Most days, I try to think of myself as 90, or 105. I try to imagine the life I have lived, and what those old bones have walked through. I like to think of the things those hands have touched, or moulded- the meals made and shared, the books written, the hands held too, the touch of animal love, and the feeling of paint and words running through it all. And frequently, I imagine that 90 year old self, writing back to this younger self of now, offering her advice, her wisdom, her spirit, her encouragement.
I write letters from her to me, and from me to her. It is a beautiful collapse of time, and presence. Her old hands are already in my younger hands; my younger hands are also hers.
She helps me prioritise what is most important, in the long term. It is usually the simple things: time with family and friends, time dipping of my limbs in salty water, and time offering what I can to the commons. She keeps verbs like ‘serve’ and ‘create’ close. And she reminds me that the things I will treasure most are not the things I own, nor accolades or awards, but the web of connections in which I have been fortunate to part of the weave, and my own eternal dance with the creative spirit.
Success is redefined when you sit regularly with the 105 year old in you.
If you are finding it hard to prioritise, try writing a letter from your old bones to your younger bones. Think of what they have learned, felt and experienced. Then ask yourself, are you living into the future these bones are seeking for you? There is so much wisdom under your own skin. Write to it. Your old self is listening… maybe you just need to ask.
*this exercise is incorporated into my one to one mentoring process and my ‘Design Your One Wild Life’ programme. Autumn slots are open now for bookings.