Eat Pray Love / Sony PicturesLet's play a really exhilarating game of pretend, shall we? Imagine you have money enough and time to take off on a life-changing adventure. Where would you go? What would you do?
When it comes to a Real-Life Makeover, asking questions like this can help you see what you really, truly want from life. You don't have to actually set your plan in motion. Sometimes just the very act of imagining a dream life can bring to the foreground parts of yourself you've been neglecting.
Advertisements for the film feature women sharing their own version of Elizabeth Gilbert's adventure, and to imagine your own, let's for a moment put aside any feelings you might have about this book, its author, the movie, or its star (although if you have ill will towards Javier Bardem, you can just move right along).
Here's something important to remember before we begin: taking care of yourself is never selfish. You're never going to be as great as a mom, partner, employee, or friend as you could be if your personal well has run dry. Breathing life into your dreams, going after what you want, imagining a life that would delight and excite you--these are all vital practices in learning how to live a valuable, meaningful life. And you can't be good for anyone else if you can't do right by yourself.
So put aside the feelings that this is a selfish exercise. Maybe it is. Maybe it isn't. Who cares? It's just a game of pretend that could, for five minutes on a day in August, make you feel like life is filled with possibility and adventure. And what could be so wrong with that?
Here are some questions to get you thinking:
1. How long would your adventure last? A whole year?
2. Do you want to learn a skill, like pastry making in Paris or painting in Provence?
3. Where have you always wanted to go?
4. What area of your life is begging for your attention: emotional, physical, spiritual, intellectual?
5. What have you always wanted to try?
More from Real-Life Makeover:
- 7 ways to live the good life for less
- Making the most of your daily life
- A beginner's guide to meditation