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Why we can’t spend 2021 waiting for 2022

The future is already here.

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couple hugging

I recently visited my acupuncturist and he handed me this envelope. It was a letter from myself to myself, written on July 17, 2014, and to be delivered in five years time. The letter arrived 21 months later than originally intended, but it many ways, it was right on time, as the uncertainty of the present makes this the perfect moment to assess how you want to live.

When I first opened my acupuncture practice in 2014, my acupuncturist encouraged me to take a long view. To imagine my life and my business in five years’ time, when I wasn’t in the frenzy of opening a business, life had settled. He told me to be careful what I wrote because most of it would come true.

Photo by Hanbit Kwon 2021

And he was right. A lot of what I described in the letter actually came to fruition. I had just started dating my husband Hanbit then and now we’re married.

And my acupuncture practice does look markedly similar to what I describe though my patient load is smaller than what I initially imagined. As I’ve grown into myself, I’ve learned through the years how to burn off a lot of insecurity about productivity and “success,” and I’ve become more honest about what I really want and how I want to live.

Most of the “ambition” that I have now is more about having more time with Hanbit and more space for my spiritual practice and selfcare. 

The pandemic has made it hard to see the future. 

There are many factors in our lives right now that remain hazy in terms of the details. And there are many details that remain well beyond our influence or control.

But we do have agency in how we structure our choices, and how we make decisions. The values and intentions behind our choices are always more important than the external outcomes or events. The values and intentions that we act from will leave their imprint on our world.

I encourage you to take some time to write yourself a letter imagining your life five years in the future. Even if the details are hazy, you can imagine what values and qualities you care about, what imprint you would like to leave behind.

This practice can be like planting a seed for yourself.

It’s not wishful thinking. It’s not even willing yourself to “manifest” something. It’s not about amping yourself up. 

It’s more like a guiding light, an inspiration, taking a view of the long game. 

How do you want to live? And how do you want to die? 

What do you aspire to? 

Who is with you in the future? 

What qualities/values would you like to guide your decisions?

Allow these questions to guide you as you craft your new future. The details will fall into place when the right time emerges. 

Spring is the season associated with vision, with intention, with setting your path. In Chinese Medicine theory, spring is a brand new cycle of a year.

And this year in particular I encourage you to expand your sense of time. 

Many of us spent 2020 waiting for 2021.

Let’s not keep living short-term waiting for the pandemic to be “over.”

What if we thought forward to 2026 or 2030 or 2045? 

How can you create a life that will set you on the path towards connecting with the qualities that you so ardently want to share with the world? 

Please write yourself that letter. Tell yourself what you want to hold onto and let go of. Tell yourself what matters most to you. What is your guiding light?

Then, once you have your vision, let’s all live in a way that will allow us to shine forth with our interwoven luminescence.

Our world is in need of your light.

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