Last night, I got to share conversation with a dear friend of mine. He’s the friend that I met with months ago who inspired me to move to Grand Rapids first and look for things to fall into place second, the friend who believes that visualizing your goals leads to achieving them. We sat down together at Hopcat and it didn’t take us long to get right back into the kind of discussion that initially led me to Grand Rapids.
First, he asked me how living in Grand Rapids felt. How does it feel? Here I was, sitting outside on Hopcat’s patio on a beautiful night, in the heart of downtown, coming off an amazing weekend of cottages, wildlife, friends, disc golf, church, and fresh air and I knew. What I feel is peace. I love living here. The house that I ended up in isn’t in the heart of downtown, but it’s right across from a park. It’s 10 minutes from downtown. It’s 10 minutes from my favorite breakfast joint. It’s 10 minutes from church. It’s 10 minutes from the mall. It’s in such a central location that it’s almost better than I had imagined. He told me that his mom made a similar move. She moved to Grand Rapids because the energy felt right. Since then, things have fallen into place for her. I think there’s something to be said about that feeling of positive energy. It’s not new age but it’s a sense of being home.
After asking me how living in Grand Rapids felt, he asked me about my next step. I told him I wasn’t sure. I know that I want to graduate officially. I know that I want a job. Other than that, I don’t really have anything on the list. He suggested that I make a vision board. I asked if it had to be pictures and he said I could use words, since I’m a word person. What interests me about this notion isn’t necessarily the vision board, because I’ve heard of that before as a suggestion for motivation. His explanation of one intrigues me. He told me that he typically creates a vision board every 3 to 6 months to see where he wants to be in the next 6 months. In fact, he just created his for the rest of 2010. My worry was that I would be unrealistic about it and it would be discouraging or not realistic or specific enough and it would be useless and this is what he told me: Project out six months. You have your list. Does it feel good to be doing those things in six months? If not, is it too stressful or taxing or perhaps not challenging enough? If it feels good, it’s realistic. If it doesn’t feel good, throw it out. It might sound too simplistic but I think that this notion of measuring goals by the “feel good” method is exactly what we ought to be using.
Then I started talking about my life list for 2010. He looked at me and laughed before saying, “Meg, that’s a vision board!” It is? Yeah, I guess it is. It’s a small-scale vision board. Here’s the best part: I was telling him the story about seeing the bald eagles, right? I thought it was a crazy coincidence. He sees it as putting out those “2010 life list” thoughts out there and drawing things close that allow me to realize my list. It’s not random. It’s intentional. We have the ability to cause things to happen in our lives.
When I first sat with my friend to discuss moving to Grand Rapids, I thought he was immensely inspirational but a little bit of a dreamer. Now I know that he’s 100% a dreamer but he also has the prowess to make those dreams a reality. I’m living proof. I’m in Grand Rapids. So when he talks, I listen. I think he’s consistently right too because I’ve begun to see patterns in my own life that reflect his beliefs.
When I was on the east side of the state without my support system around me, I became very deliberate about the people with whom I interacted. I wanted to be surrounded by positive people. Next thing you know, they were coming out of the woodwork! Once I made that decision, I was open to the type of people I wanted to meet and I appreciated them when I came across them. I began to act in such a way that I would draw those people to me.
When I made a life list, I started crossing things off my life list. It’s simple but then again, what are the chances that I would happen to accept a trip out to a cottage from a friend I hadn’t seen in over a year, sit down with her boyfriend’s parents, and spark a car ride to an eagle’s nest only a half hour north of Grand Rapids? That’s wild. But I put it on the list, I envisioned it, and it came to pass.
My friend says that you can do that with all sorts of things. Play the parking spot game, he says. You pick a lane you want to park in and a spot will open up. I’d doubt him except that my dad has the ability to get front row every time we go out. We call it his gift. Thought we don’t articulate it in the same manner, my friend attributes those parking spots to personal power. Be a mover and shaker in your own life. Envision it. Put an idea of what you’d like to see happen out in the world. Here’s where he wins me over entirely: Seek “this or something better.” Always leave yourself the ability to adapt and be open to greater things that may come your way – and they may be in an entirely different direction. Be open, be deliberate.
I wish I recorded our conversations. He has a way of saying that makes you say, “Yeah? Yes. Yeah! Of course!”
It’s so good to have friend who is well on his way to being a life coach!