Today, I led some of our new hires at work through writing their vision and setting goals. Which is my favorite thing to do, like, ever.
You take a group of people who have, up until that point, usually had crappy jobs, and teach them all about stretchy pants and education and how to connect with people, and then…at the end of the day, you let all of that go and just show them how to set meaningful, measurable goals for themselves. It is always fun, often emotional, and always inspiring. The things I have seen people achieve over the years honestly blows my mind.
The way we goal coach has changed since I started with lululemon. There used to be this really long list of questions I would read from, but now there’s this really beautiful recording we get to listen to. And you can feel it, at first…people are nervous, they’re doing the breathing exercises and thinking Wtf this is so weird, did I join a cult or something? and totally giggling.
And then, it’s like something magical happens in the room. Seriousness descends. I can feel tingling all over my body, and I know they feel it too. When the recording asks me to close my eyes, I do it right along with our new hires.
What I see for myself is always the same, and always a little different.
Today, I walked from empty space through a red door. On the other side of the door was a small grassy clearing, surrounded by tons of pine trees. I felt like I could see each individual pine needle, and all of them together were teeming with life and vitality.
In the clearing was a woman. I’ve seen her many times before. Today she was wearing an indigo jacket, black pants, and had a long, pristine white French braid down her back. She turned to me.
It was me. A vibrant, happy, probably late-eighties me. Smiling and so warm. She reached out both arms for me, like she was seeing a very old friend of hers.
We sat together, she took my hands in hers, and we looked out at the pines, which seemed like several hundred separate things, and also like only one thing.
I thought about my core values when the recording prompted me to.
The whole time, the older me held my hands. I could feel that they were warm, wrinkled, and dry. But not brittle. Well used was the phrase I thought of.
From time to time she would look at me, and her entire face would crinkle up in happiness.
There comes a point in the recording where the listener is promoted to ask this older, wiser version of themselves a few questions.
What is important for me to know?
What is important for me to see?
What is important for me to remember?
Usually, at this point, the older me looks at me seriously. She is compelling me to do something. Her eyes are resolute and her face is serious. You need to act, she tries to express to me. You’re wasting time.
Today was the first time that, as she held my hands in hers, her eyes said it all.
You’re already doing it, she communicated to me. You’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing.
I tried to think of other things to ask her, but I had nothing. Should I have another baby?! I wanted to say to her. Am I crazy to want that?! Is it going to uproot all of this progress this year has given to me? But I got the feeling that she would have just smiled without answering. That is something that only this me can decide.
The recording ended, and I slowly turned on the lights. One of the new hires was sleeping (lol). The rest looked very relaxed and happy. We opened our notebooks and started to peel back the layers — writing about what they saw, creating priorities for their lives, and writing down some goals.
I looked at my goals and remembered that at the beginning of this year, I felt totally lost. I was still so sleep deprived, upward mobility at lululemon seemed like it would be a really long way away, and we were in a tough situation financially.
I decided my word of the year was Purpose and slowly, almost imperceptibly, little shifts happened. I got a library card and began to read all the time instead of mindlessly scrolling on my phone. I was selected to go to Purpose & Practice, and from there, identified that my life is about words. And then, I heard a mysterious prompt in my head: You should write 100 days in a row. A call to which I offered no resistance, and simply said, “Okay.”
Very little on the surface has changed. I’m in the same role at my job, and things are still tight financially. Nothing circumstantially has altered very much.
But inside, at a core level, I am so deeply fulfilled. It didn’t happen overnight, and at the same time, I felt like I woke up one day and I was happy.
I think all of it links together: identifying purpose, reading a treasure trove of books, and I especially think that writing here everyday has shifted something huge for me. I feel like it’s the equivalent of lifting a giant boulder out of my path.
So when I looked to the older me in the meditation today, and asked her what I should be doing or remembering, she was able to smile with her entire face and reassure me that it’s already happened. I’ve remembered.
You’re already doing it.