My dear friend Julie Wilkes has written a book, The 7 Life Miracles! I will be working through her book and journaling my experiences as I go. For more information on the book and what I intend to do here, please check out THIS POST!
Create your own canvas — Create the life you want to live.
Phew! This was one heck of a Miracle! I actually read the chapter a little over a week ago, but was so overwhelmed that I knew I needed to take some time to really deal with this Miracle. It wasn’t going to be processed in one Sunday afternoon! In Create, Julie asks us to look at our life as an art canvas and start all over! We are to leave our past experiences behind, learn from them and breathe in a fresh start. SEE??? Now you know why this took a little time!
This section has a few activities to help us work through creating out own canvas.
Exercise 1: Viewing Your Current Canvas
This first activity asks us to take a snapshot of our current life, figuring out who we are and where we are in our lives today.
Choose a few key questions & answer honestly. I Have included my answers!
- How do you feel today?
- Relaxed, accomplished, motivated
- What makes you happy?
- Spending time with friends and family, exercising, cuddling with my dog
- How do you feel about yourself/your choices in life?
- Good! I know not all of my choices have been the best, but I’ve learned from them. I feel mostly good about myself. Some negative thoughts creep in sometimes, but I am usually able to shake them off quickly.
- What are your passions?
- Doing good things for my friends. Writing. Reading.
- Do you have hobbies?
- Working out, writing, reading
- Do you volunteer?
- Not as much as I’d like to.
Exercise 2: Uncoloring Your Canvas
This exercise encourages us to “…strip away negative colors that lurk on our canvas by thinking about any roadblocks, obstacles, and unnecessary anxiety or worry in our lives.” Because this can be an intensely personal ordeal, I have provided some quote from Julie’s book to help inspire you, rather than my canvas’ gross colors.
“Just a few negative feelings, toxic people or stressful situations can change how we interpret our life.”
“…choose to perceive these things differently as you move forward. Instead of letting someone break you down, allow yourself to create distance from that person or at least know that whatever he or she says or does is not truth – not YOUR truth!”
Let them go. Let them go. LET THEM GO!!!!
Exercise 3: Determine Your Colors!
Now we get to start with our perfectly white (okay, mine would be pink) canvas. “Let go of the past and imagine your fabulous future…be honest about what you want. I am not encouraging you to dream unrealistically — dream about what excites your passions and fuels your soul.”
Woah. Here we go!
“Picture the life you would like to live 10 years from now. What year will that be? How old will you be?”
2024: I will be 39!!
- How will people describe you?
- Happy, healthy, fun, reliable, kind, loving, smart
- What is important to you?
- The people in my life- my friends and family
- Where do you live?
- A house in Columbus. Maybe not the same house, but a house. If not the same house, perhaps in Clintonville or closer to downtown.
- What do you do?
- Teach, maybe write.
- What is your home like?
- Clean! Stylish, organized.
- Are you happy?
- YES! Well, most of the time!
- With whom do you spend you time?
- Most of my time will be spend with my future husband J and friends.
- Can you see yourself laughing?
- Quite frequently.
- What time do you wake up each morning?
- What’s the first thing you do?
- Kiss my hubby!
- Can you picture a place where you spend your time?
- Some sort of “book nook.” A place with a big comfy chair I can read and write in.
- Can you see the path you walk for exercise each morning?
- If I don’t live in the same house, hopefully I will live in a house within walking distance to work, the gym, social gatherings, etc. I don’t know about walking each morning, but there will be some sort of exercise in my daily life.
- When you go to sleep, how do you feel?
- Tired, but accomplished for the day.
- Are you living with passion?
There are two more exercises that I did not document here. #4 involves creating a vision, timeline and goals to help you accomplish your vision. #5 asks us to decide how we will track our goals (okay, it’s much more involved than just that! You’ll have to read the book!). I have decided to be a journaler (obvi).
Gosh, this Miracle has been especially trying for me. The main point here is to find a life goal and make a plan to work towards it. That’s great and I really want to do that, but here’s my problem: I’ve never really had life goals! I know it sounds ridiculous, but it’s true! Graduating high school and college were never really “goals;” they were more things that were expected of me, so I did them. There wasn’t a question of whether or not it was going to happen. As for my career, Plan A was to be a successful photographer! I’m now a high school English teacher. My college degree is in Commercial Photography. It wasn’t until my junior year that I decided that photography wasn’t something I wanted to do as a career. But I had to work, and teaching was something I saw myself doing down the road. Little did I know that “down the road” was only like…half a mile! Anyways, my point is that my career goals have been a little wobbly over the years. When I think about where I’ll be in my career 10 years from now, I don’t really know!
