Your Authentic Vision (Board) Manifested! What’s Your Unique Vision?…

It’s that time of the year again. Clients, family members, and friends…it’s that time when we reflect on the year, assess where we are, and create goals around where we would like the new year to take us! I recognize that there are no guarantees. It was just two years ago when I was supporting clients with creating goals and vision boards for what their 2020 was going to look like. How could we have imagined that we would be faced with a global pandemic that would create a paradigm shift for how we do business, think, live, and love?

We never know what the future has in store. We can however, do our best to exist in a way that is most authentic to who we are and practice gratitude everyday, even the days when it can be challenging. I believe we are all in need of healing, self-care, hope, and humanity-care. There is so much information about creating vision boards, manifesting our desires, living in abundance, etc. I am thankful that this information exists, positivity breeds positivity!

The purpose of this post is to share one way to approach creating a vision board that not only encompasses what we want to bring into our lives, it is also conducive to artistic expression & healing!

There are all types of Vision Board parties, events, experiences and workshops. There is not one type of experience that is “better” than others, just different, and finding one that you feel is a match for what you want to experience is important. The approach to a vision board experience that I explain below is the one I personally use and share with family, friends, and clients. I structured it in a way that encourages gratitude, acknowledges what gets to be released in order to make way for future goals, embraces authenticity, and then supports envisioning a clear picture of what you want to create. You can tweak this method anyway you believe would most support you. Again, there is no one way to approach the creation of YOUR VISION board. What matters most is your authentic vision!

YOUR INTENTIONAL, ARTISTIC, & AUTHENTIC VISION (Board) MANIFESTED!

What the title means: Your intentional vision manifested! It will be created artistically and it will be authentic to who you are. You will visualize yourself doing what you intend to do in all of your authenticity, and place words and images that represent your vision, on a board. The items you select for your board will represent all you are already in gratitude of as well as what you would like to create in the year ahead. The goal is for your vision board to not only be authentic, the hope is that when you look at it, it will evoke the feelings you want to feel when you achieve your goal. It will be a reminder and an inspiration to support you with staying on track. Vision board group experiences can be a lot of fun and a connecting experience. You can also create your vision board from your own home. You can make it an individual experience, or ask your loved one’s to join you. It can absolutely be a fun and connecting experience for couples to do together! Remember, you get to decide what works best for you.

Now, LET’S GET CREATIVE:

  1. The Intention: Set your intention for what you want to get out of the process of creating a vision board. Examples: “I set my intention to be open and positive,” “I set my intention to be honest with myself and embrace my authenticity,” “I set my intention to ask for what I want to receive.” etc.
  2. The Release: Reflect on the past year and identify things you would like to let go of/what you want to release. It can be thought patterns, clothing you can donate, relationships that drain you/hurt you, etc. Write down all of the things you are releasing. Close your eyes and envision yourself releasing them. When you open your eyes, read your list out loud. Examples: “I am letting go of the belief that I am not good enough,” “I release the need for external validation/approval,” “I let go of the items I barely use to give them to people in need.” “I release judgment.” Once you speak your complete list out loud, rip up the paper as small as you can and discard it. You have let it go.
  3. The Gratitude: Create a list of all the things you have gratitude for. Start your sentences with statements of gratitude. Examples: “I am filled with gratitude for the abundance that already exists in my life.” “I am grateful for my warm bed, hot water, my children, my best friend, my eyesight, my job, the Ocean, my health, the fact that I always have food to eat, being here in this moment,” etc. Close your eyes and visualize existing in what you are grateful for. The people, the items, yourself, all of it. Allow yourself to be present and sit in appreciation for what already exists. Open you eyes and read your statements out loud.
  4. The Authenticity: Who are you? When are you most joyful, most yourself? What are you doing and who are you with? When are you most inspired? Give yourself a few minutes to think about these questions. Write down, 4 sentences about who you are. Example: “I am a genuine person. I am happiest when I am swimming in the Ocean and also when I surrounded by loved one’s. I express myself most authentically through creation, especially painting. My desire is to live a life of purpose and I do it by working in a healing profession.” Write as if you were going to have to share who you are in 4 sentences with a group of people who did not know you. Who are you AUTHENTICALLY!
  5. THE CREATION: What are your goals for the year ahead? What type of life do you want to live/create? Where would you like to place most of your attention? What do you aspire to do? How do you want to show up in the World? Where will you be while achieving your goal? How will you look? Who will be around you? Sit comfortably or lay down. Close your eyes. Take at least 3 deep breathes, getting present in your body, and then the magic happens…VISUALIZE YOURSELF LIVING THE LIFE YOU ARE TRYING TO CREATE. Imagine yourself achieving your goal. Envision yourself in that moment, take a look around and watch how people respond to you, how do you feel in that moment? How does it feel to achieve that goal? What are you wearing? Are you sitting, walking, or standing? What is your facial expression? Are you smiling? Allow yourself to bask in the thoughts and feelings that come up for you once you attain what you set out to achieve with intention and authenticity. Do not rush this step. Allow yourself to experience the joy and peace that comes with attaining the goal.

