First of all, I just wanted to update you a little on last week, where I wrote my most personal blog yet. Although it was scary, I’ve had so much lovely feedback from it (thank you!) and it felt good to open up about writing from personal experience. If you missed it and want to catch up, it’s here.
Plus, I did what I said I’d do too – read out-loud a personal short story at a new writers group called the Writers League at my local bookshop Read, my heart was hammering as I did it but I survived and that’s the main thing!
So, onto this week’s topic of Vision Boards! This came about as myself and friend Clair went along to @writerstogether’s first Vision Board workshop in the lovely Art in the Mill in Knaresborough last week.
I’ve always wanted to have a go at doing a Vision Board and so when I saw this course advertised, which also promised coaching on the ‘law of attraction’ and how to find clarity on your focus, I jumped at the chance.
The workshop was run by Francesca Hepton, a writer and writing mentor with an added interest in complimentary therapies (of @francescahepton) and Susanna Lewis (of @a_yorkshire_girl), a well-being blogger, speaker and writer who have come together to create Writers Together.
Francesca and Susanna, our teachers for the day!
After a quick introduction, the group, around 8 of us, were guided through a mediation which involved us walking along a beach to meet someone at a campfire who then passed us a box, inside the box was a gift and a few words but we weren’t told what.
After the mediation finished, we were then asked the following questions; who was by the fire, what colour was the box and any ribbon etc, what was in the box and what words did you see? You had to go with your first instant thought and not try to change it.
Francesca then analysed our results! So, for me it was my husband by the fire (although I suspect that is because I associate him with fire-pits and bbqs!), the box given to me was white leather, with no ribbon, inside was a very ornate, antique style old gold or bronze bangle style bracelet with an oval green stone in the middle and the only word I saw was ‘follow’.
I found doing this exercise so interesting! Francesca straight away asked if I believed in magic to which said yes (especially in terms of signs and higher powers in force in this world!) and she said I need to find a similar bracelet to keep with me as a talisman. She also told me that green means ambition, magic and jealousy but she didn’t think I was jealous – my husband being by the fire was a good sign – phew! She said my message was more about ambition, magic and bringing a more financial aspect into what I’ve been doing. The word ‘follow’ was simply a sign to follow my dreams and keep going.
It’s true that I‘ve been thinking about this as mostly what I do with The Curious Creative Club is free, other than my writing workshops and whilst this venture is definitely not about money for me, I consider the more people I can help to live a creative life as the meter of success, it would still be nice to earn a little from it too.
The rest of the group had really interesting results too, with quite a few not having anything in their box. Clair had pictured a man carrying a backpack by the fire, like a traveller she had seen many of when she was younger and went travelling around the world. Francesca honed in on that aspect and implied that she missing travelling and that sense or freedom and space.
Following the mediation Susanna talked a little about the law of attraction and how switching how you think can make something positive happen. She used parking spaces as an example! Often when we turn up to a car park we are thinking ‘I’m never going to find a place!’ and then often don’t, whereas if you flip that and think, ‘I will find a space today’, you will! It’s an interesting concept and one I’ll definitely give a try!
Our default as a species is to think more negatively, such as if one thing goes wrong in the morning, you are destined for a bad day. Essentially, it’s all about focusing more positively about what you want in life and then it’s more likely to happen.
Next she went on to talk about the vision boards and how to do them, a whole host of magazines sat in the centre of the table and we each had a small canvas board to stick things on to.
Participants getting busy with their scissors!
Susanna recommended writing key words down first to give you an idea of elements to focus on, on your board, so for example we might want to consider aspects that came out of the meditation.
I cut everything out and laid it all out before sticking down
I love messing about with magazine images and words so I had clear ideas of the kinds of things I wanted and quickly went to work cutting away!
Whilst there were definite goals I wanted to place on there in terms of creativity, I also considered adding a few financial goals too, but more in terms of aspirational future things that would mean more to me than money.
