The Treasure Map of Your Destiny

Pacific shoreline in La Jolla CaliforniaAs promised, in my last post, here is a writing/creative practice that can help you shift into a more co-creative state with your destiny.

It’s really a simple exercise that you can do any way that you would like to do.

In the last post, I asked you to contemplate the question:

If you had a treasure map of your destiny, how far are you from being on the path towards the treasure?

Today’s exercise is this:

In whatever way you would like, using your imagination, draw or write a detailed map of the treasures of your destiny.

You might like to create a visual representation of this map or a written one.

Here’s one approach:

On one side of a piece of paper create a picture or describe in writing, of all your current treasures.  These can be from any area of life including work, family, relationships, prosperity, pets, anything that brings fulfillment into your life.  This can also include states of mind like peace, excitement, contentment, curiosity.  Add anything you wish to this side of your map.  Label this section: My current treasures.

On one side of a piece of paper create a picture or describe in writing, the treasures that you feel you really need that you don’t have.  These could be goals in material, financial, spiritual, health or other areas.  Add anything you wish to this side of your map.  Label this section: Future Treasures.

You might like to add north, south, east and west directions to your map, and get a feeling for the direction of your destiny.

This map doesn’t need to be fancy, but it can be.  This is a bit different than a vision board, but you can cut out pictures to place on your map too.  The goal with this map is help you examine and re-examine your ability to create and discover treasure in the destiny of your life.

As you look at your treasure map, how far is your destiny away from the treasures your heart desires at this point in your life? Look at the treasures you have in your life because of the destiny you have lived.  Ask yourself what treasures you still desire.

My belief is that if you are still alive, you still have treasures to discover or create.  It may be that your treasure is to help other people find or create treasure in their life.

The goal of all the ideas and exercises that I will be sharing in the next several weeks is to help you close the gap between where you are today and where you want to be.

All you have to do is look around in this world, and you will see that plenty of people are suffering, and there is a gap between a world full of treasure for all and the world as it is today. If you have no treasures that you desire personally for yourself, and some people don’t, ask this question for others.  You may be quite content and awakened in your life, but if you are, then it’s time to share your wisdom with others.

Even though, this is an easy exercise to do, it might help to experience a guided version of this.  Sometimes, we need the company of other people to give ourselves permission to do this type of exercise.

If you would like to experience a guided version of this exercise, I will be offering that in the free virtual retreat on September 23, at 1pm CST.  I will be guiding you through a visualization and meditation of how to protect your energy in a sometimes cruel world before creating the treasure map, and providing a treasure map worksheet as well. You can sign up for that retreat here.

If you happen to be in the Chicago area on September 20, I will be offering this exercise along with the development of a resource map in a longer, 3 hour live retreat. You can sign up for the live retreat here.

Hope you enjoyed this exercise, and consider looking at the treasures that your destiny has already created, and the ways in which your heart and soul is wanting to expand your life.

The next post in this series helps you take this map, and take the next steps in the evolution of your destiny’s adventure.

Do you ever use writing practices to create change in your life?

Writing Your Destiny picSometimes, at this time of year, we may look back at the year, and wonder what we’ve accomplished.

There may be projects that you intended to start, or changes you wanted to make, that just didn’t go anywhere.

It’s about this time of year when I start to review how my writing practices have been supporting or not supporting changes I have wanted to make during the year.  I find that writing is one of the strongest tools that we can use for creating big change in our lives.

As we move towards the latter part of this year, I’d like to offer some ideas from my book Writing Your Destiny, to help us  finish out this year and style, and begin to think about what we would like to see happen in 2016.

In the next couple months, look for posts on:

  1. Slowing Down to Accomplish More
  2. Defining Your Destiny
  3. The Rhythm of Your Destiny
  4. How we reinforcing or repel our Destiny
  5. Finding Destiny Partners
  6. Daily Writing Practices
  7. Creating Your Destiny Scene
  8. Creating a 10 Year Plan, and why that’s even a good idea
  9. Leading Your Life
  10. Sharing Your Destiny

As I share practices that I’ve seen work time and time to help you use the power of writing to make big leaps in your life, see if any of these ideas resonate with you.

