What a morning, what a Sit, what an experience of 500 million brain cells going to work on my behalf.

Our task this week is to Sit and converse with the stranger we know as our Future Self. We are to become acquainted, become friends, share and connect.

The night before last, visualization took me to the leather chairs in a comfortable, coffee shop. Light and airy, mellifluous laughter gently peppering our conversation, I sat opposite myself, dressed in black slacks and a soft, black sweater, silky blond hair pulled back. The experience was other worldly as I alternately embodied first my Present Self then my Future Self. It surprised me to hear the compassionate voice coming my way. There was part of me that was in awe of who I would become. The visual flickered as I am new at this mental image process and I felt a bit incredulous that I would really be all the things I have ever desired to be – funny, wise, attractive, and compassionate. I am told I am all those things, but deep down I have never allowed myself full belief. Sitting by the fire, there were instances of compassionate understanding, and then we would move on. Just as I might feel after sharing a great time with a good friend, I came away from that experience looking forward to the next time we would get together. I hoped to recreate it.

Then this morning happened. I read my Press Release following Honor Requirements of the course and then settled in to greet my Future Self. I tried to visually get back to the coffee shop. Although the feelings returned and I felt the muscles in my face turn up into a smile I couldn’t pull up the desired image. Focus, Diane, focus! To no avail…I just could not get there. Gradually I found myself in the presence of light and sunshine; Still no coffee shop. Was I doing it wrong?

My thoughts moved to my desire for health and well-being, eating well, and in turn being fit, slim, and in action which are elements of one of my goals as outlined in my Definite Aim in Life Purpose statement. I had not been taking actions to support this goal consistently and thoughts of my inadequacy came to me. Stop, change, start – the Law of Substitution – what do I want to think about instead? “I form Good Habits and become their Slaves.” Bam! Let that go!

Then my mind seemingly without direction fell upon an image I have carried for over 40 years. I was 16 and watching myself walk down a sandy Maryland beach where I had gone for the weekend with my best friend to test my wings as a young woman. I’d bought my first bikini for that weekend trip and couldn’t wait to wear it and ‘strut my stuff’. It became my first and very last bikini.

I had loved that bathing suit. It was bright blue, green and yellow in psychedelic patterns on red background fastened with rings on each hip(all the colors we have been playing with over the past several weeks to raise our awareness). That bathing suit shrieked “look at me”. Eyes followed us as we walked the beach. I had so wanted to appear the confident beach girl like the girl from Ipanema. Instead I was an uncomfortable little girl hoping to get back to our hotel room as quickly as possible to cover up, to hide.

Then in another flash of understanding my meditating Self realized I had carried a sense of shame for over 40 years for wearing that bikini, for wanting to be acknowledged as attractive and for wanting to be seen. Bottom line what matters is that I got I felt shame for wanting to live large in my own skin. I felt shame for the very normal feelings and expectations of a young teenage girl.

I could blame it on too much religion, or what my brother said, or father did or didn’t do, or on the timing of being a young woman without a mother to help her teenage daughter navigate the difficult waters of growing up. I could tie all this to circumstances in the “world without” and in another day or time I might have. Or, I could choose right then and there in the here and now, no matter how young or old I was, to listen to the gift from the “world within” and to do it differently.

In an instant I got I could choose to explode that Old Blue Print and believe something completely different. Choose. Bam! Shazaamm! Sh%a#*m%!e- KaBoom! And it was done! Gone! Vaporized!

And my Future Self, the person dressed in black jeans and a soft black sweater, looking amazingly fit for her 64 years…who plumped pillows and rearranged furniture, and typically was seen darting from table to chair like a hummingbird got closer to my Present Self, and I got that I can be that, what I will to be. And then the sound of crickets interrupted my reverie – my timer went off and I opened my eyes.

Today has been the best day. Every time I have passed a mirror, I have grinned from ear to ear. Shazaamm! I Am.