You’ve got 10 minutes to change your life with HIV in 50 ways. Get to it!
Here is an exercise I tried because I was feeling stuck in life after finding out my son was HIV positive. I wasn’t sure what was wrong, but the daily grind I had fallen into was not satisfying that voice in me that insisted there was something else out there for me. There was something more that I could do.
After trying desperately to understand what was going on, reading HIV books, searching the internet, and working with doctors and counselors, I was given a suggestion that became a catalyst for some pretty big personal changes.
Here is how you can change your life in 10 minutes, step by step:
Clear all distractions. Turn off the phone, the iPod, the laptop. Close your door, and go to a peaceful place.
Sit down at a desk or table, with a blank piece of paper and a pen in front of you. No typing on your laptop this time.
Set an alarm for 10 minutes.
Go. Write down 50 things you want to do, know, or change about living with HIV. The sky is the limit.
Don’t be realistic. Don’t put limits on yourself. Dream big time. Write down the craziest things you can think of, as well as the things that you don’t even think are worth mentioning because they are so wild or so simple. Write ’em down.
Work quickly. 10 minutes isn’t very long, and you have 50 items to come up with, if you can. Don’t think about whether or not to write down an idea – just do it. Write everything that comes to mind, even if it doesn’t make sense because there is no cure or your not in a relationship or whatever. Just keep on writing.
Something happens after about 5 or 10 minutes if you really get into this exercise. You stop worrying about exactly what the ideas are, and you start to get down to something in your gut that may have been locked away for a while. In an effort to get through 50 things in 10 minutes, you start to write things down that you aren’t even really sure you want, but that come from somewhere down deep inside of you.
Leave the list for a day. Try not to look at it, and certainly don’t change it. The following day, sit down and look at your list. How many of the items on it are something you can do? Can you see your way to making it happen? Anything that surprises you?
The point of this exercise is not to create one more list of things that never gets done. Not one more set of dreams that don’t come true. Instead, it is simply to open up your mind to what you really want in your life with HIV. Now we can start talking about getting there.