I was first introduced to a future day fantasy guided meditation practice while I was still in grad school at ASU just over 20 years ago. I was taking a class in my counseling program called “Smart Girls: a New Psychology of Gifted and Talented Girls,” taught by Barbara Kerr, PhD (my favorite professor in the whole program, so I took as many of her classes as I could); it was in this class that Dr. Kerr guided us through an equivalent meditation practice.
It was the very first time in my life that I meditated and it ended up being one of my more memorable meditation practices to this day. Just recently, I have been inspired to share this experience with you. But since I don’t remember ever receiving a script handout in class nor was able to find a similar script online when doing an internet search (except for a great YouTube video, “Future Day Fantasy: A guided visualization to get clear on what you actually want” by Kyira Wackett, MS, LPC), I decided to write my own script.
As you prepare for your practice, feel free to include calming music, and scented oils or candles. If you are planning on sitting down, find a comfortable spot in a quiet space; sit on the floor, or if you have a yoga mat, use that to sit on instead. If you prefer lying down, do so flat on your back either on your yoga mat or your bed.
Let’s get started!
Future Day Fantasy: Guided Visualization Script
The purpose of this future day fantasy meditation is to first calm your body and mind, and next, guide you to visualize yourself 5 years into the future. This future place will then become a memory of an imaginary snapshot that you can retrieve at any time to help you stay focused on your long-term goals, and to give you a sense of power and control over your own destiny. For you are not only the actor in your life story, but the author too.
Start by setting aside some time for yourself in a safe and quiet place. Sit cross-legged on the floor or a yoga mat, with a straight back, head and neck aligned with your spine, and your hands resting on your legs, palms up or down. Or if you prefer lying down, find a comfortable position on your back and let your body go limp like a rag doll. Soften your gaze and, if you want, close your eyes.
Now, focus on slowing down your breathing. Allow the rhythm of your breath to center and relax you.
Breathe in… and out…
In… and out…
Breathe in slowly and deeply…2…3…4, and out…2…3…4…5.
In through the nose for a count of 4… and out through the nose or mouth for a count of 5…
Imagine each inbreath as a color that represents a powerful healing light, maybe gold or white, entering your body through the crown of your head. And imagine each outbreath as a color that represents the thoughts, feelings, and sensations that no longer serve you, maybe black or deep purple, leaving your body through the bottom of your tailbone or your feet. Let it all go without any judgment.
Continue this breathwork for a few rounds while you give your muscles a chance to relax. Feel the tension leave your body…
Now imagine that you step into a time machine that takes you 5 years into the future. If you’re 20 years old, you’re now 25, and if you’re 50 years old, you’re now 55. Begin to create a perfect picture of your happy and healthy future self in your joyful and peaceful new surroundings.
In great detail, focus on your 5 senses and see what comes up for you:
What are you seeing? Where are you? What does your place look like? Are you indoors or outdoors? If indoors, are you at work or at home or someplace else? And if outdoors, are you in nature or in a small town or a big city or someplace else? What are you doing in this place? Are you resting? Are you working? Or maybe you’re just walking around? Or traveling? Are you alone or are there any other people with you? Or animals? A cat maybe? What do you look like? What does your hair look like? What are you wearing? How do you look differently from how you looked 5 years earlier? – (Sight)
What are you hearing? The sound of seagulls or waves? Birdsong? Wind blowing through the trees? Music? What type of music? Or is your place completely silent? – (Hearing)
What are you feeling? Are you touching anyone or anything? Holding a baby? Hugging a loved one? Petting a dog? Typing on a computer? Fixing your car? Planting new flowers or vegetables in your garden? If you’re outside, is the air warm or cold? Is there sunshine or is it cloudy? Is there a slight breeze or is there a strong wind blowing? If you’re inside, is it daytime or nighttime? Are you switching on the lights in the room you’re in or turning them off? Or maybe you dim them, start a fire in your fireplace and light some candles? – (Touch)
What are you smelling? The smell of burned wood or scented candles? Or essential oils if you have a diffuser going? Or the smell of synthetic oil while fixing your car? The smell of rain maybe if you’re outdoors? Or the smell of chocolate if you’re about to have dessert at your favorite restaurant or in the comfort of your or someone else’s home? – (Smell)
What are you tasting? The chocolate dessert maybe? Or coffee if you just woke up and started your day? Or the taste of salt if you just took a dip in the ocean? – (Taste)
Now imagine yourself going through an entire day from when you first wake up in the morning till when you go to sleep at night. What is your routine like? How do you schedule your day exactly? Morning, noontime, afternoon, evening, and nighttime? Who is all part of your immediate family? Does your family structure look differently from how it did 5 years ago? What kind of house do you live in and where is it located? Is it the same house as the one you lived in 5 years earlier or a different one? What type of work do you do? Are you still at your same job from 5 years ago or are you working at a different job? What type of car do you drive, if you have one? How do you spend your free time? See yourself feeling perfectly fulfilled, healthy and happy, in a joyful and peaceful place.
Enjoy your place for a few more moments. Summarize what you saw, touched, smelled, tasted, and heard. Now develop a photograph in your head that captures all of these imaginary experiences and sensations in one single snapshot. File this picture away in a place in your brain where it’s easily accessible. And then remember you can retrieve this same picture within seconds anytime you need or want.
Now imagine that you step back into the time machine and return to your real age in the present moment. Come back to the here-and-now and open up your eyes if you have them closed. Notice where you are and slowly return to your usual level of wakefulness and awareness.
At the end of any meditation session, to help me set an intention for the remainder of the day, I typically draw a card from the A Therapist’s Advice 55-Card Healing Deck.
If you would like a copy of the “future day fantasy: guided visualization script”, feel free to save it on your computer, print out a hard-copy, or copy the link and forward it to anyone else who might be interested.
Future Day Fantasy: Guided Visualization Video
Future Day Fantasy: Guided Visualization Journaling
Grab your journal (or a piece of paper if you don’t journal) and answer the following 5 questions:
- Were you surprised by anything you visualized during your mediation practice?
- What are some of the feelings that came up during your practice? Regret? Sadness? Guilt? Shame? Anger? Fear? Or hope? Inspiration? Gratitude? Pride? Happiness? Love?
- Did you notice any significant changes in your future goals and values?
- What are some action steps you may want to take after doing this practice? What is motivating you the most to reach your goals? Who are the people (incl. yourself) or what are the circumstances that will most likely create obstacles to try and hold you back? What can you do to prevent/solve that?
- Did anything else come up for you? Anything not mentioned in the meditation practice and/or questions above?
What are 5 benefits of journaling after meditating?
The advantages of writing down what you visualized during your meditation are:
- Increase in focus, self-awareness, stress management skills, and structure
- Remembering the details of what you visualized and being able to more easily reflect, and even expand, on your memories
- No longer just being able to see what you created in your mind’s eye, but also being able to read it on paper – giving your story stronger shape, and therefore a greater chance of becoming a reality
- Giving you the opportunity to track your progress (or lack thereof)
- Having the freedom to copy and print out a summary of your 5-year future day fantasy, and making it your “vision board” on your “inspiration wall” in your home!
Breathing Meditation Blogs
- Diaphragmatic Breathing: A Calming Technique
- Breathing Meditation For Stress Reduction
- How To Breathe Through Discomfort or Pain
- Healing Card Deck: A Therapist’s Advice 55-Card Healing Deck by Sara Cloostermans
- Book Recommendation: You Can Choose Your Own Life: Stories for Decision Making by Barbara Kerr and Barry Sommer
- Mantra: I AM DESTINY // with diaphragmatic breathing
- Yin Yoga Asana: Dangling Pose