Creative Visualization, Vision Boards, Dreaming…

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Whatever you prefer to call it, it’s important to have a dream.

But I have to be honest for a moment. The whole LOA “Law of Attraction” movement irks the hell out of me. It seems that every self-proclaimed guru or life coach I’ve known, barely has what they desire in life. They typically tend to be the unhappiest people I know, once you get to know them deeply. It’s not about material wealth…I’m talking life purpose and true happiness. They’re lonely, hate their jobs, or where they live. And openly express it, though it’s never direct (I’ve learned a lot of them are careful manipulators with their wording, as well).

Let me be clear…not every person who teaches it or talks about it, is a fake. As with any trend, you have to weed through a lot of people to get to the truth.

I’m also not trying to knock down the movement of positive thoughts and reinforcement, nor at the process of looking at your thoughts. These are very important tools in your self-empowerment and growth. I admittedly however, listen with less intensity to people who mention the oh so popular “Secret.” By now, you know me—I detest trends. That book/movement started a trend of coaches who have done little in their own lives, but wish to coach you for a pretty penny, on how to run your life.

A few courses or a weekend at a seminar, and we’re all experts in a topic.

The truth is,

  • It’s not about analyzing every single thought you have (exhausting!)
  • No one has time to literally focus every single thought on their goals (are you being present with the person you’re with right now, or just thinking of your goals?)
  • There’s a lot of copy and pasting going on out there (an influx of unoriginal memes. Create and share your own content, at least SOME of the time, until you have a library built, so you share nothing but your own thoughts. Add something TO the post, as well—your own opinion about it, or a deeper context. Don’t just hit the “share” button.)
  • Don’t be too honest on social media-be PC, or you’re not being supportive (no…some things are just not ethical. If you see it, express it without fear. Our whole being PC movement has turned us into a society that accepts everything, and walks on egg shells. I’m here to tell you, some things are simply not acceptable, and I give you permission to speak out.)
  • Affirmations are a powerful tool to be used all the time (do you REALLY have time to write all those affirmations, put them in your phones, and keep chanting them all day? Are we ever actually LIVING our lives, or are we attached to phone reminders and sticky notes all over windows, mirrors and fridges!?! If you leave notes in the same location without moving them, you stop looking at them. Free the clutter of your walls and scheduled reminders and just LIVE.)
  • If bad things happen, think about your negative thought patterns (laying blame much? We all have bad things happen—it’s not always YOUR fault. Some things are simply unavoidable. However, you CAN control how you react to any given situation.)
  • There’s a lot of conflicting information out there, too (for example, don’t focus on the negative because it attracts more, but look at your thought patterns. If those two statements both hold true, looking and analyzing thought patterns gives them power and attention.)

So what IS the truth? I certainly don’t know. And I certainly don’t proclaim to be a genius about it, nor do I post about this topic very much. But I know this is a topic we need to think about more, and not just accept and regurgitate as truth because of some meme running around social media.

If you’re still with me and I haven’t hit too many nerves, let me share what’s worked for me throughout all of these years.

Since 2004, I’ve practiced Creative Visualization (a book/audiobook I’ve mentioned previously, by Shakti Gawain). This was prior to the “Secret” mega-launch…one of my pet peeves about this book is that it clearly wasn’t a secret, because many of us were already doing it. I’m actually fairly certain that every popular self-help guru of the 90’s was talking about this practice (think Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Steven Covey, Jack Canfield, etc. etc.).

I’m not saying repeated thought patterns don’t create more of the same. I know people MISERABLE with their situations, and I hear nothing but complaints and gossip from them. I know people with “black clouds,” and can clearly see there’s a connection between what they think, and how their lives are transforming. But there’s a lot more involved than just aligning yourself with positive affirmations, to create a better life.

Since I’ve been telling you about our journey to Maine, I should put you in a little time machine, and explain how we got here. And what I KNOW to be true about the Power of Intention.

You can’t just create a vision board, put it on your wall, and magickally get what you want. You have to actually WORK that goal. I had a friend who put hers on the fridge, and gave it reiki daily. THAT is giving it power, focusing on it, and checking in with your goals. That works!

No highly successful person just lists their goals, and puts it somewhere to be seen occasionally. They take steps towards those goals. They constantly review their goals and adjust as needed.

Things happen. Problems arise. Trouble comes in and out of your life. You must be able to adjust, yet stay the course. You must face fears (we all have them, by the way…success comes from moving despite those fears).

