For many years, I’ve written and taught about the optimal future self and have seen what a powerful and useful resource it is. Recently, I began to think again about optimal futures, or each person’s optimal future, as another way to access possibilities and states of being that are positive and empowering.
One of the key elements in exploring and experiencing optimal futures or the optimal future self, is to keep preconceptions and assumptions out of the way and to be open to the unfolding experience arising from the intention we bring into the process. Intention is the rudder that orients us to the probability or probabilities that resonate with what our intention conveys.
As I’ve begun to offer this as a guided meditation to colleagues, I’ve discovered that there are many ways people experience their optimal future. The key thing is to generate the intention that orients the experience. For some people, there is a sudden thought or awareness that opens a new door of understanding. For others, there may be a symbol or image that conveys a new felt-sense experience or awareness in some way that offers a moment of inspiration. Another person connected with the essence of ease, a quality that she has had trouble accessing. Her body immediately filled with an experience of ease and she spent her meditation time soaking that in. For me, my first experience was of a wave washing over me, cleansing me of old habits and learnings. No doubt, the experience will be unique for each person.
As is true with the optimal future self work, what is important is the experience that arises, whether that experience is a flash of insight, connecting with a living image or frequency/essence, or some other awareness that arises. The key is to feel the experience, preferably in the body but that may not be the way it comes into awareness each time. Because of my background in Somatic Experiencing® and hypnosis, I encourage people to notice what sensations arise during these experiences when possible, and to take time to soak in those that are new and helpful to have.
Remember, as well, that we live in a world of infinite possibilities, so in this meditation you focus on what’s optimal for you. You don’t want just any old future. In this meditation, you seek to connect with your optimal future.
Below is a brief guided meditation for you to explore if you would like to do so. It’s focused on touching into your optimal future, to absorb, soak in, discover what it brings to you this time.
- Begin by creating an intention that will be the rudder in the flow of your experience. It may be a specific intention or a more general one.
- Next settle in so that you are alert and comfortable. Sitting up is preferable but if that doesn’t work for you the key is to feel supported and to be alert and aware.
- Follow the next out-breath down into that place in your body that is your internal home base, your internal center of gravity.
- Notice that here, in your internal home base, you can touch into what I would call your core presence, the radiating energy signature of your unique body-mind being. Take a moment to notice the quality of your presence right now.
- Next, notice that in your core there is a steadiness that cannot be disturbed. Take a moment to touch into the underlying steadiness that is always there, no matter what.
- Notice now the support of your body, this companion along the way that allows your consciousness to be here.
- Now, take a moment to notice the surface under you and the ways in which your body receives that support. Support is always a reciprocal interaction—support offered and support received.
- Recall the intention that you bring to this journey and ask your optimal future to come into your awareness in whatever way is appropriate for this time.
- Take some time simply to be present and receive what comes. Often, we have no idea about the meaning of what we receive. The key is to notice what comes, absorb it in whatever way you can and in whatever way feels comfortable to you, and let go of having to understand what it means. Simply receive what comes from your optimal future.
- Remember to experience whatever body sensations, emotions, and/or thoughts that may arise, with the body sensations being perhaps the most important. That said, what counts is what arises for you. Continue to be aware that you seek your optimal future and what it brings to you this time.
- When you’re ready, come back to an awareness of your core steadiness, an awareness of the space around you—any sounds or sensations that are part of your surrounding environment, open your eyes and look around, wiggle fingers and toes, and then come back.
I recommend writing down some notes when you return, as journaling is a way to further integrate and ground your experience
As with all these practices, please remember to bring along curiosity as your constant companion and to pat gently on the head any judgments that may arise, allowing them to move on through without your having to do anything with or about them.