Friday, January 23, 2015

The Hidden Message in Your Vision Board

It's no surprise that the start of a new year brings a host of new beginnings, commitments, and resolutions. A chance to hit the "start" or "re-start" button on a dream. An opportunity to leave behind the negative and extend oneself toward the positive. Be it taking out a gym membership or applying for a loan to start a business, that first step usually begins with a vision in one's mind. However, to better "see" the road map from vision to attainment, many have begun gathering glue guns and girlfriends (and wine), and creating the now ever-so-popular "vision board."

Being a fan of anything that promotes self-awareness, growth, and positive energy, I am no stranger to vision boards or their usefulness in charting one's course toward success. However, recently reading an Essence article on how to create a more effective one, reminded me of two things: 1) that I hadn't created one in a while, and 2) that the vision board actually brings about another opportunity for assessment that many are not even aware of. I discovered the latter when I recalled that my last vision board was...stuffed behind my bed. In the words of Kevin Hart, let me explain.

Years ago, I was in a relationship that was not serving either of us well (if both parties are honest), but hindsight revealed we were probably more committed to the commitment than we were committed to our own true happiness. I won't even go into detail about how difficult and dangerous that can be. However, in hoping to make a little more sense of my life at that time (read: avoiding the troubled relationship elephant in the room), I set out on creating a vision board. Cue the magazines, scissors, markers, glue, glitter, and all that fun stuff that makes the board "come alive." As a then newbie, I now realize some goals simply weren't streamlined well enough and others not even goals but instead those things that just sound good to say (like, win the lottery? Umm. Yeah.). But I digress.

After completing my masterpiece, I hung it proudly on my bedroom wall so that I could see it and draw the vision into my consciousness on a daily basis. However, whenever my significant other came over, I'd take the board down and hide it behind my bed. Now, I justified this behavior by telling myself a vision should be private and that no one needs to know your dreams. However, after I finally had the fortitude to end the relationship, I realized some time later that my actions were truly because the person was not really a part of any of my visions, and because I didn't want them to try and "compromise" any of my visions by seeing them. And THAT was a major wake up call.

Yes, visions are personal but they certainly do not need to be "secrets" hidden from anyone you're sharing your life with, be it friends, family, or a partner. In other words, if there is any anxiety about sharing your vision with anyone in your life for fear of judgment, criticism, coveting, etc., your first order of business in organizing your life is to ask yourself why you've kept such people IN your life. Our relationships regardless of what kind should be built on love, trust, understanding, and, support! When you begin to hide any parts of yourself in an effort to keep any of those relationships "harmonious": red flag! There is no growth without freedom, and there is no freedom in hiding. Many of our visions are ushered into fruition by the loving support (and, dare I say, connections) of others. Those that truly belong in--and are there to enhance and advance--your life will not only embrace your visions but can help you reach them as well.

If in planning your vision board party or going at one alone, you find yourself seriously vetting who you invite or share them with, there is no time like the beginning of a new year to do inventory on who you call your "circle"--or even your partner. Before any vision can be birthed, a solid foundation must be in place, and loving, supportive people should always be a part of that foundation--and your life.

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