I’ve been meaning to make a vision board for a long time now. I actually even started one at a SSI Babies group one day in the Spring, but as soon as I got home, the bits and pieces I had cut out lay stashed with many other well-intentioned half-started projects in my “office” (AKA the room where started crafts go to die and where my enthralling filing system takes up residence).
Then I started reading a book that would reignite my passion for finishing my vision board, and out came the magazines and clipped-out pieces of the life I wanted to willfully call in to being. My vision of a reality I wanted to create.
As I looked through the flimsy pieces of pictures and words I had extracted from pages of home and glamour magazines, I found that the new mindset being taught to me through The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up was already taking effect in this seemingly simple process of snipping Nand pasting images that spoke to me. Even in the process of finding the set-aside vision board I kept coming across things that I was seeing with a new light, thinking “Why was I keeping this??” I was finally able to let go of some useless things that had been cluttering up space.
The first time I had gone through the pages, I clipped a massive amount of things I would like to have in my life – shiny new washers and other things that didn’t seem as important as they had at the time, and an excess of multiples of the same sort of image. If I had been in the same mindset as previously, I would have continued to go through magazines for days, constantly cutting out every little thing that might in some way represent something I liked, if only even a little. One can never have enough options, amiright? Then, I would have found the largest poster board available and tried to squeeze everything on, creating a giant jumble of “I’d be alright with this” notions.
Now, however, I had begun to develop a new way of looking at things and being critical to quickly decide “Does this spark joy for me?” I found this a much easier way to make decisions on what I already had, and found myself making a big pile of snippets that didn’t fulfill my criteria of joy. I wrote down a list of words I wanted to focus on for guiding the kind of person I want to be and the kind of life I want to have, then I breezed through just one magazine to find a couple more clippings to add to my new, clearer vision. I wasted no time lamenting over the thoughts of “What if there was something better?” or “What if I found something more?” I can guarantee there would always be more to find. But why more? Less is, indeed, more, and time is worth a lot in itself. Any specific idea that I wanted to include in my vision board which didn’t have a clipping of some sort to paste on, I would write on with a pen myself.
Let me tell you a little bit about what I’ve included to focus my positive thinking (and doing) on bringing into my life.
You’ll notice some obvious symbols that are easy to decode, such as “Eat Better, Feel Better” on a bowl of healthy-looking food, a couple affectionately snuggling by a campfire with loved ones about (I already experience affection, but I’d like to keep and multiply this), and a blissfully asleep woman who looks like she is getting the most glorious and comfortable sleep ever known to man. The kind that happens in a big old fluffy bed and is never interrupted by a toddler kicking you in the jaw every 13 minutes and screaming in your ears when you tell them it’s not time to get up yet.
Then there are some more subtle clues about my wishful intentions. Take, for instance, the woman holding a chicken, with other feathered fowl running about her feet. At first you might think “Aw, she’d like to have some chickens. How appropriately Salt Spring of her.” But no, this is not so simple.
Sure, I’d like to have a coop and some laying hens at some point, to gather our own organic free-range eggs like so many of our community neighbors enjoy, but before that could ever happen I’d have to let go of my fears, find some courage, and stop being absolutely terrified of chickens. I am the definition of what they call chicken-ship (or something like that). If I could get past my anxieties over flapping creatures, I would feel so free. My world of egg-gathering awesomeness would open up to me. So, I will try to face my fears and move past them.
BUT… I am awkward and anxious and shy and fearfully bumbly when it comes to performing in front of others. I’ve been meaning to head to open mic night for over two full years now, but haven’t been brave enough to let go and just do what I love up on stage at the easy-going little pub here. Actually, that’s not quite true – I made it out with my friends and my guitar one night, only to find that I had come on the wrong night. Hugely relieving, but didn’t get me anywhere in my goal.
Once my life becomes less cluttered, I wonder if I’ll lose some of my anxiety, too. Will I ever hold a chicken (or get close to one without shaking)? Could I possibly get up on stage and rock (or bumble) my way through a couple verses of my favourite songs?
Now, “happy feet”. What do I mean by this?
For many years my feet have been the source of woes. First of all, feet have always been kind of ugly to me in general, but my forever dirt-stained, stubby, marked-up footsies especially. I’ve never flaunted my feet the way that my mother did. She loved her feet, and claimed they were one of her most attractive features. I apparently didn’t get this jean.
Beyond the “yucky” factor, my feet have been through some stuff, let me tell you. Running around as a preschool teacher, pregnancy and all it’s foot-woe glory, and then constantly toting around the extra pounds of baby, which just keeps growing heavier – it takes a toll on the lowest part of your body. I never really realized how important these “ugly” things were until I lost the ability to walk due to unbearable swelling and pain, due to a weird c-secrion complication. It was then that I realized I had shunned a very important part of my body and needed to take care and appreciate my feet – and all of myself – more.
So what else? What do I want to be part of me and my life?
I want to be a positive, fun and thoughtful parent. I want to spend time together as a family, and to create an environment where we openly share and communicate. I want human connection. Affection. Love.
I want to take care of my body by eating healthy, exercising, and finally geating some use out that awesome bike my hubby bought me the winter before I became pregnant.
I want to be confident. I want to be stylish and organized. I want to hold a positive self-image. I want a “beach body”, not in the traditional, anorexic term, but in the fact that I not only bare my stretched, scarred and baggy belly on the beach (which I do some days), but I also feel comfortable doing it, and not just like I’m making a statement about what should be comfortable.
I want to spend more time reading and being creative. I want to rest, relax and actually sleep. I want to be mindful. I want to be able to let go, and to go with the flow. I want to have less things, and more adventures. I want to garden (and actually stick with it so the plants don’t just die – I guess watering consistently may be essential for this). I want to kick out chemicals and embrace natural living.
I want to be focused in my thoughts and my life, rather than a big messy jumble of everything. But at the same time, I want to find the balance to everything in life. Can there be focus and balance? Should my focus be balance?
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