Your Secret Lives


I thought I’d share a fun little treat for your imagination. I’ve been playing with this all week and it’s actually led to some interesting revelations.

I got this idea from an exercise in The Artist’s Way, and then a friend of mine started a Pinterest board called “The secret life I’ve always wanted it to live!” and filled it with the most gorgeous, gypsy-themed photos. I’m planning to steal this idea and create my own “secret life” vision board, or maybe a few of them, or maybe a whole series of artwork of some kind!

So here it is:

If you had, say, 5 other lives to live,  who would you be in each of them? 

Just play with that for awhile. I don’t know about you, but my imagination went totally nuts.

Here’s what I came up with:

1-I’d live up in or by the mountains with a horse and some chickens. I’d go for lots of long rides and hikes, I’d grow a lot of my own food and make my own cheese. I’d do lots of looking and not much talking.

2-I’d be a contemporary dancer. I’ve always wanted to dance, I paint dancers a lot, and even though my skills are somewhat less than extraordinary, I don’t doubt that there’s a dancer in me somewhere.

3-A minimalist traveler, living out of a backpack and working my way around the world. I’d observe, write, draw, connect, and let things flow out of my life as quickly as they flow in. Drink it in, express it, move on.

4-A musician. I actually have a lot of undeveloped musical talent, I just don’t know what I’d do with it at this point. In this imaginary life, I’d be a drummer in a rock band, I’d carry a harmonica in my purse with a notebook full of song lyrics. I’d take the time to train my voice properly and keep my piano and composing skills sharp.

5-A geologist/rock climber. I’d travel to explore and study the world’s most beautiful landscapes and write all about it.

Then I got carried away and came up with one more:

6-A surfer, with long wavy hair and a beach shack. I’d surf and swim in the ocean every day, eat mangoes to my heart’s content and get around town on a skateboard in my cargo shorts and tank tops. I’d never run out of sunshine.

This is a silly, self-indulgent little game, but I learned that by doing this, I was actually tapping into neglected parts of myself that long to be expressed. 

I really encourage you to make a list of your own and then mine it for clues to what you might be secretly longing for in your life. Noticing leads to consciousness of this longing, and consciousness leads to plans, which lead to action. This doesn’t have to lead to a big drastic life overhaul though. I like my life and being an artistwriter and I chose that life for a reason.

However, here’s what my secret lives are telling me:

  • I need to get outside more. Several of these lives are all about the outdoors; rock climbing, surfing, hiking, and horseback riding. I don’t need to move to the country, but I can go hiking a lot more often, maybe plan a trip to a national park or a beach to learn to surf. I live in Utah for crying out loud, so I’m sure I can find a way to ride horses every once in awhile. That’s actually a big one. I grew up riding horses, but I haven’t ridden in years. This is a sign that it’s time to get back in the saddle, literally.
  • Just because I’ve chosen visual art and writing as my mediums doesn’t mean that I should let my musical talents go to waste. I took piano and voice lessons for many years and I used to compose, but I’m quite rusty. I feel very untrained, but music is a very intuitive thing for me and I know it’s an important part of my life. I could look into bringing my piano home from my parents’ house, or I could ask to practice on a piano at my church a few days a week.
  • I need to set up a separate savings account to save for trips. If you’ve seen my Handprint List, you know that travel is important to me. I’ve made it to China and New York so far, but I’ve got a long way to go. It’s unlikely that I’ll pull up roots to travel Eat Pray Love style, but this little action will help get me on a plane to somewhere. Baby steps.
  • Finally, I need to connect to my body. I’ve always been a very cerebral person, so I’ve spent my life as a brain riding around in a very awkward, unconditioned puppet body. I’ve ALWAYS wanted to dance, so maybe I should look into taking a class. The nice thing about me working full-time again is that I have a lot of extra wiggle room in my budget, so things like a dance class is feasible.

Look at your own imaginary lives and notice what you can do NOW to feed those parts of yourself. They can be as simple as picking up a library book about a topic you’ve always wanted to learn about, or visiting a local farm to milk a cow. You don’t have to pull up roots (unless that’s what you’re being called to do) but you can expand your horizon a  bit.

What are your secret lives? What are they telling you? 

Posted on January 23, 2012, in Authenticity, Goals, Handprint List and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Tana Besendorfer

    I love this thought. I just thought I was a weirdo because I think about different lives all the time, but what I haven’t done is thought about what my life is in need of in connection with these “secret lives” thoughts. Maybe I need to focus a bit more on that aspect and fulfill some of those needs. Thanks Kella!

  2. I like this thought too, but you’re so realistic. It would definitely be cool to be a ninja.. ;D. Fun game 😀

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