Saffron de Menezes explains how vision boards can be used for so much more than just attracting our desires.
Most discussions of vision boards tend to revolve around manifesting. Their most talked about use has to do with how they can bring us closer to our goals. This is a great way to use them and can be very effective but we may be selling ourselves short by not considering other uses in addition.
In using a vision board to manifest goals its role is essentially to relay a message to our subconscious to bring it into alignment with our conscious desires. If we can use them to relay messages of our goals then why not use them to communicate with our subconscious in other ways? As well as goal oriented boards, we could take other messages to our subconscious such as messages of relaxation, healing, joy and love. Messages that we are enough, that we no longer need to be stuck in old patterns that no longer serve us. We can use visual cues to rewrite our stories. We can also use them to bring forth answers from our subconscious that we’ve been unaware of so far or to stop and take stock of progress, perhaps as a New Year activity to review the last year and plan for the next.
There are a multitude of possible uses for vision boards and similarly there are many options when it comes to creating them. Will you decide beforehand what the board will be about or just allow the energy to flow? Will your board have a specific purpose? Will you use images, words or a combination? Will you use images from magazines, seek out specific images or words online or even create your own art? All of these approaches have value and all can be used depending on the circumstances and purpose of your board. If your aim is to use your board to bring subconscious ideas into consciousness then flicking through magazines and picking what appeals will work better than seeking out specific images. On the other hand if you’re using the board to progress towards a specific goal, say buying a certain house or car, then it might help you to have an image of that house or car on your board alongside other images that represent that achievement. Beyond this your chosen methods will mainly be decided by what feels right at the time, allowing yourself to be guided by intuition will help you to get the most out of the activity. Let’s look at some different uses for vision boards.
Taking a message to the subconscious – Goals
The most common use for vision boards is for the achievement of a goal, so let’s start there. The most obvious thing to do is to select images that represent your desired outcome but it’s worth taking a minute to think through any barriers that may also need addressing. What might stop you from achieving your desired outcome? Paying attention to any resistance that comes up when you think about achieving your goal can help you to figure out what your barriers are and tailor your images to address your concerns.
The most recent board I made was related to my goal of becoming a writer. I could have created an image of books with my name on them as the author. I could imagine the cover art and create an approximation of it similar to Wayne Dyer’s approach in having his book cover created before the writing begins. I had had this goal in mind for some time now and my mind had been throwing up many reasons why this life wasn’t going to happen for me so it seemed important to think about why this was. My main fear was that I wouldn’t be able to do it while looking after the kids. I needed to find images that disproved this belief and the first person I thought of was JK Rowling. Anyone would struggle to assert that a single mum can’t make a career out of writing while JK Rowling stares down from their wall. The board I eventually created consisted entirely of people who proved all my negative beliefs (excuses) wrong. Images of people who have successfully done what you want to do can be extremely powerful; it’s a very tangible way to prove that it’s possible. If you can find people that began with a similar background to yours all the better.
Relaxation, healing and rewriting old patterns
Creating a board around relaxation can be extremely beneficial. We are all aware of using aromatherapy and relaxing sounds such a rain or ocean waves to help us relax and images can be just as powerful. Pictures of the ocean, woodlands and other natural scenes can all be very calming. Think about which colours you find most relaxing, blues and greens for example, and use images that have more of these. It’s still important to tailor the content to your own needs so if there are specific things that help you relax include these here. You may like to create a full sensory experience, calming sounds and smells to have around to compliment your board. This principle works just as well for other moods such as Joy; by using images with lots of yellow, smiling faces and pictures of the things that make you happy, you can use your senses to affect your mood.
For healing try combining images of relaxation with images of your eventual goal of excellent health. Images of people who have overcome similar difficulties to yours can provide hope and inspiration while images that represent wonderful heath, fitness and strength can bring your aim into consciousness. Images of the things you’ll be able to do when recovered may be beneficial too. Consider including colour therapy in your board, do some research into the most appropriate colours for you, perhaps green for healing or the colour of the chakra that is most in need of attention, and either use them as a background or find images of predominantly that colour to include.
In rewriting old patterns boards can be used like visual affirmations. Say your belief is ‘money isn’t spiritual’, you could have a written affirmation to negate this at the centre or top of your board perhaps ‘with more money I can do more good in the world’. To make the affirmation infinitely more powerful you could find images of situations where money has done good in the world – the proceeds of charitable donations, ethical products you would be able to buy, causes you could support with you increased income and so on. If your belief is ‘I’m not good enough’ (or clever enough, selfless enough, strong enough, etc) you could use an affirmation that you are good enough surrounded by images of your past achievements. You could even seek out quotes from those close to you to add to your board with their photographs. Others invariably have a much more positive view of us that we have of ourselves.
Bringing a message from the subconscious
A great use for vision boards is to create them almost mindlessly from pictures that appeal to you from a set of magazines that represent your interests. This can bring realisations about things you didn’t realise you were thinking about or answers to questions you’ve been struggling with. This was the first kind of vision board I learned about. My friend and I would create our boards around New Year by flicking through magazines we’d saved up and cutting out any images that appealed. Sometimes with a conscious reason, more often without. To begin with I often wondered if I was doing it ‘right’. Over time I realised that that kind of thinking doesn’t apply here. It can be helpful to create your vision board with a like-minded friend, especially someone who knows you well as they might have additional insights to offer on seeing your finished board.
Each of you should make your board individually. It’s fine to chat but try to avoid discussing choice of images until the very end when everything is glued down. It is very important to choose someone who will be supportive of whatever arises as the process can be quite revealing, for a bit of cutting and sticking it is surprisingly powerful!
Although my friend and I had our New Year routine, it isn’t necessary to stick to such a timetable. If you find it helpful then give it a try but if not it’s not compulsory. If you create a board that no longer feels right or that stops being a positive influence, it’s fine to take it down. If you feel ready for a new one before a year is up then make one. Maybe it’s helpful to have more than one visible at a time, maybe you’d like to review how things have changed on a regular basis and what the images now mean, whether and how they have helped you to move forward. Over the years, I’ve become increasingly relaxed in my attitudes and creative in my methods, I currently have four different vision boards on my living room wall; the oldest is nearly two years old and still feels important, it’s about freedom so I think it will endure. The most recent one I made this week.
Keeping a board up for an extended period such as a year can be particularly interesting as it allows us to observe how the meanings of the images can evolve over time, some meanings change, other images that may have been chosen without a conscious reason come to develop their own meaning as events continue to unfold. The important thing is always to be guided by intuition and do what feels good.
Creating a vision board
Step 1: Decide on the purpose of your board. Is there a goal or a mood you’d like to achieve? Would you just like to see what comes up?
Step 2: Gather together your resources, magazines, newspapers, photos, scissors, glue and any other creative things you’d like to add, you may want to embellish your board with glitter etc. Don’t forget to find something to stick them on.
Step 3: Get creating! You could cut out all of your images first then arrange them and stick them down only once you’ve decided how you want them or you could do it as you go along.
Step 4: Put your board on the wall somewhere prominent where you’ll see it every day and can spend some time focusing on it.
Step 5: Watch the miracles unfold!
About the author: Saffron de Menezes lives on the edge of the North York Moors with her two home-educated children. She is an enthusiast of all things spiritual and personal development and has a particular affinity for the simple approach.