I started this blog in February and for the first few months I thought I’d never run out of things to say. My life was changing at a breakneck speed and I could hardly keep up. But then, in late summer/early fall, things came to a screeching halt. I’m old enough to know that journeys rarely, if ever, progress in a straight line. But despite knowing this, my sense of optimism was tested. I had made all these life changes but to what end? I no longer knew. I felt like I was stumbling around in the dark. I was no longer convinced that I could act my way into a new way of being and into a more fully present life.
Luckily, right around this time, I started working with a wonderful career/transition coach, Andrea Holyfield, and she has kept me putting one foot in front of the other. Which brings me to this post. This past Saturday Andrea hosted a workshop on Vision Boarding, something I had heard about but had never tried. It seemed a good way to (re)connect with the right side of my brain, my creativity, and my ability to dream.
In general I am a slow processor, meaning it is difficult for me to take new information or experiences and immediately know how this new stimuli speaks to me. I need time to live with it, to think and not think about it. So it wasn’t surprising that I couldn’t complete my board on Saturday; more time and space was needed. But then, today, I was ready.
This afternoon was cold and grey. I worked at my dining room table. Despite the general gloominess of the day, I chose not to turn on any lights; instead I opened my curtains wide so that I could let in as much natural light as possible. I had magazines spread all around the table as well as scissors, tape, construction paper, a beloved postcard, and greeting cards. Eventually I concluded that I needed words as well as images and ran to my computer when needed. I stood the entire time while I worked.
My completed board now hangs on the bulletin board to the left of my computer in the room that acts as my home office and Qi Gong/meditation space. The board is there to remind me of my life’s priorities. As Joseph Campbell, the well-known mythologist, said many years ago, “you are either on the beam or off the beam.” Lately I’ve been “off the beam” way too much; the board will help me find my way back. When I have important decisions to make (and I will have many in the months ahead), I will use these pictures and words to guide me towards answers that speak to my truth. I will also use the board to set goals and to stay focused.
My vision board, in its current form, says the following about what is important to me at this moment in time:
Beauty – Figuring out my authentic sense of style has always been elusive but it feels central to knowing who I am at my very core. Somehow this goes hand-in-hand with trusting that I am enough, just the way I am. I want so badly to be comfortable in my own skin and I’m getting close. I also know that I need light and color just as much as I need air to breathe.
Wellness – There’s no going back; I need to make sure I always prioritize moving, cooking/eating healthfully, and mindfulness. And, I need to be outdoors a lot!
Connection – I have to work hard not to feel isolated. It’s easy for me to prioritize family but I also need to put lots of energy into fostering friendships and developing a deep sense of community. I want to invite people into my home more often and to cook for them!
Creativity – I’ve neglected my innate creativity for too long and the quality of my life has suffered as a result. I need to develop a keen sense of curiosity so that I can discover what speaks to me. Writing and dancing for sure; maybe drawing or something totally unknown! I recently read that creativity waits on the other side of boredom. I need to allow myself the space to become bored (i.e. by turning off the TV!) so that I’m forced to get in touch with that spark inside me.
Work – Where exactly should I land next? This is the area that is the fuzziest. One big clue – I want to engage with people in a meaningful way. More and more I’m thinking that I can be a guide of some kind; I have so many recent experiences to draw upon. I just need to figure out what kind of guide I can best be…
Here’s my vision board for 2017:
Thanks, Andrea, for being a wonderful guide!