Visualizations, just like positive affirmations create new neural pathways that support us with being able to view ourselves differently and stop us from engaging in self-limiting beliefs. Once we believe we can do something, it greatly increases the likelihood that we will achieve it. Self imposed limitations are what keep most people from achieving their goals.

Items needed: Heavyweight paper such as Oaktag, magazines, scissors, double sided tape or glue, pictures, quotes, paper to rip up, a notebook, and a pen. You may also include other items that you appreciate and can adhere to the heavyweight paper, such as coins, ribbons, stickers, etc.

THE EXPERIENCECome Join Me!:

I have so much gratitude for being able to facilitate and hold space for 25 people this year for an intimate Vision board experience in a modern, split level, Bohemian style loft located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NYC. I will be incorporating everything mentioned in this post and so much more. It will be an opportunity for 25 people to come together in an intimate setting and have an intentional, artistic, and authentic experience. Everyone in attendance will leave with their FRAMED vision board and reusable giftbag which will include wellness items and a notebook I hand painted. ALL items needed will be provided. Refreshments and hors d’oeuvres will be provided.

If you are interested in attending, tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite:

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me on this page, or you can email: ourperfectus@gmail.com

*COVID-19 PROOF OF FULL VACCINATION REQUIRED. TEMPERATURE WILL BE TAKEN AT THE DOOR.

One of many items, a handpainted notepad!

TODAY, The Art of Being Present…

Today.

Today is the day we are in. It may be obvious. However, the reminder necessary.

Why?

The thoughts of yesterday keep us stuck. Reflecting and acknowledging how we have grown supports us. However, rumination leads to stagnation and at times self deprecation. Negative self-talk is fed by our filters. Narratives amplified by what we choose to extract. Consciously? Subconsciously? Unconsciously? Who knows? Let me think about that.

Let. Me. Think. About. THAT.

OVERTHINKING. Analyzing the steps taken on roads already traveled, hoping reflection will bring us closer to our desired destination.

Perhaps it’s closure we are seeking, believing closure exists in the rehashing of our narratives. Rehashing? Perhaps visual reenactments. Is it rooted in healing and progressing? Do you sit with it, and stay with it, get bought in to it, and stay stuck in it? Fighting to find the reframe…searching for that reframe. Where are you going? Can you look ahead and back at the same time?

Take the experience. Learn from the past. Integrate those discoveries into your present moment. This present moment. Acknowledge, don’t dwell. Notice, don’t get stuck. Thank you yesterday, I appreciate you, good-bye.

Today.

Today is the day we are in. It may be obvious. However, the reminder necessary.

How come?

Thoughts of tomorrow cloud my vision, intrusive whispers, they betray my peace, disassemble my meditation piece by piece, intrusive whispers turn to roars, once a clouded vision now a thunder storm, and I fear it will become my norm. Do I talk about it? Maybe I should…I’m torn. It feels all encompassing when anxiety takes this form. Can I exist in something different or was I born to exist in the storm? I’m catastrophizing.

Today.

Today is the day we are in. How do you feel right now? Breathe.

Take another breath.

Take one more.

Let your breath be the reminder.

This feeling is Universal.

Today.

Today is the day we are in. It may be obvious but the reminder necessary.

