One must embrace the chaos within
to give birth to a dancing star.
-Nietzche
Call for a consultation (no obligation), US: 617-275-5706; UK: 0203 295-2051
Call for a consultation (no obligation),
US: 617-275-5706; UK: 0203 295-2051

Future Self Visualization

Tell client: You'll want a pen and some paper, and to be in a place where you can be comfortable and uninterrupted, with your cell phone and computer turned off. You may hear some beeps during the pauses -- if I think there may be background noise I may mute my phone, so that will be the beeps you hear.

Can you hear me ok?

There is no need to respond until the end, even though you'll hear some questions. Just listen and relax into it.

There's also no need to work at this. Be willing to suspend your “norms” and your judgment, get your mind out of the way, and allow whatever words, thoughts, and images want to come in to register with you, just noticing them as I take you through this visualization.

Get into a comfortable position. Are you ready to begin? Good. Now allow your eyes to close and begin by focusing your awareness on your breath, breathing in and breathing out. Breathe in easily and effortlessly, then breathe out. Each breath allows you to become more relaxed and comfortable. Let any outside sounds only serve to allow you to go deeper inside, a reminder of how good it is to leave the noise and stress of the outside world and journey into the quiet and peace of your own inner world.

As you sink deeper down into quiet and ease perhaps you can imagine a grounding cord dropping down from the back of your spine. Imagine that cord going down to the center of the earth, deep into the earth. Imagine there is something that you can anchor the cord to, so that no matter where you go on your inner journey, you feel solidly connected to the earth.

As you allow yourself to go deeper into a state of relaxation, imagine yourself standing before a pond or a lake, where it is quiet and peaceful all around you. Notice the silence.

Now drop a pebble into the center and notice the ripples rippling out, one after another, flowing outward farther and farther, the ripples slowing down, becoming farther apart until the water is once again calm and peaceful. I invite you now to imagine that your body is like that body of water. And as you drop a pebble into the center of your body of water, you can feel ripples of relaxation spreading out, waves of relaxation flowing through you, up through your torso into your chest, up through the vertebrae and spreading out into each and every muscle of your back, through your shoulders and arms, up through your neck, your jaw, face, scalp. Feeling those ripples just relax you as your muscles let go and become soft and loose. Feeling the ripples of relaxation flowing down to the bottom of your torso, flowing through your abdomen and your pelvis, down through your thighs, calves, ankles, and toes. Know that each time you drop a pebble into the center of this body of water that is also your body, you can become more relaxed. And as you become more relaxed, you find yourself becoming more quiet and peaceful.

PAUSE

Now bring your attention to the spot in your forehead between your eyes, what some call the third eye. Imagine a light there. Notice what color this light is between your eyes. Now, imagine that light becoming a beam that extends out into space. Follow that beam as it leaves your building, as it travels above the city, as it continues out so that you can make out the entire area. Keep on going further and further out into outer space. Notice the curvature of the earth, and as you keep going further and further out, find yourself enveloped by the softness and the quiet of space. Notice below you the big blue/green ball with the white clouds whisping around it. Allow yourself to enjoy this perspective for a moment.

PAUSE

Now notice another beam of light very near you, a different color from the one that you followed into outer space. Begin to follow that beam back down into earth. This beam is taking you back to earth 20 years from now, 20 years into the future. Keep following this beam down, noticing the curvature of the earth and the geography stretched out below you. As you come closer to the end of the beam, keep noticing where you are. This is where your Future Self lives, you 20 years from now. Come into contact with earth and notice where you are. Notice what dwelling is there; what nature surrounds you. Now, move to the dwelling of your Future Self. What does it look like? What kind of landscape does it have? Are there trees? Flowers? What kind? Get a sense of this place from the outside – the colors, the light, the textures.

Now, standing in front of this dwelling, do what you need to do to get someone to come to the door. Know that on the other side of the door is your Future Self, waiting to greet you, yourself 20 years from now. As the door opens, what do you notice? Greet your Future Self and notice the way your Future Self returns your greeting, welcoming you into this time and place 20 years in the future. Take in this person - this Future Self. What does s/he look like? Notice how s/he stands, what s/he is wearing. Get a sense of his [or her] essence. Notice the inside of his/her dwelling.

