Day 15, Blog-tember-ers! Half way – oh, the agony of it: I don’t want it to end!
Today’s prompt is:
Make a mood board….Share a collage of any kind!
January 2014, I’m back in a country I don’t want to be in, living a difficult situation. What’s a girl to do? Crumple up in a ‘Oh, woe is me’ pity party or roll her sleeves up and get on with it? As I’m a ‘roll my sleeves’ up sort of girl, I decided to do just that.
So, whilst in the midst of mind-destroying abuse and crazy-making stress, I did what I could do at that moment and I started to dream (he couldn’t – can’t – take my dreams away from me). I’d ‘skim read’ The Secret and all of the surrounding hullabaloo a while ago for work and one of the things that stuck in my mind was the idea of visualisation. So, it occurred to me one night, around 3am (the insomniac’s witching hour), to make a vision board. I set to, scouring copies of old magazines that I had lying around the house and cutting out anything that ‘spoke to me’: words, images, colours, anything. I then went mad with the glue stick and created my vision board.
Exhibit 1: my VERY ‘old school’ vision board
(For anyone who’s nosey, like I would be, it’ll flash up bigger if you click on the image!)
It has pictures of women that appeal to me because of their confidence (look at that foxy beautiful ‘older’ lady!); pictures of homes I love and could imagine us living in; words that fill me with hope and courage (with ‘courage’ being my ‘One Little Word‘ for 2104); pictures of things that just make me happy (Leonardo di Caprio giving me the thumbs up? Yes please! One can but dream!). Basically anything that makes me feel full, inspired, happy, joyful, when I look at it.
I then hung this vision board somewhere I’d be able to see it every day. It’s a terrible picture of it because it hangs in my bathroom (which is dark), on the wall opposite the shower so that, when I’m in the shower, I can look at it and let the images soak in to my psyche.
I look at it every single day, for at least five minutes, and I concentrate, fully, in those five minutes, on what the images say to me, either individual images or the collection of images as a whole. I think about everything I’ve done in my life and the things I still want to do. I think about everything that makes me happy, all the things I’m thankful for. I think about when I’ve been courageous, when I’ve been brave, when I’ve been joyful. I find, whatever is happening in my life, however stressful the situation is, those five minutes of what I’ve come to call concentrated self care allow me to ‘reset’ myself. I get out of the shower not only clean physically but feeling cleansed, refreshed and raring to go mentally.
I then start my day by taking an action, however small, towards the future I’m envisioning for us. It might be goal-setting, or starting work for a new client (an additional source of income!), or something as seemingly irrelevant as putting on some red lipstick and dancing for five minutes (I’ve found that those things aren’t insignificant or irrelevant for me because, at this moment in my life, what I need is intensive self care so that I can continue to re-discover my awesomeness and make that awesomeness work for us. If that means a five minute dance or giggle fit with the littles or taking a minute out of my – mostly suffocatingly busy – work schedule to slap on some red lipstick and mascara, so be it! That’s one minute invested in me that’s going to pay me dividends when it comes to how I feel on the VC I have with a potential client, for example, or allowing me to feel that much brighter and more optimistic every single day).
So, what has the ‘vision board’ idea taught me already? That I have a mountain of things to be thankful for. That I’m awesome – we all are – and that we can use that awesomeness for good, to develop our ‘dream’ lives. That with goals and with planning and with dedication we can achieve the things we envision. That life really is truly wonderful, a gift to be savoured in its every passing moment. That mindfulness – what I practice in those five minutes of looking at, digesting, my vision board – is the key to happiness….so many, many, amazing realisations…
What’s happened since I’ve been doing this ‘vision board mindfulness’ for five minutes a day every day since January?
Well, I’ve survived. I’ve not been beaten down. He didn’t succeed in beating the life out of me (either physically, emotionally or spiritually). I’ve realised what it is I want to do in my life from this point on because I stopped and listened to my soul, to my intuition. She’d been whispering to me for a long time but it wasn’t until I was forced to slow down, to evaluate, that I realised how wise she is and how very well she knows me. I’ve learnt that patience is a virtue and that all desired things will arrive, if you just make the space for them and have the patience. I’ve (re)learnt to trust life. And to be thankful for everything life offers me. Life is bountiful. It is generous. It is wondrous. I’ve learnt to soak it up, child-like before it, in all it’s Glory.
And what’s happened in my life? I’ve set myself on a path to writing my novel (something I’d felt the calling towards for years), I make sure I appear confident and beautiful to the outside world (because image is everything to clients, however much we wish it weren’t), I’ve been courageous many, many times. I feel brave. I have boundless optimism. I’ve become happier than I ever thought possible…
….all of the things I visualise about, mindfully, every day, and that are represented in the images on that old school vision board have come true for me, unfolded before me.
Isn’t the mind, the Universe, a pretty powerful thing?!
[I’ve since added, at the side of the vision board, a paper that says, “I choose to represent possibility”. It’s something I heard Will Smith say and it spoke volumes to me. It’s there now, being meditated upon every single day. “I choose to represent possibility”: its a mighty powerful statement and one that, I hope, will guide this next stage of my life].