I believe in vision boards 1000%! A vision board is a place where you express what's alive in you. It provides a physical representation of your dreams. When you create a vision board and focus your intention and attention on the feeling state of your board, you become your own deliberate creator, the leader of your experience. For a brilliant explanation of vision boards, check out Martha Beck's article in O Magazine. Last October I created this vision board. At the center you'll see a map of Africa with a plane pointed directly at South Africa. Two years ago I felt the first pull to go connect with the animals and I dreamed of watching them in their natural setting.
The destination - Londolozi.
The Varty family runs the Londolozi game reserve. They have restored the natural habitat for the animals and created an oasis of paradise both for the animals and the human guests. Because of the gentle way the trackers and guides introduce the animals to the vehicles, many of the animals allow the vehicles to come right up next to them for spectacular sightings. If you've dreamed of visiting the South African bush, check out Londolozi and their blog.
June 2011, eight months after the creation of my vision board, I found myself on a plane about to embark on a powerful awakening experience.
When I made this board I didn't have the faintest clue how I would manage to travel half way around the world, about as far away from home as possible, and leave my husband and two young children home. The two big challenges were how would I fund the trip and who would help care for my children while my husband worked during the day?It didn't matter that I didn't know the how. I trusted the path would reveal itself.
What provided the magic juice was a clarity of intention and focused attention while making the vision board then letting go of attachment to the outcome! But wait, wasn't the outcome to go to South Africa? Yes. But the real power lay in not caring whether it happened or not. Wha-wha-wha-what?
Sounds like a contradiction doesn't it?
Bottom line is it comes down to energy. Everything we do has an energetic quality to it and when you really, really, REALLY want something to happen you tend to communicate a graspy, needy energy.
Ever feel that one? I have. Like when I really, really wanted a boy in high school to like me. Guess what? He wanted nothing to do with me. He wanted to hang out with the girl that paid him no mind. Hmmmm, interesting.
When you focus on the outcome and get graspy and needy, this feeling state expands outward to everything around you. How do you feel when you're around someone expressing needy behaviors? Do you want to get closer or move away? My hunch is move away. It doesn't feel good. The same concept applies to outcomes. Whatever it is you desire, when you focus intensely on the outcome, it runs away. But when you shift your focus to the feeling state of what you'll feel when you do have it, ah, then you're on to something.
When you really want something try this.
- See if you can identify the feelings you will feel when you have what you desire. For example safety or happiness or a feeling of peace.
- Then see if you can find some examples in your life where you feel that way now.
When you realize you already have what you need to reach a desired feeling state, your energy shifts to a more relaxed way of being. You may have a desire for something but now without the attachment to whether your get it or not because you don't need it to happen in order to feel a certain way. You're already there.
For my vision board, I imagined what it would feel like if I were in South Africa. The feeling states I focused on were powerful, loving and free.
When I took a moment to gaze at my vision board and sink into those feeling states, my clear vision and focused intention led the process.
After making the vision board, it ended up tucked it away on my office and ended up falling behind my desk. It wasn't until April that I found it - when I was just getting ready to purchase my airlines tickets! I didn't focus on it daily. What I did was set a clear, focused intention while creating the vision board then let go and released attachment to the how it would happen.
As the months passed, each step revealed itself one after the other.
I followed the steps without analysis. I followed actions where I felt inspired and alive, where I felt those feeling states of power, love and freedom. I embraced an attitude of curiosity, playfulness and excitement to see where the path would lead.
As I type this, I'm amazed at how it worked. I used effort but not force. The effort came with a sense of ease as though it was completely natural to take that next step. Almost as though it had already happened and I just needed to show up.
I had no idea what revelations and gifts lay ahead as I boarded the plane in San Francisco that afternoon in June and that was perfectly okay by me. I didn't want any preconceived expectations to interfere with being completely present to take in all the lessons the experience had to offer. And wow did it deliver!
What's your big vision? Have you created a vision board? If not, don't take my word for it. Test it out for yourself and see what happens. I'd love to hear. Who knows, you may find yourself living out a lifelong dream! If you have created one, I would love to hear about your vision and experience leading your life. Please share your comments on the blog.