As I referenced in my post The Inner Critic in Us All, Tara Mohr’s book Playing Big is about her concept of an “inner critic” and an “inner mentor,” both of which we all have or can cultivate. As she says, quieting the inner critic is essential to being the person you envision and want to be.
To discover our inner mentor, she walks the reader through a visualization exercise followed by journaling. I had just done the work of dumping my inner critic messages onto my journal pages, and went on to follow the journey of creating my inner mentor. It was a vivid exercise, as visualizations always are. And following it with a written description served to reinforce the image and her characteristics. I still reference my writing and recall the image I saw whenever my inner critic is loud and proud in my head (much of the time).
I’m in love with my inner mentor! Maybe you will too but even better, love yours!
Here I am…
I am calm, curious, smiling, warm and welcoming to my current self. I’m 20 years older now, 67. I feel beautiful, aglow, it emanates from within me -people take note of that it seems. I carry with me the lessons I have learned in my life and am wise. I know myself, at least much more than my 47 year old self. I have evolved. I feel things differently. I no longer experience depression, and I may even be off of my medication. I love life and am enthusiastic about new experiences – not ruled by fear – no longer reserved orinhibited as I was. I live near the ocean, maybe Carmel, or Santa Barbara, or abroad in a small town with close proximity to a city. My home has lots of dark wood and white walls and is filled with an enormous art collection, including some of my own and my husbands pieces. I have privacy and a view. My double front door is made of heave thick wood with many small, opaque glass squares. I open both doors to welcome my 47 year old self in. I have my dog at my feet. My husband of 35 years stands behind me. We are content and at ease, talking and laughing with each other throughout the visit. I offer wine or coffee or tea and put together some food without a fuss or excess, a simple presentation of gorgeous, fresh food. I am described as elegant, but accessible. I radiate warmth and happiness and am self-possessed. I have unlimited compassions, love, kindness and acceptance for myself and others. My energy is contagious. I have just enough solitude in my days to balance my time spent with friends and family. I have learned balance. I view my past with forgiveness, and have learned to accept what I’ve done as facts, as my own truth, not as mistakes. I have no regrets, this has not changed. I am still active – I still spin, and do yoga, and take walks – I’m just a little less intense about it. It still keeps me sane. I deeply value physical vitality. I have become more comfortable with my flaws, though I am still vain, perhaps it will never go away? I have finally accepted my height and now comfortably go barefooted though I still prefer heels. But I am so fit and energetic that I feel taller regardless. I dress in slacks and a comfortable blouse looking casually elegant. I sit criss-cross-applesauce on my couch when talking with my younger self. I am accomplished and am financially comfortable. I live creatively and do humanitarian work. I am of service to my community, my country and the world and am a leader in this regard. I have written something that has had some recognition, some acclaim, and that has helped others in some way. I write daily, in the early morning. I travel with my husband, and am better able to tolerate plane travel. My husband and I are more vital than we were 20 years ago, in part due to not having young children to take care of. I look back on my younger self and see a woman on a journey with so much unnecessary anxiety, lacking faith and balance, but seeking a my authentic path and voice. I am grateful that I have found it somewhere along the way. I am no longer afraid of public speaking and my social anxiety is in check. Looking back I see that at some point my hangups and my neurotic ticks just began to melt away as my life consciously unfolded. I have become aware of my life’s intentions and have learned to live with them as my guide. I am more spiritually minded and have a daily practice that keeps me grounded. In social settings I move fluidly through the room, engaging others one-on-one more than in groups, that hasn’t changed. I still listen and ask questions more than I speak. I’m still an introvert, I have just learned ways to get around it when I need to. I’m positive in my conversations, and also funny and authentic. I have earned the ease with which I now interact. I have gained perspective and am still grateful for the blessings of my life. I’m looking forward to being able to look back on my current self in 20 years.
Here’s to living a life of curiosity, openness, and humility – they allow us to see our own truth.
Thank you Tara Mohr!