, staying present and breathing while you are out and about running errands.
- Maybe you’ll commit to laughing more and caring less about the “perfect” decorations or “perfect” holiday meal.
Perhaps you envision a life where you feel happy and contented.
Let the next 60 days be a chance to practice feeling this way, no matter how bad the traffic, how crowded the stores, how annoying extended family can be at the holiday table.
- Maybe you’ll commit to keeping a gratitude list, where you pay attention to all the good stuff in your life.
- Maybe you’ll commit to hugging and laughing with your family at least twice a day.
- Maybe you turn off the TV and avoid the temptation of getting caught up in unrealistic images of holiday perfection.
- Maybe you take a break from Facebook and instead focus directly on what makes YOU happy and contented.
Why wait until the New Year to begin the small, humble steps towards being the person you really want to be?
Allow the caring, of this best version of you, to begin NOW.
Let the support start with small, easy, manageable, humble steps.