Who, Exactly, is FUTURE YOU?

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Each Month, I Answer the Call to Speak from Someplace Deeper in Me, To Someplace Deeper in You.

a question

Dear Anna,

I am so sick of setting goals and then not hitting them.  Why does this keep happening?  It’s getting to the point where I don’t want to tell anyone what I’m aiming for, because then they’ll just be able to watch me NOT HIT MY GOAL. Maybe if no one knows, then it’ll be less humiliating when I fail. But why is it so damn hard to hit a goal if it’s something I genuinely want?

— Alannis, Who is Both Embarrassed AND Pissed Off 

a response from someplace deeper

Dear Alannis Who is Embarrassed AND Pissed Off,

 

Okay, so, on the surface level, there are lots of factors with setting goals. Things like Have you learned to set smallish goals that are yes-able and build up to larger ones as you gain some momentum? or Do you have a clear way to measure what you are shooting for, and to track your progress over time? And then there are the more subterranean questions, like, Do you have endorsement from ALL the voices within you, or is one “rogue voice” setting a goal without getting buy-in from other parts within you that have other needs? Or even, Is there something more critical your heart wants that it’s not getting, so it’s holding out on this goal/distraction till it gets what it more deeply needs?

All that stuff is important stuff. And you can find a lot written about it. (Google “setting and keeping goals” and you will be treated to mountains of ideas and help!)

But since it’s me you’re asking, and my thing is to answer from someplace more expansive in my consciousness, here’s what I have for you, Alannis.

I hypothesize that the relationship between you and FUTURE YOU is in an unhealthy place.

What am I talking about? So, there’s YOU. And then there is this other woman, who does not live in the now, but is a version of you some number of weeks, or days, or even just minutes from now. Do you care about this woman? Do you know her? Do you think about her? Do you understand the relationship between what you are doing right now and how her life flows and bounces or hits walls, sinks and contracts?

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I invite you for the next few days to think about looking at everything you’re up to  through the lens of how much love you have in your heart for this lovely woman who is FUTURE YOU.

 

I can pretty much always feel it when I am in the presence of someone who has a loving relationship with FUTURE THEM. There is a look of kindness in their eyes. There is a glow about them–they seem to know something others don’t. And if you ask me what that something is, I’d say it’s attunement, and tenderness, and caring….about HER. About that woman who’s going to come walking back into her bedroom eight hours later and feel uplifted in some small but sweet way if her bed is made, or feel sucked dry a little, if her room is a ratty mess.

She’s the one who has to walk in on projects you left unfinished, messes you made, commitments you took a pass on, moments you let pass without speaking your heart, and the back end of dreams that got abandoned.

I didn’t used to know much about FUTURE ANNA but in the past two decades I have spent countless hours creating little surprises for her. I leave her tiny love notes on “our” desk that I know she’ll find later: You’re doing great or Keep Going! or Something good is about to happen! or I cleaned this all up for you because I love you! I care about what kind of a house she returns to after a trip, what kind of a desk surface she will be starting her next project from. I am sweet to her, because I’m in love with her.

Why? Because she is so so so so grateful! When I leave a gift or a note for her, she holds it up close to her heart, and she lets her eyes tear up. We have a little love affair, she and I. And it’s because of that that love that I have been able to do ALL KINDS of thing: start a business, compose, produce and record five albums, write a book about everything she has always wanted to have said. If I didn’t love her so much–love her sweetness and delight at being treated with love and thoughtfulness–I might not work as hard as I do to make her life light and well attended to and thoughtfully organized. And I might not take so much pleasure in thinking of clever, playful, doting ways of doing so.

She thanks me by saying YES when I give her a boost, receiving the baton and dancing forward into adventures she knows we both care about. She thanks me by living more fully in the moments I set up for her than she ever used to live. We are the best of friends, she and I, and I treat her well. Not always, not perfectly, but so much of the time that she’s very loving about it when I make a choice for us that’s messy or lazy or ill-informed. She has so much good will toward me!

