The other day I did a Vision Board workshop.
It was my 5th annual, I think. And it was fun and loose. I have the hang of it now. At last.
Not that you could tell looking at my collage. I’m no art director. It’s still the same mess that is meaningful and beautiful only to me.
But what I’ve leaned is this: where once I needed the law of attraction explained, in detail, with examples, so I could assess this theory, weigh it against science and my life experience and all the voices of authority who’ve occupied my brain with or without explicit invitation, and assess whether I believe in this law of attraction idea or not, and therefore whether this vision board will work, will successfully manifest my dreams… now, I can hold space for mystery and just play.
Just do what’s right in front of me, and let the busy analyzing assessing doubting judging brain quiet down. I look for images that draw my eye (and don’t stall out asking why), I sort them in piles that make some kind of intuitive sense (this goes with that, don’t ask why), and I lay them out in a way that feels right, or looks coherent… not thinking too hard.
The timeline that once made me feel rushed serves to stop me from overthinking it. And instead of being stressful (honestly, the performance anxiety I had with my first experience, wanting to nail it, to get it right), it was (finally) exhilarating.
There’s something here for me about the power of a ritual, or a practice, that you return to every year at the beginning of the year. And about giving yourself permission to do something that’s fun, without constantly interrogating its worth, effectiveness or value throughout the entire process.
(Huge and heartfelt thanks to Melissa Darou for first introducing me to this practice and answering some of my very dumb stressed vexed angsty questions (“but how does it work?!?!?!”), and to the Whistler Pemberton Literacy table and Jill Nowack, for offering this workshop every year. )
Just as Mary Oliver said so beautifully in her poem, “just let the soft animal of your body love what it loves”, this practice is so delightful because it is a practice in letting the soft gaze of your wandering eye be drawn to what it’s drawn to.