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Future Hindsight

We all have moments in our lives where things don’t go as planned, expectations are shattered, and unexpected events leave us feeling disoriented, confused, broken, or lost. Maybe it was a breakup, the loss of a job, a betrayal, an accident, or even something as small as spilling your coffee on your favorite jeans. Weeks, months, or sometimes even years later, with the gift of hindsight we look back on those events and can see how the very thing we thought was so bad ended up being the stepping stone to our greatest success. Perhaps a few months after the soul-wrenching breakup you meet the love of your life. Maybe the loss of a job led you to a career opportunity that fulfills you more than you ever could have ever imagined. Maybe that accident or that broken bone led to a serendipitous encounter with someone who would change your life for good.

We look back on the heartbreak, the fear, the hurt, and wish that in that moment we could have somehow had the knowledge we have now, to spare ourselves all that pain. If only we could have seen how it was all part of the path, we could have surrendered to the experience with trust and peace, despite however uncomfortable it was.

What if I told you there was a way to do that? To experience the clarity of hindsight even amidst the perceived tragedy?

Last year, shorter after my divorce and only a few months into my journey as a single mom, while still adjusting to the unfamiliar weight of needing to provide for myself and my daughter, my instagram account was hacked and permanently deleted. As a self-made artist and entrepreneur, my instagram and the contacts I had there had been the primary source of income. After the self-protecting denial had run its course and I finally admitted to myself that the account was truly gone and irretrievable, I was overwhelmed with fear. I had spent years building that audience and without it had no way of selling my work. What was I do to? Panic swelled within me and I viscerally felt the cortisol fill my bloodstream. The rug had been ripped from beneath my feet and I was left stranded amidst the frightening unknown with nothing solid to hold onto.

Part of me knew this experience was an opportunity for me to practice what I believed: that everything happens for us, not to us. Anything and everything can be alchemized for our greatest good, and every step is part of the path. And yet, even with this belief in my heart, it felt impossible to tap into that level of trust and see how something like this could end up being good. I wished for a crystal ball, to peer into my future and somehow access the wisdom of hindsight for my current situation. Someday I knew I would look back and see how it all unfolded exactly how it was meant to, but that someday felt unreachable.

Time is an illusion. Everything is happening now, all at once. We experience time in a linear way through our physical senses, making it impossible for us to see with our physical eyes what lays ahead. But your soul, your intuition, the highest version of yourself that exists outside space and time, does have access to the wisdom, clarity, and peace that resides in viewing life as a whole. And that is something we CAN tap into.

For a beginner like myself, putting more trust into that eternal aspect of ourselves rather than in our current 3D reality, is easier said than done. But there are simple ways to strengthen that trust muscle, ways to gently take our own hand and lead it through the muddy waters, whispering words of reassurance and hope.

One practice I call future hindsight is a tool that can carry us through these moments of turmoil and fear and help us tap into the spiritual vision that holds perfect clarity. The requirements are an amplitude of imagination, conscious focus, and perhaps a little delusion. Here are the five steps and what the practice looked like for me in the previous example:

1. Acknowledgement. You cannot move past fear or pain without first recognizing its presence. Validating your emotions and giving them a voice allows them to be seen, felt, and released, rather than forcing them into the shadows of denial or rejection where they only fester, grow, and lash out. You cannot pretend to feel peace; confidence and trust cannot be faked. Allow every emotion to be felt and expressed through crying, screaming, shaking, journalling, punching a pillow, dancing, etc.

I began by setting aside time to fully feel my emotions. I cried and voiced my fears, scribbling them down on paper with a shaking hand and then turned on music and shook and jumped until I felt like some of that anxious energy had been released.

2. Visualization. This is where imagination comes in. Now you close your eyes and imagine stepping into the future, could be days, weeks, or years down the road, as long as it is far enough ahead that you are completely free of the fear in your current reality. If you have to imagine you're 80 years old and couldn't care less about whatever happened to you today, then go there. Once you've arrived, look back on your current situation with hindsight, the kind of retrospection that brings clarity to the past and uses its wisdom to transform personal tragedy into future success.

