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Imagine Your Future

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Imagine Your Future

Clues from your past can heal you.
Dr. Christiane Northrup
Dr. Christiane Northrup More by this author
Jan 09, 2011 at 09:00 AM

Healing always involves releasing the past as we move into the future. If we don’t release the past, we keep re-creating it—and it becomes the future. As we release, it’s also crucial to have a powerful vision of a hopeful and exciting future that draws us forward. For years, I had my patients begin their health journeys by exploring their pasts to find clues to how they were creating their present conditions.

Our cells keep replacing themselves daily, and we create whole new bodies every seven years. So it is not really accurate to say that our pasts are locked in our bodies, though sometimes it seems that way. What is really going on is that the consciousness that is creating our cells is often locked in the past—and that consciousness keeps re-creating the same old patterns via old subconscious nervous system programming. If, however, we can change the consciousness that creates our cells, then our cells and lives improve automatically, because health and joy are our natural state. The easiest and fastest way to do this is to imagine your future self in as much detail as you possibly can. Doing this will assist you through any healing process you’re currently involved in. So before you dive into any resolutions, invite your future vision to accompany you on your journey. If you were in optimal health and truly flourishing, what would your life look like?

This question may be answered in the form of an exercise, with a friend who fully supports you; in writing, without worrying about revising or spelling; or out loud to yourself as you look in a mirror.

Answer the following questions (have your friend ask you the questions one by one, or write for three to five minutes without stopping, or talk to your image in the mirror):

  • If anything at all were possible, quickly, easily, and now, what would your life look like?
  • Who would be in it?
  • What would you be doing?
  • Where would you be living?
  • What would you feel like?
  • What would you look like?
  • How much money would you be making?

Don’t think about these questions before you answer. Pretend you’re a child, creating your life exactly as you want it, no holds barred. How would your life be? Your inner guidance knows exactly what your heart’s desire is. When you open your mouth and remove the brakes—and get the judge out of your head for a minute—your inner guidance will come up with the right answers.

If you need help getting going, imagine back to when you were eleven. What did you love to do? Who were you? Who did you think you would be? Imagine yourself now, telling the world who you are—and who you are going to become. Speak it to your image in the mirror—tell it to a friend or to the wind. Call that eleven-year-old back now. She’s got something to tell you. Take her into the future with you and let her become everything she ever dreamed she would be.

After you have completed the first part of this exercise, imagine that it is one year from today. You have been able to create everything that you wanted, plus more. Everything that you dreamed could come true is now true. You are celebrating and looking back over this phenomenal year. You’ve created all of it almost magically, through the power of connecting with your inner guidance and wisdom. After you feel this scene fully, tell your partner (or your journal, or your image in the mirror) in detail about everything that you’ve created; share how excited you are, and invite her or him to celebrate with you. Keep talking for two to three minutes without censoring yourself. Just let it flow—like a child playing make-believe.1 If you can’t dream up any circumstances for the future, just imagine feeling joyous, light, and happy.

This exercise is extraordinarily simple but very powerful. Part of the reason is that focused thought is what creates the reality around us. It has been said that if you can hold a thought or feeling for at least 17 seconds without introducing a contradicting thought or emotion, then you’ll see evidence of this thought manifest around you in the physical world.

You can change the time intervals by dreaming up your future self one week from now, one year from now, or even at the end of your life. In each case, have your future self look back and take in everything that you’ve accomplished and healed. It’s exhilarating and it will get you in touch with who you really are. I recommend repeating this experience at least four times per year.

Excerpted with permission from Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom by Christiane Northrup, M.D., Bantam, New York, 2010, Chapter 15 Steps for Flourishing.

This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.


  1. Exercise adapted from a workshop Dr. Northrup participated in with Annie Gill-O’Toole.
About Author
Dr. Christiane Northrup
Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and the world’s leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. A board-certified OB/GYN physician who graduated from Dartmouth Medical School and did her residency at Tufts New Engl Continue reading