Vision Board aka Dream Board and Treasure Map

“No self-respecting buccaneer would set sail in search of a buried treasure without a map. Why should you? A personal treasure map is a collage of your ideal life that you create as a visual tool to focus your creative energy in the direction you wish to go.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

Last week I shared my Project 200 vision board with you all. You can see this post HERE. Today, I will share my own vision board process. I first was introduced to Treasure Maps around 1992 after reading Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach. I have done a few vision boards since then. Many of the things on these vision boards have materialized. I know that vision boards are a great way to be clear about intentions and goals and have a visual reminder of these that can be seen on a daily basis. So let me share this process with you.

“The best way to achieve your goals is to keep them top of mind, so you’re always looking for ways to move yourself closer to them – and a vision board is the perfect tool to help you do that.” – Jack Canfield

What Is Needed

  • A surface to glue images – I’ve used mostly large 24″ X 36″ poster boards. I think these can be found at Walmart or that type of stores. Any large cardboard will do. The one I posted last week, was done on poster board cut into a heart shape.
  • Images, words, phrases – I love harvesting these from magazines. The process of flipping through pages to find the right images/words/phrases is a very meditative activity. I have asked friends for their old magazines in the past, for this very purpose. Images, words and phrases can also be found on the internet and printed out.
  • Glue – I like glue sticks the best, Lepage or UHU stic are the ones I’ve used. It is important not to use a wet glue as this will make your images wrinkled.
  • Scissors – I use a regular pair of scissors and sometimes a smaller pair to fussy cut smaller elements. Fussy cutting is definitely not necessary though.
  • Time – Last but not least, I ensure that I set time aside without disturbances for this process. I tend to be slow so I may take 4-6 hours for the whole process. Sometimes I will do this in one session and sometimes I will spread over two sessions.

In Preparation

Sacred Space – First I like to create a sacred space for this process. For me creating a sacred space involves putting on meditative music, burning incense or diffusing aromatherapy oil and lighting a candle.

Visualization – Then I sit quietly with myself, closing my eyes. In my mind’s eyes, I visualize myself living the best life I can imagine. I visualized this with as many details as I can. I start with waking up in the morning and go through the day till I set my head on the pillow at night. What am I doing? Who is with me? What is around me? What do I see? What do I smell? How am I feeling? I spend a few minutes doing this. When I’m ready, I open my eyes and then write about my experience. What has come up for me through this visualization? What are my deepest desires? What are my wants? Needs? How do I want to feel?

Once I’ve done this, I’m ready to create my vision board. I’ve done vision boards before without going through this process and it was fine. However, I find that this process helps with clarity and makes this experience richer for me.

Creating My Vision Board

I take my stack of magazines and I flip through the pages, ripping any images, words and phrases that catch my attention. This is something that I do mostly intuitively. I try not to engage my mind in this process. I trust my inner guidance that has been activated by previously visualizing my best life. From this process, I gather a good stack of images, words and phrases.

Then I look at the images, words and phrases I’ve gathered. Keeping in mind what I have uncovered from my visualization and writing, I keep those that feel aligned with my wants, needs and desires and put the ones that are not aligned aside. I also keep in mind the size of the surface I will put these on.

I fussy cut some of the images, words and phrases and trim the others. I then arrange, without gluing, these on my poster board in a way that is pleasing to me. I prefer having some blank spaces here and there so that things don’t feel too cluttered and chaotic. Once I’m pleased with how I’ve arranged these, I glue each piece in place.

My vision board is now done. I write the date at the back. I now sit with it for a bit, admiring my work.

Activation

I hang my vision board where it is the most visible to me day in and day out. My present one is hanging in my bedroom by my side of the bed. I can see it first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I’ve sometimes placed my vision board in my art room too.

“Research has revealed that images or scenes that are accompanied by intense emotion will stay locked in our memory forever.” – Jack Canfield

It’s important to interact with my vision board on a daily basis, or at least a few times a week. I sit where I can see my vision board clearly. I look at all the elements and imagine these already being a reality in my life. I make this imagining as vivid as I can, adding sounds, smells,  and tastes as well as how I would emotionally and physically feel. Once I have done this, I release these and give thanks to the Universe for making these a reality. Then I go on with my day.

To be honest, I’m not very disciplined with this last step and it is certainly something I need to work on.

