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  • Writer's picturejvaine1

The Tool Society Told Me to Forget.

The leaves, changing from green to the oranges and reds. The night time temperatures, drop back into that cool feel, the one requiring a hoody. The suns bright light, begins to shorten. And the creatures prepare for the next season. I feel the sun's rays on my face. And my corners of my mouth, slide up to my ears. Forming a soft smile. To think of the fall, may sound like I am over looking the present. And skipping ahead. Before we know it, it will be here. And the landscape of our everyday routines will have changed. Our careers may as well. Creating a new sense of normalcy. How do we prepare for this and something we do not know the outcome of?

There is an activity that I was introduced a while ago. One that at first sounds a bit silly, especially if letting go of the life we know is a challenge. Visualization. Used in athletics as a regular training tool. Business coaches have adapted it. As well as personal development coaches. Yoga and meditation have also used this technique for thousands of years. And we have been doing it since we were kids. But "day dreaming" was deemed as silly or a waste of time.

I never let society's view of this activity stop me from doing it. And now with the increased attention about the validity. It is a part of my life.

As a competitive paddler and adrenaline junky. Going something like this. The start of the race. Horn sounds. I sprint to the water. Placing my board on the surface of the water, diving onto my belly then hoping to my feet. And connecting the paddle blade with the water. Over and over I see myself doing this. No hesitation. No hiccups. Smooth. Surfing is the same, seeing the mounds of water rise up. Turning my body towards shore. As the tail of the board lifts. The energy of the wave passes under my feet. And the need for the paddle gone. As I accelerate down the face of the wave. The wave standing up over head. Moving my feet forward gaining speed, out running the lip of the wave. Until I can begin to carve on the face of the wave like a blank canvas, my board as the paint brush. I see this. Over and over. With the wave never catching me and swallowing me whole. Snowboarding follows suit. The big snowflakes float down. Covering the land with a soft blanket of white goodness. Moving through this frozen water meandering around trees. Dropping off rocks onto the pillows made by the accumulated snow. With ease and elegancy. The trees and rocks are not threats but beacons, like that of a plan landing at night on the runway. There are no thoughts of falling or meeting the trees. Hockey. Even though my competitive career is well beyond its prime. I see myself. Alone with the man behind the mask. Moving left. Right. Watching him as he watches me. Playing a game a chess, with speed. My last move, checkmate, leaving me with an opening allowing me to slide the puck across the goal line. There are not thoughts of him sliding across, with his pads stacked taking away the opening. Or his glove being quicker than my shot. It is only me beating him. This visualization. Day dream has now crept into my life. Not as an athlete. But an older version of me. Six months from now. Like a periscope from a submarine showing the surface of the ocean. On the other side of this confusing time. As I approach myself, sitting in the midst of fall, I ask the older me, what would you have done differently. And I begin to reverse engineer my dream life. Financial moves, relationships, travel and daily activities. It provides me an opportunity to create a plan in my mind that I can then build. And putting those goals, ones that look impossible, in reach. This activity is not a simple one. Where I just sit, see the world. Write it down and construct the plan of success. It requires me to revisit this place often. In different forms. Meditation. Journaling. Yoga. Physical activities. And my newest addition. Consuming fiction, whether in written form or in video.

I have learned to be gentle when exploring this process. As some days I become overwhelmed and frustrated. Others. Everything seems perfectly aligned and tangible. My takeaway. Today is a challenge. Yet challenges require unique ways to overcome them. One that exists in each one of us. That's why I day dream. So I can manufacture, the best version of me. Amongst the darkness. Even though I was told, it is a waste of time.

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