Isn't it amazing the enormous effects our choices can have on our lives?
Isn't it crazy how the smallest, most seemingly non-significant (or sometimes the obviously significant) choices can change everything about where we're headed?
This is something that has been coming up for me so much the last couple of weeks because I've been having some adventure time out here in Virginia and it's caused me to reflect a lot on the choice I made to move to Washington DC, the choices I made while here, how it changed my and my direction since then, and how that experience continues to effect my life today.
Not only did that decision completely influence the person I have become, it influenced all the choices I've made since then and continues to influence where I am now and where I want to go.
In the book Anatomy of Spirit Caroline Myss said, "It is not WHAT we choose that matters; our power actually lies in our REASONS for making a certain choice. Choice has a mysterious power, for we will never know the full outcome of any choice we make. [or don't make]."
That's why having a vision is so important.
Four and a half years ago, I had lived in Utah my whole life and I just needed a change. I just wanted to experience something different so badly. And so I packed up all my stuff and I moved.
I drove by myself across the country to Washington DC to start a different life. I didn't know a single person. I had like $300 in my bank account. It was completely crazy when I think about it now, but I just wanted it so bad and so I did it. The first week that I was here I was really struggling. Like I just did all this and the fears started coming up, the excitement of doing it was over, and I was seriously thinking, "Oh crap, what am I going to do now?"
How am I going to make my life work and how am I going to survive and I don't know anyone.
That HUGE choice led to many many more little choices of where I was going to work and what I was going to do and who I was going to associate with and who I was going to be. And I was overwhelmed with the decisions and the enormity of it all.
It was rough.
BUT I had a vision. I had a vision of the experience I wanted to have there and the reasons why I had come. I also had a mental image in my head of this bridge and it had been the thing that had carried me the whole time that I'd been driving across the country.
This bridge was in my mind because 10 years prior when my family had come here on vacation, we had driven and we parked on this road and this had been the first thing that I saw in DC (it's funny because the view I saw was actually a view of Arlington, which is where the bulk of my experiences happened).
And I had just fallen in love with it.
And so I kept seeing this vision of this bridge. I didn't know where it was. That first week that I was there I rented a bike and I rode around and finally I went down by the water and I saw this image of the bridge and I just stood here on this bank and I just cried
that vision, that thing that I've been here seeing in my mind since the moment I had decided to move to DC was right here and I stood here on this bank and I just really grounded into why I was here and why I'd made the decision to come and why it was so important to me to do this and what it was that I wanted to create.
I wanted to experience different things and I wanted to expand my vision of the world and I wanted to meet different kinds of people and I wanted those experiences to change me.
And that's exactly what has happened.
I just cherish that experience that I had so much. I'm so glad that I pushed through the fears that that came up when I was making those choices because they shaped me and they led me to the things I'm doing now. And they gave me so much experience and even now, four years later, I'm still reaping benefits of those choices.
That's why I think of this bridge whenever I think of vision because we have to have a vision in order to carry us through the hard times that are going to come up whenever we're trying to create something, something better in our lives, something different in our life, something new in our lives.
Fears are going to come up. And the only way that we can make it through that is if we have a really strong vision for what we are creating.
What are you wanting to create in your life?
What is the big picture thing you are wanting to do?
You MUST create a vision for yourself and really ground into why you're wanting to create that.
2 questions to ask yourself when you're creating your vision...
1) Think about your 80 year old self. What will your 80-year old self think about the choice you're about to make. How would your life that you're living now versus the life that you would have if you make the choice be different?
2) Ask yourself what will happen if I don't do this? What will happen if I don't make this choice? Whether for yourself, or for your life, or for your family, or for your self esteem, or for your finances or whatever it is. What will happen if you don't do this thing.
I remember the morning that I was going to leave to start my drive to Washington D.C. all those years ago and I had my car packed up and I was ready to go and I was sitting at the kitchen table and I just was sobbing and my mom was like, "Well, maybe this is a sign that you're not supposed to go". She didn't want me to go, as any mother would not want to send their daughter away.
But I was like, no, that's absolutely not it. I know 100 percent that I'm supposed to go. This is just the fear and the feelings of insecurity that are coming up, but I 100 percent know that I'm supposed to do this.
Looking back, I completely know that because, that decision completely changed who I am, my self esteem was completely changed, and it's led me to the paths of everything that I've done since.
Our choices matter. They just do. But don't let that scare you from moving forward.
When you ground into WHY you are doing what your doing and what your VISION is for your life, the decisions you are faced with then become a creative process that is fun as you CREATE the life and experiences you want to have. When you live life through this lens you can never regret a single decision because all of those seemingly small (or big) choices lead you exactly where you want to go.