As difficult as it is to admit to myself, let alone publicly, I have never had a plan for my life. I'm of the generation and grooming (read patriarchal bullshit) that my life's direction would be determined for me by the men in my life. Growing up my dad's dream job for me was to pump gas, wearing a bikini top and daisy duke shorts at the gas station he dreamed of owning. When I was married, my career choices and own dreams and desires were put on hold or overwritten all in the name of being a good wife and mother. I was good at flying by the seat of my pants and pivoting when his career path required or life happened. None of which has gotten me any closer to my goal. Let's be honest, I didn't have any goals of my own. So when my marriage of twenty years ended I was lost and without direction.
But more importantly, I was left with the question, "What do I want?" The answers didn't come quickly or easily. I needed to sit with it and get honest with myself and the truth is, I want to be an artist, not the starving kind but the thriving kind.
In the process of discovery I learned about visualization (from my therapist) and manifesting (from Gabby Bernstein). Visualization as Webster defines it is "formation of mental visual images". I used this technique in therapy to blow shit up, as a means of letting go. Let me tell you, visualizing that mushroom cloud dissipate was so empowering. That same technique is just as powerful when calling in the positive as releasing the negative. The process of visualizing directs your subconscious to be aware of the end goal in mind. A vision board is your visualizations brought to life. According to Gabby Bernstein the important thing to remember when creating a vision board is to be specific as possible. If you want to be on a magazine cover for example, be very specific which magazine, because "Vogue" and "Field and Stream" are both magazines.
Vision boards became popular around 2006 when the book "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne came out. I would discover vision boards for myself later when I was deciding whether or not to move to Colorado. In order to get clear about what I truly wanted I started creating vision boards. The first one was rudimentary and simple, more of a bulletin board with wishes that changed frequently. Over the years, I have found that by referring back to them and having them where I can see them and be reminded of the path I'm on, they actually help get me back on track especially when I'm at a crossroad, or feeling lost or distracted by other people's priorities. Which is not to say I've been successful in accomplishing all my goals, but I have reached enough to keep me engaged and understand that some goals are too big to reach in a calendar year. Other times I have realized that what I had originally started with no longer lights my soul, lucky for me I'm not afraid to pivot and sometimes that means reworking my vision board mid-year. There is no wrong way to create or use a vision board, but I can tell you from experience that it helps to be able to see it regularly and for me that meant it needed to be visually appealing and not clash with my home decor. Don't judge - I'm a (Virgo) recovering perfectionist.
There is no wrong time to create a vision board though for me it has become a tradition to create one at the beginning of the calendar years. Other milestones, like birthdays or life altering events are good times to get clear and focus on what you want and where you want to go.
I'm currently available to lead vision board workshops. Should you be interested, please reach out.