“I still have the cards on my desk from a couple of years ago, and I keep checking things off!” Marcie told me.

“Wait. What are you talking about? What cards?” I asked.

“Remember when we were working together, and you had me envision my future and write down all the steps that would lead me there on different pieces of paper?”

“Yes! I’d totally forgotten about that practice!”

“Well, it was so helpful. I’ve kept the pieces of paper. I still return to them whenever I feel overwhelmed. They remind me of how far I’ve come and of what steps I need to take next.”

“Wow! Thanks for reminding me!”

A Practice for When You’re Overwhelmed and Want to See Your Path Forward

My former-client-turned-bookkeeper, Marcie, was referring to a practice that I’ve come to call Steps Toward Your Vision. In it, you envision the future you long for, write out the steps you anticipate needing to take to get there on separate pieces of paper and place them in an order that works for you.

I learned this practice at a Systemic Constellations training with Judy Wilkins-Smith in 2018, and Marcie is right—the practice is powerful.

She reminded me of the practice at just the right moment, too. I’m preparing for a new phase in my business—getting ready to publish a book, launch online courses, and start an apprenticeship program for coaches—and there are lots of other projects I feel called to take on. All the ideas were starting to feel overwhelming.

I decided to do the practice about a month ago, and I’m still blown away by how settling it was.

This week, I told my coaching group participants about the practice, and they were excited to do it. The problem is, the practice can take some time. It took me three hours! It doesn’t need to take nearly as much time, but I didn’t want to rush my coaching group. So, I promised to write it out.

Why I’m Sharing This Practice with You

Once you envision your next horizon, create your commitments, and decide which direction you’re headed, it is normal to want to take all of the steps to get there at once.

However, whether we like it or not, change takes time. Insight can strike in a second, but our human bodies take far more time to manifest our visions. Most people contemplate a career change for about a year before they make the move, and it takes most people two to four years to develop a new business.,

When they first come to me, many of my new clients have a loud Judge who says, “If you were better, you’d get through this faster.” They’ve internalized societal messages that say we should get things done at superhuman speed and chronically underestimate how much time change takes.

Unfortunately, the urge to get it all done now can make you feel anxious and rush, which, ironically, can slow you down.

When you’re patient with yourself, you can achieve just as much (sometimes, even more!) and enjoy yourself while you’re at it.

This practice will help you envision the steps toward your vision, get them out on paper, and find an order of operations that serves you.

The aim of this practice is not to predict with certainty all the steps you’ll need to take or exactly when you’ll take them. Instead, the aim is to help you get clearer about your next steps and find a sense of depth perception about the path ahead, which will reduce your overwhelm and increase your confidence.

With that in mind, here’s the practice:

Steps Toward Your Vision

  1. Find an open floor space with about ten feet by six feet, though any space will work if you use smaller pieces of paper. Make sure you have privacy. Choose a time when you’ll be uninterrupted and have as much time as possible. Then grab a stack of computer paper.
  2. Next, ask yourself, What do I long for on the next horizon of my life and beyond? Write down every puzzle piece/ingredient you can see on one piece of paper. Keep asking yourself, Is there anything else? What else? Write it all down.
  3. When you feel complete, place your vision paper roughly ten feet in front of you on the floor, in a location that you will enjoy looking at for a while (like under a window). Place the paper with the words facing you. Then, step ten feet back from the vision paper and place a blank piece of paper on the floor, representing this moment, today. Stand on this piece of paper.
  4. Then tune in to your body and ask, What steps do I need to take to reach my vision? Write down each of the steps on a separate piece of paper. Keep writing steps down on additional pieces of paper until you feel complete. Also, pause coming up with new steps if you start to feel overwhelmed. (You might even want to write one at a time.)
  5. Take one sheet of paper representing a next step at a time in your hands, sense into your body, and place the paper on the ground somewhere between the paper representing where you are now and the paper representing your vision. Place them in what feels like a right-timed order, some pieces coming first, others coming next, some coming beside each other.
  6. Then take a step back to where you are now and ask yourself if any additional steps come up. If so, write them down, one per paper, until you feel complete or start to feel overwhelmed. Then, again, place them where they go on the floor. Repeat until you feel complete.
  7. Then, one at a time, stand on each piece of paper, sensing into each one. Ask yourself if you need to change anything about the order of things, add any elements, or change any existing elements.
  8. If you ever come to a place where you feel super confused (which may happen early on or might not happen at all), there may be one or more questions that need answering. Try to get clear about what these questions are. On a piece of paper, write down something like Get clarity about (such-and-such). Then ask yourself what support you might need to get clarity or who you might need to ask for information. Make a plan for getting clear and write it down on a piece of paper.
  9. Keep going, writing down the next steps, sensing where they go, and placing them in relation to each other until you feel complete.

When you’re complete, prepare to take your very next step.

This practice is far easier to demonstrate in person than to write, but I want to get this practice into the book, which is partially why I’m writing it out rather than making a video. With that in mind, if you do this practice and want to share how it goes or if any questions arise, I’d love to hear from you.

Wishing you an easeful and exciting journey to what’s next!

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Much love,

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