Slowly, slowly, I seem to be getting somewhere. I think. I’m exercising more than I was, I’m definitely eating better, and all this is contributing to a generally improved sense of well-being. On a good day, anyway. But lately more of them seem to be good.
I owe a lot of this to the exercise that I resisted for months – and I’m not talking burpees. It’s the exercise that coach Allison Rimm kept exhorting me to do, and that I finally did at her workshop this summer: creating a vision statement for my life.
I had resisted for a lot of reasons. I didn’t really see what it had to do with losing weight or working out more; it sounded abstract and a little corporate-mission-statement to me, and, I dunno, it just seemed kind of New Age cheesy, you know? More deeply, I think I subconsciously feared laying out exactly what I want my life to look like because then I’d have to examine, and own, the reasons it doesn’t look like that right now.
But I did it, and last week Allison and I finally sat down together to review it, and I have to tell you: It is a really powerful tool for creating lasting change in your life. In fact, the experience of reading it to another person was so powerful that it actually brought me to tears.
Alison asked me why I was crying – it’s not something I do around other people very much at all, thanks to my WASP genes – and at first I couldn’t even say. But I think it was for exactly the reason I’d feared: Reading my vision statement aloud let me see, in very specific terms, the life I dreamed of having, and at the same instant it led me to reflect on where I am now in relation to that ideal life.
The funny thing is, I’m not that far off. So it wasn’t exactly the gap between reality and ideal that made me cry; it was the recognition that I am, maybe for the first time ever, really stating clearly what I want in life and declaring my intention to create it. And that’s both powerful and scary.
So, even if you’re only following along with Project Louise in hopes of getting a few diet tricks or exercise routines (I promise more exercise news next week!), I urge you to take an hour or so today to write out your vision for your life. (If you want a little guidance on how to do that, Allison's website offers plenty of help — this post is a good place to start.) And, at Allison’s insistence, I’m going to show you mine. I hesitated to do this because it seems narcissistic, but she says it’s a good model of what you should be aiming for, so here you go. Just promise me you won’t say it’s cheesy.
My vision statement:
I am living in a beautiful, peaceful and happy home, surrounded by people I love who love me too. Everything has its place, and we are free to work and play, together and alone, and to come together at day’s end to laugh, to tell stories and to nurture each other with compassion, humor and respect.
Every day, I write work that is personally meaningful and satisfying. I also work with other people on long-term projects that can only be accomplished by a team. We enjoy and respect each other’s skills and do great work together.
I am healthy, fit and full of energy and power. I move with grace, ease and strength, and I love being in a body that is healthy and full of life. I wear comfortable, beautiful clothes that are simple and elegant. Everything around me is beautiful, useful and in good repair. If I see a problem, I quickly address it to restore harmony and order.
My friendships are rich and sustaining. We take care of one another and have fun. My children love to be at home, and their friends are happy to join us there, too. I cook simple, great meals that sustain and please us all.
The steady, happy home I have created, and the rewarding work I do, give me the energy, time and resources to have wonderful adventures. I travel as often as I like, and I’m always happy to come home. I feel financially secure and can share my wealth with others. I find ways to make the world a better place.
So, that’s mine. What’s yours?