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How do vision boards work?

Popular around the beginning of a new year, vision boards can be created anytime we feel we need to shift our focus, re-orient ourselves to a new horizon, or just spend some time checking in with where we are and what is next for us.

But how do they work??

Sharing my perspective, and why I create vision boards (and lead workshops as well). As someone who continues to cultivate mindful practices, and being in the now without trying to control the future, it may be a bit contradictory for me to to look forward. But mindful practices do not mean we do not plan, being present doesn’t mean to do not look forward, but rather we practice not getting attached to the future outcome.

Easier said than done! Many many years ago, my vision boards were full of pictures of an ideal home, a happy family, a good job. No necessarily emotions, but physical items. Things that I thought would make me happy. I wasn’t connecting the dots with the energy of life, the energy of words and emotions and feelings.

When I shifted my approach, and looked at all aspects of my life and my overall well-being, my approach to visioning changed. My visioning exercises are now about the energy of being, the energy of how I show up. It has changed what my vision boards look like as well. I select photos and words that elicit feelings of excitement, joy, love, passion. Sometimes these photos are of colorful abstract art, sometimes they are complex, other times simple.

One example that I like to share, is of a workshop participant who was searching for a photo of a house on a beach to put on their board. Not just any house, it had to be gray with a wraparound porch and white trim, directly on a sandy beach. Well, they were unable to find such a picture. I asked them what they sought with that house? Why was having that specific house so important to them? They thought for a moment and said “peace, freedom, family time”. So we talked for a few moments about the emotions that they thought the house would bring them.

I then suggested they find pictures and images and brought those emotions out to them in other ways. This was a practice in removing/detaching from how it would show up and instead tuning into how they would feel when they were free from obligations, able to spend time with loved ones.

This practice opens up new possibilities to achieve one’s desires.

So, yes….vision boards can work and I have heard many stories of people achieving goals. In my next installment, I will talk more about what to do with a vision board once you have created it!

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