I gave a speech recently to the local chapter of the American Association of University Women. I’d known about the engagement for many months and was dreading it. I don’t give very many speeches, and like everyone else I have a fear of getting up in front of people and opening my mouth.
My friend, Marcy, who invited me to speak, wanted me to talk about how I’ve managed to combine my career as a business owner with my passion for travel. It got me thinking. As many of you know, I write travel stories on a regular basis for Tidewater Women and Tidewater Family. What you may not know is that I also freelance for other magazines and have been published in national and international publications. I get paid to write articles as a freelancer, and that helps fund my addiction to travel.
But getting to this point hasn’t been easy. It’s taken time, and I still haven’t achieved my goal of writing for the top-tier travel magazines—but I’m working on it. The reason I’m telling you this is that it’s never too late to have dreams. That’s what I ended up giving my speech about.
Sometimes your dreams need a jump-start, and I have the perfect tool. It’s a creative visualization exercise that a writer contributed to a long-ago issue of Tidewater Women, and it’s very powerful. You'll find the exercise at the end of this column!
Spring is a great time to think about a fresh perspective for your life, and I promise this creative visualization exercise will help you take a giant leap toward your dreams.
Here’s another dream come true: Tidewater Women celebrates its 15-year anniversary this month. We published the first issue in May 1999—seems like a long time ago, doesn’t it? I’d like to take a moment to thank TW’s loyal advertisers for your trust in our publication over the years. Without you, the magazine wouldn’t exist!
I’d also like to give a shout-out to my sales reps who help make TW possible. Thanks, Ronni and Lynne-Hope, for all you do.
It’s been an up-and-down trajectory since 1999, and even though we’ve weathered the economic downturn, bringing you Tidewater Women every month has its challenges. If you enjoy this magazine, do me a favor and visit an advertiser and let him or her know how much you appreciate having a magazine that’s just for you. If you know any business owners who would be a good fit as an advertiser, tell them to give us a call.
With your help and support, we’ll continue bringing you Tidewater Women for another 15 years.
Creative Visualization or “Dream Day” Exercise
By Mary Jo Wehniainen
What you would like your ideal life to look like if you could create it any way you want? In other words, if you sat in front of a blank canvas and were able to “paint” a picture of your ideal life, what would it look like? Where would you live? What kind of car would you drive? How would you look? How would you spend your mornings, afternoons and evenings? What would you do for a living?
If you don’t make some choices now about what you want your future to look like, you’ll miss out on so much that life has to offer. It would be like deciding to go on a trip, packing up the family, but never choosing where to go! Pretty silly, right?
Here’s a fun project. In a full page or two, write out what your ideal day would look like. Make sure it’s written in first person, present tense.
• Begin when you wake up in the morning. Where do you live? What’s in the bedroom? Is it different from where you are now? What does it look like out the window? What are the sounds, smells and/or people that surround you as you awaken?
• Who’s home with you, and what do you have for breakfast? Did you wake up to an alarm clock, or when you were done sleeping?
• What do you look like: weight, clothing, etc.?
• How do you spend your morning? What about lunch time? Maybe you’ll have a wonderful lunch with someone you deeply love or admire. Who is it, where will you be dining, and what is the conversation? Or maybe you’ll choose a quiet lunch by yourself on the beach…
• What will you do in the afternoon? Some of your favorite things with people you love? What kind of vehicle are you driving and what’s the weather like?
• Make sure your picture includes the special assistants who make your life run smoothly. Someone to clean your home, someone else to help in the office and run errands, someone to prepare gourmet meals, a gardener, etc. (these are just suggestions)
• What’s your afternoon like? Perhaps the travel agent makes a special trip to your home to deliver your tickets and itinerary to the place you’ve been dreaming of going for years…
• What will the evening be like? You get the idea!
Remember, this is YOUR story. Have fun with it. Go overboard — there are no boundaries. The only limitations are those you set yourself. Don’t worry how far-fetched it may seem.
Once you’ve finished writing out your story, read it every morning and evening. Picturing yourself in your perfect world over and over again is one of the most powerful tools you can use to begin changing your life in that direction.
With a clear picture in mind, what small changes can you implement right now to begin making your life now look like your vision? Making these little changes sends a powerful message to the universe that you’re serious, strengthens the power of your vision and the potential for its fulfillment.
For example, if you see yourself exercising on a daily basis, looking fit and trim, make sure you’re doing some type of exercise now - even if it’s only walking around the block once a day. If you see yourself waking up peacefully to a quiet breakfast of croissants and fresh fruit with time to read or meditate, at least start eating the croissants and fruit now! If you see yourself with lots of free time for fun with your children, start taking the time right now! Play games with them, take them to the movies, shopping, whatever, but start now! The more you take the actions that are within your power, the quicker you’ll get the results you desire.
One of the biggest lies any of us could ever buy is “someday I will…”. As if when you earn more money, change jobs, lose weight, etc., everything else will be different. It doesn’t happen like that! You need to do whatever is within your power to do right now. If you don’t, you are not being congruent with your vision, and you’re sending mixed messages to the world and to your subconscious. You need to do whatever is within your power to begin “being” the person you want to be, right now!