Back in May, I had the pleasure of escaping for a week to Colorado where I met up with Michelle, an old friend from college whom I had not seen in 20 years.
My 40th birthday was looming on the horizon, and I had expressed many times that I’d like to welcome in this new chapter of my life with some quiet time for reflection and meditation. Michelle generously invited me to spend some time with her at her cabin in the mountains and then join her sister for a yoga/meditation retreat with SoulSpark Journeys in Steamboat Springs.
I was game. Who could turn down such a thoughtful invitation? It was one of those more obvious examples of synchronicity in my life, for which I’m always on the lookout. I had put it out there into the universe that I wanted this experience, and the opportunity presented itself.
Over the two days of the retreat, we were pampered with plenty of quiet time (holy cow do I love Yoga Nidra) and unbelievably tasty vegan and raw food (who knew?). But perhaps the most enlightening moments for me were spent in a workshop aptly named “Slow Down and Tune In.” I mean, that’s exactly why I was there.
I was expecting two hours of mindful meditation, or something else equally as quiet. When we began the workshop, however, I was surprised to be greeted with a tall stack of magazines.
“Have you ever made a vision board?” our instructor, Alex, asked us.
“Have I ever made a vision board?” I thought to myself. “My office walls are covered with them!”
Although I’ve made plenty of vision boards in the past, I would never turn down the chance to make another. I LOVE ripping up magazines and gluing the pieces to poster board. It engages with my ever-hungry-for-more-messy-situations inner child.
Plus – I think visions change over time. What we want right now might not be what we want tomorrow, or in a month, or in ten years. It’s worth taking the time to explore how our desires change.
If you don’t know what a vision board is, it’s pretty simple. Take a stack of magazines and give yourself about 30 minutes. Look through the magazines and pull out any images or words that speak to you. Don’t overthink it. If it sparks something inside of you, rip it out. (The more ripping the better – ripping is fun and therapeutic!)
After you’ve looked through all your magazines and chosen your images, arrange and glue them on a poster board in a manner that is pleasing to your eye. Here’s what mine looked like that day:
Heavy on the words, which is not insignificant given that many of my goals and aspirations have to do with being a successful writer.
But wait – there’s more!
But it was the next step that threw me for a loop. Every time I’ve made a vision board, once the images are glued together, I stop. I admire my creation, hang it up in my office, and wait for the visions to arrive.
But Alex asked us to take it a step further. Once we completed our vision board, she asked us to take 10 minutes to write about what we saw in it.
It never occurred to me to do that before. And I’m a writer!
I took a good look at my board, and this is what I wrote:
Afterwards, those who wanted to showed us their vision boards and shared what they wrote. I think all of us were awed by the power and depth of feeling captured in each collage, and the poetry that resulted. That’s really the only thing you could call the words that the other women were sharing. It was all so spontaneous, yet all so deeply felt and richly recounted. I know I’m not the only one who got goose bumps that day.
What is your vision?
I challenge you to set aside an hour this week to make your own vision board and write about what you see. And I’d love for you to share it here with me, if you are so inclined.
We need to give voice and space to these desires and visions of ours. It is the first step toward creating the life we have imagined. Go for it!
Oh, and check this out!
My amazing friend Michelle owns a fantastic shop named Oak and Hawthorn. She specializes in plant magic and herb lore and makes gifts inspired by yoga, Ayurveda, Celtic mythology and the natural world. I highly recommend you check out her Etsy shop, Facebook page or blog. I’ve got a few of her medicine bags and chakra jars. It’s magical stuff. And if you live in Denver, she does house parties!