PAUSE

What kind of person or people live here? What are the colors and the senses of this place? Do you have a sense of others being here? Who are they – what are they like?

PAUSE

Now move with your Future Self to a comfortable place for a conversation. Perhaps s/he offers you something to drink. Really settle in and make yourself comfortable for this conversation with your Future Self.

There are some questions that you might want to ask. Begin by asking the following two questions: First, “What is it, Future Self, that you most remember about the last 20 years – what stands out most in your memory?” In whatever language is most comfortable for you, take a moment now to hear the answer.

PAUSE

Now ask your Future Self this question: “What do I need to be most aware of to get me from where I am now to where you are – what would be most helpful for me to know to get to where you are?” Listen to what your Future Self has to tell you.

PAUSE

Now, what are other questions that you would like to ask your Future Self? Take a moment and ask your Future Self your own questions.

PAUSE

And now ask your Future Self one final question before you go. “What name, other than your first name, are you called by? A special name, it could be a metaphor or a symbol of your essence. What is this name?” Notice any words, images, or thoughts that come up as you listen to his/her answer.

PAUSE

Now, bring this visit with your Future Self to a close, thank him [or her] for being here with you today and sharing his/her wisdom.

PAUSE

Knowing that you can come back any time you wish, take your leave.

Now find your way back to the beam of light and journey back up the beam, watching this world 20 years in the future grow ever smaller as you move out into space. See again the ball of blue and green below you, clouds swirling around it. Notice that your beam of light is intersected with that other beam of light that will take you back to [current year] at [current location]. Follow this beam of light back to present time, earth. As you travel down this beam, notice the earth growing bigger and bigger, notice the geography of your area; moving further down the beam, the skyline, and finally, coming back into the room where you started.

In a few moments, I'm going to count from 3 to 1. When I reach the count of one, you will be refreshed and alert, as if you have had the perfect amount of rest, knowing that you can remember everything you wish of this inner journey. When you open your eyes, please remain silent and jot down things you want to remember about your journey.

Three, coming back to present time, becoming more alert and refreshed.

Two, stretching your body, feeling the ground beneath you.

And one, eyes open, refreshed and alert. Now, please write for a few minutes about your experience and let me know when you're done.

Note to Coach: As you debrief this with your client, remember that this is not so much a future vision as a discovery of who their higher self is now, accessed through the “right brain”, or the non-linear side of them. This is a way to connect with their “higher power”, free of the voices (gremlins) that typically plague us.

Debriefing Questions/Comment for Client:

- how was that?

- what did you have to do to get him/her to come to the door?

- what were the colors, sounds, atmosphere?

- what did your Future Self have to tell you?

- what were the answers to your questions?

* What is it, Future Self, that you most remember about the last 20 years:

* What would be most helpful for me to know to get to where you are:

* [Your questions?]

* What name, other than your first name, are you called by:

- what else was striking about this experience for you?

- what was your Future Self's name?

This is a tool we will use again as we work together. Because, in fact what we've done is tap into your higher self, that right-brained part of you that knows all that you are capable of. If you can conceive it, it's in you - this visualization has simply helped you tap your inner wisdom. Your Future Self lives in you today - the goal of our work together is to help you get ever more in touch with that deeper knowing of yourself. Does that make sense to you?

 


 