There’s a list in my phone, and it accompanies a phrase I learned a long time ago: “This or something better.”

The list is of all the traits we’d love our house to have. Our FINAL house, where we settle in for the rest of our lives. We take features from our current house that we like, put a positive spin on things we don’t like (instead of “no loud traffic,” we say “peace and quiet”), and we then add to it. With each house we move to, the list grows.

I check the list in my phone every so often, but not too frequently. We usually have at least a year-long lease or longer, if the house fits most of the qualities we want. The list gets attention, but not so much attention that I’m distracted from other goals. Quarterly reviewing is ideal in my world, and works best for a lot of goals, per self-improvement experts.

So how did it work out this time, so I can show you the outcome of this process? Here’s how the list looks exactly in my phone, with checks if we got it, as well as notes.

Next house:

Current amenities:

  • Dishwasher (damn! This was a sad one to lose, but some things aren’t THAT important!)

Washer and dryer

Rent about $1500 or less!

  • Jobs that pay same or more than current (this is a work in progress, tbd!)

√ Access to ppl and locations for our goals (part of why we chose to live near Bangor!)

√ Close to a town, but in the country (10-15 from a popular town)

√ 3 br, 1-1/2 baths (we got 2 full baths, this time!)

√ Allows pets

√ Large yard to garden in and knowledge how to keep away animals who feed on it

√ Large kitchen (well, it’s open, though not large! And the pantry is larger than previously, so it’s a wash, in my eyes.)

√ Bath tub (we now have 2!)

√ Storage for pandora stuff / pantry–bigger work area in it!

√ Room for rob to have a studio

√ Live near water

New amenities:

√ Garage we can use

√ Close enough to work to bike or walk (this is a work in progress, tbd!)

√ Privacy from neighbors and traffic (we’re on an acre, with trees on ALL sides)

  • No Mosquitos so we can enjoy a firepit (not sure about this yet, since we moved in winter)

√ Lots of trees and nature

  • Fireplace

√ Skylight, sunroof or enclosed porch (skylight in the bathroom and an open porch in the back)

√ Jacuzzi or room for one (partial success…our master tub is jacuzzi-sized, though not an actual jacuzzi)

√ Kitchen faces east (partial success…it faces east, but there’s no window!)

√ Large trees-at least one that’s climbable and one that’s swingable

√ Close to places to go for white water rafting/canoe/kayak

√ Lower utilities so we have less that *has to* go out, and we can save more/do more

So what happens now? I adjust the list (current and future), and get more specific on some of them. We got a kitchen facing east, but I forgot to mention I wanted a window on that side, so I’d have natural lighting.

To summarize, here’s what I practice, when it comes to major goals and Creative Visualization:

  1. Create a space for your goal. A piece of paper, a vision board, whatever it is that works for you, that you will USE frequently. Not just SEE frequently, but something you’ll USE.
  2. Close your eyes and fully see that goal. Own it, love it, and attach emotion to it. If you can’t feel what’s it like to have it, you can’t align your entire being to that vision.
  3. Be specific of what it takes to get there. Brendon Burchard explains that highly successful people list the 5 next steps needed to achieve your goal. This is from his recent book, “High Performance Habits,” which you can get on Amazon, or his website. I’m focusing on this technique now, and I’m sure it will work. You’re constantly giving that goal attention, and are working on the next step. It’s a checklist, which I simply adore! It also reinforces step one, where you USE the space you created for your goal.
  4. Don’t be afraid to change the goal. We can get stuck in what we think is right or ideal, but we humans don’t have all the answers, despite what our Ego wants us to believe. Remember that phrase I mentioned earlier, that I use frequently? “This or better.” If you’re afraid to change the goal…well, you may just miss the “better” you’re being shown.
  5. Honor the process! We often forget gratitude for all the struggles we have. Remember when I told you I was grateful for every box I packed, kicked, and how we unpacked them like xmas presents? It’s my way of showing gratitude for all I have. There have been times Rob and I separately didn’t have anything—we honour that we now have so much “stuff,” we kick it or run into it when packing it. All we have is such a blessing and testament to how far we’ve come.

In closing, don’t just accept a few affirmations or a vision board, and think it’ll get what you want. You have to work on your goals consistently, have a process, and not keep it a secret. Share your dreams!

PS Leave a comment about one small dream you have (or a big one, if you’re not afraid to share it here), or a question on how to achieve it with the process I’ve outlined above.  <3

What are your thoughts?