This is a blog repost from 2012. I’m gearing up to do my third one! I gained my state clinical license and got a promotion when I hunkered down and put my dreams on a canvas board. Staring at that board daily served as a constant reminder of where I was and where I wanted to go. Are there still dreams still yet to be realized? Yep. Are there still some things I need to do? For sure! It’s just the beginning.
Vision boards have been all the rage for some time now and although I’ve been off the Oprah band wagon for years now, I think I came across the concept some time back from one of her earlier magazines. Yet I do stand on two verses: one that cautions against lack of vision and another that says to speak those things that are not as though they are. From business retreats, to classrooms, to women’s groups, vision board activities have propelled people from just day to day “grinding” to actually seeing fruits of their labor.
Nearly ten years ago, I took on a vision board project as I’d become fed up with paying rent for our tiny apartment. The space had outgrown our possessions and our dreams. I placed on our small hallway wall a large poster with huge, fancy homes resplendent with double stairways and wraparound porches. I still yearn for that antebellum home surrounded by oak trees and weeping willows. Scarlet O’Hara’s drapes would look just fine billowing in the windows. You get the point. When my husband and I signed on our home one day before our lease was up, I knew that the vision board was part of this journey.
On this particular Friday evening, I’m psyched because it’s been a long week and my gal pals and I are prepping for a girl’s night out–or rather girl’s night in. We’re vision board partying after dark and with good food, good company, good music, and great supplies we are ready for anything. No dressing up or make up required. All that’s needed is a huge table that can hold our boards and the many supplies that are brought. Armed with magazines of every genre, quote books, glue stick (lots of glue sticks), scrap book odds and ends, we are ready to embark on this night of conversation and pasting.
It’s not for the faint of heart. You must be willing to share your heart’s desires with fellow participants and be willing to face some questions about where it is you feel your board is leading you. In the process of cutting and pasting, you may decide to share some nagging thoughts and as your hands are busy your mind is taking you elsewhere. You soon find that something new has made it on the board. Constructive feedback is the norm and sometimes based on what’s been shared, you’ll find a clipping slid your way, a quiet suggestion that “girl, this needs to make it on your board!” Be ready for open-ended questions that aren’t meant to bring you down, but to get you delving deeper into your search for meaning to your visions.
It’s not for the serious in mind. It’s a light hearted time where your creative juices run rampant and that inner child emerges. Your artsy self rears its cute little head and it becomes the “who can make a prettier board” contest. Not everyone will take home a project a la Van Gogh and it’s less about presentation and more about content. Just don’t take it personal when you get teased for your choice of themes. Some people are perfectionist while others are just happy they made it to the meetup and tape will do just fine, thank you very much!
Before we know it, it’s two am and the time has gotten away from us. I don’t recall the last time I was out this late doing something this more meaningful. I ride home exhausted and pleased with myself. The board now sits in the hall of my home right where I can see it from my bed. I get both excited and nervous each time I walk by. I’m excited because I’ve been brave enough to put images and words to paper. I’m nervous because I’m not sure if I can actually meet these lofty goals.
The vision board didn’t buy our home. That came through prayer, hard work, and saving our pennies. But it did set the stage to keep us accountable in the pursuit of this one small dream in the landscape of our lives as a couple. The board isn’t the answer, but rather the question. Questions that include: why do you want this, how will you do it, and who will you need on your team to do it?
The vision board may be your journal, your diary, or just some quick notes you jot down every now and then of dreams you’ve woken up from. Spend the time encouraging your wild at heart dreams to move from your heart into your throat and finally into the atmosphere.