By Tanya Ruckstuhl-Valenti LICSW, MSW
Welcome to the New Year! If you have been following the news, or even if you haven’t, there is plenty of gloom and doom out there: the wonky economy, the political smear campaigning, the state of the environment, Middle Eastern instability, etc…
In the midst of upheaval and transition it can be helpful to retract our focus from background to foreground and simply focus on what we can influence.
The small, immediate circle of our own choices, behaviors and attitudes is the only place we can consistently exercise power. This weekend I am creating a vision board for the year which will include my intentions for 2012.
A vision board is a fancy grown-up way of saying collage. But it’s not just any collage: it’s a collage with images and words that represent what we want to do, be, and have.
Vision-boarding is a powerful way to shift consciousness because most adults are left-brained and images (as well as emotions) exist in the right brain. So a vision board acts like a silent mantra or an affirmation, drilling into the brain in ways that our internal critic (left brained fellow that he is) cannot touch.
If you would like to make a vision board, start out by gathering up a variety of magazines, calendars, cards and books that you don’t mind disassembling and cut out pictures that you like. If you like to draw you can just make your own images. Don’t think during this phase, just look at and snip everything you like. If you have a lot of internal chatter you can play really loud music to distract the critic.
Next, once you have your pile of images think about the areas of your physical, emotional, relational, professional, educational and environmental experience of life. Pick images that represent shifts you want to make in those areas.
Put the images together and glue them all to a big piece of paper or poster board and prop it up where you can see it regularly.
It works like crazy. If you have “practical” wet blanket naysayers in your family/social circle (and we all have a few), don’t let them see or hear about your vision board. Your goals and intentions are vulnerable and precious. As such they need to be protected until they have fully gestated and been delivered into your life.
(the cool image at the top came from a google image search for “vision boards” and the website it came from is http://www.usingmindmaps.com/mind-map-vision-boards.html )
- The Year of Being You (the-gypsy-life.com)
- Creating a Vision Board: A Tool for New Year’s Resolutions (bizfilings.com)
- Complementary Image Processing In The Cerebral Hemispheres (medicalnewstoday.com)