January 13, 2016

Several years ago, I attended a Transformational Speaking intensive in Santa Fe. I went to improve my public speaking skills, and one night we were asked to create a vision board collage.

I thought it was a bit silly. I couldn’t understand how that was going to make me a better speaker. I got over myself though, and dutifully started looking through the array of magazines and snipped out whatever images grabbed my attention.

What happened was surprising.

My subconscious mind took over and started piecing together random images I was seeing—into a plan for the future.

A pictorial wish list, a visual display of goals, a collage of intentions.

I got so inspired that I made two vision boards and connected the two of them together. It was as if I could see the next ten years of my life and my business embedded into the colorful collage of shiny paper. And all of my core values and aspirations.

I was shocked. How could a pile of magazines end up in such a beautiful map for the future?

So now, every so often when I see a pile of unwanted magazines, I get excited! It can be something you do on New Year’s Eve to ring in the new year, on someone's birthday, as a team building exercise, etc.

Here are a few tips for Vision Boards:

1. Open up your mind & accept any little ideas that come to you.

Let your inner perfectionist rest—resist the urge to be hard on yourself about how things look. It’s just a collage—like when you were a kid. Let your inner child take over.

2. Use a variety of magazines.

Most anything will do (as long as it’s not negative news). You’ll be amazed at what you can put together with whatever magazines you or a friend have lying around.

3. Cut out any words, images, colors or textures that you love.

Any that bring you joy or that inspire you on some level. It doesn’t matter why; you’ll figure out later what it all means.

4. It doesn’t have to be pretty or artistic.

It is rich with meaning, and often it’s only you that will understand what the deeper meaning is. It doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks of it. It’s just a visual aspiration list. When you look at your vision board, you may even see long-term goals, such as 5 years out!

5. Cut out everything first, then decide how that pile of images best fits together on a blank canvas.

You can put it on a piece of paper, cardstock, cardboard box, whatever you’ve got lying around. I used a big piece of white paper. You could also use huge sticky notes or poster board. Some people like to make them small. Others like to make them huge.

6. Set a time limit.

Try to knock it out in a certain time period—that way you’ll actually get it done, and not be exhausted by the time you finish it.

7. Put it somewhere that you’ll see often.

Or somewhere you can at least peek at it once in a while. Hey—take a photo + then pop it up as your computer wallpaper!

vision board

Why is this exercise so powerful?

From my own experience, I would say it’s because you let your inner child, your inner visionary and your subconscious take the wheel. You open your mind & use a different part of your brain. You tap into some extra juicy juice that you might not tap into on a daily basis. And at the very end, while gazing at your vision board, you can see what’s most valued & important to you.

And what your most cherished wishes are—deep down—maybe so deep down that you’ve never verbalized them. And you still don’t need to verbalize them—you just cut & paste a piece of glossy paper to your board & every time you look at it later, you’ll remember, giving more power to that secret intention. Alternatively, you can learn to share your vision out loud and tell the story of what you envision for the future & why it's so important to you.

Have you made a vision board before? What kind of magic or insights have you discovered from the process?

Love + flower petals,

P.S. If you're reading this post because you're in visioning mode, here's a handful of other practices you can do to harness that energy! And if you need some flower essence support while you're riding this powerful wave of creative energy, I highly recommend this collection.

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