There is never a perfect picture. There is never a perfect age or stage- when we look back with nostalgia at a time in our life- we are simply shining the flashlight on the best parts, the highlights, if you will.
So- without thinking too much- what age were you when you knew what you loved? Things may not have been harmonious, or perfect, but you had a strong sense of what you enjoyed, what you wanted to be, do or have… were you three years old and loved to spin around to music till you got dizzy and fell over? Were you seventeen and you were a passionate vegan, who loved indie cinema and bohemian op shop clothing? Were you twenty-one and had gained your independence? What age were you when you knew what you loved? That age holds all the answers.
If your seventeen year old self (or what ever age you have chosen) had a message for you right now, what would it be? “Wear Doc. Martens, listen to Tori Amos, do a drawing and smoke a cigarette.” Cool- except for that last one. A cup of tea will be a good replacement: only listen to the advice that’s good for you. Listen to the guidance and act on it.
Exercise- Advice from Your Chosen Age
Insert the chosen age “When I was ___ years old I loved to…” and then list the numbers one to twenty. Next to each thing that you’ve listed, write the feeling of the experience- for example, when you were seventeen maybe you loved going to art galleries, and the feeling you experienced was inspiration. Identify the feeling for each thing that you loved.
Now- next to each item, write an action step that you can take immediately, or over the next week that can address the items on the list. For the above example, the action step would be to go to an exhibition. If you loved The Beastie Boys when you were fourteen, listen to an album. If The Labyrinth was your favourite movie when you were nine- watch it.
When you reconnect to the things that brought you so much joy, you remember why they did in actual fact inspire you. You remember a vital part of yourself you may have forgotten. You reawaken within yourself an aspect of your creativity and true essence that holds the key to your current happiness.
I‘d love to hear from you after you do the exercise- what did you remember? What action steps did you take in reconnecting to your past passions/interests?