Vision boards have probably always been around, in fact I’m fairly certain I made one as a little girl not knowing what I was actually doing. I think it’s natural for anyone to collect things they love, we’ve all been doing it for years. When I was little the walls of my bedroom were filled floor to ceiling with bits and pieces of paper of things I had drawn, things I loved or things I had done. In high school my canvas became my locker and the covers of various notebooks and now my mantle in my home serves as a place for some of my most beloved treasures, memories, dreams and wishes.
Traditionally, a vision board is a piece of poster board covered with photos cut out from magazines. Here’s two downfalls I have in creating what is considered a traditional vision board: 1) I have a hard time detaching myself from the magazine I was using to add to my board and 2) crafty stuff that involves glue just isn’t my thing. Years ago I made a list of things I wanted to accomplish within the next ten years or so, the list fell by the wayside but what I didn’t realize until recently is that by simply putting my goals into words, I set into motion a whole new course in my life. When I went back and revisited my list, I realized I could check off at least half and it didn’t take much effort beyond realizing what I wanted to do and writing it down.
photo credit: Brynn Evans
For non-creative types, the straightforward poster board and magazine approach seems the easiest. Depending on your creativity and available resources, a simple vision board could turn into a vision wall, a vision pin-board or even a vision frame around a mirror or doorway. Perhaps you love to paint or do calligraphy, nothing says a vision board has to follow any specific rules, after all, it is for you.
So, what is a vision board supposed to do anyway? Christine Kane says “…when you surround yourself with images of who you want to become, what you want to have, where you want to live, or where you want to vacation, your life changes to match those images and those desires.” Today however, as I was reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron a whole new reason for having and using vision boards occurred to me. If you’re unfamiliar with The Artist’s Way, it’s a sort of therapy for artists of any kind seeking to find their passion and true self. The author talks about fishing from a stocked pond, or drawing ideas from a well stocked mind. Julia Cameron argues that one cannot simply summon creativity, that it must be drawn out and nurtured just like a relationship with a spouse or child. By surrounding ourselves with things we find beautiful, as well as looking for beauty in the mundane, we are able to fill our creative stockpiles to draw from later when we are stuck or feeling uninspired.
Photo Credit: Krystal B
I keep photos all around my home, hung up on mirrors, tucked into books and carried with me on my phone everyday. Sometimes a simple photo of my kids smiling can remind me to be present in their lives. Other times, a photo of a beach I’ve been to convinces me to keep going through a dull, dark winter to the sun and sand that waits on the other side of the season. Others suggest adding a photo of yourself in a moment of bliss and happiness, I also say there’s no reason you can’t include things like paint chips or fabric swatches, tactile things that remind you of some goal, dream or wish you have. Oftentimes once you add something to a vision board, another element can seem less important — allowing you to rethink what you want in that particular element and changing or adjusting it if needed.
I’m not a crafty person, I really want to be — but if we’re talking reality? Most of my crafting is going to come from my camera and be digitally composed. Add in the fact that I’m too detail oriented when it comes to design and a traditional vision board could easily become more of a headache than a collection of beauty. I put this one together, mostly a collection of images to keep me inspired and moving towards what I want in life using PicMonkey (free!) I can print out several copies and carry it with me in my wallet, hang it on my bathroom mirror and keep one as a bookmark on my nightstand.
Just as the vision you have for your future will be unique, your way of displaying it should match who you are as a person. Perhaps in thinking outside the box a vision you maybe never had for yourself will come to light.
Find more of Casey’s writing on her blog moosh in indy or her Babble Voices site Shutterlovely. She’s also available on twitter, facebook, flickr and Instagram. If you can’t find her any of those places? Check the couch, she’s probably taking a nap.