Taking a page from Julia Cameron’s ‘The Artist’s Way,’ last night before I fell asleep I wrote lists that answer the basic question, if I had abundant amounts of faith and money, what would I try? What would my desires be now, and what would they be at age 20? at age 65?
The age-specific exercises pulled me out of my current day-to-day existence and revealed aspirations that were out of focus. It’s interesting to take a look at these lists and see how many of my named desires at age 20 or age 65 actually apply to right now.
Here are the three lists I created in bed last night –
If I had complete faith or the money I would try … (list five desires):
- Becoming a singer
- Making music videos
- Couch surfing through Europe
- Roadtrip across all US states
- Writing a book
If I were 20 and had the money or faith, I would try … (list five adventures):
- Performing in coffee shops across Europe
- Roadtrip through the US
- Living in Italy for six months
- Yoga retreat (get certified)
- Build a portfolio of photographs (attempt modeling)
If I were 65 and had the money or faith, I would … (list five post-poned pleasures)
- Open a small business
- Paint a mural on a wall of my home
- Dye my hair pink
- Travel to a country I always wished to (Prague, New Zealand, Japan)
- Plan a big family trip / reunion
Looking at these lists, my nastiest inner critic loves to point out the aspirations that I could never actually succeed at.
My overly protective, sensitive critic applauds the more ambitious items on the list, but asks me to focus only on the safest, easiest items of the lists.
My truest voice calmly scans the list and says, what’s the big deal? What’s holding you back? All of these dreams are still still attainable.
My love of travel, writing and creating art stand out in all three lists, and I’m going to let those desires continue to guide me, just as I have over the last six months. I’m in no rush to check the boxes next to those 15 very specific desires. They serve as directional energy. It feels good to know what I want, to put it out there, and to live by that true, calm inner voice that says, “you have all you need right now to accomplish whatever you want.”
What would you try if you knew you would not fail? Might the real failure be not trying? What would you try, if money and faith were non issues? Could those already be non issues, and it’s your inner critic that is the real issue?
Big thank you and xo’s to Amber Rae for reading the draft and encouraging me to hit ‘publish,’ despite my weariness in sharing these personal aspirations.
With courage, love, and intensity,
Photo and water color painting credit: me