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Outer Child and Your Future
You won’t reap the benefits of this mental exercise until you try it yourself, so let’s get started. Get your notebook and record the date — two years into the future. Then:
As you picture yourself taking constructive action you are creating space for new activities in your mindscape. This mental exercise stimulates mirror neurons, which allow your brain to mentally rehearse positive new behaviors. By conjuring up gratitude for this future achievement, you’re implanting your intended outcome more deeply in your brain and increasing its sense of as-if reality. These activities strengthen your ability to take these steps.
Where, you may be asking yourself, will you get the energy to actually accomplish all this? Believe it or not, the energy will come from Outer Child. As you learn to manage Outer, you will be able to direct its energy toward your intended goals.
Some people have an easier time writing this exercise in the form of a letter. Try it; write a letter from your future self to your present self. I call it a “Future Letter.”
Get your notebook and start by writing a future date (anywhere from two weeks to two years from now). Then imagine yourself in that future, acting as a guide to your present self, guiding the way to a life free of selfsabotage. Like this:
You can incorporate writing a Future Letter into your journal writing whenever old patterns seem to be holding you back from achieving a goal. Go back to the future to find your way forward. Just use your imagination and picture yourself feeling happy, as if you had already overcome the obstacles and resolved the problems. Give some thought to how long you might realistically need to get to that future.
Like all of the Outer Child tools you’re learning in this book, this one works by strengthening your Adult Self to take command over your automatic behavior patterns. And in this case the process is not a purely intellectual one. Creating a Future Vision overrides the limitations of the intellect by increasing the trajectory and aim of your mindscape. Thinking your way out of deeply ingrained habits rarely eliminates them. Witness the smokers who are fully conscious of the health hazards of smoking but are unable to use this information to stop smoking. This exercise increases your intention to get past your usual sticking points of compulsivity or complacency. Your imagination helps you use your increasing awareness and sense of future to reach your potential.
As you continue through the book, I will guide you through additional visualizations designed to exercise your mind. These exercises engage the laws of attraction, the idea that by mentally focusing on future outcomes, you increase the possibility of those outcomes. If you’ve ever skied through a glade (translation: lots of trees to avoid) you’ve experienced a situation where mental focus is essential to avoiding a nasty collision. Ski instructors will say over and over again, “Don’t look at the trees!” because when you look at one you’ll find yourself skiing right at it! Of course, you can focus on positive outcomes instead, which is our whole purpose here.
As you’re working your way through the logjams of life, it helps to make frequent visits to this future time-space where your problems have been solved. It’s pleasurable enough, and only takes a minute. Let the picture of your future be a kind of visual mantra, something to return to again and again as you go through the day. It gives your brain a pleasurable, healthy stretch each time, engaging the laws of attraction.
Copyright ©2015 Susan Anderson. All rights reserved.