Therefore, on went a Summer House (which we’ve been talking about could be partly a creative space for me) and also a picture of a high cliff overlooking the sea – my absolutely dream is to have a cottage with a sea view at some point that I can escape to, to write or use as a creative retreat for customers. The fact it had a puffin on there too I realised later was quite significant, not only do I remember these a lot from my childhood holidays with my Dad bird watching, but also of course ‘Puffin’ is a book publisher!
I was also naturally drawn to magical imagery and words, which I think I would have chosen even if it hadn’t come out of the mediation, my favourite image on there is the lady in pink levitating in the forest – that feels like me to a tee!
A rainbow had to feature too, with the idea being in the article I took it from, that everything is in the palm of your hands – again a good message to remind myself of.
I had things linked to my house, the ‘calm and cozy’ wording is how I always like to feel, the neat and tidy pink chair is how I wish my living room would remain, without kids and a the dog diving all over it!
I then chose things that linked to my dreams as a writer; a journal to remind me to make it more personal sometimes, ‘Book Reviews’ – to remind me to get to that point with mine, a key, because that is the name of my book – ‘The key to everything’ and also the cover of Psychologies magazine who I would love to work with more in the future.
I also found an image of Allison Sadler with ,her Rebel Club T-shirt on – a woman I know from Instagram with qualities I deeply admire and I love all that she represents – fun, feisty and fabulous, which is why she is also on there – a reminder to not take myself too seriously.
Finally, I added healthy soups and fruit on there as I need to get back to some healthy eating habits!
So, you get the idea, Vision Boards need to be extremely personal, and each piece needs to really mean something to you. The images don’t necessarily need to be literal either, for example a plug doesn’t mean ‘turn the plug off’ as it might to someone, it is to remind me to stop and re-energise sometimes as often I keep going until I drop.
Whilst doing our boards and chatting, we realised something else too, that the way we display our images says a lot about us; mine has as much on as possible, with no space at all and lots overlapping – if that’s not a metaphor for my life I don’t know what is!
My board also naturally had similar colours that I love and bring instant calm and sanctuary to me, deep sea blues, teals, turquoise and forest greens, star-fish pinks and even an energising orange is in there too – this also mirrors my Living Room and office, all colours I’m clearly drawn to!
As an artist who loves colour, it felt important that it wasn’t garish or dull and would have a theme that would sit harmoniously in it’s environment, which will be most likely be my office.
Other participants boards were completely different, many had lots of purposeful space, so they would include some space in their lives. Others were more focused on one specific aspect of their life such as health, there was a real mixture!
Clair’s board, all about travel, exploring and space
Susanna also talked about how important it was that your vision board isn’t hidden away, it needs to be somewhere where you see it on a regular basis or as you walk passed for it to have the biggest impact.
My summary is that doing a Vision Board is a really fun and useful exercise and one that can give you real clarity on what’s important to you over say the next 6 months. I think its crucial to keep revisiting it and change or update it accordingly if situations change – this is a living breathing entity, just like your work and dreams.
And if you get a taste for it, you can always do more than one, I quickly ran out of space and could have done more, so it might be that you have a vision board for different areas of your life, such as health, creative hobbies, work, family, holidays, money etc, Susanna knows of a client who has a whole wall full!
Just before I left the workshop, I had a few realisations; firstly was the fact I had picked up a piece of bright green sea glass from the beach in Conwy a few weeks ago and I was going to show it to a friend who makes sea glass jewellery to see if she could do anything with it – maybe this is the green stone bracelet to use as a talisman?
And secondly one about the word ‘magic’ that made my hairs stand on end (this often happens to me!).
About 3 weeks prior to the workshop I’d read an article about an old-style bus that had been refurbished into a place to stay and was close to a place I’m desperate to visit, Hay on Wye. It looked amazing and I quickly sent the link to Clair and Kelly saying ‘we have to go to this and can we use it as a business retreat?!’ And what was that bus called? The Magic Bus. Now if that’s not a sign to go to it, I don’t know what is!
This is why I believe in magical signs!
Let me know how you get on if you give this a go and make your own vision board and send a picture to me via my Instagram account @thecuriouscreativeclub. I’d love to see how they look!
Until next time…wishing you a magical week!
Juliet, the curious creative x
P.s To find out more about Writers Together’s events, click here