Variations

  • I do a vision board for all of my life stuff. Some people like to do different vision boards for different areas of their life, such as one for their personal life and one for their professional life.
  • Some like to use a corkboard and pin their images, words and phrases instead of gluing them on a poster board. Things can be removed, changed around as needed this way. Some people like to have a vision journal to which they keep adding items to.
  • Couples can do a vision board together as well as families.
  • Some people like to start the new year with a new vision board.
  • Some will do a vision board for a specific project or area of their life such as I have done this time around for Project 200.
  • There are places where one can do a vision board digitally online. These can then be used as desktop images on computers, tablets or phones. I personally would not recommend this. There’s something magical, for me, in the creating of a vision board with my hands.

More Ways to Activate Your Vision Board

  • Write affirmations from your vision board.
  • Keep a journal of the future.
  • Express your visions publicly.
  • Surf the internet for your vision.

To Conclude

There is so much information about vision boards on the internet. There might even be videos on youtube. I encourage you to create a vision board for yourself in any way that feels attractive to you. It’s a wonderful thing you can do for yourself. If I can support you in any way through this process, let me know. I would be happy to help in any way I can.

“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” – William Arthur Ward

If you can imagine it and dream it, you are deserving of it!

Happy New Year 2018!

Happy New Year to you!

May 2018 be a year filled with our hearts desires and all that we need on our life journey as evolving and growing human beings.

May we be kind and compassionate with ourselves and all those we cross paths with, be it in our homes, our workplaces, on communities, on the street or our local shops. We all need and deserve kindness and compassion.

May we take time to be quiet in solitude, traveling within to rest in the heart of our own essential self. There is no better place.

May we love deeply and unconditionally and allow others to love us as deeply and as unconditionally. Love is a two-way street.

May we remember that each person’s life paths are as unique as they are and that includes us. Let’s honour and respect our journey and each others’ journey, knowing that we are all doing the best we can.

May we be grateful for the abundance that permeates our lives, remembering that the greatest treasures are not necessarily those we can see or touch.

May we make time to play, to laugh and engage in activities that bring us joy and lightheartedness. We don’t have to take ourselves so seriously all the time.

May we connect with our lives in a deep way, with mindfulness and presence. This our lives now, given to us. Let us cherish this wondrous life day by day, hour by hour, breath by breath.

Happy New Year my friends!

In the Right Direction

On August 18th of this year, I stepped into ‘retirement’. That was a bit more than three months ago. Three months have gone by! How time flies! So far it’s been an interesting experience.

At my retirement party, I was asked about what was next for me. My response was a true Ginette response, of course! I tend to be quite an open book, maybe a tad too much at times. My response went somewhat like this… “First I want to put my energy into re-building myself, my self-confidence. I’ve done quite a number on myself in the past few years and I want to change this. Once I’ve done this, I’ll see what comes next.”. I said more than this but that is the gist of it. It’s been more than three months now. How is this re-building job going?

As I contemplate this question, I realize that perhaps ‘re-building myself’ are not exactly the right words and maybe not even the right intent. Firstly, these words are heavy with judgments. Secondly, they eradicate any forward movement I might have done in the past few years. And finally, these words are telling me that I’m not good enough as I am right now and that until I have achieved this ideal goal of re-building myself and my confidence I cannot enjoy being at peace with myself. What if increasing being at peace with myself was the ideal goal? Wouldn’t the rest naturally follow?

In the past 3 months, the necessity of accepting myself as I am has become very evident. This is the first step. It makes no sense to want to change things about myself if I haven’t yet accepted myself as I am now, today. Interestingly, this is something that is happening naturally within myself, bit by bit. I’m surrendering more and more to what is. I’m aware that this is happening on a very small scale and that I have a long way to fully accepting myself as I am. However, I am moving in the right direction and I choose to celebrate this. That in itself brings me peace of mind. In this now moment.

Letting Go of Control

Do you observe yourself? I mean as if you are a separated entity from who you are in your day to day activity, without judgments, just observing yourself do what you do and think what you think? I do that! I didn’t always do that but I find myself do this quite regularly now. There’s so much information I can gather about myself when I do observe myself without judgments. It is usually information that can help me, if I so choose, in navigating my inner and outer life better.

One of the things I’ve observed about myself lately is a need to loosen up in my art practice. I realized that there is something holding me back. Back from what, I’m not sure. But I do know that I’m not putting ‘myself’ on my art journal pages. Art journaling can be a powerfully therapeutic practice. I know this but I have yet to reach that in my own practice. There’s a definite struggle taking place there.

The need to let go of control comes to mind.

Then I think of another ongoing struggle that permeates a great part of my life: the food addiction, health issues related to body weight, wanting to lose weight and never reaching that goal, and the resulting reduction in mobility and consequently the quality of my life. It occurred to me yesterday that I was putting a whole lot of pressure on my self in the way that I judge myself and in the way that I burden myself with unrealistic expectations. I’m relentless with myself. In my mind.

