Every moment of your life that is not a complete nightmare is happiness.
– Merrill Markoe
In the psychological and cognitive injury fields of therapy and medicine, traumatic stress-induced and injury-produced nightmares are sometimes addressed with a treatment called image rehearsal therapy. The expression was first mentioned by clinical psychologist and Harvard professor, Deirdre Barrett, in the 1996 book Trauma and Dreams. Dr. Barrett helps patients overcome their nighttime torments with a combination of lucid dreaming techniques and behavioral therapy.
Most of us don’t experience the high level of night terrors that Dr. Barrett and her colleagues address. However, all of us undergo the pressures, tensions, and worries of everyday wakefulness – those tests and trials that come with our interaction with the world around us. How would your life be different knowing that you can create a preferred, alternate result for your life by running through that chosen outcome in your imagination first?
Akin to the visualization techniques of therapists and the lucid dreaming methods of such pioneers as Arnold Mindell, the Future Walk-Through™ approach discussed in this article is offered as another tool for you to consider in creating the life of your dreams; a way to remind yourself, in advance, of the affluence and success you choose to experience and which you deserve.
Ready to move forward with the life of your good dreams? Let’s get started . . .
STEP 1: ADMIT WHAT YOUR LIFE IS LIKE RIGHT NOW.
The first step in creating your Future Walk-Through™ is surrender; accepting where you are right now and being conscious of the aspects of your life that are not serving you well. Take a piece of paper or use your computer and write out what writers call a beat sheet for your life – essentially, a step outline of the specific interactions with people, the particular, well-focused conflicts, and the dreads, fears, regrets, and misfortune you are experiencing – all those things that you believe are conspiring against you. The good stuff of your life is taken care of. This is the time you want to explore the the life plot points you want to rewrite to take your life closer to your dreams. You have to identify the challenges, first, before the life editing process can take place.
STEP 2: CREATE YOUR PREFERRED LIFE PLOT.
Naturally, the second step in your Future Walk-Through™ is to create the story you want to experience. The reason that most people don’t experience the life of their dreams is because they have not taken the time and effort to do anything but live a life of perceived coincidence. They live a life of resignation and very rarely participate in their own success. On your piece of paper or continuing to use your computer, start creating a better story of your life. Take each of the plot points from Step 1 and rewrite them into patterns, sequences, and emotional effects you want to experience in the future. Feel free to add new, well-focused events, goals, and phases of your life.
You don’t have to be intricate or complicated; straightforward plot statements will work. Most importantly, make this a sort of playtime, if you will. Let yourself get into the zone by having fun as you write out the script for your new life. By the way, you will be well-served to think of things like your plot’s setting, times of day, and other people who are present. For those of you who are already using vision boards, that technique can readily be incorporated into your implementation of Step 1.
STEP 3: WALK THROUGH YOUR PREFERRED LIFE.
Mental imagery and arousing imagination games have long been used by peak performers to move them quickly and powerfully towards their championship goals. Many believe that your imagination creates such visual focus and internal energy that your brain cannot tell the difference between your creative power and what you call outward reality. In other words, as a power player you are learning how to instruct and prepare your mind to win, at all levels, all the time by adding inner vision to your success preparation formula. These tools are available to you to take you to the next level of mastery.
In Step 2, you rewrote the storyline for your life; you have a preferred plot and climax you want to reach. Take your chosen life story and rehearse this new storyline multiple times throughout the day. It is always powerful and effective to, at the very least, go through your life story first thing in the morning and then right before you go to bed (there’s nothing like priming both the day and night – literally, your day- and night-dreams – is there?).
To add potency to your rehearsal – to make it more real – make certain to include the emotions, feelings, and sensations (hearing, touch, smell, taste) you want to experience in your Future Walk-Through™! Again, for those of you who use a vision board, include as many representative images, as possible, to reflect your preferred storyline.
STEP 4: DECLARE YOUR FUTURE WALK-THROUGH™.
It is not enough to simply imagine a preferred future, you must verbalize and proclaim – out loud – what you want to obtain and experience. Remind yourself, several times during the day, of your new life story said in the present tense, as if the outcome of your chosen story is already achieved. For example, you can say, Today, I am [fill in your goal]. Or, Today I have achieved [fill in your goal].
One of the most important elements to achieve success with this technique is that you verbalize what you want your life to be like. No longer do you find yourself grousing over other people or complaining about failures. Gone are the days of commiserating with others because you know that does not serve you well. Eventually, you will find yourself living your dreams day in and and day out!
A WORD FOR THE OVERACHIEVERS IN THE BUNCH – You will find some added value and take your Future Walk-Through™ to the next level by looking at a prior article of mine on Personal Symbols. If you will take the time to create a personal symbol that represents your Future Walk-Through™, you will find that your scripted future gains even more meaning and potency. To read that prior article go to:
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