I have always thought that making a vision board is a great idea, and leads to ideas and inspiration and alchemical magic. In theory. I do recommend it as an exercise for my clients. But actually getting me to sit with scissors and glue and a stack of old Oprah magazines? Not bloody likely.
I can be surprisingly cynical.
For years, my first attempt at a vision “board” has languished in obscurity, an anemic, outdated smattering of photos and ransom-note lettering hidden behind more recent information that hangs from my office wall.
It was an insult to vision boards and vision board creators, and for this, I apologize.
I realize now that I wasn’t reaching high enough to create a meaningful vision for my life, and that was mirrored back to me on my vision board. I had kept my aspirations small—not even enough to cover the 8 ½ x 11 sheet of copy paper I used for my ‘board’. I wasn’t thinking, “Oz—the great and powerful!” but rather “Dorothy—the small and meek.”
The thought of making a new vision board brought up other thoughts. Unkind thoughts. Thoughts about the impossibility of filling an entire poster board with gorgeous, inspiring images. Negative, dispiriting thoughts of all sorts—from “what a waste of time” to “I’ll never get what I wish for.”
I. Was. Wrong.
I accepted an invitation to hang out with some fellow coaches and make a vision board for 2015. Despite my trepidation about the exercise, the desire to meet my posse of local coaches was strong enough to propel me 65 miles straight into the maw of the vision board beast.
It was a revelation.
I didn’t know you could own a set of scissors that created patterned edges.
My new vision board is mostly covered in phrases that inspire me. Like “I feel like dining out tonight,” and “no reason to hide,” and “gentle power.” According to my new vision board, I want to “crack life open,” travel in a land of marvels, and have “room for new ideas.” I’m brave, fearless, bold, optimistic, grateful, and my bathroom gets upgraded. I embrace “the gifts of imperfection,” live in the moment, and “ready or not,” I “achieve many levels of deliciousness.” My life is “surprising” and I’m “doing fine.” It’s one giant “success story.”
There are a few images on my board—a lobster (actually, TWO lobsters), a washable plush duckie, and an impossible photo of a tree whose roots have grown up into the side of an ancient house and propelled that tree up over the roof, where it reaches skyward. I have no idea why the duck is there, or the tree growing through and over the house, except that there must be some metaphorical connection I don’t yet grasp. I’m looking forward to what the future reveals about them.
The lobsters, my favorite luxury food, are represented in abundance, and I can’t deny the frisson of magical delight I felt when I was invited to dinner this week and served champagne and…wait for it… a lobster pot pie. “SEE? It’s happening already!” I thought to myself, giddy from the champagne and delirious with lobster joy.
As if that weren’t enough proof that six impossible things can happen before breakfast, less than a week after I made the board, I was hired to give a half-day workshop at a local hospital, and several new clients have appeared.
Coincidence? Maybe. Success story? Definitely.
If you feel like taking a break from the world and focusing on what delights you, create a vision board. I hope the results will surprise you, and moreover, I hope you can get your hands on some of those wicked cool scissors. Send photos.