Mindfully looking to the future
As my personal life is changing, I am looking to the future and would love to hear potential ways for me to be part of your future as well.
Dear Living Upwards community,
As a mindfulness teacher, I advocate for bringing our awareness to the present moment. Lately, however, my focus has been on the future. My children are 17 and 18 years old, and our family is changing. Separately and individually, we fear and dream about potential futures while simultaneously mourning the times that once were.
There is nothing wrong with that. Being mindful does not mean we need to separate ourselves from the past or the future. What matters is how we engage with thoughts about the past and the future. It is possible, for example, to be mindful of the past, which means openly reflecting and curiously acknowledging emotions and physical sensations arising in the present moment as we think back on the past. We can approach events from the past with awareness, a beginner's mind, and compassion without getting caught up in thoughts or overwhelmed by emotions. We can similarly approach the future. If we start thinking about the future and, for instance, feel fear, loss, or grief about an empty nest or how life will be as an older person, we can engage mindfully with these thoughts and feelings in the present moment.
I have been practicing this lately, and it makes it possible for me to see a future full of opportunities rather than loss.
Part of what has come out of this process is acknowledging that I do not know where in the world my kids, my husband, and I will be living. We are a mixed family (I am Danish, my husband is Welsh, and the kids were born in Denmark but have lived most of their lives in the Netherlands and attended an American school). My children are currently looking at universities all over the world, and my husband and I have frequent and lengthy conversations about where to move next and what country we would like to grow older in. I have no plans to retire for the foreseeable future (if ever), but I have come to the conclusion that I need to make my work more portable.
This is where you, as a subscriber of Living Upwards, come in. Many of you have followed me for years, first as subscribers to my company newsletter. I was grateful to see that most of you stayed when I migrated to Substack with Ageing Upwards (which later turned into Living Upwards). So here we are. We are a very small community. Admittedly, I am not the most consistent writer, and the communication is somewhat one-way, but I do hope that the fact that you stick around means you gain something from it. On average, about 50% of you open my posts, which is a pretty high number when it comes to social media.
Looking to the future, I would like to grow this community. I love writing, and this digital aspect of my work is something I can continue to do wherever I end up. Living Upwards provides me with a platform where I can share my thoughts, knowledge, and meditations and engage with people who have similar interests. Looking ahead, I would like to prioritise Living Upwards more - if there is an interest for it!
It would therefore be a huge help to me, if you took 5 minutes to fill in a Google form to let me know your thoughts. I would love to hear what you would like to receive more of in your inbox and how often. The form is anonymous. Click this button to get to the Google Form.
Thank you! I am very much looking forward to reading your input.