Friday, December 5, 2014

What would you change? It's all written on your face.

What would you like to change about your past life when you look back 10 years?  What about looking back 20 years ago in your life?

And, more importantly, if you could see into the future, what would you be so shocked to see that you would make changes immediately to avoid that outcome?

Since it's December, it's natural to think about Charles Dickens' 1843 novella A Christmas Carol, in which the miserable Ebenezer Scrooge has the opportunity to revisit his past, gain insight into his present, and glimpse an unsavory end.

But, what if the average woman could see into the future?

My thoughts about this began as I read a wonderful article by Susan Minot about photographer Nicholas Nixon's 40-year (and counting) project of taking an annual photograph of his wife and her three sisters.  You can read the article and see all of the portraits here.

I couldn't help but wonder about the life stories of these four women as I saw their expressions and body language change from year to year.  I wondered whether, if they could have seen the 2014 portrait way bacn in 1975, they would have done anything differently.  Would they have been shocked?  Would they have been proud of the strength that shows in their faces, or would they think, "My god, I must have lived a hard life!"  Or perhaps they might feel a little bit of both emotions, and many more emotions in between.


Watching this video started me thinking:


What if you could have a time-lapse, four-minute encapsulation of your life -- see yourself 40 years from now?  In your face, you would be able to read so many things:  the struggle, the disappointment, the roads not taken.  Or, perhaps joy, the process of aging in contentment, with a satisfied heart and peaceful mind.

The thing is:  We can do this without the time travel!  Imagine:  If life continues as is, what face will greet you in the mirror in 40 years?  We can live each day for a better outcome now.  (And enjoy each day along the way, in the process.)  A sort of Picture of Dorian Gray in reverse.  Every day, we can become stronger and more beautiful.  It is a choice -- but it takes mindfulness, and sometimes it takes minute-by-minute shifts from habitual patterns of thinking.

Passionate desires and a picture of your life as you want it to be really help and make the practice of mindfulness fun.
I am choosing as my mantra for 2015 this quote:  I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change.  I am changing the things I cannot accept.
Divorce is the wake-up call to give each of us valuable clues about what we've been missing in the past, and how we'd like to change it.  And, this is just the time of year to consider how to make this happen, using fun and self-nourishing ideas to give birth to your life as you want it to be.

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