Week 52: Vision Board
I’m one of them.
Okay guys. I’ve either been converted to your typical manifestation-minded, crystal-gazing, sound-bath-hearing, goat-yoga-loving Californian…or vision boards can be a really powerful tool in moving towards our fullest potentials.
As a native to this wild land of Queen Calafia, I am very Californian in many ways, and proud of it. And even if I wasn’t, even I was a drab, beach-hating, corporate-loving person — creating a vision board would still be transformative and powerful.
As long as it’s created with the right approach.
(I’m actually not a beach-lover.)
Up until this year, I’ve thought vision boards were these gluey conglomerations of all the material stuff a person wanted in her life. Houses in Switzerland and Brazil and Japan, a plane or two, a leisurely vacations, a hot partner, a gorgeous diamond…on the left ring finger.
All of these things are awesome. But I used to feel this tension between wanting material things and asking a higher power to just give to me what was best for me…what would open my world up and allow my potential to unfold. I actually felt like wanting material things would limit my life.
Well, folks. Although I have resolved that inner tension, my distaste for vision boards need not have existed. Because vision boards are actually not about material possessions.
First, let’s talk about creating intentions in the first place, sans visuals.
We all know what a recap is. Today, on December 31st, 2018, I can look at the past year and recap what it’s been like. This happened, that happened. I’m about to do that in a moment.
A precap is a recap in advance. It’s script I write today (or any day around this time of year) of what I would like to say a year from now. Sliding into New Year’s Eve 2019, I want to say, “This year was so full because…”
In this precap, specifics are our friends. Sometimes people say that envisioning a specific situation sets you up for disappointment. I say capturing all the little details sets in motion a path for them to come to life. Spending time capturing all the details tells yourself that you’re serious about something happening. Because once a true intention is born, energy starts organising around it.
In considering that vision, questions to consider include…
How do I want to feel? What do I need to flex or maximize? What are experiences I want to have, memories I want to make, contributions I want to give?
What am I no longer available for? People wasting my time, passive-aggressive bullshit, petty drama, people who make empty promises? I mean, RBG doesn’t take nothin’ from no one.
How do I want to be remembered by those who know, love, and understand me?
These questions are very different than only asking what I want to buy or achieve in order for me to feel proud of myself. That, too, is a great question to ask, but more important than asking myself what I want to do is asking myself questions like the above…questions directed at who I want to be.
Who do I want to be in 2019?
This is obviously a huge question, and one that can overwhelm people, myself included. I want to be so many things! But there is a streamlined way to circumvent the magnitude of this question, and it has to do with…feelings. Your favorite topic, right?
Being and feeling are way more intimately related than being and knowing, being and thinking, being and doing. We all know people who do great, powerful things, money-generating things, and are miserable.
E.E. Cummings puts it best in this quote. (Read this short article.)
Being, my friends, implies feeling. When we feel, we can only inhabit our own individual selves. Which is what a precap and its visual representation — a vision board — are all about.
And I’m talking about the deep feelings, the feelings beneath the surface level emotions. The feelings that are so potent, they clearly are soul-level. The inner guidance these feelings provide us with, and the act of not betraying them for some ‘should,’ are vital to creating a meaningful, intentional life.
For myself, out of all the feelings I love feeling, I want to feel grounded, purposeful, loved, the wilderness within me, supported, fierce, met, and abundantly resourced in 2019. Of course, there are other feelings I value — some even more so — but I might already feel those consistently, or now may be not the time for them to be major players in my life. These 2019 feelings speak to where I want to go in the next steps of my life, and these are my internal upleveling for the next year.
Some of them aren’t easy for me to feel — maybe that’s why I haven’t felt them enough — and so having an intention to embrace them more can open so many doors to growth.
So, in essence, a precap is identifying how one wants to feel, and from there identifying things that could happen to help her feel that way. All the specifics that come — the details that are important to envision — are from experiences that evoke those feelings.
Okay, back to the vision board.
The most powerful way to use a visual is not to cut out things you want to buy or consume. It is to creating this representation of how you want to feel.
