I was newly divorced and starting a new life in a new town. I’d set my sights on aligning myself more deeply with my heart’s desires, and that meant I was reading new age magazines and trying out all sorts of new and different ideas and lifestyle choices. One night I was leafing through an issue of the New Life magazine when I spied a picture of this man and I thought, “He is going to be my next boyfriend.” I laughed at myself and shelved the magazine and that funny thought.
A month or two later on Memorial Day, I walked 2 miles from my house to the home of a woman who hosted the our local coop. It was pretty hot outside. I lived and worked in the New York City area, so I had no car. At the food coop, I was offered a ride home by a women I met there. As we chatted in the car I kept getting this nagging feeling that I should ask her about the fellow in the magazine. I finally did. It turned out, she had known him a long time, and was very fond of him. She had nothing but the kindest things to say about him. I was wondering if I should take his class, and so I did. And indeed he turned out to be my next boyfriend. The woman who knew him actually became a more important figure in my life than he was, becoming to me a student and then a friend and then a neighbor and then a teacher. One day when we were first neighbors she invited me to a two days sales conference she was going to. I went. The man leading the program told us a story about a woman who cut out a picture of a guy from a magazine and then ended up marrying that very guy!! This is not to promote magical thinking, but it illustrates an important idea for us to consider. We are swimming in possibilities all the time, and on some level we are aware of them. The co-creative process is one in which we can draw down those possibilities and playful plop them into out lives and see how they fit.
Now, lots of things can interfere with that process. Fear, obligations, fear, doubt, fear, fickleness and so on. That’s not to say that we are in some way flawed if we don’t create apparent successes. It’s always successful on some level if we think in terms of the yogic pathway, because it’s a mode of coming to know who we are, really, in a rich and abundant way. But I like a story I heard once about Paul McCartney. When asked where he got his songs from, he responded that “You just reach out and pick one.” This aspect of co-creation really shines forth when we begin the process of a vision board. While a very strategic vision board is possible, most people I know just reach out and pick what they want from the world around them. It adds a lighthearted energy to the process of creation.
Give yourself some time with this one. You can do it however you want, painting, collage, etch-a-sketch, whatever gets you thinking and dreaming. I usually cut pictures out of magazines and mail and wherever, all year round so I have them to draw on when I’m ready to start my collage. I never finish it in one day. A big part of it is allowing the intuition to flow around what belongs and what doesn’t. Part of the reason I started saving images all year was that sometimes I would really really like something, but, I didn’t want it now. So, I would tuck image into the collage drawer for next time. The flip side of that was allowing myself to put images on the vision board that I really didn’t see happening in my life, but that I really liked or loved. It’s been interesting how the items have shown up in my life. For years I put a little round image that said “I am loved” on my vision board. It kept showing up in my life, and I kept putting it on my vision board. Last week my new employer walked into the office with an “I am loved button” on his hat. That wasn’t quite what I’d envisioned but on reflection I realized that I truly was living in a deeper state of love, generally, than I was a few years ago. Seeing it on his hat just provided the opportunity to reflect on that.
So how do we approach the vision board itself? Basically it’s just a 2 or 3 dimensional vision of what you want in your life and it can be whatever you want….words, pictures, drawings, sculpture. Have fun with it. I’ve known people who do whole notebooks of vision collages. These days I do five different sections and then piece them together in one collage, like a quilt. One section each for each aspect of my life., financial, relationship, health, creativity, wisdom, travel and helpful friends, prosperity. This year as I worked my vision boards it was harder to separate everything out into those categories, they overlapped a lot. I’ve spent much of my year in my studio apartment during the shelter-in-place, so indeed, the separate facets of my life are all merged together. And that is just to say that, as with yoga, as with healing and personal growth, that honoring the process is part of the process.
I like to be resourceful with my boards, using whatever is around. Junk mail, flyers, card board from the backs of tablets, paper bags. I like to create a life creating, pulling things together, versus having them drop out of the sky, so, my process reflects the process as I enjoy living it. I generally do not try to re-create what I’ve put on my goals or list on my board. I love to see how the words and the images merge together in the lived experience of my life in a variety of ways.
Oh, and , as always this works well when coupled with some form of awareness practice like meditation, chanting or yoga, and is, in itself an awareness practice.
If you like, you can come share your vision board with us on the December 26th, 4 PM Pacific Time on Zoom. Pay what you are able to and comfortable with.
Register in advance for this meeting:
We look forward to visioning with you!