Symbols are the language of the subconscious.
All along I’ve been a writer who could only draw abstract things, like mazes, mandalas, and a basic tree with branches and leaves, and never showed any skill at drawing; I thought I was not a visual artist.
When I tried photography—and loved it and printed my own photos in the color darkroom and had a show in the East Village—I became a visual artist. That’s when I realized writing is an act of creating visuals in readers’ minds. I suddenly saw writing as a visual art. Art is any way we transmit the visions in our heads and hearts to another person.
I always wanted to have a talented visual artist sketch from written accounts of my dreams, to see how accurately they could match what I saw in my dream—as a test of my own ability to write with precision. I still would love this! When I can afford it, I will commission an artist to sketch from my writing. Or maybe I’ll take a drawing class…
Making a Vision Board
I’d heard of The Vision Board. It started around the time “The Secret” came out (2006). Ever since Shakti Gawain’s book, Creative Visualization, became a classic after it was published in 1978, terms such as, “manifesting” dispersed through the atmosphere like bubbles. (If you’ve read the book, you know that’s an insider’s reference to her “pink bubbles” concept.)
Long story short, it had been a long time coming for me to undertake my first Vision Board creation project. My conversation with coach Sara Goff convinced me it was imperative that I try. She said that visuals speak to the subconscious. She said once the Vision Board was created, the act of gazing at it and connecting to our potential actually changes our magnetic field, and when we raise our electromagnetic vibration on a regular basis, motion toward our dreams is inevitable.
I finished the vision board late on a Sunday night, and Monday was invited to go on a hike with friends, on a trail I’d never been to before. Look at the startling similarity between an image on my Vision Board, and the place we went!
“Close your eyes and relax deeply. Go to your inner sanctuary and spend a few minutes there, relaxing, getting oriented. Now imagine that within your sanctuary you are standing on a path that stretches off into the distance. You start to walk up the path, and as you do, you see in the distance a form coming toward you, radiating a clear, bright light.” – Shakti Gawain, Creative Visualization
Aspects of the endeavor surprised me, and continue to as I adopt the Vision Board as my new roommate. What didn’t surprise me was how long it took. For the first time, I anticipated that my OCD and perfectionism would slow me down, so I started with plenty of lead-time and finished on my personally set deadline, having worked for four separate nights over about a week. (My friend and coach, Sara Goff, has Vision Board Soirees, where people gather, imbibe, and creative Vision Boards in one evening. I probably spent 4 – 8 hours on the project, and $20-30 for magazines, posterboard, and double-sided tape. I timed the deadline to arrive after a round-trip flight to California, because one of my pre-children airport rituals was to buy my favorite magazines, like Dwell and Surface, whenever I passed through airports. This project sampled from yoga, spa, culinary, and travel magazines more than design magazines, because I wanted to feature people and not just spaces. But, as you’ll see, spaces influence me and my visioning. (Is that a word?) For once, I successfully budgeted my time!
What I Learned
Current themes in my life became more articulate, even as I avoided words.
Creative pursuits are undertaken at the expense of other activities. You can’t do everything, and you can’t have it all. In my case, with this endeavor, some household chores fell by the wayside. I spent a few bucks on magazines, poster board, and double-sided tape. This activity, for the expenditure of time and money, was a luxury. We say, “spending time and money that I don’t have”—well, I scraped enough together, and I’m glad I did. The ROI will be wellness and prosperity manifesting, as I bring them into sharper focus with this ritual.
Side projects and hobbies are valuable. You enjoy being right where you are, and usually it’s at home or not far from home.
What I Already Knew
Already knew I was a perfectionist. I could either work to cure my OCD and go against my preference for symmetry, blur the lines, break form, allow chaos to enter my next Vision Board, or relax into my process and appreciate my products as they are.
Please click on the two links for a short video tour of my first Vision Board!
Completed vision board hanging on my wall.
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