I was recently asked by a facebook friend if I have ever written a letter to myself and then opened it in 10 years.
This is my reply, which I have since elaborated here: “I have been doing something similar to that for over 20 years now, however, I record my voice rather than writing and I talk to my future self of 5 years on rather than 10. When I first started I recorded on a cassette tape and I now make recordings on my smart phone.
I make a note of the date that I started the recording and then exactly 5 years later set up a sacred space to listen back. That time always feels special. Preparing a cup of tea, I sit in my favorite comfy chair and allow the excitement and curiosity to swell as I hit the play button…. I am now listening to my old self of 5 years ago speaking to the future me who is me now. Listening back I often hear what used to be a struggle or goal then may no longer be the case; listening to some of my accomplishments or achievements, which I had long forgotten, is a great reminder of how far I have come, or not, in some cases!
I have occasionally asked loved ones to speak to my future self and invite them to share whatever they want to say. That has proved to be very special – last year I listened back to a recording that I had made 14 years ago that included the voice of my beautiful partner at the time, who has since died. I had completely forgotten that I had included him on my recording… very precious moments.
When I first started I wondered what it would be like to listen in 5 or 10 years time, but had never considered 20+ years in the future and it has proved a great and illuminating record now that I am the future me. The speaking really helps as I can listen to the emotion in my voice – I record my highs and lows, achievements, delightful surprises, appreciations, difficulties, relationships, goals, career, friendships – anything that feels important to me at the time and it really helps to be speaking to ‘someone’ who knows me so well and will listen!
I speak to my future self in the third person, which also gives me a sense that ‘she’ is out there doing things, giving my future self a sense of purpose. There can be months that go by where I don’t do any recordings and then other times I may talk for just 2 minutes or for over an hour, it really does depend on what is going on in my life at the time and I have never regretted what my past self has spoken.
I have been recommending to my clients to do the same for some years now, and have had some encouraging feed back for those who decide to do it. So, it’s a long answer to your question, but I encourage you to give it a go!” Catherine Carter