When I was in school, there was a popular assignment to write a letter to your past self. I think this is a fairly common exercise in self reflection for any age.
There is a great deal of value in looking back on the experiences of our lives, both happy and challenging, with the perspective we gain over time.
Maybe you have also done the other version of this activity where you write a letter to your future self listing all your most ambitious goals and what you hope to achieve.
There is value in looking ahead and visualizing what you sincerely hope will come true. However, as I move through my career and life reflecting back on the experiences I have had and imagine what might lie ahead, I feel like there is a more impactful way to do this exercise.
Instead of looking ahead at all our loftiest ambitions (I will have a full time orchestra job and live in a large house), we might benefit from shifting the focus to be more subtle, more inward. What do you want your life to feel like? What type of people do you hope to be surrounded by? How would you like to show up in your life for yourself and others?
Rather than spend our future-focus on external achievements, we could imagine what we will achieve in our emotions, wellbeing, and in our relationships with and impact on others.
Writing to ourselves in this way lets us acknowledge all the work we have already done, all the things we already know to be true about ourselves, and all the ways we hope we will honor that knowledge in the future.
September 30, 2021
Dear Future Me,
I hope that you are following your gut. I know that sometimes you can feel a strong sense of responsibility to things that you have outgrown. It is ok to do your best and then move on to what is a better fit for your life and skills.
I hope that you are being creative in your teaching. You have so much more energy to guide your students when you are exploring music you love and concepts that you know will help them in music and life. Maybe you have explored a lot more about how mindfulness and yoga can be incorporated into teaching young musicians and are sharing it with others!
I hope that you are making time for friendships and your closest relationships. Life is so much richer when you have more time to spend it with the people, and pets, you love.
I hope that you are continuing to define success on your own terms. You always feel more “successful” when you are reading and learning, making music and having lots of different experiences.
I hope you are still using mindfulness as a tool to navigate perfectionism, reminding yourself that each moment is new and fluid and the most you can do is to stay present in the right now.
I hope you are creating space.
With love and acceptance,
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Hi, I'm Morgann! Flutist, teacher, aspiring yogini, and life long learner figuring out how to create my way through life one crazy idea at a time.