Make Your Life Your Vision Board
Let’s talk vision boards. Have you ever heard of vision boards or done a vision board?
Here’s a quick take on the concept. You create a visual representation on a bulletin board or a poster board, or you could even do it digitally through something like Canva or Photoshop. And it has visual representations of the things you want to be, accomplish, and possess.
I have heard of vision boards pretty much all of my adult life. My first introduction to the concept was actually not a terribly positive one. It was back in college and a gal in my dorm who was struggling with the “freshmen 15,” those pound that a lot of folks gain their first year at college. She was really lamenting the weight. And so she cut out from a magazine a picture of a supermodel in a bikini, and then she cut out a picture of her smiling face and taped it on the body of that supermodel in her bikini and put it on her bathroom mirror so that every day she would see it and be inspired to get skinny.
And between you, me and everyone on the internet, it didn’t work so well. It kind of sent her into a spiral of self comparison and frustration and self judgment. She was genetically predisposed to grow no taller than, like, 5’2”. And the supermodel I’m sure was, like, 5’10”. And it was just a not healthy way to try to envision something better for her future. So I kind of shelved the whole idea of vision boards as something that might not be the best way to exert energy and time.
Fast forward a few decades to my grownup life and many more life experiences, and here I am, once again in the realm of consideration or vision boards. This has come about because of some great learning and exposure to some amazingly accomplished, reputable, inspiring people—some of whom you would have heard of—who purport the benefits of vision boards. I actually attended an online conference a few weeks ago in which this was one of the encouraged activities.
Create your vision board—because there is something to the idea of setting a goal, having a vision, and being inspired to then put intention behind it. A quality approach to a vision board, very different from what I was first exposed to back in college, is to align aspiration and intention in a way that is healthy and is focused on the steps in between to motivate you to take the action, to achieve that desired result that you’re focused on. So here I am giving them consideration and a chance in my grown-up life.
And I’m also very inspired because the people that I mentioned who are highly accomplished and reputable and even very well-known nationally and internationally, some of them have had success with it. They’ve created vision boards and then been able to look back at that vision board that they had stared at and studied for so many months and see the manifestation of those visions. And that sounds very inspiring and cool.
And as much as I say, I’ve never given vision boards a chance, that’s kind of not accurate when I look at it in a more broad sense.
It’s a little, yeah, more tangible and not necessarily something physically stuck on the wall, but like when I needed to start a new chapter in my life after some drama that happened back in my late twenties, I set a vision. I cast a goal to get myself to a new state, to a new job, to a new place, to an entirely fresh chapter in life. And though I didn’t cut out things from a magazine and I didn’t have words on a bulletin board or a screen, I definitely had an idea, a picture in my mind of what the future could be bringing me. There weren’t tons of details because I didn’t know what fully to expect, but I knew there was a ton of hope on the other side of a lot of action that I was going to take.
So that is a personal life example of—when I’m honest and look back and go, yeah, I’ve done some vision casting…but here’s the deal. That’s just one example. There are other times in my life where I have kind of set something out there. Whether it was just a goal that I was creating and aspired to achieve or a true prayer that I lifted up to God and said, “please, I offer this to you.; this is my desire.” That was a form of vision boarding, I suppose.
Another great example that is very near and dear to me…and I have blogcast about this previously…but I’ll touch on it now. I, before I met my husband, I sat down and I wrote a little prayer on a post-it note as is my practice. And I folded it up really tight, and I put it in a little basket of my prayers to God. And I asked for a man who would be of integrity and handsome, and that he would “have eyes to see me fully.” I wanted to be fully seen.
And then—when I met my husband… We met in may and got married in December of the same year, a few months after our marriage. I pulled out that little prayer that I honestly had gotten that I had prayed so very specifically. And when I read “I pray he has eyes to see me fully,” I burst into tears because my husband happens to be completely blind, but he does see me fully in that truest sense that I had expressed in my prayer.
And frankly, that story, as well as the story from my late twenties when I was looking to start a new life—the thing about visioning that I know to be true through my own life experience: that my vision, my ability to dream, is much less than God’s ability to dream for me.
So yeah, I’m thankful that I’ve had deep desires and I’ve expressed them and I’ve cast that vision so to speak, but then I didn’t limit it to what I know from what I see around me. It’s not limited to the pictures in the magazines or on the internet. God has bigger things in mind. I could have never imagined the amazing life that awaited me in my new state when I set my intention and then put my actions towards getting there. God threw out the welcome mat! One day, I’ll tell you that whole story, ‘cause it is so cool—just in all the amazing details, stuff I could have never even known to dream about. My husband is just another example of, “oh my goodness;” I had no idea what awaited me. I just put what I knew to put out there to God in a prayer, and it was answered beyond measure.