Today, I feel compelled to tell you. Today, I feel the desire to share. The knowingness of the obvious will not stop my reiteration, it is a necessary reminder for me. Today I write this message with urgency…I share it with you and I wrote it for humanity. We all have moments where we get to stop and breathe, consciously.

We all have moments when we look ahead and are not sure what the next steps are, either busy looking back, or creating a thunder storm in our minds that blinds us. Windshield wipers don’t work in a downpour. When we struggle to see, and we struggle to hear, when we struggle to know, there is one thing we can do. We can breathe. Today. Now. Breathe and in that mindful breath, remember your light. Remember the feeling of the sun on your face. Remember that you have that warmth within. The key is to remember that where there is dark there is light. YOU ARE THE LIGHT. My wish for you, is that you love openly & live authentically, today.

We are all living this human experience.

TODAY IS THE DAY WE ARE ALL LIVING IN, TOGETHER.

TOGETHER.

IT MAY NOT BE OBVIOUS, SO THE REMINDER IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.

Couples Accountability Check – Why You Need to Own Your Role!

Life is essentially all about relationships. The relationship we have with ourselves, our partner, family, friends, and essentially all things! I became an LMFT in order to support people with creating and sustaining happy, healthy, ever evolving relationships while living authentically. I have come to understand that when reflecting on my own relationships, there is of course that one common denominator, ME! When there are themes I find less than appealing in my relationship, although it would be great to be able to put all the blame on my partner, I get to ask myself, “what have YOU done to co-create this relationship dynamic?”

The same with you my friend. YOU are the common denominator in your relationships. I have some questions for you, how do you feel about the current state of your romantic relationship? Is it passionate? Does it excite you? Does it lack depth? Are you too busy to maintain it? Do you even want to? Now the big question…

WHAT HAS YOUR CONTRIBUTION BEEN TO THE CURRENT STATE OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP?

While the tendency for most is to blame the other person when the relationship is stressed/strained, there still does exist the partner that takes on too much ownership and ends up feeling like they are always apologizing. I have had countless clients over the years share that they are consistently taking the one down, validating, and apologizing to their partner when they believe they have done nothing wrong. Clients share that they get tired of feeling like they are doing most of the work during conflict and either end up apologizing for all of it (over accountability) or they decide to stop validating all together and take no accountability or shut down (which usually leads to more conflict). Do you fall in either one of the two extremes? If so, which one?

Over accountability – You are owning too much (your role and theirs). Apologizing for the entire miscommunication and invalidating your own feelings. You may be bought into an old narrative that it is always your fault. Sometimes people will refer to an “empath” as a person who can over identify with the other person and absorb a disproportionate amount of the blame. Taking too much responsibility can also be a sign of a person who has fear of being alone (abandonment) and/or fear of conflict (conflict avoidant).

Under accountability – You are not owning your role (you are placing a majority of the blame on your partner). You point the finger at them, you blame them, and you are bought into a story that it is usually their fault. Sometimes people who do not own their role are considered selfish, they may lack self awareness, sometimes you can find that characteristic in a person who has narcissistic personality disorder, and they may use tactics such as gaslighting to make their partner feel like they have done something wrong. (Side note, just because someone struggles with owning their role does not automatically mean that they are a narcissist)

Just good ol’ Accountability – Both partners get to take accountability for their role in the conflict. We ALL get to accept responsibility for our actions and acknowledge how our actions impact the people we love. Emotional maturity means being able to be less ruled by emotions and having the ability to own our role without placing blame on others. It is much easier to blame, finger pointing is something that comes naturally for most. However, two people continuing to blame and point the finger of shame at one another are equally contributing to an unsafe/hostile environment. Instead of pointing your finger, use that hand to pick up a mirror and SEE YOURSELF!

WHAT IF WE AS INDIVIDUALS DID OUR WORK?

Work? Work meaning, what if we mean what we say and say what we mean? What if we stopped making assumptions about what our partners are thinking and what if we stopped assuming that we know how they feel? What if we stopped making everything about us as if they are out to get us and what if we STOP TAKING THINGS PERSONALLY? What if we were to show up as the best version of ourselves (highest selves) for each interaction and every conversation? What would that mean?

