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Calling Team Future Us: It’s Time!

Hello Team Future Us! Did you get your message from Past You yet?

I just did. For those of you who participated, how did it feel to get an encouraging message from yourself? Did you totally forgot that you wrote that note? If you remembered that you wrote the email, was the content of your message still a surprise?

future me

I forgot what I wrote back in September, so it was really fun to read my message today. But hearing from Past Me is a little spooky too, because I only partially recognize myself in these emails.

During a typical day, I’m more likely to hear from that panicky, weepy kid that spins in circles (you met that kid here). But in these Future Me messages I get to hear from a different internal voice that I’m not as familiar with. She’s way more encouraging and almost unrecognizably calm. I imagine that while weepy kid is on the floor in the fetal position, this gal is peacefully sitting at a sunny kitchen table, drinking herbal tea, and petting my cat. She doesn’t own any clothing with zippers.

It was nice to visit with her for a minute today.

Just recently I learned that we spend 47% of our lives lost in our thoughts. Half our lives! We’re always a little here, a little bit someplace else. We’re lost in conversations with all the wackadoos that live in our heads and make a living spewing a non-stop stream of commentary at us.

Sometimes I hear from these guys too.

Some days my mind sounds like these two. It could be worse.

That peanut gallery in our heads is loud. It can be hard to tune in to the present moment. In can be hard to take time out to notice all the things were grateful for in our everyday lives. It can be hard to grab that one positive thought out of a sea of negatives.

Research shows that we need a ratio of five positive comments or events to outweigh a single negative one. Considering all the negative stuff we’re chewing on in our minds, we can stack the deck in our favor by contributing to the positive feedback for ourselves. We don’t have to wait for anyone else to do it.

So I hope that all of you got to visit with a different side of yourselves today, through that note. That instead of just hearing the din of all the anxious or angry or critical voices that we all spend so much time listening to or trying to tune out, that you got to hear something positive and encouraging instead. There is value in purposefully taking time out to care for ourselves through simple acts of self compassion. Maybe writing these notes is one way to do that.

And if your note didn’t do much of anything for you, then let me be the one to say: You’re doing awesome.

Tell me about your experience with Future Me in the comments: good, bad, funny? Will you try it again? 

  1. I just got this post my FutureMe email and this post! Dear FutureMe,
    I know how hard you try to help Krissy. Whatever you do, know that you’re time & effort HAVE helped her! Stop second guessing yourself and realise how much you love her and she loves you.

    November 30, 2013
    • I hope getting that little nugget of niceness made you feel good! Happy holidays to you and Krissy!

      November 30, 2013
      • It really did. Krissy has been a challenge sometimes and I was constantly second guessing my attempts to help her. “What if I did this when I should’ve done that?” Krissy is a good teacher and one of the many things she’s taught me is to “just be” with her, let her tell me what she needs. I’m still working on that. My email reminded me how hard I’ve tried and encouraged me to be okay with that. Krissy and I wish you Happy Holidays also!

        November 30, 2013
    • Katie #

      I did something similar! I bought a bunch of clickers on Amazon, and added a free gift note addressing it to me From: Clover, and wrote some sort of encouraging message in her words that I think she would say to me, but I can’t manage to convince myself of. I can’t remember what it is now, so I’m excited to see how this turns out.

      December 3, 2013
  2. Meredith #

    I did it; I LOVED receiving it — and yes, I’d forgotten completely about it. I suggested to FutureMe that things would be getting better and that of course I felt unsettled and frightened (PresentMe) because, Look at all the things I’d changed/done/risked? I’m going to send me another letter, and Thank You so much for the tip. I’m glad yours was good, too. 🙂

    November 30, 2013
    • I’m so glad to hear it was a positive experience for you and that you’ll do it again! I just sent myself a note for January 1st. I figured starting the New Year with a note of encouragement couldn’t hurt!

      November 30, 2013
  3. Lisa #

    I got this email:
    Dear FutureMe,
    Charlie was really great today on our morning walk. We went down to the park and there was a van with a few barking dogs in it. He pulled towards it, but didn’t whine or bark. On the way back from the playground, there were people walking the dogs outside of the van. Charlie was interested, but didn’t bark or whine. You clicked and treated him and he followed and paid attention. He’s getting so much better, and you’ve both made a lot of progress! Keep snuggling him and rewarding him.
    And remember, other people’s dogs are not as awesome, even if they walk nicely. I’ll bet they chew up things in the house, hump pillows, or don’t know how to wait patiently when their owner puts down a food bowl. They’d NEVER be able to wait while their water bowl was filled up.
    Charlie rules, and so do you.
    ❤ Me (or You…)

    *Also, my dog has been really great this past weekend with another dog in the house. He even snuggled with her for the first time. Having a great dog day today!*

    November 30, 2013
    • Hooray for you and Charlie! It’s such a good thing to acknowledge and celebrate the daily victories – big or small. Doing that helps me to keep those inevitable not-so-great days in perspective. Cheers to your pillows being hump-free and peace in the house this weekend!

      November 30, 2013
  4. beewitchinstitchin #

    My FutureMe message actually made me a little weepy eyed. I seem to spend a lot of time belittling myself for doing something stupid or taking too long or whatever. The message today was upbeat and positive and reminded me of all the good that I am. It was a refreshing change! Thanks for sharing this with us; I’m sure I’ll be sending my future self another one.

    November 30, 2013
    • Your message to yourself is a great reminder. Making a conscious effort to hold onto what we’ve done right. I also struggle to let go of my mistakes. Thanks for sharing that.

      December 1, 2013
    • I’m happy to know it was a positive experience for you. We all speak so harshly to ourselves – It’s nice when we can be as encouraging with ourselves as we would be with a friend. Thanks for giving this a try – I hope your Future Notes continue to lift you up!

      December 1, 2013

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