Big Picture Dreaming
I often find that the best way for me to step back and look at the big picture of any issue is to have my head in the clouds. I sit outside or near a window and watch the clouds float by or I might even mentally jump from cloud to cloud—an activity I call cloud hopping. It is almost as if I am physically going way up into the clouds to look down upon earth and the situation I am contemplating. I use nature to get deep into my soul and uncover what is true for me.
When you want to do visioning work, having your head in the clouds is a great way to get the fifty thousand foot view. When you focus on a broader view and not the nitty-gritty details, your perspective shifts and opens your mind to expansive options. With new ideas and thoughts, you can make different decisions than you would otherwise. And that is what visioning your future is all about. It takes you way from your everyday actions and allows you to consider the bigger possibilities in front of you.
Because we lead busy lives with lots of responsibilities, we rarely stop to reflect and plan. It is not uncommon to wake up one day and ask yourself, “How did I get to this point? I didn’t plan this and now it is 20 years later and I am still doing whatever.” Unfortunately it is very easy to get caught up in the day to day of life and never stop to think about what you really want to do with “your one wild and precious life” (thanks Mary Oliver).
When you are young you go to school and learn skills for living without much thought to where it’s leading. You might have some ideas about who you want to be when you grow up but mostly you are focused on the here and now. Perhaps in high school you start to get a sense of what you care about in life and you begin to work towards some goals. You might go to college with a plan in mind but more often than not you go and assume you will figure out your career and other life goals along the way. Then you graduate, perhaps get advance degrees and think about what you want or are trained to do for work. Maybe you find the love of your life, get married, buy a house, have kids. Maybe you find a career that really excites you or maybe you just find a job that is good enough. Then you work and work and live your life and the years pass quickly.
How often, however, do you stop and really look at your path? How often do you take stock of where you are in your life, what will genuinely give you joy and what you want to accomplish? Probably less often than would serve you. For in truth, you can change the direction of your life if you choose. Living life as it unfolds can be awesome in some sense because much of the joy in life comes from unexpected twists and turns. However, going along year after year unconscious and waking up one day realizing you are not where you want to be can be disheartening.
Taking Stock of Life
So I suggest that periodically you plan to take time to get your head up in the clouds no matter where you are in your life stage. Stop and think about the big picture of your life. Take time to explore what you love about your life and what you want to revise. Get off the ground where the details and daily living exists and get up into the clouds to dream about your life and what excites you. It is never too late to do this. Even if you only tweak what you are doing in your life, you will be rewarded with a sense of accomplishment because you made some changes that matter to you. Here is a visioning exercise that you can use to contemplate your life from the cloud view.
First, set aside at least an hour when you will not be disturbed and you are free from any electronic devices interrupting you. Find a comfortable spot where you can relax and breathe and enjoy the surroundings. Maybe that’s in a library, somewhere in nature, or your favorite comfy chair.
Grab a pad and pen to jot down notes.
Ponder some of these questions. Don’t judge whether any of your ideas or thoughts are good or bad or possible or impossible. Just let your mind wander as you think about your life from the big view.
- When you were a kid, what did you want to do or be when you were grown up? An astronaut, a baseball player, see the world, cure cancer, etc.? Why was that an exiting and compelling idea?
- If money were no object, what would you do right now? Where would you be?
- What’s the best part of your life? What’s wonderful about it?
- Imagine the perfect day. Where are you? Are you inside or outside? Who is with you? What are you doing? What makes it perfect?
- What else do you want to ponder? What else is important to you?
This is a starting point to make changes in your life. After you do this exercise, plan another date with yourself to see if you have uncovered some dreams that you want to make into reality. Follow the visions that you found in the clouds to make new plans, change directions or expand on old plans. If you discovered that there are some lost dreams that you still want to pursue, consider what you can do to make them a reality.
Commit To Action
What are you waiting for? Get your head up in the clouds to dream about the possibilities. Then commit and take action to get new results. If you want support on your path, I would be honored to talk to you about creating the next exciting chapter of your life. Your magnificent reality starts with a vision in the clouds.