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 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.

Make this “Your Year!” An Intention Setting Guide for Couples and Individuals

blog - go for it now

I’ve heard clients, friends, and family make comments such as, “this is going to be my year,” “last year was not my year,” “I’m hoping that this will be my year.” I’ve noticed that making it their year is contingent on some sort of achievement or gain. It often sounds like: “this year I plan to get in shape,” “I hope to get a promotion,” “I will become a homeowner,” “I plan to find a partner,” “I’m hoping to get engaged,” etc. What do you need to experience, see, or accomplish to consider this “your year?”

Are you goal oriented? So, what are your goals for the new year? If you’re a goal oriented person, that question will not bother you, in fact, it may stimulate you. You may be able to fire those goals out to anyone who asks in a manner that exudes an eloquent confidence with specifics around steps and dates within the year in which you plan to achieve those goals. Congratulations, on your ability to focus, create detailed task lists and actually complete them! Being goal oriented supports many people, some people thrive from setting goals, competing, and healthy stress. For those of you out there that embrace the word, “goal,” who turn that energy into action, (and I say this sincerely) yay you!

For many others (the vast majority), the mere word, “goal” brings with it feelings of pressure, anxiety, stress and expectation (immediate migraine). I have observed clients show signs of distress during session, such as fidgeting, rapid heart rate and speech when the word, “goal” is brought up since there are various cognitions and feelings attached to it. The thought of having to sit down and come up with a “plan” around achieving your “goals” for the new year can feel like going on a job interview when you have just been laid off! In which there is a lot riding on what you do, you fear judgment, and there is a belief that you have to get everything just right in order to be considered a success and worthy of being on the team! You either get the job or you don’t. You either pass or fail.

The idea of setting intentions seems so much friendlier, when the word intention is shared during session, clients usually breath deeper, become pensive , speak softly and share in a more concise way. The word intention is soothing, it evokes hope, a gentle nudge. Rather than the idea of sitting across from someone in a stuffy suit on the other end of a desk in an unfamiliar setting who you feel will judge you, I encourage you to envision a cup of hot chocolate or tea in hand, perhaps a glass of wine or beer and sitting back on a comfy sofa, legs propped up, sitting next to an encouraging family member or close friend and discussing some things that you would like to do or have always dreamed about doing and then envision making that a reality. Think about how you can create the life you want in the new year, and yes, I mean this year!

A goal is measurable, it places value, either you achieve your goal or you fail (that seems harsh)! It is often born in the rational, 3-D mind, is black or white and can be non-forgiving

Intentions come from within, your deepest desires, the song in your heart and the energy of your soul coming together to create an intention. Intentions are compassionate, forgiving, ever growing, and evolving.

be happy

How to Set Intentions for yourself:

Step 1: Commit to/Set aside time to relax and be fully present with yourself. Some people find this works best while they meditate, however if meditation is not something that you believe works for you, finding a quiet place where you are comfortable works just as well.

Examples for quiet time/a quiet place: Sitting in a warm bath (a lavender or vanilla scented candle, bath salt or bath gel can enhance the experience), drinking a warm beverage in your favorite chair, sitting in nature (in the park watching the birds, squirrels, the leaves sway in the trees, at the beach, the ocean waves, the stillness of a lake, in your car parked under a tree, in NYC you can park by the Hudson or East River, etc). Give yourself at least 60 minutes, turn electronics off, let your loved ones know you will be unavailable and prioritize listening to yourself.

Step 2: Take deep breaths (to calm your heart rate) and allow thoughts of what you enjoy most in life to surface, what about life makes you smile, what makes you feel like moving freely and laughing, when do you feel like the most authentic version of yourself, what would you like to create, and what do you wish you had more time to do?

Step 3: Once you have created the opportunity to think, reflect, and envision, write down the questions above and write down what your thoughts are about them. The act of writing them down is cathartic, it supports bringing thoughts and feelings that may have been residing dormant within you to the surface. Once brought to the surface they bring with them the awareness necessary to support intentions to manifest. In other words, writing brings with it an awareness of your deepest thoughts and feelings which you may have been unaware of, having this awareness will empower you to bring about the change you seek.

declare intentions

Examples of Individual Intentions:

I intend to recognize at least one positive thing in every situation. (this will support elevating mood, and appreciation).

I intend to take ownership of my role in situations, understanding that everyone plays a role in an outcome. (this will promote self-awareness and internal growth)

I intend to practice trust in the outcome of everyday and identify a lesson/positive even when things do not go according to my plan. (this will support letting go of rigid attachments, and decreasing anxiety)

I intend to do more of what makes me smile, such as reading and spending more time with friends. (this will support happiness and a sense of fulfillment)

I intend to use my natural gifts more often to support myself as well as others. (this will support self-esteem, self-worth and sense of purpose)

I intend to lead an active lifestyle, to keep myself as healthy as possible to be around for my loved ones. (this promotes elevated mood due to the release of endorphins and a sense of accomplishment)

I intend to acknowledge when fears are limiting me and make a decision to practice trust around my own ability to handle any outcome. (this will decrease anxiety and support growth and self-esteem)

I intend to recognize when past wounds are influencing decisions and move towards making decisions rooted in love and trust to create a life of fulfillment in my authenticity. (this will support healing and self actualization)

I intend to practice appreciation everyday for the life I am already living (this supports gratitude, happiness, and contentment)

trust fingers

How to Set Intentions for your Relationship:

Step 1: Discuss your desire to come up with intentions for your relationship in a collaborative manner. Each of you can identify what tool you will be using to begin (a notepad, phone app, or in a word document) so that you can refer back to the questions and answers throughout the year and also provide a copy to one another.

