Navigating your late 20s, Part 3; visioning the future

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I’m officially on maternity leave and in honor of the up-coming birth, and to make life a little easier, I’m reposting some of my old material here.  I originally ran this post back in 2010, but many of you may not have seen it.  I think its worth another look!

This article is part 3 of a series on the Saturn return, the period of transition between ages 27-3o. In part one we talked about what the Saturn return is and why you should care, in part two we covered the importance of clearing away old patterns and habits in order to move forward. In this section, we tackle what may be the most challenging part of this whole process: coming up with a vision for how you want to live your life as an adult. It’s challenging because we live in a culture that highly values critique and analysis. It is very easy for us to articulate what we don’t like about something, it’s not so easy to imagine how it could be different. We also live in a culture that is rampant with pessimism. The idea that if I set my expectations low, I will never be disappointed. Well that just isn’t true. If you set your expectations low, chances are you will only accomplish the bare minimum. Visioning the future in the way we want to live it requires us to take responsibility for what it is we want, and to admit that we are ready to get it. Neither of those things are easy.

How to begin: Start with the work we did in part two. In that article we talked about letting go of limiting ideas, habits and relationships. Sometimes knowing what you don’t want can be a good starting point for figuring out what you do want. Remember that list I asked you to make about all the things that are no longer true about you? Well you can take that list to re-craft the things that are true about yourself. Start with all the things that you got rid of and think about the opposite of them. Try to craft statements about yourself based on what you are. If one of your statements that is no longer true was something like: I’m socially awkward. Try turning it into something like: I’m a person that values community and works toward making community bonds stronger. I know it sounds cheesy, but it can be really empowering, and remember no one else has to read this stuff, its just for you. Make a list of all the things that you are now, even if you don’t totally feel like you are those things all the time. Keep this list somewhere where you can look at it often, daily if you can.

Think about what you want from life: Wanting things is somewhat of a taboo in our culture. On one hand there is the commercial/corporate driven ethic that more things will bring you happiness. Many of us have rejected that value and repleaced it with ethics that prioritize justice, community, and not destroying the environment. During the process of saturn return it is really important to be as honest with yourself about what you want as you can. Pay attention to desires that may be different from how you felt 5 years ago. When I went through this process I found that I finally had the energy to settle down in one place. Prior to that, I had really valued travelling, and felt that putting down roots would just tie me down. It was a big shift, and I had to let go of how I saw myself living, and replace it with a new vision. The same process can happen around how you feel about relationships, jobs, raising a family, making money. The challenge then becomes reconciling your new desires with your values and ethics and figuring out how to be the kind of person you want to be. For instance, in my own process there was a part of me that viewed settling down as a form of selling out. For me, the challenge was to figure out how to live a settled life with the kind of integrity that reflected my ethics.

What are you good at, what are you here to do?
This is a huge issue, and lies at the very heart of the transformation you are going through during Saturn return. Unfortunately one blog entry isn’t going to help you solve this one. But spending some time searching, and pondering this question, will help you immensely during this process. And remember, you don’t have to figure it all out by age 30. Actually, I see most people figure this one out in the years that follow the Saturn return. But is it is the work you do now that lays the ground work. This is the area where getting some outside help can really make a big difference. In Five Element Acupuncture the goal of treatment always to help a person become more fully themselves. Five Element treatments help us make peace with the things we are ready to let go of, and strengthen our inner core self, so that we can manifest our greatest strengths and values.

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Allison Carr

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