And again, the need to let go of control comes to mind.

The truth is the more I try to control something, the less control I actually have. This is not news to me. I’ve known this for a long time. Or did I? As Laozi said long ago: “To know and not to do is not yet to know.”

Art… Life… What is the link? There is a link there for sure! Letting go of control. Loosening up the grip on my art and on my life. What does that mean? How do I do this? How do I learn to trust myself to the point of surrender? That’s the crux of the matter, isn’t it? To trust ourselves to the point of surrender? TRUST, then, IS the answer. Indeed, it is!

September/October 2017: Achievements, Learnings and Intentions

October 2nd, 2017… the second day of a brand new month! I love new beginnings and a new month can certainly be looked at as a new beginning.

I remember when I was a child being all excited at the beginning of the school year. I had brand new notebooks with not a crease or a mark in them. Every year I was so intent on keeping these notebooks looking new all year round. So I would make sure that my writing was tidy and clean. I would apply myself so intently. Days would go by and my resolve would diminish and in no time, my notebooks were a mess. At least to my eyes. Then I would hate these ‘messy and dirty’ notebooks. I wanted new ones. Sometimes I did but mostly I didn’t of course.

Many, many, many years later, I still feel this way about new beginnings. I have such great intentions about things. Things like losing weight, exercising, art projects, classes, etc. Then I mess it up, or so I judge it as such. Then I want to start over again. Therefore my love for new beginnings.

Life isn’t a do-over though. We progress through our lives, growing, learning, becoming more of who we really are. Life isn’t like a ‘messy’ notebook that we get to throw away when it is no longer to our liking and then replaced with a new one. Life is more like a beloved journal that we carry with us at all time, with its well-worn pages and creases, filled with pen scratches and smears of days past; a journal that has become more and more cherished as days accumulates within its spine and our soul is laid bare within its pages; a journal, which the very thought of losing, bring deep sorrow to our heart. No, life is definitely not a do-over. Nor would I want it to be!

So instead of hoping for a do-over on this month I thought of doing a bit of review for September and look at what I would like to accomplish during this new month.  The intention behind this exercise is to cultivate an attitude of celebrating and learning from my experiences and to set some gentle guidance for the upcoming month.

SEPTEMBER achievements and learnings

  • I have settled a bit more into retirement. This has been my first full month as a retiree. Hoot! Hoot! I love it! I love that my time is mostly my own now to do with as I pleased. I find that I have to give myself more structure and this calls for discipline which isn’t exactly my strong suit.
  • I have experienced the benefits of meditation. I knew, intellectually, that meditation had great benefits. However, I had not had the experience of that. Now I do. I have meditated maybe 20 mornings this last month from 14 minutes to 30 minutes at a time. It is very clear to me that it really calms my anxiety down. This is an amazing awareness as anxiety is what drives my bouts of self-destructive behaviour.
  • I birthed Emergessence and started blogging regularly. I joined Blog Along with Effy which was very helpful in getting me to blog. I didn’t blog everyday but I blogged more than I ever did. So that is a success!
  • I have learned about food fermentation and have my second batch fermenting right now and we’ll get to taste it later today. I’ll be sharing more about this in a future post.
  • I have returned to an old love of mine: website design. I’m currently re-designing a website for a friend and have two other upcoming designs. I’m learning new skills as the tools I used in the past have been replaced with new tools.
  • I have binged ate probably less than what I can count on one hand. This is quite an achievement since I had been binge eating most nights for quite a while. Consequently, I have lost 2.6 lbs.
  • I’ve had art and lunch dates with friends and had some friends over a couple of times for dinner at our place. I tend to really like being on my own, and hubby too, so I’m doing my bit in ensuring that I fill my/our social well.

OCTOBER: Intentions

  • I intend to lose a minimum of 5 lbs. I really want to lose weight so that I can get around more freely when Spring rolls around. This means that I have to pay attention to the quality and amount of food I eat.
  • I intend to blog everyday this month. This is quite a stretch for me but I think I can do this. I’ll certainly give it my best shot!
  • I intend on meditating every day for a minimum of 15 minutes each day.
  • I intend on moving my body more. I tend to be quite sedentary and that isn’t good for my health.
  • I intend to get back to a regular arting practice. I have not made this a priority and it needs to be as it is part of my overall wellbeing.
  • I intend of furthering my web design and development skills.

To new beginnings and beloved well-worn journals!