Step 2: Think/Reflect around what type of relationship you would like to create. Answer the following questions: When was I happiest in the relationship? When did I feel safest? How do I enjoy receiving love? How do I enjoy showing love? What do I still want to do individually? What do I want to do with my partner? Do I believe we are working as a team? When do I feel most connected? How are we connecting? What are our couple strengths? What areas would I like us to grow in?

Step 3: Once you have both written and reflected on the questions above, schedule a time to sit together and share your responses. Use this time to truly connect, view it as a positive experience, and rid yourselves of all distractions (electronic devices). Allocate at least a couple of hours to the conversation, perhaps while sharing a meal. Together you can gain insight around your partner and set intentions for your relationship which you are aligned with and both take ownership around.

Examples of Relationship Intentions:

We intend to listen to one another from a place of love and trust in an effort to practice empathy, compassion, and validation. (this will support arguing less)

We intend to recognize our maladaptive coping mechanisms and make a decision to be unguarded and vulnerable. We will each identify and share new, healthy ways to cope with conflict and our individual stress. (this will support conflict resolution, de-escalating, and connection)

We intend to continue to grow our relationship based on how we relate to one another and the place we have in one another’s hearts and not be influenced by the expectations and views of others. (this supports overall happiness, stepping away from roles imposed by family and society)

We intend to share our truth, views, and opinions with our partner to promote understanding, and not impose those said views and opinions on them. (this will support safety and connection).

We intend to spend quality time together being fully present and engaged. (this will support connection, intimacy, and trust).

We intend to continue to get to know one another as we recognize that we are individuals who continue to grow, evolve and change. We will not assume to know what the other is thinking or feeling, we will approach one another with love and curiosity. (this will promote intimacy, attraction, and connection)

We intend to create a safe space for one another by communicating in a validating, compassionate manner, being mindful of our tone and body language. (this will support intimacy and safety)

Ready? you Set your Intention…now, Go!

So now that you have created your individual and/or relationship intentions, come up with ways to ensure those intentions come to fruition. In order for intentions to manifest, you must not only think about them, you must have a deeper awareness of the fact that they exist and then practice (an action) something different.

If one of your individual intentions was “I recognize when fears are limiting me and make a decision to practice trust around my ability to handle any outcome.” The first step is the awareness around what you are fearing (identify the fear) and the next step is the actionable item (doing something different).  Example: Let’s say that you are not going out socializing because you do not have as many friends as you once had. You have convinced/told yourself that you just do not want to go out, you are an introvert, do not really need or like people and just want to stay to yourself. While this may be true for some people, for many people it is not and the recognition may be around the fact that you are fearful that you can not make new friends, that you are not interesting, that others find you boring and that you will have a difficult time. Once you are aware of that fear, the next step is practicing something different. You can join a meetup with people who have similar interests, join a club, begin a new healthy hobby such as walking or jogging, all with the intention to meet new people. If that seems overwhelming to you, you may make a decision to go to therapy to work on shyness and discover social anxiety may be what has been standing in your way. You have increased your awareness and decided to do something different, you are being intentional.

In your couple relationship, if you intend to “recognize old maladaptive coping mechanisms and make a decision to be unguarded and vulnerable” what does that look like in awareness? Example: You and your partner have a disagreement, he wants to go out for dinner and you want to stay in. He begins to say that you always want to stay in and he is bored staying in. You hear that (your filter) as him calling you boring. You may get defensive. Your defensiveness may look like shutting down (not saying anything), lashing out (name calling, screaming), walking away, beginning to laugh (deflecting with humor or passive aggressive sarcasm), use of exit language (I can’t deal with this anymore, I’m going to pack my bags and leave, I think we should get a divorce). Those are all maladaptive coping mechanisms aka guards, aka defense mechanisms.

Do you know what yours are? (once again, awareness). Ask yourself, what are my defense mechanisms? How do I protect myself? If you do know what yours are, you now have the opportunity to do something different. If you usually internalize what people share and shut down, make the decision to share differently, stating, “that was a trigger for me, I heard that as you calling me boring.” In that simple statement you are now doing something intentionally different and giving your partner the opportunity to show up differently as well. If you are prone to lash out, escalate the argument quickly, engage in name calling, start to yell and blame, then your something different will come in the form of learning how to self-soothe. It is imperative to find new/healthier ways to cope/self-soothe such as: Recognizing that you have been triggered and turning inward to feel better by taking some deep breathes, drinking a glass of water, etc. Finding new language such as, “I’m upset and need to take a few minutes to calm down before we continue to have this conversation,” “I love you, I want us to be able to have this conversation, let’s both start over by listening with compassion and validating.” The awareness will lead to increased intentionality. The intention accompanied by action, will lead to a different outcome.

Jung-quote

Begin with a quiet space,  a restful heart, and a quiet mind. Set your intentions and practice awareness. When awareness and intentionality exist simultaneously, the desires from within are able to manifest. Set your intention, hold yourself accountable, do something different and allow life to unfold.

The fact is, that every year is your year.

This is already your year,

How will you decide to experience it?