Where Are You Going In 2011?

by Aiyana Ma’at This morning I woke up to the smell of my savory black-eyed peas and smoked turkey in the crock pot wafting through the air. The smell took me back to my childhood. My mother would cook all kinds of good food for New Year’s Day. Our family would lounge around the house (except my mom who would be cooking and serving away…poor thing!) playing games, watching movies, eating good food, taking naps, and then waking up just to eat again!

Family and friends would stop by to eat some of our delicious eats and have great conversation around the kitchen or living room tables. Those were the days! As much as I can, whenever I can, (I get better and better each year…smile) I strive to recreate the kind of feelings and memories I have of my own childhood at holiday times for my own children and husband. I know that being able to spend focused and concentrated time with each other is a blessing and I do not take it for granted.

Not only am I intentional about the moments I re-create from my childhood experiences today  but my husband and I are very intentional about reinforcing and instilling a deep and profound sense of vision, direction, and purpose in ourselves and our children. We celebrate Kwanzaa in our family and yesterday and today’s principles are Kuumba (Creativity) and Imani (Faith). Using those principles to anchor our thoughts over the past two days everyone in our family has been working on “Vision Boards” that will ultimately help each of us to continue to re-define and refine ourselves and our goals for this New Year.

So, what exactly is a “Vision Board”?

A vision board (also called a Treasure Map or a Visual Explorer or Creativity Collage) is typically a poster board on which you paste or collage images that you’ve torn out from various magazines. Pretty simple. The idea behind this is that when you surround yourself with images of who you want to become, how you want to feel, what you want to have, etc. your life changes to match those images and those desires.

This has been a wonderful activity for each of us. It’s allowed us to focus our attention on what we want to create in our lives and even though our children are only 3, 4, 6, and 9 they are internalizing what I believe is one of the most awesome gifts my husband and I can give them: the ability to visualize and create what they want to see in their lives.

As you enter the beginning of a New Year create your very own Vision Board and the life you want. Christine Kane has some excellent tips on different kinds of Vision Boards you can create. So, get your mind and spirit right, take the limits off, and cut and paste away to your destiny!

Tips to start from Christine Kane:

Before you begin your vision board:

No matter which method you’re choosing, have a little ritual before you begin your vision board. Sit quietly and set the intent. With lots of kindness and openness, ask yourself what it is you want. Maybe one word will be the answer. Maybe images will come into your head. Just take a moment to be with that. This process makes it a deeper experience. It gives a chance for your ego to step aside just a little, so that you can more clearly create your vision.

The Five Steps of Creating a Vision Board:

Step 1: Go through your magazines and tear the images from them. No gluing yet! Just let yourself have lots of fun looking through magazines and pulling out pictures or words or headlines that strike your fancy. Have fun with it. Make a big pile of images and phrases and words.

Step 2: Go through the images and begin to lay your favorites on the board. Eliminate any images that no longer feel right. This step is where your intuition comes in. As you lay the pictures on the board, you’ll get a sense how the board should be laid out. For instance, you might assign a theme to each corner of the board. Health, Job, Spirituality, Relationships, for instance. Or it may just be that the images want to go all over the place. Or you might want to fold the board into a book that tells a story. At my retreats, I’ve seen women come up with wildly creative ways to present a vision board.

Step 3: Glue everything onto the board. Add writing if you want. You can paint on it, or write words with markers.

Step 4: (optional, but powerful) Leave space in the very center of the vision board for a fantastic photo of yourself where you look radiant and happy. Paste yourself in the center of your board.

Step 5: Hang your vision board in a place where you will see it often.

Three Types of Vision Boards:

1 – The “I Know Exactly What I Want” Vision Board

Do this vision board if:

– You’re very clear about your desires.

– You want to change your environment or surroundings.

– There is a specific thing you want to manifest in your life. (i.e. a new home, or starting a business.)