35 Creative Ways to Work with the Future Self To help your client meet their Future Self: 1. Take your client through the visualization at the intake. Debrief the experience. Use the experience to set a vision for your client. 2. Tape yourself guiding your client through the visualization. Send it to your client. Ask them to listen to it as homework. Ask them to journal about their experience. Give them the inquiry: “Who are you becoming?” Cultivating a relationship with the Future Self: 3. Help your client fully embody the experience of their Future Self so they know this resource from the inside out. Have them stand in that posture, put their hand on that place when speaking, etc. It doesn't have to be a big deal. If you know their access point is their abdomen, ask them to put their hand on their abdomen when they answer that question. Or...let me ask that question again (oh un-grounded one) and this time, put your hand on your heart and take a deep breath before you answer it. 4. Ask them to create an image of their Future Self. This can be a picture, collage, poem... something to capture the essence, a series of words that evokes the feeling. Have your client keep this image present somewhere where they will see it daily. 5. Spend x minutes with your Future Self every day having conversation over coffee or tea. What brings him/her joy, excitement, goose bumps, tears...? 6. Ask them to assemble an outfit that has them step into their Future Self. This can be a whole ensemble (a dress or suit) or accessories (jewelry, scarf, tie, shoes). 7. When the client says “I don't know” ask them “What does your Future Self say?” Or, “If you asked your Future Self, what would s/he say about it?” or “So, imagine talking to your Future Self about it. What would you hear him/her saying?” 8. When a client is stuck, ask them to get up and move around like their Future Self would – this can be used in combination with questions for their Future Self. Movement itself can open up the client to more information. 9. When the client seems really disconnected from their lives, ask them “How far away are you from your Future Self?” and then “What is the bridge between you?” 10. To help a client see that they are moving toward their Future Self, ask “What parts of you now are part of your Future Self?” Use the Future Self to make activities more compelling: 11. Have the Future Self comment on all areas of the wheel of life – how satisfied with the area is she/he or not? Or how does Future Self find satisfaction in each of the areas? 12. Have your Future Self do a spring-cleaning. When doing 'should-loaded' tasks like creating a budget/spending plan, have your client consciously be in partnership with Future Self. (like a 'business partner) 13. To spice up fun and recreation: Ask the client to plan a vacation as their Future Self would. Creating the future from the Future Self: 14. Have your client find a home for their Future Self...someplace common, perhaps a room in the house, then, whenever they want to check in with their Future Self, they can just excuse themselves and go to that room. 15. Revisit the Future Self Visualization every 3 months or so and add another piece: (new) gift from Future Self, important message/advice from Future Self, special secret from Future Self...make it up. 16. Have your Future Self create your list for the new year, what will happen, what does he/she want for you, the theme for the new year, etc. 17. Send postcard messages to yourself from your Future Self. Have your client make the messages at the intake or whenever you do the Future Self visualization. The client gives cards to you, and sporadically, you will send the cards to the client. 18. Who are the friends your Future Self has in their future state? How are they different than your friends and family? What are the surprising qualities of these friends? 19. Have your client's Future Self plan a dinner party. Your Future Self can invite any number of guests, dead, alive, known, unknown. Who does your Future Self invite? What does your Future Self say to each guest? 20. Ask your Future Self to tell you a story or fable based on an issue you're facing now. Journal the story. 21. Write or draw your Future Self's biography. 22. Have your Future Self create your own personalized version of the 10 Commandments. Use the Commandments regularly, e.g., when stuck or confused, ask what do your Future Self Commandments tell you to do? Or just ask any time, “how much are you following your Future Self Commandments?” or even, “I notice you've been living according to your Future Self Commandments this week!” 23. Have your Future Self pick a piece of music that best represents him/her. Play that music every day. How would your Future Self dance to it? 24. At year-end, ask your client to find times when his/her Future Self was fully present and describe the impact on their lives at those times. 25. At the beginning of the year, have your Future Self create intentions, resolutions, goals for the year. 26. Have your Future Self create a taped message to you. Play it often – perhaps on a drive to work or whenever in the car. 27. Have your clients make a date with their Future self at least once a month. How would their Future Self spend the day? What would they do? What wouldn't they? Using the Future self in setting up this week's coaching call: 28. On your call prep form for clients, put a question like “How have I moved toward my Future Self this week? What actions grew me toward my Future Self this week? What evidence have I gathered this week that I am my Future Self? To be my Future Self today, what needs my attention? 29. When a client is having a whine-fest and has drifted faaar away from their Future Self, speak in a bizarre voice with your hand cupped over your receiver (voice of God-ish) and say “This is your FUTURE SELF speaking and I do believe you've gone insane....Heeelllloooooooo? Anybody home?  I thought you were coming to be me...you seem to have strayed from the path, dear one...!” etc. 30. When you ask the client, “What's your agenda today”, or other such starter questions, ask next: “What would your Future Self have the agenda be today?” Or say: “If your Future Self were planning this call, what would our focus be?” Or another option: “If your Future Self were planning this call, what would our focus be?”

This document was originally included in the CTI's Coaching Manual for Core Curriculum courses (Fulfillment Course). Dated 2001.