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Excerpted from The Path of Transformation by Shakti Gawain. Copyright 2000 by Shakti Gawain. Excerpted by permission of New World Library.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.

"Just sit quietly and note whatever thoughts, feelings, and images come up for you."

Shakti Gawain, 
The Path of Transformation, Part 1

What Is Your Vision of the Future?

In this book we will be exploring our thoughts, feelings, fears, and visions about our own personal futures, and the future of our world. To begin our exploration, I'd like to invite you to do the brief exercise that follows. The purpose of this exercise is to help you get in touch with some of your own thoughts and feelings before reading what I have to say.

So before you read further, I'd like to ask you to take a few moments, read through the following exercise once, then close your eyes and try it. (If you prefer not to do this, that's fine just go on to the next chapter.)

Sit comfortably in a quiet place. If you wish, have a pen and paper or your journal within easy reach. Close your eyes and take a few slow, deep breaths. Take a moment to relax. Then ask yourself, "What is my vision of the future? How do I feel about it?"

First, focus your attention on how you see, think, and feel about your own personal future. How do you imagine your future prospects in your career, your finances, your relationships, your family, friends, your physical health and fitness (including how you feel about your aging process), and your overall personal well-being?

Just sit quietly and note whatever thoughts, feelings, and images come up for you. Try to be very honest with yourself and acknowledge all the thoughts and feelings you have about these things, both positive and negative. Some of your inner responses to these questions might seem contradictory or confusing. For example, you might simultaneously have both positive and negative feelings about the same thing. That's perfectly natural and quite okay. Just acknowledge the full range of your feelings.

Now, expand your focus to imagine the future of your community, your country, humanity, the natural environment, the planet. Just notice the images, thoughts, and feelings that come to you when you ask yourself to imagine the future of the world. Again, try to be as honest as you can, and don't worry if your inner responses seem somewhat contradictory or confusing. For example, you might find yourself thinking, "There's so much potential for positive changes ... but I wonder if we will destroy ourselves before we get a chance to make those changes!"

When you feel complete with the exercise, open your eyes. If you wish, take your pen and paper or your journal and write down as much as you can about what came to you as you imagined your personal future and the future of our planet. If you prefer, use colored pens or crayons and draw your images and feelings.

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