As I thought about you, Alannis, about about putting words this the idea of FUTURE YOU for this blog entry, I thought of lots of songs I’ve composed over the years, but this one in particular…

a song for you

Some years ago a woman named Nancy came to me wanting a song to capture the wonder and the magic she had discovered climbing mountains with her friend Pat. I love the song we created, and I love two things about it in particular. One: it talks about the little FLUTTER of a feeling that is the way every big idea and life-altering dream first begins. It talks about what it feels like to turn toward that feeling and honor it, rather than turning away. FUTURE YOU is just a flutter of a feeling–one that you will tune into or block out, depending on the nature of that inner relationship. I think this song  does a good job of celebrating how slowly, but surely, attunement to that little flutter can become somethign marvelous, sweeping, inspiring. How it can carry you into an energy flow larger than just “PRESENT YOU” or “FUTURE YOU”…into something Nancy calls The Gracewave: that energy that wakes you up to the power within and all around you, to help you expand and live more fully into all of what’s possible for you.  The other thing I love about this song, musically, is how is mirrors this idea–starting very very simply and growing, if you stick with the song (blow past that inner ADD!) and allow it to bloom, unfold, and expand. Nancy has been out there celebrating the wonder of FLOW and THE GRACEWAVE for years now, and I love the idea that her message co-mingles so beautifully with my own. You can hear her song below, and learn more about her story here.

The Gracewave

Lyrics for “The Gracewave” at Custom Crafted Songs

The GracewaveAnna Huckabee Tull

“The Gracewave” – Free Download

Download File


a podcast show/interview to share

How perfect, then, that this month I was interviewed as one of 22 experts on an online show called “Fab at 40: Happier Healthier and Sexier than Ever!”

I said YES to being on this show for lots of reasons, but a huge one was that Lisa Kostova, the host, is someone who impressed me as someone who was working brilliantly, courageously and creatively to deepen her relationship with “FUTURE LISA.”

She found herself approaching her 40th birthday with some fear, and she decided to dare to turn her energy around, and start taking great care of “FUTURE LISA” in a powerful way. She began a free online show and started a mission to celebrate her 40th birthday by interviewing me and other women who are living, or have lived, their 40’s in the best shape of their lives, achieving radiant healthy, feeling vibrant and sexy, accomplishing their biggest goals, starting their businesses, having babies, and generally enjoying the decade in a way that opens the door for even more to come as they navigate into and embrace future versions of themselves.

 

For all who are interested, the show starts on December 9, 2018.

If you find this interesting, you can do somethign loving for FURURE YOU right now, by joining this online show as my guest.

Click here to join

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two ways to follow this blog

  1. To subscribe to this Living the Deeper Yes blog, click the “Follow” button (lower-right corner of the screen), and you can choose to sign up for e-mail updates via WordPress, and/or follow with a WordPress account.
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comment or submit your own question below

Does someone have too much power over you?

Each Month, I Answer the Call to Speak from Someplace Deeper in Me,
To Someplace Deeper in You.

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a question

Dear Anna,

I have this one friend and every time I get around her, I feel like I lose myself and become someone small and stifled. Basically, I get so busy trying to please my friend that I forget who I am. What’s happening and what can I do about it?  

— Sarah

a response from someplace deeper

Dear Sarah,

You are, without question, someone rare and special.

I know this because we are ALL someone rare and special.

And each of us can feel the wonderment of who we are–the fullness of the magic within us——–sometimes.

Other times we just freaking can’t. Now why is that? What shifts and changes that makes us feel alive and vibrant and filled with our own power in some situations, and then small and voiceless and meekly and weakly following along in others?

I believe it comes down to the level of beauty that exists in your relationship with yourself.

And I believe that is something that is directly addressable.

In fact, I believe, Sarah, that when you get around this certain friend, the way their energy mixes with the energy inside you actually creates a shut-down in you. A shut-down that makes it hard, if not impossible, to hear the parts of you–the voices in you–that are the most wise, playful, creative, vibrant, and self-enjoying.

It’s gonna sound like I’m about to digress, while simultaneously taking about me (and I AM about to digress, AND talk about me, but I promise it’s on purpose and it will all circle back).

I recently learned something about my book (wahoo!) that I just recently (brag brag, brag) wrote . My book is doing way better than I expected on good old Amazon. So, I started paying close attention to who is reading it. I learned that the book appeals to therapists, and to people, like individuals in therapy, who are oriented toward personal growth.  No big surprise there. But I also learned that it has turned out to be a very clarifying and helpful book for a group I never would have predicted: former cult members.

Really?

Esther Friedman is a very candid recovering cult member and an activist in the field. She has created a powerful one-woman musical show about her experience of being drawn into and then exiting a slippery and ultimately quite deceitful group referred to as “School.”  She also has a  blog, “Cult Confessions,” through which she has blogged about my book three times now (Blog 1, Blog 2, Blog 3). Each time, in yet a different way, she shares (to my utter delight) about how this book’s central message is basically an antidote to all the “mind-washing” or “mind-wiping”  and loss-of-self that goes on when someone finds themselves turning themselves over to a group with a powerful leader and losing themselves in the process.