Once again, if you’re a beginner, chances are your mind will have a hard time stepping into this energy, so it will take some gentle coaxing and convincing to get your brain on board. You can do this by giving your mind different possibilities of how the dark reality you’re in really could transform into light. It doesn’t matter how plausible or “realistic” these possibilities are, the point is to help your mind see that there are an infinite number of ways your reality COULD transform.

I started to write down every possibility I could think of on how losing my account could end up being part of my path to success:

  • maybe losing my instagram will be the reason I start using tiktok and that's where my business where really take off.

  • maybe choosing to put more energy into tiktok will help me get used to being on camera which will prepare me for some big opportunity in the future.

  • maybe someone will reach out who knows how to get deleted accounts back and I'll get it back

  • maybe starting fresh with my instagram will somehow get my new account in front of an audience that's an even better fit for my work.

  • maybe my business is about to take a whole new direction and I had to first lose this account in order for me to stay open to that redirection.

  • maybe losing this account--and still somehow growing despite this "setback"--will one day be a story I share with others that expands their minds and gives them hope.

  • maybe the universe wants to show me that my success isn't directly correlated to my followers, and when I see the abundance to continue to flow in despite starting over, my faith in this process and my creative power will have grown ten-fold and be such a blessing to me and others.

  • and the list went on...

3. Release attachment. Now that you’ve let your imagination and delusion run wild, it’s important to release attachment to any one of those possibilities. Chances are, the path will unfold in a way that is totally unexpected, and you want to allow for that surprise. The point of the previous step is to tap into the feeling of knowing it can and will work out, but in order to allow the best possible solution to arise, we have to also be open to it presenting itself in an unexpected way. Create a mantra or affirmation for yourself, something along the lines of “I release the need to know exactly how this is going to work out, and trust that everything happens for my good. I release attachment to any particular outcome or solution, and know that however it comes it will bring peace, fulfillment, and joy.” Releasing attachment can be difficult and I’ve noticed it helps to associate detachment with excitement and anticipation. Isn’t it exciting to not know what’s right around the corner from you? Allow yourself to become comfortable in the between: knowing something wonderful is about to happen without needing to know what that wonderful thing is.

I know that my worth remains independent of any external circumstances.

I trust that abundance can flow to me in ways I can't yet imagine.

I trust that life is unfolding the way that it needs to in order for me to live in alignment.

4. Action. Our thoughts and feelings lead to our behaviors and choices. If you’re feeling scared or stressed, the actions you take will look very different than if you’re feeling peaceful and sure. This exercise helps you tap into the kind of feelings you want to use to create your reality, and when you’re in that state of trust, you’ll naturally make choices and choose a path forward that aligns with your desired reality. Trust whatever nudges or pings come up and take one step at a time.

I felt good about starting a tiktok account while also restarting my Instagram. I recognized that I know longer felt the need to "catch up" with the new account and created a plan to just start where I was and be okay with it taking however long it needed to to build up again.

5. Repeat. If at any point you feel the fear start to rise again, simply go through the process again, even if it’s just in your mind. Remind yourself of certain possibilities to give yourself something to hope for and once you can feel the fear start to be dispelled with trust, release attachment again. With practice, you won’t need to give your brain imaginative examples of the different possibilities,, you can just tap into the feeling of your future and let go of what it looks like. When you’ve gone through this process enough, your trust muscle becomes strong enough to not NEED to see how it might all work out, and instead it becomes second nature to live in a state of trust and surrender, excitement and anticipation.

As it turns out, nothing crazy ended up happening with the account. I didn't get it back, my tiktok didn't "blow up", and I didn't cross paths with some celebrity who made my new account go viral, in fact, almost a year later I still don't have half of the amount of followers I did on my last account. However, despite having started over, my income has continued to increase and I've learned to let go of all stress in regards to growing my social media, having learned that my income, security, and feelings of abundance are independent of the amount of followers I have. And I was able to go through that "set-back" without drowning in fear because I frequently tapped into the energy of future hindsight and knew that everything would work out for my good!

Life is always going to have ups and downs, and for every dip there will always follow a rise. The vision and clarity that we experience on the rise is something we can tap into even when we're in the dark, which can make the entire journey one that we open our arms to with nothing but a heart-felt "thank you" on our lips.

“ Trust that the universe is unfolding as it should. ”

– Max Ehrmann

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