March 31, 2014

How to Make a Vision Board

Despite the fact that making a Vision Board failed to show up in Esquire’s list of “84 Things a Man Should do Before He Dies” this month, and despite the fact that I am not a man – which I suppose precludes me from abiding by that list anyway – I made a Vision Board this weekend!  

While I had started the project about a month or so ago, the Vision Board was my official kickoff to a spiritual and emotional cleanse I’m going on – a two-week period of some much-needed Sarah soul searching, complete with all that self-help-y shit that I love: yoga, meditation, self-help books, and a bit of massage and acupuncture sprinkled in.  The accompanying text to my retreat is Dr. Wayne Dyer’s Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life: Living The Wisdom of the Tao, which is a contemporary study of the 81 verses of the Tao Te Ching.  Similar to how The Power of Now reshaped my thinking, Dyer’s book is already transformative.  Take this gem, for example:

A composer once told me that the silence from which each note emerges is more important than the note itself.  He said that it’s the empty space between the notes that literally allows the music to be music—if there’s no void, there’s only continuous sound.

And also this:

Have a mind that’s willing to flow with life and be shaped by the eternal forces of the Tao.  See yourself as all of these things . . . watchful, yet relaxed and peaceful; alert, yet unhurried and confident; yielding, yet willing to be still and wait for the waters to become clear. . . . Let go of your demands and trust in the perfecting unfolding of the Tao.

How this connected to the Vision Board process is that reflecting on these passages (in addition to others) forced me to take an intuitive and relaxed approach to it.  Here are a few things I learned along the way.

My Vision Board
Develop your Vision Board in two steps.  Since I had collected my magazine clippings about month ago (a process which for me took considerable energy even though I freaking love magazines), during Step 2 I had the energy to sift through what I had previously collected and piece together the ones that had instinctive, meaning, and/or visual interest to me.  I found it interesting that the majority of the ones I had previously clipped were ones that I wound up placing on my board, which speaks to the value in trusting our instincts and intuition.  Surprisingly, some random images wound up appearing on my board, which I’m still contemplating the potential meaning of: reindeer, woman running with cheetahs, and a dog yawning while he waits for his morning coffee.  WTF, right?  Only time will tell. 

Don’t be limited by your visual attraction to an image.  My eye was attracted to lots of ocean-themed images, so much as that if I used them all, my board would’ve consisted of half an ocean.  I scaled that back intentionally to make room for other meaningful images, but nonetheless my board wound up having a strong water element.  I don’t know if that implies that I’m meant to live by the water or if there's a different meaning, but as a Piscean with traits of fluidity and mutability (as symbolized by water), these are the essence of who I am.  This, I believe, is contrasted by what I desire in a partner, hence the word "protect" in the upper left-hand corner of the board.

Listen to calming music (or nothing at all) during your Vision Board process.  I am a music junkie, but because I wanted to hear my flow during my Vision Board-ing, I chose to have contemporary pianist George Winston playing softly in the background.  If you like that sort of thing, you’ll dig him, if not, Chopin is always good or anything with an emotionally neutral sound.  

Consider layout in addition to content.  But let your intuition guide you.  I let my intuition guide where I pasted my clippings, but I was also cognizant of subject and theme.  For example, in the center I pasted a large image centering on relationships – platonic, romantic, familial, etc., but within that I placed a quote that read: “You want to reveal what life is like—to show things we may never fully understand.”  This was clearly something that resonated with me on both a philosophical and creative level.  At the core, connecting and getting to the depth of someone/something is essential to me.  I believe that this is tied to some kind of creative purpose for me.  

Let the board speak for itself and give it time for meaning to unfold.  Don’t think too much when you’re compiling because the outcome will be more surprising and illuminating than you realize.  While clearly love and relationships are important to me, it occurred to me that the kind of relationship I desire is not only one that has a strong protection foundation (vital for me), but also closeness, intimacy, and perhaps adventure.  (Case in point being the couple embracing on the motorcycle and the quote beside it that says, “Everyday will never be the same.”)

Some Vision Board experts say to hide your board away after completion, others say to hang it in a visible spot.  I've taken the latter route and have displayed it because in trusting my intuition I am confident the board is a symbol of what matters to me and what is in store.  IMHO, having the board be visible – at least temporarily – is a gentle reminder of that.    

In case you're interested in reading more about Vision Boards, I found this article by Martha Beck from O Magazine inspiring.  

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