I strongly encourage you to take some time to ask how you have spent your time this year.  What mattered to you in 2015? What would you still like to do before the end of the year?

Some of you may want to go deeper into this material, after the next few months, and join my 4 week Writing Your Destiny course in November.  Hopefully, you will enjoy this series of posts, and find some tools for ending 2015 with a flourish.

This week, I would like to suggest you contemplate the following question:

If you had a treasure map of your ideal destiny in life, how far are you from reaching your treasure?

On Wednesday, I’m going to offer up a simple exercise that plays with this idea of creating a destiny treasure map.

For now, just consider seeing your destiny as a treasure, and how you actually have the map within you.

Writing Your Destiny

Mom and kids in Paris
Mom and kids in Paris

Back in 1992, I quit a safe job working at IBM as a systems engineer and thought it would be easy to make a shift into more fulfilling work.  I found it wasn’t quite as easy as I expected. I was confused, lacked confidence in my abilities, and didn’t know how to make a big leap in my life.

It was at that time, that I learned how to write my destiny. I began an experiment, inspired by some books and articles that I was reading at the time, which centered around the question:

Can writing expand my destiny into something better?

I was both interested in writing as a career, and in improving all the other areas of my life.  In many ways, my life felt like I was stuck at the bottom of a very deep well.

The pictures accompanying this post would have been hard for me to imagine when I first began to work with writing.  I couldn’t have imagined traveling around the world and country with two sons and my mom, or living the life I currently enjoy.  One of the benefits of writing your destiny is that you begin to have a greater understanding of the forces and desires shaping your destiny.

For me, many of the best aspects of my life came about because of my writing practice.  Having adventures with my wonderful family,  enjoying peace and prosperity and the ability to live my life as an unconventional adventure began from writing your destiny practices.  I wholeheartedly believe they can help you too.

There is no precise time table for big leaps in life. Sometimes, we set goals that take years and decades to move into our life.  At other times, change can happen quickly.

My first big leaps using writing as a tool for change, took a while to create.  The more I trusted writing tools and practices, the more I was able to make substantial shifts in my life. Within months of writing something I currently call a destiny scene, I began work as a professional writer — first a technical writer then a marketing writer.  Since that time, a daily writing practice has become an important part of the way that I shape my destiny.

Having a writing practice isn’t just for writers.

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Writing practices have helped me to travel the country and the world with my family, even during tough financial times!

You can find many self-help books that work with writing as a tool for growth.  It’s certainly not the only way to live into an expanded destiny, but it can help.

Back in 2011, I created a Writing Your Destiny book to share what I have learned in both my own experience and the experiences of people that I have served in both business and personal coaching.

I will be offering a one day virtual Writing Your Destiny Workshop for the first time on December 12, 2015.

In preparation for that workshop, I will be sharing the ten steps for Writing Your Destiny in the next few months in this blog.

  1. I can’t promise you that you will become rich and famous using these practices.  However, I do trust these processes can help bring the best your life has to offer to you in surprising ways.

Whether or not you would care to join the online course later this year, I am offering ideas that might help you to:

  1. Develop a vision for your future that guides you forward.
  2. Give you greater strength to live your destiny.
  3. Understand why your life’s journey may be different than the American dream that many of us were taught to follow.
  4. Express your deepest values, passions and dreams more fully every day.
  5. Assist you in organizing and writing a memoir of your life’s experiences.

There are many ways to shape your destiny, and I am hoping that you will find something useful for your life’s journey in this new series.

If you want to make some big leaps in your life, and haven’t quite found the way to move into an expanded destiny, some of these ideas, practices and tools may be just what you need.

Looking forward to hearing your comments and feedback as I share the ideas of Writing Your Destiny with you between now and the end of the year!

Reading to Improve Writing and Life

stephen king on writingFor the last several months, I’ve been reading, writing and coaching a lot more, but sadly blogging a lot less.

