Last year I had a strong impulse to organize and execute a group vision boarding party at the beginning of the year. I had done vision boards before and found it to be a very powerful experience. I kept thinking about it and thinking about it…and ultimately never did it.
On Friday I facilitated a vision boarding party. It was a long time coming! Makes me think of a story my dad often shared with me. I was about 6 and we were at the Ulster County Fair in my hometown. There was a haunted house and we started to go into it. I got super scared and freaked out and wouldn’t go through. We had to turn around and go back out the front. A year later we’re at the Fair again. We enter and I grab my father’s hand and race through the fair, straight to the Haunted House and drag him in. I must have thought about that thing for the whole year, and I was determined to do what I wasn’t ready for a year earlier. We went through and I loved it. I guess the vision board party was my haunted house for last year.
Sometimes it takes a leap of faith to step out with an idea and bring it to fruition. This is seemingly such a small thing, but for me, it wasn’t. To risk my anonymity, to be seen, to be revealed; to heed the call as a leader or facilitator, to trust an idea and share it with others who might (or might not) be interested- it demands a certain vulnerability, an openness of heart and generosity of spirit that I’m glad I was able (after a year of thinking about it) to rise up to. It is a part of my vision for this year and why I see now that the centerpiece of my board was a big dripping purple heart. I can be bigger, I can give more of myself, I can share and risk and offer up my gifts.
For those who are unfamiliar, a vision board is a board full of images that represent the things you want to manifest or call into your life. You get some magazines and a blank piece of cardboard or posterboard and go to town, filling it with your hearts desire. It becomes a personal collage of your dreams. You keep it somewhere where you can see it every day and somehow, like magic, it works on your subconscious and draws these things to you. Here’s a little recap of what went down, in case you’re interested in doing your own vision board party.
I invited members of my VO Business Group to come and join me. About 12 people rsvp’d. After everyone arrived we stepped outside and each participant was smudged with sage. Sage has been used for centuries as a clearing tool. It dissipates any negative energy and purifies the space so you have a clean slate from which to create. Then we formed an opening circle and went around briefly stating who we were and sharing why we were there. I think this step is important as it unifies the group and creates an environment of trust honor and respect. We talked about keeping everything that was revealed confidential. After all, we’re dealing with people’s personal hopes dreams and aspirations. That’s sacred stuff and needs to be protected. In a confidential environment, people feel truly safe and free to reveal their truth.
I asked folks to bring their own poster board and any scissors, glue sticks and magazines they might have been willing to share. People really came through with this request and my house was overflowing with more than enough for everyone. It was literally a sea of magazines along the floor and it felt like we were all swimming through possibilities. People found a space at a table or on the floor and went to work, flipping through pages and grabbing images and words that spoke to them. The idea is not to think too much, but to let yourself choose whatever is calling to you. What do you want to bring into your life this year? It could be something physical, like a new car, or it could be a state of mind or an attitude or anything at all that you’d like to manifest and have in your life. You don’t have to know how you will get it, just that you want to get it. This is a first step towards envisioning these things in your life.
One of the most touching things that happened is that people spontaneously began calling out images they found that might not be right for them but might work for someone else. Does anyone need any video game images? How about the word BOOM? A puppy? A great body in a bathing suit? People freely began to share and think not only of their own visions, but of others, a beautiful and unexpected plus of doing this exercise in a group setting. Some of the things on my board wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for some thoughtful soul sharing it. A reminder that our greatest potential is often found in community.
While we worked we listened to an amazing cd that a good friend gave me for Christmas: Rhythms of the Chakras, which helped foster a wonderful calming focused and meditative vibe. At the end we all shared our boards one at a time. I think this is also a crucial step, as it not only provides closure to the group but also helps everyone to articulate and solidify their vision. And the power of the group holding space for everyone’s dreams cannot be underestimated. To be witnessed and heard is a huge gift.
The best part about this experience for me was the feeling that everyone came away with something positive that they can take into their lives and focus on for this next year. My house is literally still alive and pulsating with the energy of people’s visions. I can feel it. I also feel a sense of personal satisfaction in having finally followed through with a good idea. It wasn’t stupid or lame or whatever, any of those things my brain told me it was last year. By holding this vision board party, I respected my intuition and in doing so I’ve actually realized a vision of mine. I went through the haunted house. And guess what? It was actually fun.