Happy almost New Year! A few weeks ago I looked at the last vision board I made and realized that, in one way or another, I had accomplished everything on it. What an incredible year it’s been! I decided to make another one with a friend and realized how appropriate it was to start reflecting on what I want for my life as the year comes to an end. I would have made the new vision board anyway, but creating it at the end of the year seemed like a great way to honor 2015, reflect, and move into 2016 inspired and with a clear purpose.
I’m fairly new to vision boards. A wonderful teacher of mine, Anne Margaret, was the first one to give me an “assignment” to do one. I resisted it soooooooooooo hard! I felt like it was another one of those corny new-age hippie things. But, I made that vision board (it was my homework after all), and it actually changed my life.
For me, it seems like the power in vision boards is two fold. Primarily, it helps you get clear. It pushes you to think in a new way that is actually kinda uncomfortable.
We don’t often spend time actually thinking about what we want in our life. We definitely spend more time focusing on things we don’t want. Thinking about what we don’t want is important, but without thinking about what we do want, it’s hard to pull away from old patterns. For example, take “I don’t want to be sick”. Ok, that’s great. But what does that mean? Does that mean you want to eat clean? Does that mean you want to exercise? Does that mean you want to take medication? Or move out of the city to get more fresh air? Vision boards help us actually put together some ideas about what we do want and how we can get in action to start living out the things we do want.
The second power of the vision board is taking action. On my first vision board I had a photo of a beautiful baked/stuffed red onion. The photo was gorgeous, and I had no idea how to make the dish. At the time I was still a social worker and becoming a private chef and health coach was not even a seed of a thought in my mind. I had to take an action based on my vision board, so I signed up for a cooking class I wouldn’t have normally treated myself to. In that class I met an amazing teacher, who I eventually interned for (8 months later). She also encouraged me to go to an open house at the Natural Gourmet, where I ended up getting a job within the year. Who knew a picture of an onion would lead me to working at a place that I have seriously idealized for more than a decade.
Putting some pictures on a piece of poster board is great, but that in itself isn’t going to make magic. You still need to push yourself, you still need to take action. After all, it’s your life! And, the scarier the better! The greatest rewards come from doing things that push us outside of our comfort zone. So yes, be afraid, and put that image up there anyway. Think about what you truly want without any modifiers or doubts. It may not happen this year, next year, or even within the next decade – but you never know. Just articulating what you want is the beginning of the magic formula.
I’d love to see your boards! I’ve been getting photos from clients and it’s so amazing and inspiring. I’ve been hearing back that just the process of creating one is transformative (and I agree :)). Mine’s right here with this post. For me, this year is about amazing friendships and communities, physical badass strength, honoring and continuing to trust my intuition, heart expanding collaborations with women I love, and cooking for yoga and meditation retreats in beautiful places around the world. And, just to be totally honest, the little girl on there that’s kinda hiding, well, she represents the family I hope to have one day. It’s not a 2016 goal, but it’s just something I like to acknowledge as a deep desire.
So much love to you always,