Here’s the honest-to-God truth about my career plans:
I’m currently a teacher. And I really love it. I do. But is it something I want to do for 35+ years?? Hell no! When I think about being 49 (20 years from now), I honestly don’t know if I see myself as a teacher. Yes, I enjoy what I do, but is it my passion? I don’t think so. I’ve seen passionate teachers. My mother was one. She was over-the-top amazing as an educator. She daily worked to improve herself in her career, the buildings she worked in and the people around her. I’ve been fortunate enough to be educated by passionate teachers. Look, I love what I do and I work really hard to be good at it. I don’t take my job lightly. I’m preparing kids for the world, for goodness’ sake! My students’ ability to be functional adults in the world lies partially in my hands, so please don’t misread me when I say I am not “passionate” about my career. When I envision someone who is passionate about their job, I see someone who lives, eats, and breathes their work; someone working 24/7 to be better at their craft. And that just isn’t teaching and me. Quite honestly, when I leave my school building, I leave my work. Very rarely do I work at home after school. Sure, I’ll stay late at work to lesson plan, grade, etc., but as soon as I physically leave, I mentally leave as well. The only things I take home with me are thoughts of my students. They are on my mind much of the time. I wonder what they’re doing and if they’re safe.
Okay, so I’m not passionate about my job. What job could I be passionate about? And there is the problem – I don’t know. I could see myself becoming passionate about my job if I could teach book club versus English. One of the best parts of my jobs is watching fall in love with reading. Seeing a kid laugh at a character, empathize with a character’s suffering or question “Why the hell did the author write the book like that??” gives me the chills and makes the early mornings and career questions worthwhile. I could also work with students on writing about what they read, but in a less formal situation- just write! It doesn’t have to be this format, or this prompt…just write your reaction. So anyways. Book club. I could teach Book Club. But there doesn’t seem to be a need or opening for that position. Maybe there is somewhere outside of my building or district or city or state! I’d just have to move to be passionate about my job! Yeah….no. I’m not leaving my friends and family; people I’ve worked really hard to build relationships with. It seems as though I choose my people over a passionate career, and that’s fine with me.
Back to what a passionate job would be. Writing? Yes, I love writing and seem to be fairly good at it and would actually like to learn to be better! But as a career?? What would I write about that people would pay to read? I have no desire to write novels. Some sort of self-help book like Julie wrote? Honey…I have all the questions and zero answers. A blog? Lots of people make lots of money writing blogs! Sure!!! But I’m not so sure that enough people want to read what I write about – my life and my thoughts. Some people read it and I am thankful for each and every one of you! But I don’t have a big enough following that equals career; especially when I have a wonderful, good paying job!
So maybe I focus on another aspect of my life for my goal setting. I really hope to be happily married by 39, but is that a goal I can work towards? It really depends on another person and so many things have to work together to make it happen, so I don’t really think I can make that a “goal” per se. Also, I’m much more focused on being HAPPY at 39 rather than married! Yes, I hope to be, but being happy is much more important to me.
SO WHAT??? How will I work to create my own canvas?
My goal for this Miracle will be to make an appointment with Julie for a Life Coaching session. I have so many thoughts and emotions running through my head about where I see myself 10 years from now that I need someone to help me process it all!! For me, having a 10-year goal is very important. I don’t want to just float through life and take everything as it comes. I like having goals and I think having a more solidified plan would help give my life more purpose. Plus, the idea that my career and my passions don’t exactly match is something that has bothered me for a while, but I’ve never come to a resolution about it. Julie is a professional and has helped so many people – I would love to be a part of that!
And yes. I just made it my goal to make a goal. It’s my blog – I can do that!
“Positive habits can help you work in the most efficient manner, stay organized and calm, be your best, and make confident decisions that support your goals and aspirations.” – Julie Wilkes
ALL THE LINKS!!!
- My thoughts on
- Check out everything Julie Wilkes HERE!
- The 7 Life Miracles on Facebook!
- Seven Studios on Facebook!
- Learn about The 7 Life Miracles book HERE!
- Order The 7 Life Miracles on Amazon HERE!
- Check availability at your local Barnes & Noble Bookstore and get it now HERE!