In this episode of LivingUpp's Conversations with Smart People interview series, I talked with Mary Rechkemmer Meyer, an author, cancer survivor, and resilient warrior (as one of her reader's describes her).
Mary's book, I Meant It for Good: A Memoir or Dreaming, Visualizing, and Becoming My Authentic Self*, guides readers through the process of planning, dreaming, and visualizing the life they want.
Visualization is a powerful manifestation tool. When you visualize the lifestyle you DO want, rather than the one you DON'T want, doors start opening and opportunities start appearing.
"In my mid-forties, I went through a divorce," Mary explained. "I was a stay at home mom to four children and there were days I didn't want to get out of bed," she said.
After meeting a life coach, Mary realized her life was out of balance and she began to make some changes.
But then she was unexpectedly diagnosed with leukemia, and that changed everything.
"I was so sick of that process that I started journaling." The thoughts she outlined in her journal helped her shift her thoughts away from what wasn't going well, and toward what was. "I felt like some days it wrote itself," she said about her book.
"I used to say it started with the 6-year vision," says Mary. "Now I've gone back and put another step in front of that, and it's looking at your core values."
Goal-setting always starts with creating a clear vision of what you want, and then taking a step back to see what needs to happen to get there. "I like the smart goals," she said. "And then I like to look at them in all six areas of your life."
While there are many frameworks for achieving life balance, it's important to find the one that resonates with you on a personal level. LivingUpp's 8-dimensional self-care framework offers a practical way to assess how well you're supporting the key areas of your life on a daily basis.
When it comes to goal-setting, Mary suggests visualization first, and then creating smaller steps to get there. "Some people have a problem with that place in between," she explains. "Between visualizing and executing each step."
"If I hadn't visualized healing when I was so sick, I don't think I would have made it," Mary said.
What we think about influences every area of our life. If we want positive results, we have to take positive actions. And in order to take positive actions, we first need to have positive thoughts. Managing your mindset is essential when it comes to both setting goals and achieving them.
Mary's own process of visualization is beautiful: "For a long time mine was just sitting with a cup of coffee in the morning, and a glass of wine at night, on my deck in a warm climate somewhere. Because I wasn't going to be in winters forever."
And when she became ill, that internal visualization process became even more important. "My vision was to get healthy."
Mary believes the authentic self goes back to your core values. Getting back to what you believe, and asking yourself if it's the belief you really want.
It's about "finding out who you are--not what somebody told you you are, not who you think you should be--but who you really, really are and be at peace with it," says Mary.
Within the LivingUpp framework, the idea of an authentic self or inner truth lives within the Luminescent Dimension. This dimension includes your personal beliefs, experiences, and all the characteristics that make you unique. Your authentic self shows up in the form of your personal brand, which is your identity, your story, and your unique way of being.
Mary's self-care practice centers around her spirituality. "For me, spiritual is just being at peace with myself and peace with God." Meditation, walking in nature, prayer, exercise, and a plant-based diet are among her core self-care strategies.
"I'm a firm believer in that you never quit setting goals," says Mary. Goal-setting gives us something to look forward to. It helps us move closer to the things we want to do, be, have and feel. And that's what makes it such a useful form of self-care.
Envisioning is part of the lifestyle design process, and it involves getting crystal clear about what you want. Because until you're sure about the where you're headed, no goal in the world will get you there.
Have a thought about visualization? Leave a comment below.
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