I don’t in any way mean to imply that your friend is a cult leader. There is a seven zillion percent chance that she is not. But I feel like I know somethign that could be helpful to you here, all the same.

All of us are practicing being Who We Truly Are–the finest, truest version of ourselves–all the time. We know what it feels like when we are deeply resonating on the inside and the outside with what feels rightful and good.

That said, we can’t always tell what it is that allows us to activate that wonderful, loving, knowing, expansive place within us. But one great clue is the energy of the people we surround ourselves with.

My rule of thumb has become this: When I find myself shrinking in the presence of someone – losing my sense of self, strength, beauty, center, etc.,  (not just on occasion but in a predictable, regular way, whenever that person shows up on the scene), it’s time for me to make an important choice. It’s time to either create some space between me and that person (so I can tune in more deeply to myself and find my center again) or to speak up to them about what is happening inside me when I get around them. It doesn’t matter all that much which choice I make, because both of these choices are about honoring what is happening inside me. What’s important is that I find those “six seconds of courage” to break the cycle and take care of the places inside me that are starting to shut down. Life is so beautiful, and shutting down on the inside is such a sad re-routing of the experience of life, and joy.

The solutions that don’t really allow me to honor my insides are the ones that have me continuing to “suck it up” with my friend without getting some space or sharing what is happening to me, or trying to “numb myself out” (another form of sucking it up) with distractions like acting interested or happy or centered when I am not, burying myself in my cell phone, or alcohol or computer games; turning around and getting angry at other people in my life after I have been near this problematic friend, etc., etc. [insert your own little sneaky version of hiding or shrinking or shutting down here].

Your question is, “What’s happening when I get around this friend?” and I’d say, “You are allowing yourself to fall out of love with yourself in their presence. And you’re working hard to keep them ‘in love’ with a version of you that is not even fully authentically you.”

We are all so precious. And time on this earth is relatively short. You deserve better treatment–not from your friend, per se. (They are probably just being who they are and taking at face value that you are showing up fully, even when you aren’t). You deserve better treatment from you. And I don’t mean that in a judgmental or preachy way. I mean it this way: No one can speak up for the voices inside you that are hurting or needing love or attention if you don’t. And you can’t easily do that if you are busy gravitating toward people and environments that keep you small.

Look around. There are loving people everywhere–people who want to know the real you. That “difficult friend” might even be one of them, if you dare to speak up and get curious together about what it means that you are finding yourself shrinking in their presence. Or, hey,  maybe that problematic friend WON’T be amazing when you start getting more real with them. That’s hard, but that’s okay too, because it’s DATA. As you get bigger and truer, some friends will fall by the wayside. You can love them from afar, or love the memories of the moments you recall as valuable. And you know what? New friends will fill in the spaces. The more you evolve, the more evolved souls you will begin to attract into your world. In my line of work, I see that all the time.

Esther, the cult-exit-er, lost some friends when she left the cult. But to look at her now, I think you’d be blown away by what you see. I am. I am watching her shine from the inside, from a deeply resonant place. I am watching her send out messages of encouragement to those struggling, from a place within her that is so gorgeous and clear and brave and strong and true.  She is moving at the speed of light and at the pacing of love: slow enough to check in with herself at regular and loving intervals (“how is everybody doing in there? is this okay?) and bright enough to act as a beacon and a reminder to all of us:

We are worthy of love, from all around us, and, first and foremost, from ourselves.

— Anna Huckabee Tull

a song for you

Beauty in Me” is one of the songs I most love to perform–and one of the songs I most love watching audiences react to. I think it’s because it’s a song about remembering and reclaiming our own inner beauty. Enjoy!

Lyrics for “Beauty in Me” at Custom Crafted Songs

play here: 

“Beauty In Me” – Free Download

Download File here


two ways to follow this blog

  1. To subscribe to this Living the Deeper Yes blog, click the “Follow” button (lower-right corner of the screen), and you can choose to sign up for e-mail updates via WordPress, and/or follow with a WordPress account.
  2. To receive e-mails directly from me each time I post a new blog entry, join my e-mail list.

comment or submit your own question below

why things sometimes suck

Each Month, I Answer the Call to Speak from Someplace Deeper in Me,
To Someplace Deeper in You.

ihavenowords

a question

Dear Anna,

I’ve been trying to keep a stiff upper lip and forge on, but the truth is, it feels like everything sucks. Isn’t it fake of me to pretend it doesn’t? But it seems like no one wants to hear it anymore, including me. Everything sucks and I’m sick of feeling this way. Why is this so hard? What have you got?

