I remember the first time I visited Italy. It was 2011 and I was traveling with two beautiful friends of mine, Mel & Lizzy. Flying into Rome, staying for just a night, we connected early the next day to La Spezia. From there we continued our train journey onwards to Monterosso al Mare, one of the seaside villages of the Cinque Terre. We would base ourselves here while we explored each village by foot.
But this isn’t a travel adventure story. What’s important about my visit to Italy is a memory I have from this particular trip.
Dining al fresco at one of the many seaside restaurants, my two friends and I were talking about ‘life’. There may have been a bottle of wine between us that afternoon. But one of my friends, Mel, was quite the ‘life coach’, even for those days. We worked through a little visualisation exercise around the idea of where we would be in 10 years time. It seemed like a time far, far, far away from the present.
A Vision from 2011
Mel asked us to close our eyes. The question was simple. Where do you see yourself in 10 years time? But she guided us through so that it became incredibly sensory. Mel asked us to imagine waking up in our life. What did we see, hear, feel, smell? Were we with anyone? Where did we work? What did our typical day look like? Seems pretty basic right? A kind of ‘go to’ exercise. But don’t underestimate the power of simplicity.
In my visualisation, I woke up to the natural sunlight pouring in my bedroom window in the early morning. I was alone in my bed because my partner had either left for work or was away. My child comes running in and gives me a cuddle. Getting out of bed I can sense the warm air and a sea breeze coming through the open window. A gentle breeze blows through the house filled with lots of white. I walked my child to school and continued walking along a village street in the warmth of the morning sun. I stopped to pick up some groceries, fresh apples, salad greens and bread, and continued my walk to work.
My work was something connected to the community. Perhaps a community support centre. I had free range and flexibility to leave early to run local errands and walk home via the school run. I had this image of myself bathed in sunlight, short natural hair with a healthy glow and colour to my skin. And I wore an olive green dress as I walked along a sun-bleached terraced street.
“I had a moment where I wanted to pinch myself”
That vision seemed like a long way from my life in London. And it seems crazy to think that since that vision 6 years ago, I’ve moved from London to Norfolk, got married, moved back to London, got divorced, moved into a share house, met the love of my life and moved to Australia.
On Monday this week, I had a moment where I wanted to pinch myself. I was walking to the local grocery store in the afternoon sun. I felt the warm spring air all around me, the afternoon sun adding to my glow. The sensation of the sun tingling on my skin and the carefree stroll along my street prompted me to recall this memory. I remembered the time in Italy where we imagined where we would be.
And that’s all it took. I had a moment realising that I was creating that visualisation. I realised it was a powerful visualisation for me because I’ve always remembered it. I’ve always come back to it and thought about it.
Later in the evening, watching the sunset, I was convinced I was bringing my visualisation into being. Although not quite exactly the same. I noted how that morning I had woken up with the morning sunlight pouring into my bedroom via the balcony doors. And how my beloved is currently away adventuring around Queensland with his mum, visiting us from Italy. And how I have done my yoga teacher training so that I hold space for others in the community.
It’s all very much coincidental. But I still like to believe in the power of realising our dreams, setting intentions and achieving whatever we put our hearts into. Even if it’s not 100% exactly the same as how we imagine it.
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”
~ Norman Vincent Peale
And if that wasn’t enough, the sunset grew more beautiful with each passing minute and I felt immense gratitude for being exactly where I am.