Putting the written words of the precap into action is the true power of what a vision board is.
I’m a hands-on, visual person, and would happily take a good old bulletin board, white board, or planner over any online resource. I love the feeling of writing something down, and I feel way more committed to doing something when I’ve written it with my own hand.
But even if you’re not as hands-on, vision boards still help the precap come to life. These images give the precap another dimension of existing.
The wilderness of Mongolia. The fierce look on a Padmé’s face. A gorgeous, roomy house. It’s not necessarily wanting a house — it’s desiring the feeling of spaciousness that the house evokes in me.
How do these things even work? Isn’t it kind of wishful thinking, or hopeful magic?
There are so many crazy stories about vision boards — people slapping things on and getting just that. Someone gluing on an emerald ring, and getting proposed to with that ring. Someone choosing on a nice house, buying a house, and looking back to see that — shock — it was the exact same house. A woman wanting a husband and a baby, forgetting a man on her vision board, and winding up as a single mother a year later. Whoops! (That woman does not make vision boards anymore.)
Every so often, these things do happen, but it’s not always the case. When vision boards work for everyone who makes one is when their creation is approached from a feeling-state place.
It’s important to know that shoulds don’t work on this thing. Say someone wants to feel empowered and they put a photo of a running shoe — hoping it will motivate them to run. Not just any running shoe, but a gorgeous, gold and white pair of Nike Air Vapormaxs. (I’m drooling, lol.) But if all she feels is anxiety when she walks by that vision board and sees the shoes, the board is doing the opposite of what it’s meant to do.
So how does this work…? Is it magic?
The act of writing down a precap and creating a visual representation helps the brain get to work on how that could happen. That opens the door for magic, which is just another word for energy organising around an intention. Imagine a zygote in the womb developing into a baby. In a way, it’s magic, but it’s also just science — energy organising around an intention, a life.
And what is manifestation, anyways? It’s a mix of intentional grease plus elbow grease.
As the saying goes: pray with your feet. Don’t expect to slap things on and wait for them to happen. The point of a vision board is to align yourself — be really clear about — how you’re wanting to feel. Create it, look at it, let it be an inspiration, and put it in a place where it’s near you. Be ready to say yes, and to do work, when the opportunity that leads to your feeling-state arises.
I think that at any given time, there are thousands of angels waiting for us to ask them for help. We don’t have to do everything by ourselves, and a vision board is a great reminder that, when we design our own dreams, we can be so assisted in helping them come to life.
This is all to say that I am making a precap and a vision board for 2019.
There are so many feeling-invoking images to choose from, I’m having to be so selective in narrowing them down. In this process, I’m letting my first reaction to the images guide me instead of becoming too mental about whether each one brings up one of my 2019 feelings.
With some feelings, I have not found images that recall them. With some images, other wonderful feelings have found their way in, and that’s okay.
I won’t write a tell-all here, but here are some snippets:
Right before 2020, I want to say, “This year was so wonderful. I really moved into empowerment. This year, I finally befriended my direction-finding duck, also known as intuition. This year, my book was published and so well received. This year, I had the financial resources to make all the choices I wanted to. I am especially grateful for being able to invest in the trainings and retreats I’ve been eyeing. I spent so much of this year feeling fuzzy and fulfilled inside, and I allowed myself to receive fully within my relationships. This year...”
I want to remember the moment my publisher emails in 2019 and says, “Holy guac! Your book sales have blown the charts.” The moment I’m watching the Estonian sun set at 10 p.m. in August. The moment I pay off the last cent of my credit card debt. The moment after I received my 12th massage of the year. How I committed to giving myself time every morning for creative and intuitive and connecting processes, before I jumped into the flow of my day. The moment I crossed the half-marathon finish line.
How do you want to feel? What do you want to remember?
Be warned: make sure you’re in alignment with what you say you want…cause it just might happen.
And if you’re wondering why a picture of Jar Jar Binks is on my vision board, it’s because it makes me feel love for my weird, inner alien.