So, I host these retreats for women four times a year. (You can read more about them here.) On the second afternoon of the retreat, each participant creates a Vision Board. If you aren’t sure what a Vision Board is, I’ve written two posts about them: Vision Boards: A Quick Story. And How to Make a Vision Board.
For today and tomorrow, I want to share several of the vision boards from last weekend’s retreat. (The retreat was amazing – on so many levels.) The Vision Boards are on full-size poster boards. Some people flew in from far away places like Arizona, Texas and New Zealand (!) and so they made their boards in composition books. Or they folded up the poster boards. I will display a few of those tomorrow!
Vision Boards are not about art. They are about joy and creativity. I’ve heard an occasional visual artist get snooty about the “lay-out” or the “composition” of a particular vision board. And I just want to say, “Dude – relax. No one is trying to threaten you here!”
One person – who has come to many retreats now – told everyone a story of how much she resisted doing a Vision Board when I introduced the activity at the very first retreat. (About five years ago now!) She says that she rolled her eyes and said to her friend, “I didn’t come here to cut and paste things. This is stupid.” She then spent the entire day and night finishing hers at that retreat. She says that her life totally changed for the better, partly because of that board. Now, she looks forward to each new one she creates.
The most amazing thing about Vision Boards is that when it comes right down to it, the desires and visions are usually very simple. Sacred space. Travel. Abundance. Great food. Delightful friends. Sometimes there’s a car. Lots of times there are beautiful homes. But when you think about it, none of it is un-doable. We clutter our lives up and make everything so complicated. And life doesn’t have to be so complicated! (Okay, so I think someone mentioned a fling with Kermit the Frog. And someone else mentioned one with Rod Stewart. Both of which came with the cautionary advice that penicillin should be a precursor to such affairs!)
On the last morning of the retreat, each person can share her board with everyone, and tell its story aloud. I think that adding a voice and witnesses to a Vision Board gives it velocity. And each board came alive as we heard the desires and dreams of each person.
The board below is considered by some to be the very best and most special Vision Board on the entire planet ever in the history of the world! (I promised its creator that I’d write this!)
The board below was created by a woman whose husband died suddenly from a brain aneurysm in October. She has been working with a grief support network as she puts her life back together. An image that continues to help her is from a poem about a tree and how you can cut a branch off a tree, and it might change the shape of the tree, and it might add a scar, but it doesn’t alter the tree itself. The tree keeps growing. When she started sorting through magazines, she found the image of the tree, which is central to her vision board and the healing she is continuing to experience.
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