So I never want my visioning to limit what could be coming, what could exist. So with all that in mind, I’m going to give vision boarding a chance. I actually created one digitally on my laptop. And I keep it as a screenshot on my phone, on my camera roll. if you follow me you know, I’m digitally decluttered. So I don’t keep a lot of things on my camera roll on my phone, but that is one that merits a spot on my camera roll so that I can see it…’cause I do have some very clear desires for the next chapters and steps in my life. But as for the details, I’m going to leave them open because, as I mentioned, God dreams so much bigger for me than I even know how to. So I’m going to keep you posted as this vision board concept comes to fruition as I refer to it so that it aligns my aspiration with my intention and action, and it’s going to be exciting to see what happens.
I absolutely trust that there are more good things to come, wonderful things to come. And I’m inspired by the quality human beings that have been put in my path and that I have sought out who have shared this concept in a more healthy and clear way.
I also know it’s human nature that once we attain certain things—it’s called hedonic adaptation, actually— we think this new thing is going to add to our happiness and just be so joyous. And the reality is we kind of go back to homeostasis—to however happy we were before the thing. We kind of resolve back to that point after a momentary elation. So I haven’t… I’m very happy now. I’m very peaceful now. So those things that I’m aspiring to, I fully acknowledge won’t make me happier. But they will be a fuller expression of what I have to bring to the world and what I want to share.
So that is my purpose in this endeavor. I’m not seeking extra happiness or extra peacefulness because I need to find that where I am here.
And now I really like the Stockdale paradox. I have also done a blogcast about that before. James Stockdale was a prisoner of war during Vietnam. He was actually the highest ranking prisoner of war, and he was detained for a very long time, and he got out and made it to the other side and went on to have a very incredibly successful life. In his, the Stockdale paradox (I’ll provide a link back to that original blogcast), but basically he says, while we can never lose faith in the ultimate outcome—that things are going to go well, we have to deal with the reality, no matter how harsh it is in the day to day.
So as I’m vision casting, and I’m looking ahead at new things that I’m hoping and striving for, I realize that there’s the nit and grit of the day-to-day to make it happen. And once I get there, I’m bringing me with me. So whatever’s going on inside of me and my spirit and my psyche and my happiness, I’m just bringing with. So I need to be happy now.
A final thought… This struck me.
One of the things I envision is a different house. We call it our “next house,” not our “dream house “because my husband and I believe we are fully on the path to attain the house of our desires that will include areas for recording and in a little more space, and that we can choose a lot of the features that we would have built into the home. So we do call it our next house, not our dream house. And I, over two years ago, actually drew the floor plan for this house. So I see it very clearly. So there’s an example, I suppose, of a vision board of sorts and that I drew the floor plan for this house that we desire and are on a path to achieve. But I realized, after all this discussion of vision boarding and the creation of my digital vision board that includes the floor plan for this house I’m talking about, I started to think so much about the future that I wasn’t as present in the moment here in the lovely home that we already have. Yeah. I realized where I am now in this physical space, in my career, in my body and in my spirit, this is my ultimate vision board for the future. Whatever I’m creating and generating and being and focusing on now is just a reflection of what is to come.
So—take care of this lovely home that we’re in now. We updated our patio and put in some landscaping and I have a bird feeder out now because, though we don’t think this is our forever home, it’s a reflection of the detail and the care that will be in that next home that we’re seeking to attain. Me and my physical state, am I taking care of myself now? Am I in terms of the desires for my career path and what I want to create and bring out the world, am I doing the work now? My life is my ultimate vision board.
So there are some thoughts. What do you think about all this? I think it’s really interesting. The vision casting and, honestly, even some very specific goal setting was not always part of who I was because I never want to limit the opportunities that may present themselves to me so that I have the option to make the choices.
So, I have come to a place where I realized casting a vision and setting goals helps point the ship in the right direction. And then it’s important to be open to the opportunities and the variations and the interpretations that you might not have expected for those things that you desire. That’s where I’m at.
So I’m living it. I’m being it. I’m creating it now, but I’m trusting—palms open as I pray—and trusting that God dreams bigger than I even know how to! So, exciting days to come.
Thanks for hanging in and listening. I’ll keep you posted.
Have a great one. Thanks for being here.
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