— Dave C., a.k.a. Mr. Suck

a response from someplace deeper

Dear Mr. Suck (also known as Dave),

It sucks when everything sucks. It sucks, in a totally suck-sucky way. I feel like I might win a literary award for those previous two sentences. But I probably won’t. Because everything sucks.

It’s actually unusual (and noteworthy) of you to write to me during a time when everything sucks. Most people don’t do that. They lash out (myself included) or retreat (myself included)twisting themselves into a cruel version of themselves OR morphing into someone unreachable.

So kudos to you for already being centered enough within your suckage to reach out and ask for a little help. Here’s a little help. I’ll give ya everything I’ve got, which all boils down to one tiny little conversation I had two weeks ago with my dad, the one and only Bill Huckabee, who is…no longer alive. Continue reading

mothering on the inside

Each Month, I Answer the Call to Speak from Someplace Deeper in Me,
To Someplace Deeper in You.

parts in a circle

a question

Dear Anna,

What is the “Anna Huckabee Tull” take on Mother’s Day? What are we celebrating? And what are we missing?

— Curious

a response from someplace deeper

Dear Curious,

I have been finding myself talking about this Blog lately as sort of a “Dear-Abby-but Deeper.” By that I mean: Taking the extra moment and the extra breath to look not just at the LOGISTICAL Level of a question or idea, but to look deeper, at the ESSENCE Level of it as well. I think that’s what you’re asking for, so that’s where I am headed. But humor me for a moment. Let’s start up on the surface. It’s where most of us are, most of the time, and it can be a good place from which to start breathing more purposefully and inviting our perspective to deepen.

Continue reading

10 well-inserted spaces

Each Month, I Answer the Call to Speak from Someplace Deeper in Me,
To Someplace Deeper in You.

a question

Dear Anna,

My question is: Where has the sweetness gone?
Life should feel sweet. When I was falling in love, it felt sweet. When I had a new baby, it felt sweet. And every once in awhile it still feels sweet. But sweetness these days mostly feels distant, rare and fleeting. Why is there not more sweetness in my life, and how can I get more of it?

— Alexandra B.

a response from someplace deeper

Dear Alexandra,

I used to think sweetness—that feeling of deep peace, connection, and easy joy—was a function of either working really hard to create it, or else the kind of blind luck that shows up unexpectedly from out of nowhere, and then retreats, as unexpectedly, soon after.

These days I don’t think it is either of those things.

Continue reading

the speed of joy

Each Month, I Answer the Call to Speak from Someplace Deeper in Me,
To Someplace Deeper in You.

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a question

Dear Anna,

I am moving soooo fast these days but it feels like I’m barely able to keep up. My list is long and my nerves are short. I’m showing up late to things, squeaking by on deadlines, and dropping balls all over the place. I feel anxious, hyped up, and overwhelmed a lot of the time. And then? When I DO  “slow down,” instead of taking a nap or getting a good night’s sleep, I find myself glued to a screen, watching episode after episode of something that’s too mindless to really challenge me, but too absorbing to turn away from. What am I missing here? Why are things so “off?”

— Lorraine M.

a response from someplace deeper

Dear Lorraine,

So here’s a weird question for you: What if that frenetic speed is actually PERFECT? What if the speed you are moving at right now—that frantic, hyped-up, overwhelmed, making-mistakes-everywhere speed—is actually providing something really important to you that you have no other way of getting?

Continue reading

Welcome!

Each Month, I Answer the Call to Speak from Someplace Deeper in Me,
To Someplace Deeper in You.

road

Welcome to the Living the Deeper YES blog

Here I hope you will find a deeper exhale.

It’s a safe place to stop and consider that the challenges that show up on the surface of our lives CAN be doorways inward, to bring us to a more profound way of understanding the beauty and wonder that is within us and all around us, all the time, if only we will dare to really look.

In 2016, I lost a close friend, Marie Pechet. She was a rare breed of cancer patient: the kind who decided to keep finding the beauty, and who, through that purposeful search-and-discovery, outlived her 12-month life expectancy and instead stayed, parenting, partnering, loving, blogging and touching hearts on this planet for nine amazing years.

As she approached her final days, she asked me if I would write her last blog entry, after she was gone. I told her I’d be honored, but what I’d really love to do was to compose twelve entries. I felt called to compose one for each of the twelve months of that first year after her death, because I could sense that her extensive community–and I–could benefit from a chance to grieve and grapple together instead of apart. She was touched, gave me her blessing to blog in her honor, and I embarked on a year of stopping twelve times to feel, to ponder, and to write from the heart, to a truly lovely and extensive collection of Marie’s fans, family, and followers.

Continue reading