How to create this vision board:

With your clear desire in mind, set out looking for the exact pictures which portray your vision. If you want a house by the water, then get out the Dwell magazine and start there. If you want to start your own business, find images that capture that idea for you. If you want to learn guitar, then find that picture. I remember at the last retreat, one woman yelled out, “If anyone finds a picture of a little girl with red hair who looks happy, give it to me!” And someone else yelled out, “I’m looking for a Cadillac!” Pretty soon, a lively trading session began. Following the five steps above, create your vision board out of these images.

2 – The “Opening and Allowing” Vision Board

Do this vision board if:

– You’re not sure what exactly you want

– You’ve been in a period of depression or grief

– You have a vision of what you want, but are uncertain about it in some way.

– You know you want change but don’t know how it’s possible.

How to create this vision board:

Go through each magazine. Tear out images that delight you. Don’t ask why. Just keep going through the magazines. If it’s a picture of a teddy bear that makes you smile, then pull it out. If it’s a cottage in a misty countryside, then rip it out. Just have fun and be open to whatever calls to you. Then, as you go through Step 2 above, hold that same openness, but ask yourself what this picture might mean. What is it telling you about you? Does it mean you need to take more naps? Does it mean you want to get a dog, or stop hanging out with a particular person who drains you? Most likely you’ll know the answer. If you don’t, but you still love the image, then put it on your vision board anyway. It will have an answer for you soon enough. Some women at my retreats had NO idea what their board was about, and it wasn’t until two months later that they understood. The Opening and Allowing Vision Board can be a powerful guide for you. I like it better than the first model because sometimes our egos think they know what we want, and lots of times those desires aren’t in alignment with who we really are. This goes deeper than just getting what you want. It can speak to you and teach you a little bit about yourself and your passion.

3 – The “Theme” Vision Board

Do this vision board if:

– It’s your birthday or New Years Eve or some significant event that starts a new cycle.

– If you are working with one particular area of your life. For instance, Work & Career.

How to create this vision board:

The only difference between this vision board and the others is that this one has clear parameters and intent. Before you begin the vision board, take a moment to hold the intent and the theme in mind. When you choose pictures, they will be in alignment with the theme. You can do the Theme Vision Board on smaller pages, like a page in your journal.

Some things to remember about vision boards:

– You can use a combination of all three types of vision boards as you create. Sometimes you might start out doing one kind, and then your intuition takes over and shifts into a whole different mode. That’s called creativity. Just roll with it.

– Your vision board might change as you are making it. I was just talking with a friend of mine who said that she had been making a vision board for the new year. The theme was all about what she wanted in this year. Then, as she pulled pictures and began to lay them out, the theme changed into a simpler one about her everyday life and the moments in each day. It surprised and delighted her to experience that evolution. You might find that you have little epiphanies from making a vision board.

Make a Vision Journal

Another option is to use these same principles in a big sketch book. Get a large sketch book and keep an on-going vision journal. This is especially effective if you’re going through many transitions in your life.

The possibilities are endless! Happy New Year B Intentional Family!!!!!!!!!

5 replies
  1. Nikki H.
    Nikki H. says:

    Aiyana, I love this idea. since i was a kid I've always torn out pics in magazines that I loved, from hairstyles that I hoped to achieve, to bathrooms that I desired in my home. I would keep them in a folder and occassionally sift thru them on a rainy day. Some weren't as relevant anymore for me and so I would thin my folder out as necessary. I'm definitely going to create a vision board with my clippings and its great that you involved your entire family.

  2. Cynthia
    Cynthia says:

    I had to do one of these for a class a couple of years ago. Since that time, I have introduced the idea to my children and girlfriends. Anything that you can envision, you can do. It will help you to focus and set goals. When you are feeling discouraged, it will remind you of where you are headed. It is a great tool.

  3. Rocco
    Rocco says:

    This is a great way to begin the new year. I'm usually not into stuff like this but because I respect what you guys are doing I'm gonna bring it to my queen and give it a try.

  4. The1Ms.HBIC
    The1Ms.HBIC says:

    I’ve been planning to do this for along time. A girlfriend introduced the idea for me about 2 years ago. I like your article and it’s specific ideas and details. I’m going to go out and purchase few items today and my family will start a new tradition. Thanks!

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