I have a confession to make. I love to vision board. Seriously LOVE it.

I started making vision boards a couple of years ago, and have been startled by the impact they’ve had on my life. Now, you may already be thinking vision boards are a bunch of woo-woo nonsense, and if you are I hear you. The first time someone mentioned vision boarding to me, my inner skeptic went haywire.

This is largely due to my then-self’s definition of vision boards, which went something like “a place where you glue pictures of all the crap that you want, and then sit back and cross your fingers that it somehow magically materializes”. Sound familiar? If so, you may be asking yourself “Well, am I wrong?”

Yes. And No.

The problem with most vision boards is that people typically make them focused on STUFF. So they wind up with vision boards full of pictures of piles of cash, new cars, sexy “dream mates”, beautiful homes, private jets, the works. And inherently, none of these things are bad, per se, so long as they TRULY represent what we want.

Now you may think, “Of course I want {insert desired thing here}!! I’ve wanted that my entire life!”  Maybe. But I’m willing to bet that what you really want is a feeling, not a thing.

Take a beautiful home, for example. When we say we want a beautiful home, what we are really after is the way that home makes us feel, which can be different for everybody. For me, a beautiful home inspires a feeling of calm, a sanctuary from the busy and often chaotic world around. It may be different for you.

If I put a beautiful home on my vision board, but what I really want is a feeling of sanctuary, you can start to see how easy it would be to miss the mark.  If I’m not careful, I can wind up with a beautiful home but be up to my eyes in debt and feeling stressed out each month when it’s time to pay the mortgage. Instead of feeling like a calm sanctuary, my home becomes an anxiety-inducing burden. By focusing on the thing, rather than the feeling, the thing itself loses the very quality that attracted me to it in the first place.

To put it simply, when I create a vision board based on things, I’m aiming at the wrong target and will most likely be unhappy with the outcome.

Instead, I create my vision boards based on feelings. Sometimes I don’t even know how I want to feel when I start out, and that’s okay. I’ve done this enough that I trust the process, and it has never failed me.

To start, I simply gather photos that appeal to me, for whatever reason. I don’t overthink it, or wonder what the photos represent at this stage. I just pick the ones that lift me up in some way, make my heart leap just a little. Sometimes I get a glimmer of what feeling I am craving, and so I’ll deliberately search for photos that represent that to me. (Google image search and Pinterest are both great for this!)

Once I have a pile, I start sifting through them. Usually, at this point, I begin to notice some sort of theme – lots of sunlight and serene spaces, a sense of play or abandon, whatever emerges. I don’t question it, I just sort into piles based on these themes, and then choose a few photos that best represent the group. I then begin arranging them on poster board or a large sheet of paper. I may substitute a photo here or there, dipping back into my piles, until the composition feels “right”.

Even at this point, I may not know what the exact feelings are that I’m after, and that’s okay. I glue everything down, and trust that my heart’s desire will reveal itself to me. It may take a few days or even a few weeks, but it always does.

I make no guarantees but I can tell you, every vision board I’ve created this way has resulted in exactly what I wanted, the exact feelings I was craving. It’s like… magic.

Invitation: What feelings would you like to draw into your life? Create your own vision board that represents this to you. When you do it, would you let me know?
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