“As a kid you learned that north is at the top of the globe. As a grown-up navigator, though, you now realize that the world isn’t quite that simple. What we think of as the top of the globe is referred to as “true north.” Magnetic north (where your compass needle actually points) is a function of Earth’s magnetic fields and its core elements, which fluctuate in complicated ways.” Lindsay McIntosh-Tolle, REI
Our first practice for starting the journey of a new year is creating a vision board.
When we set out on a journey, we often need a map that takes us from where we are to where we want to be. Once we choose a destination, we have to take the time to calibrate our compass for where-ever we may be at the moment. Otherwise, when we set off on a journey, we may very likely wind up somewhere quite different than we intended.
Where are you right now as 2021 dawns? What is your true north? How might you need to calibrate your compass to chart a course that will lead where you want to be this year? You are invited to make your own vision board, using whatever process and materials YOU like.
“Your life, my life, is given graciously by God. Our lives are not problems to be solved but journeys to be taken”
― Henri J. M. Nouwen, Spiritual Direction
My vision board is not usually done in one or even two sittings. This is not a quick and efficient process (I am not asking Siri or Google Maps for turn by turn directions). I’m slowly and mindfully pondering assessing where I am, thinking about where I want to go, finding visual cues and creating a map forward. I typically take a week or so to think and work on my map for the year and when all is said and done, my vision boards rarely look like what you’ll see on Oprah Magazine or from crafty YouTubers.
Here’s my 2021 vision board, step-by-step.
I painted a couple of sheets of paper in varying hues of watercolor blues.
After drying for about an hour, I tore the sheets into collaging size pieces.
I found a large, map page from one of our MANY, kringloop-collected books we have just for crafting.
I spent a couple of hours sifting through old issues of Flow Magazine, the aforementioned books and odd bits and pieces I’ve clipped the past year.
I glued and re-glued until what I chose was settled in the right place.
I added tiny touches of paint here and there.
A few days later I drew, watercolored, and glued on a compass.
I will likely add a few more images in the coming days if I find something that resonates with me. Even when we chart a course it’s cool take a few steps off path here and there to follow our interests. It’s more than cool, it’s highly recommended!
If you choose to make a vision board and would like to share it with me, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to let me know if I can share your vision board here on seekingsophia 🙂
“Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery, like the idle curved tunnels of leaf miners on the face of a leaf. We must somehow take a wider view, look at the whole landscape, really see it, and describe what’s going on here. Then we can at least wail the right question into the swaddling band of darkness, or, if it comes to that, choir the proper praise.”
― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
[edit: looking back over my post I realize that I share similarly to how my wife teaches, on the assumption that most people know exactly what we are talking about. In this case, I figured y’all know what vision boards are, but just in case it’s probably a good idea to include a basic explanation of them. So…
Vision boards are a craft-tacular way of setting intentions and maybe even achieving goals. I’m a visual learner, so that is why they resonate with me. The overall idea is simple.
Spend some time first thinking about what it is you hope to do, or be, or even feel in the coming year.
With some ideas in mind, give yourself ample time to flip through magazines, salvaged books, old postcards or even old doodles idling in erstwhile journals. Clipped text that captures a core idea is also nice. I never use Google or my printer because I prefer the ambling, tactile experience of browsing hand-held material. Select images that depict your goals and cut them out.
On a largeish sheet of paper, cardboard or piece of plywood, assemble and glue the images in ways that make sense to you. There is NO right or wrong way to do as long as it makes sense to you.
Place your vision board somewhere in your daily field of vision to remind you of your hopes and dreams.
The notion behind this whole process is that by sitting with and later looking at the plans you have for yourself, these things will manifest for you. Now let me be clear, as the spiritual, woo-woo, mystery-loving person that I am – there is no particular magic in this process beyond the magic of trusting yourself to have a vision for your life and a willingness to take steps to make them manifest.]