I was speaking with a friend of mine last week, Dorrie Koller, and I have to pass along a simple, mental-emotional technique she performed to re-animate her life at a time when nothing mattered.
First a little background. Dorrie has come off two arduous years during which both her husband and Mom passed away. In this period she lost her dog suddenly too. All of us who have pets know well the intense and intimate bonds formed.
Dorrie was the caretaker for both her Mom and husband as they succumbed to their respective troubles, one from old age, the other from brain cancer.
In addition to the three deaths, Dorrie found herself in a new job, far different in scope from the one she had at the art gallery. Her life had undergone a radical rearrangement in every arena.
After a whirlwind rehab of her home over a few months — to simplify, cleanse and purge — she suddenly found herself at an impasse. Her natural vitality was gone. Nothing enthused her. It was as if she’d lost her purpose.
For those of us who know her, this is as unusual as it is alarming. Dorrie is the one who is plugged into a 220-volt life charge while so many of the rest of us live off 110.
This is what she did next as she mulled over her options. She reviewed four possibilities and asked herself what she would feel in three months if that possibility had come to fruition.
1. As an artist, she assumed diving back into her art would be the most satisfying — yet when she asked that three-months-from-now question — if she’d completed a couple more paintings — there was no zip, no excitement in that achievement.
2. It was the same when she thought about taking on more hours at work to make more money. If in three months she had made this much more money, how would she feel? Again, nothing.
3. She refocused that question in this way — what if she were able to purchase a new, large-screen TV and entertainment center? Nothing still.
4. This was where she felt pulled. When she asked herself how she’d feel in three months if she got back into prime health and lost 15 pounds, now she could feel the life current flowing! This emotional response from three months in the future guided her — and she evolved the idea into total self care. Getting fitter, losing weight, taking down time — as much as she needed — for the first time in years, maybe decades.
I thought Dorrie’s mental exercise was elegant simplicity itself: asking yourself what would excite you in three months to have accomplished. Then tuning into your body to feel for a charge, positive or negative.
The whole review might not take more than five to ten minutes. It has the added benefit of helping clear out the thoughts of what you think you should pour your energy into, and helping you zero in on what would truly make your heart rejoice.