I spent a few hours yesterday assembling my vision board for the next year. The idea of vision boards has be co-opted by the people who believe in the L.aw of A.ttraction and the S.ecret, which I think are both hokey, but the basic premise has been a part of business and personal development workshops for years now. The idea is simple: collect images and words that provide a focused representation of what you want to get out of life in the next year, put them into a collage, and put the collage somewhere where you’ll see it every day as a reminder. While I was in high school, I actually had something very similar: a statement made by Bear Bryant (of all people) about winning and effort that I kept by my mirror so that I would see it every morning. Making the board was part of my 101 Things, and I think it was a extremely positive experience for me to go through.
I’ve been working on my board for a while now, as I felt up to the task. I spent a few nights last month searching flickr for images that represented the things I want to realize in my life. I bought poster board and some colored scrapbooking paper last week for a base. Yesterday I finally cut out the pictures and physically assembled the collage. I still need to buy a frame and hang it, but the majority of the actual work is done. The process of making the board is somewhat dependent on your personal “feel”, so I incorporated some feng shui principles into mine as well, specifically the eight sectors of the ba gua.
Now’s where I’m going to start sounding really pithy, so you can bail if you want. But while I was assembling the board, I realized that making the collage was forcing me to put into practice some of the things that I’ve had to learn through dealing with IF. If I had to pick one good thing that’s come out of this journey (other than meeting all you wonderful ladies, MWAH!) it would be that I’ve really learned to let go — that I cannot be in control all the time, and that I can be okay with that. I have a fairly newfound sense of balance in my life that I never had before, and I’m liking it. So, without futher adieu, here are my lessons learned (or at least put into practice) from the vision board:
- Planning is nice, but it doesn’t always mean that the process will work out the way you think. [Practical tip: lay out your images somewhere other than on top of the board — you’ll have to move them to glue everything down.]
- It’s okay to get your hands dirty and make a mess; you can always clean it up later. [P.T.: use a water-based glue or collage medium and a sponge brush. It makes clean-up way easier, and you don’t have to panic when you drip across the dining room table.]
- It takes some work to create a vision. [P.T.: It takes longer than you think to actually glue a collage together. Expect to take a few hours.]
- Go with your gut. If it feels right, do it. [P.T.: This is your vision, not someone else’s. Don’t worry if it is “right” — just make sure that it’s right for you.]
- Accept your own mistakes and move forward. [P.T.: The very first piece I glued down wrinkled. These do not have to be gallery-quality creations, wrinkles and bends are okay. See #4 on the decision of how perfect it needs to be.]
- Just because it’s not perfect doesn’t mean it’s not good. [P.T.: Need I say more? This is for you, not for anyone else. If it does what you need, then it’s good.]
- Enjoy the process. [P.T.: Remember that this is supposed to be fun! And come on, cutting out pictures and glueing them down — how can you not have fun playing around with craft time?]
- There will always be something that you could have done better. Acknowlege that fact, accept it, and move on. [P.T.: Make notes of what worked and what didn’t and use them next year. For example, I have learned that vellum and modge-podge do not mix well, so next year I’ll stick with standard paper. Also, I think I might use a mounted canvas as a base instead of poster board.]
And now I know you’re all curious: what does my board actually look like? Well, I’m still considering whether to post that or not. My vision is mine, and I’m a little protective of it. It’s actually forced me to spend a lot of time considering both the actual images and the unconscious connotations that those images have for me, a self-portrait of a sort. So it’s taken on a private meaning that I’m not sure I’m ready to share yet. But if I do decide to put it out here, you guys will be the first to know.