I was asked recently to write a precise description of what a perfect day would look like for me. With luck and the grace of God, one that I could repeat daily, feeling a sense of excitement with the dawn of each day and an even greater sense of peace and fulfillment each night as I close my eyes. I have struggled with this.
The process of creative visualization is not new. The Roman statesman Cicero developed the idea, Chaucer introduced it in the Canterbury Tales and Shakti Gawain wrote precisely how to use it in the 1970s. For years, I’ve read books, watched movies, written lists and stayed in a creative process. It’s forced me to think and be intentional about designing my life - rather than having it designed randomly for me.
I love vision boards, which we used to call treasure maps, with the riches in sight. At the beginning of each year, I spend time cutting photographs and mantras out of magazines hoping and praying that the things I dream of will become a reality for me. Pinned inside of my closet, I scan pictures of items, words and experiences each morning as I dress. For a brief moment, I’m reminded of the things that are meaningful to me before I get lost in the day. They act as guideposts and boundaries when I’m suffering mission drift or have lost sight of my North Star. They give me hope.
So why the internal struggle with trying to define a perfect day? Why did I lie awake last night tossing and turning with the idea of a day that was faultless, one without defects - one that I could repeat day after day with a sense of fulfilment and contentment?
The truth is, it’s a scary proposition for me. I thrive best in a constant state of reinvention. Like a new love affair, I live on the edge of exhilaration and being terrified. It is the unknown that reminds us that we are alive, that keeps us humble, striving to do better and be better. Here I am again, thanks to a global pandemic of all things, reinventing the way I live and interact in a world whose future is unclear to me.
In the world of visualization, I’ve been told that my thoughts equal my reality. I’m continually reminded to be careful of negative or self-sabotaging thoughts less they come true. I have been warned that I will never truly get the things I yearn for if discouraging thoughts are voiced, much less imagined. That’s a scary thought, isn’t it? But, know that it has not been my experience for I am blessed. I do agree that attitude can be powerful however.
Somewhere in the middle of the night, I released this idea of a perfect day because perfection is pretty much impossible to achieve and its rarely lasting. We are human, we are messy and, we create disarray. And its through those predicaments that we learn and try a little harder to do it better, to get closer to that “just out of reach” notion of perfection.
We find ourselves in another messy situation and we are reminded of how fragile our humanity is. It’s terrifying but, I look at the exhilarating parts and I’m hopeful for our future. I have heard from friends I haven’t spoken with in years and I feel genuine smiles of strangers as they walk down the street and say hello. I see innovation coming to market faster than ever before, countries coming together seeking a common solution, genders working hand in hand and, appreciation of professions from Amazon drivers to teachers to our medical community.
I doubt I will come up with a perfect day. Like the holy grail, it’s illusive and it’s the search that gives me inspiration. Rather, my hope is to create a stream of perfect moments that enrich my life in unexpected ways. Like you, I’m in the boat right now floating with the current, the destination unclear, but with each stroke of the paddle, remembering that each step of the journey – is the journey.
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All rights reserved – Linda Lattimore