So, I wanted to share some insights from some of the books that I was reading.  Today, I’d like to discuss the insights I received from On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft, by Stephen King.

This an older book, and a somewhat odd book for me to read.  I don’t like the horror genre much.  I tried to read The Stand and it scared me too much.  However, I very much felt inspired by King’s book on writing.

If you’re looking for a book to encourage you to take a long view of your writing career, this is a good one.  He also gives some recommendations on how to get started and perhaps to get an agent. I also liked that Stephen King doesn’t use outlines.  I probably need outlines, but I somehow like that Stephen King proves that you don’t need to use an outline to write best-selling novels.

The funny thing about this book is that the way it helped the most, was that it inspired me to start exercising every day.

Not only does King write and read every day, at least according to this book he walks 4 miles every day.  I decided to try a 4 mile plan.  I’ve been walking or cycling 4 miles a day for a month and I have so much more energy for writing and the rest of my life.

Daily Contemplation:

Have you read any books lately that have helped you with your writing or life?

The Surprising Effects of Writing Your Intentions

Alma Mater statue (Taft, 1929) in front of Alt...
Alma Mater statue (Taft, 1929) in front of Altgeld Hall on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Français : Statue de l’Alma Mater (Taft, 1929) devant le Altgeld Hall, campus de l’Université de l’Illinois à Urbana-Champaign, États-Unis. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many of us know this.  When we write our intentions for our life, surprising things often happen.

Last week, I wrote in this blog about the idea of 2013 being a year of integration for myself.  I happen to think much of the world is also in the throes of integrating our inner wisdom into our lives.

In my case, a few days after writing that blog post, I received an invitation to be a judge at the engineering open house at the University of Illinois in Champaign Illinois.  This request completely surprised me since it seemed to come from completely out of nowhere, and I haven’t worked as an engineer for a long time.

I noticed how my family was more excited about this opportunity than I would have expected.  I realized that I haven’t been excited about certain accomplishments of the past. I haven’t integrated my experience of being a materials science engineer in my life as much as I could.  I haven’t honored the work I did in this area. Perhaps more importantly, I haven’t explored how I might integrate engineering more fully it into what I’m doing in my life now.

How about you?  What’s been surprising you lately?

Today’s Contemplation

Have you had any experiences of writing an intention and receiving unexpected opportunities?

Are there any accomplishments from your past that you haven’t been honoring enough?

Reading Vs. Writing Vs. Living

Hildegard reading and writing
Hildegard reading and writing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time balancing my love of reading and writing with the art of living well.  I have always loved to read. I prefer reading to writing, though I can’t live without writing either.  Unfortunately, I’m not quite as blessed as Hildegard of Bingen as shown to the right receiving holy guidance as only a saint can.  

To this day, years after beginning my journey as a writer, I feel so lucky that I have found ways to make a living as a writer, and live a life of imagination. At the same time, I have often felt a bit guilty about working with thoughts and ideas as a business. I tend to admire farmers, construction workers, marine biologists, athletes and anyone who spends a lot of time immersed in the “real” world as people doing real work.  I sometimes wonder if it’s indulgent to be a writer when so many people in the world have to do mind-numbingly difficult physical labor.  It almost seems wrong that I can garden for fun and take yearly road trips to beautiful places.

But fortunately, I have been reading some great books lately, that remind of why we need writers in the world.   Through the writing of others, we get to inhabit other worlds and get a sense of what it is/was like to live in other places and other times either through reading or writing. I enjoy reading the blogs of so many of you — all with your unique perspectives on life, and your contribution to making the world a better place.

As I considered how to approach Writing Your Destiny this year, I decided to pick a theme for the year that seems important to so many of us – Integration

To find a way to live a life we love, we must integrate all our disparate parts.

One way I am going to integrate this year is to write more about other authors, and the importance of writing our truth.  There are a few books that I just finished reading that I am eager to share with you in the next few days and weeks.

Here’s to integrating your passions into the most meaningful life you can create this year!

Daily Contemplation:

Are you struggling with integrating the disparate parts of your life?

What needs integration in your life?

How do you integrate reading and writing into your life?