The book “The Four Agreements,” by Don Miquel Ruiz, addresses these topics directly. The book was recommended to me by a loved one when I first started my private practice and I recommend it to everyone. The Four Agreements being 1) Be Impeccable with your word 2) Don’t make assumptions 3) Don’t take anything personally 4) Always do your best. What if we were to “work” on focusing on those 4 things? What would happen is…

We would have more connecting relationships.

We would have less conflict.

We would live consciously.

We would engage in less negative self talk.

We would ask more questions.

We would no longer spiral with anxious thoughts and rumination would cease.

We would be more compassionate towards others.

We would be more compassionate towards self.

We would trust ourselves and other’s would be more likely to trust us.

We would be the best versions of ourselves/our highest selves.

We would be open and curious and attract more abundance.

We would be able to hold space for the people we love as well as humanity.

WE WOULD LEAD MORE AUTHENTIC LIVES, CREATE MORE FULFILLING RELATIONSHIPS, AND PROBABLY BE A HECK OF A LOT HAPPIER!

The fact of the matter is, that the longer I practice individual and couples therapy, the clearer and clearer it becomes that the two people in the relationship need to do their individual work in order for the relationship to reach its full potential. Self-awareness is necessary. HOWEVER, CHANGE HAPPENS VIA ACTION. Action steps are necessary.

ACTION STEPS: SLOW DOWN, OWN YOUR ROLE, REGULATE YOUR EMOTIONS and VALIDATE YOUR PARTNER!

Slow down during the conversation, take a time out if necessary (length of time predetermined, usually 30 minutes, try to keep it to the same day) until you are ready to resume the conversation leading with a STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTABILITY. What is a statement of accountability? When the two of you come back together to resolve the conflict, you both resume prepared to share what you identified as something YOU could have done differently to experience/contribute to a more positive outcome.

Example:

Partner 1: “I am sorry I did not call you when I realized I was going to be late. I know that makes you feel disrespected and taken for granted. I recognize that you probably would not have started yelling when I came home if I would have called you and kept you in the loop. Regardless of what the circumstances were around my inability to call, the fact of the matter is that I didn’t call and that upset you.”

Partner 2: “I really appreciate you saying that. I didn’t realize you understood what was happening for me and your apology matters. I also recognize that you have a lot going on at work and forgot to call. I know that you not calling is not indicative of you taking me for granted and at the time I took it personally. The fact that I was triggered is still no excuse for raising my voice and cursing. I apologize because you do not deserve to be spoken to that way and I could have handled that better. I take accountability for my role and triggering you. I apologize for my role in our conversation turning into an argument.

STOP BLAMING..START OWNING!

When two people enter in to a conversation taking accountability/owning their role and validating the other person’s emotions, it creates a safe environment for both of them. Emotional safety is necessary for transparent and vulnerable conversations to take place. You have to be willing to do your part and not get sucked into engaging in an unhealthy or maladaptive dynamic. “My partner made me do it,” means someone is struggling with seeing their part in an interaction.

When we begin to accept that we do things because WE DECIDE TO DO THEM, we can feel motivated and empowered to learn to respond to our triggers differently. You hold the key!

When we get triggered we tend to say things to hurt the other person, or we say things to protect ourselves. The bottom line is that we say things that may not be our truth. If YOU are reactive, that’s a YOU THING! We do not get to blame the other person for our choice of reaction and inability to self-soothe/regulate our emotions . We can respond differently, we can respond respectfully, and we can respond from a place of love once we learn how to manage our responses.

I want to be clear that this does not mean that you do not show up for/support one another. I do believe that if you decide to be in a committed relationship, you get to both be clear around what you need/want support to look like for your unique relationship. Also, under no circumstances should a person stay in a relationship that is abusive. If you believe you are in a physically or emotionally abusive relationship, I encourage you to get immediate support. A client of mine has the mantra, “I can conquer anything with communication” – DF. You can indeed conquer anything with communication, just be sure to speak your truth with warmth and own your role when you do! When we come from a non-judgmental place, when we own our role, and when we lead with love, there is nothing we can not discuss. The goal is to be able to create an emotionally safe and authentic relationship. It starts with self. Remember, inner peace can not come from your partner, it comes from within and is the determinant of creating peace within your relationship!

Wishing you and your relationship love and peace always,

Tamara