Don’t Throw Away Your Vision Board. Yet. Add Some Action!

So I’ve always been a big fan of Vision boards.  I’ve spent half my life trying to fast-forward through whatever hardship I thought I was enduring, and the other half pipe-dreaming these big elaborate fantasies about what I wanted my life to be like.

Those pipe-dreams may seem like a waste of time but when you let your imagination go crazy, it tells you a lot about yourself.  Once you get past what you THINK you want.   (I want a big house!  I want a man who listens to me!) you get to the sweet spot where you’ve really delved deep, have ‘tried on’ some fantasies for size and surprised yourself.

You get to the sweet spot.  The nugget inside of what you think you want, the ‘real’ hearts’ desire.  

Turns out when I imagined enjoying my big house I thought I wanted, I got annoyed by all those empty rooms.  The big pool?  I hardly ever used it, even in my day dreams.

Having an imaginary someone come to clean my ginormous fantasy house every day was irritating too.  Who wants a witness to the velour track-suit you wear every day and the mounds of chocolate bar wrappers by your favorite tea mug you rarely wash?  After awhile the big house started to feel lonely and isolated instead of comfy and cozy.

Turns out that big house I thought I wanted was a pain.  What I really longed for was a cozy place to write, bake, and enjoy my kids, where I can hear them from any part of the house.  A close home where we bump elbows as we pass in the hall.

In that respect Vision boards are great.  They help you focus and define what really triggers your excitement, and helps you weed out what you only thought you wanted. 

The next step, and the one I’m just exploring now, are Action Boards.  (Throw Away The Vision BoardBy Neil Farber- Psychology Today.

They’re like a vision board except instead of just dreaming about that sunset in Maui, you start taking concrete steps to get there.  A picture of the plane that will take you there (cramped, ugh), a pic of the dream job that might pay to send you there.  Once you do that you start to actually search for how to make those dreams a reality.  What do I need on my resume to get a job that will send me to Maui?  Who do I know in that field?

Anyway, turns out I only need a few simple things to really be happy.  My laptop so I can write.  A private space with only my favorite and inspiring things around.  A sacred space only my own to sip hot tea and imagine what kind of elf I want to write into my story about cupcakes.  (Every story could use an elf.  Imagine how much better War and Peace would have been if there’d been a little high society elf thrown in?  I mean, really.)

What my heart really yearns for, right now, is time to reflect and meditate.  A quiet place where I can look out my window and see green trees waving in the wind.  A chocolate bar to nibble on, obviously.  A fuzzy, sweet little dog near my feet.  

These things will change.  As my babies continue to grow and need me less, I’ll have all the quiet time I crave.  Too much, I’m sure.  And then what I want and need most will change again.  And I will follow my heart then too plastering pictures of my new dreams on my board.  

When all my energy isn’t poured out to ensure the safety and comfort of the babies, I’ll want to expand that energy out into the world.  Yoga teacher maybe, just another kind of mothering if you ask me.  Real Estate agent?  Helping people find that perfect place to find their own quiet time?  Sounds like fun to me.

Anyway, my point is, what we think we want, and what we really crave may be profoundly different.  And you won’t know unless you do a little actual dreaming.  After all, how do you know you’ve arrived if you don’t know where you’re going?

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“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing.  Knowing is not enough; we must apply.  Being willing is not enough; we must do.” – Leonardo Da Vinci

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