There’s an exercise I learned called ‘A letter of encouragement’ similar to ‘Letter to my future self. I wouldn’t call it a ritual but it is an important personal piece of folded paper that has been around three house moves spanning 10 years!
Titled ‘Letter of accomplishment and proud moments’. At the top is my name and ‘Well done for achieving the following’. Underneath I wrote 13 bullet points of things I wanted to accomplish in the next 5-10 years. A list of seemingly impossible goals.
I folded it to the size of a small rectangle and titled it ‘Taran’s letter of accomplishment to self’ then folded it to a square and tucked it into a basket of toiletries in my bedroom.
I hid it mostly, only seeing it again when I fumbled around for something. It didn’t state ‘Open in 2019’ I just knew I wouldn’t open in it in a very long time. The longer time went by the more I could marvel at what I had done, I had long forgotten what was on the list anyway!
That was 10 years ago, Its time for a new note.
Out of 13 things on the list, I had accomplished four of them, highlighted in neon pink.
Two have been done and the other two are soon to happen. I wrote them when they seemed almost unreachable.
I wrote them in present tense as if I was reflective writing though I also add ‘You must be thrilled’ for example, as if being spoken by an encouraging friend.
One of them reads ‘Learning to drive – You passed! You drive with ease and confidence’. I wrote it when I had no idea if driving was even for me, I walked everywhere and was driven around by a then-boyfriend.
‘For traveling, being free to explore and discover new areas I love’, I wrote this before traveling parts of Asia and it applies to more recent trips in Europe too.
‘For giving birth and raising a child – You’re a mum before 30!’ Is in progress, at 29 I am 32 weeks pregnant and will be a mum long before my birthday.
Lastly ‘For raising a child and providing the best care and money while pursuing what matters most’ is on the right track. I am looking forward to being a full-time mom for a while. I’m also hot on mindful budgeting and learning about financial abundance for the first time in my life.
As for the other things of the list: publishing a book of poetry, holding down a great job, finishing my Arts degree and being a self-employed Art Therapist, they all fell away and weren’t really for me.
These weren’t for everyday reading like affirmations or visualisations, they change as you do.
I wrote out another list though when writing this, I rewrote the note again. I noticed a subtle difference between the two. The first was heartfelt. I remember sitting, feeling still and hopeful and writing a letter as if I was really congratulating my future self.
I looked over at my new list and I just didn’t feel that connection. I wrote it out again as if I was really letter writing, I titled my pen a bit in an effort to write slower. It holds joy, hope, faith, and a future vision now.
Under my name, I wrote out 8 accomplishments, that could be potentially ticked off in the next 5 years. There really is no limit, you could fill the entire page both times with plans!
Note opening estimate: Year 2024