I spent yesterday afternoon at Georgia’s Healing House, creating a vision board. Sunlight poured into the old gray home and the air outside was just crisp enough to need a jacket. I sat on the floor with Heidi, the home’s volunteer coordinator, the home’s resident advisor, a resident, and a few of my Junior League friends, clipping pictures out of magazines and pasting them to pieces of cardboard. After we were done, we shared our visions for the year(s) ahead. Mine was themed around travel and relationships, while others were themed around recovery, home, family, and starting over.
It’s funny to see what the picture becomes when you allow yourself to not think, just pick those images that appeal to you.
I’ve made vision boards before. I made my first one before I moved to Tennessee. It had things like an image of the state of Tennessee, the Nashville skyline, a graduation cap, and even a photo of Jake Owen. It was a daily reminder of my goals at the time – graduating from the University of Tennessee, moving to Nashville, working in the music industry. As those things came to pass, I started taking images away and adding new ones – an apartment floor plan, a car, whatever I wanted or needed at the time.
Remember that I had Jake Owen on my vision board. There’s a fun fact coming up about that.
First, what is a vision board? I like this description from Make A Vision Board:
A vision board is a tool used to help clarify, concentrate and maintain focus on a specific life goal. Literally, a vision board is any sort of board on which you display images that represent whatever you want to be, do or have in your life.
Vision boards are mentioned frequently in new age self help books like The Secret and Add More – ING To Your Life. Vision boards are considered an essential tool for those who believe in and practice the Law of Attraction. The idea is that by looking at your vision board, you see the things you desire and focus your attention on them, helping bring them into existence. A quick Google search will yield all sorts of results on the concept.
I have a sort of vision board hanging over my home desk right now. I’ve tacked a few pictures to it of things I hope to accomplish. A couple of those things – trips to London and Paris – will be marked off in April. I’ll likely keep those pictures up for a bit. They are rather pretty, and I’m sure I wouldn’t hate another trip or twelve to England and France.
Yesterday’s vision board session got me back to the vision board practice. As I mentioned, I kept a vision board before college, throughout college, and for a little while after I graduated. The one hanging above my desk isn’t really a vision board, so much as it’s pretty photos and sayings. I’ve decided, in line with this whole new year thing, to purge the old and update the new. This weekend, I intend to make a brand new vision board.
So, how do you make a vision board?
However you want.
My preferred method is to collect photos, be it from magazines or sourced online, and either paste them to a piece of cardboard or poster paper, or tack them to a cork board. Of those two methods, I tend to go with the cork board. Not only is it less messy, it’s also easier to add things as you please, and to take things away as they happen. Some people prefer to create a digital version and use it as their screensaver.
Before yesterday’s vision board session, Heidi led us through a meditation. I hesitate to call it a meditation, as it was brief and not at all what stereotypically pops to mind when one says “meditation.” It was more of her encouraging us to quiet our minds and really think about what we want before we started cutting up magazines.
As we worked, Heidi told us a few stories about how vision boards have helped her over the years. She created one after a divorce, during a time when she was seeking calm. One of the photos was of “some beach.” A year or two later, after meeting her now husband and love of her life, she was sitting on a beach, looked out, and realized it was the exact same beach she had pasted on her vision board.
Another example she gave was pasting a photo of a claw foot bathtub. She had always loved them and now, she and her husband live in a home with one. Speaking of homes, several months ago, while contemplating how their home now felt big and empty as they approach retirement and their kids are off living their lives, she found a photo of a path leading to a big, open, green space, which the ad made to look like the outline of a house. The photo spoke to her, so she cut it out and placed it on her board. A few months later, she and her husband decided to build a new, smaller, home, a thought that wasn’t even a possibility when she pasted the photo.
It may seem hokey to you. You may be thinking “you don’t get things just by pasting a photo of them to the board.” You’re right. You don’t. But, you do get things by praying for them, working for them, believing in them. After all, the Bible says:
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. – Mark 11:24
Even if you don’t believe in the Law of Attraction or Mark 11:24, a vision board can still be a powerful tool to keep you focused on your goals. Imagine waking up each morning and seeing that reminder that you want to publish a book or run a marathon. It certainly incentivizes me.
Oh, and that anecdote about Jake Owen? He was the very first artist I interviewed when I moved to Nashville.