Pinterest is one of my favorite ways to waste time. (Anybody with me on that?) I’ve got boards for crafts, boards for memes, boards for fashion ideas, and boards for recipes…
But then I’ve also got my dream boards. Some time ago, I met a woman who hosts vision board workshops at Canyon Ranch, and because I’m a naturopath (I guess), she invited me to go for free. We all got poster boards and glue sticks and stacks of magazines, and every time we came across a picture we really liked and which represented something we wanted to see happen in our lives, we cut it out and put it on our board (like the one here!) The instructions were to take that board home and put it somewhere we could see it every day. This was because the more prominently we kept our dreams in front of us, the more likely we were to make choices that would move us towards our goals.
I still have my vision board on my nightstand. It has a picture of a runner with super sexy legs (I never liked my legs very much, even though I do run), a smiling girl wrapping Christmas presents (I don’t know why, just made me feel warm and fuzzy), a warm and gooey chocolate chip cookie (ditto), and a few other things that just made me happy but didn’t necessarily represent a goal, per se. I think the problem was that I grabbed a bunch of fashion magazines, and none of those are super representative of the life I want to live. (I think fashion magazines can be rather destructive, actually, and I try not to spend too much time looking at them if I can help it. But that’s another topic).
Pinterest is different from trying to create a board from the magazines you happen to have on hand, though — with it, you are limited only by what you can find on the internet. (And really, does the internet know any limits??) Also, if you find one image you like that somebody else has pinned already, just click on it and scroll down, and you’ll find fifty other related images. You can create your dream board by category: pretty photos, gorgeous architecture you’d like to have in your dream house, trips you hope to take, or (my favorite) a secret board of anything that represents your goals, or the life you hope to live (secret so that other people who follow you won’t have access to it… because I’d be kind of embarrassed if anybody found mine, just saying.)
My pretty photos collection are nature shots and baby animals mostly, but sometimes really elegant-looking ads, such as a well-dressed woman with her head down walking through a rainstorm under an umbrella, or a ballerina with the sun reflecting just perfectly off of her face. It’s not that I plan on being well-dressed and living in a rainy climate necessarily, and I’m pretty sure (despite my ballet aspirations from earlier last year) that I will never be a ballerina. But sometimes when I’m feeling particularly discouraged, I’ll pull up my pretty photos vision board, and the beauty alone soothes me. It reminds me that I’m part of a world much bigger than myself; it’s gone on for a long time before me and it’ll still go on for a long time after I’m gone. If God makes things that incredibly beautiful, what in the world have I got to worry about?
Then I’ll pull up my personal vision boards. (I will tell you a few things that are on there: some famous authors, holding up their most famous books; a picture of a girl wrapped in a blanket, sitting on a picnic table overlooking a snowy mountain with a steamy cup of coffee; a hammock outside on a summer day; two wine glasses and a pair of bikes on a beach…) Then I imagine myself in those places, doing those things, and I infuse the vision with as much detail as I can muster. The more I meditate on these visions the more I can actually feel the excitement, the contentment, or the joy that I would experience if those things were happening to me in the moment.
I’m told the more you meditate on your goals, the more likely they are to happen… but even if they don’t, if you dream with enough imagination, you get to experience a little bit of them right now. And that’s a gift in itself!