A Visceral Vision

About a year after returning to Ireland, something inspired me to enrol in a programme to train me to be a business and life coach.

On day one, the facilitator asked us why we had decided to enrol. Most people were seeking a qualification to enhance their skills at work or set up their own business.

I had another reason. I wanted to explore more about myself and the questions I had begun to ask through the Life Canvas.

Emigrating is a blank canvas. It felt like the right time to paint a brand new picture.

During the first class, our facilitator guided us through a meditation exercise. We imagined a beam of light transporting us upward, far away above the earth, from which we could look down. We then switched to another beam of light of a different colour, which guided us back down to earth in ten years. I was now 52 rather than 42. But I found the landing difficult. I struggled to imagine being in Ireland permanently. I felt a resistance to landing in my home town.

We talked about our different experiences after the exercise. I had preferred to land on some sunny hillside ocean-facing house – maybe somewhere in Europe, I wasn’t sure. I still had a base in Ireland but I was not always there. This was insightful and possibly reflected my struggle with the weather and living in Ireland all year round.

This technique – transporting yourself into the future can guide us to be more specific about where we want to go. We should be as visceral as possible and use ALL of our senses to tap into our inner wisdom and intuition.

We can ask questions of all our senses. 

Where are we? What do we see? What can we smell? Who is with us? How do we feel? What can we hear? What can we touch? What are we doing? 

All of these sources help us to connect with our soul’s wishes.

Doing this and getting specific by writing down definitive statements can become the basis for moving towards a life vision.

Shortly after, I researched further about how to tap into inner wisdom. I created a Life Vision template I now use with all my clients. It contains a clear ‘aspirational statement’ at a fixed point in the future, typically 5-10 years.

The Key Question to ask is What If?

The detailed Life Vision template and step-by-step guideline are available. But in short, the Life Vision follows and aligns with the Life Canvas. But now, you must attempt to make clear statements (definitions of happiness) in each life area. 

A pleasantly surprising thing might happen for you (it did for me), perhaps sooner than you think. You might revisit this Life Vision in six months and realise that your vision statement is already satisfied in some areas. If you are unhappy with any area, then you can have fun by setting goals.

A word of caution. It’s not healthy to link our happiness to external things outside our control, such as future goals. But it is human nature to strive to improve. Therefore, there are two aspects we should work on together for our well-being:

  1. Gratitude for the present is being happy for who we are, what we do and have now.
  2. Setting goals is only a starting point to have fun realising our highest potential.

Only when you have a clear Life Vision of who you are (and what that feels like) are you ready to move to Phase 2 – Making Big Decisions.

Get your free Life Vision and Guideline here

James Parnell is the founder of A New Dawn in Ireland community and provides online coaching for anyone inspired to change their life.

This article is an excerpt from the book A New Dawn in IrelandIf you would like to be notified when the book is published simply register here.