I see it in many different spiritual systems (Christian and others), that hyper-positive word on Abundance, spoken with a jaw-clenched grin and wide eyes: Just pray hard enough, visualize brightly enough, give someone money enough, and you will find material blessings and happiness and all your dreams will come true. And you might get to heaven, to boot. You’ve heard the pitch too, perhaps: there’s so often, on the underside, a suggestion that if you’re poor or sick or unhappy, you’ve just been doing it wrong. You need to try harder.
It can be tempting, in the face of the Abundance sales pitch and its attendant guilt trip, to ignore or repudiate the ideas that thinking positively and visualizing what your heart really desires are actually helpful meditative techniques to discover and develop the dreams that you really want to bring to life.
I don’t really believe that I can think myself rich–perhaps that’s why I’m not. But I don’t think it works that way. I think that in order to create something in the physical world, we have to imagine it, have to believe it possible. And I think that too often, we throw out the early models of a dream because they seem unattainable, impossible. We stab ourselves in the feet because we believe ourselves incapable, unable.
Some people seem to have an inherent confidence and certainty in their dreams. They think a thing, believe in its potential, and suddenly they’ve made it happen. Some of us have to take it slower, perhaps, consider the options, shape the dream slowly, like sculpting stone.
When I first came across the idea of a Vision Board, I dismissed it because it sounded like the Abundance sales pitch. but then I began to look at the collages I have made obsessively throughout my life, and I realize that some of what I was doing was enacting my vision of what I wanted to create, or acknowledging an unsettled inner state that I couldn’t put words to, and suddenly the Vision Board made sense to me.
I’ve been wrestling and wrangling some dreams in the past year, some ideas that want to be born, and the past few weeks have seen them boil up to the surface again. Fearful that I will let them fizzle and die in the mundane activities of my everyday life, I have decided to do some collage Vision-work to keep them alive, keep them boiling.
You can search online for Vision Boards. Some of what I found was really inspiring. Others felt like exercises in narcissism. I don’t want to fall into that trap. I want to keep this contemplative and meditative. I think this will be my process:
1. What is the dream that is begging to be born?
2. What is a reasonable timeline for bringing it to being?
3. What does it look like to create this dream in the world?
4. What does it feel like to create this dream in the world?
Then I am going to use the bits and pieces of collage that I have collected over the years to create my Vision Board. I have taken a piece of poster board and made an eight-page booklet to make a portable multi-page “Board.” I think it is important that I be able to carry it with me, so I can meditate on it no matter where I am. I hung last year’s Vision Board on the door to the basement, and I pass it several times a day, but it’s in a dark little space in the house, and I stopped really looking at it.
Last year, I tried to create it all in one sitting, but I think I need to do this over many days. I need to sit with it and watch it evolve, add to it as time goes on. One of the many sites I looked at today suggested handwriting the words and quotations that I want to add instead of typing them out. I think that’s an excellent idea. Handwriting activates as different part of the brain than typing does, and one of my goals for 2017 is to write more by hand.
1. Starting a Vision Board for the coming year/s. Thank you, Sarah!
2. The delight of a kiddo heading to his Grandparents’ house for the night. (Big brother was too sick to go, and took the disappointment with grace.)
3. Feeling a great sense of accomplishment. I’ve sent out two chapbooks for two separate contests. Now I need to get some individual poems out there, too.
4. When a single idea or reference keeps getting repeated in different places and different ways–dreams, Facebook references, old poems I have dredged up–and it feels like a confirmation of something I have been feeling or processing.
5. This week of time outside of time.
May we walk in Beauty!