Creating a visual representation of your goals and dreams is a powerful technique to support purposeful action. The representation (or anchor) acts as a strong reinforcement of the energy and intention driving your goals and helps you focus on what is truly important to you as the year unfolds.
I've used many different techniques over the years, from creating Vision Boards - simple collages on poster board using words and pictures torn or cut from magazines, or more fluid versions using corkboards and tacks (nice because you can easily add or rearrange as changes occur) - to more recently using more involved art journalling and Soul Collage® techniques.
Whichever technique you choose, the process is important. This is sacred work. We are taking our tender and still emerging dreams and ideas and beginning to give them shape and life. We want to proceed consciously and with intention.
Goal-setting can be tricky work, requiring a combination of linear and non-linear approaches. It is even trickier when the future is uncertain. Even in normal circumstances, we may set a series of goals for the year, but frequently fail to execute. I think there is a reason why that happens. You can read about it here. When you set goals be sure that they are the ones that truly matter to you. It is easy to get caught up in cultural expectations or external validation. Trust yourself and listen to your inner longing.
Once you've set a direction for the year, here's some insight on using creative visioning to make that magic happen!
Elizabeth Rider offers a clear and comprehensive description of the purpose and process of making Vision Boards in a recent blog post. As she describes it, "Creating a sacred space that displays what you want actually does bring it to life. What we focus on expands. When you create a vision board and place it in a space where you see it often, you essentially end up doing short visualization exercises throughout the day." Continual reinforcement of what you desire is one of the secrets of manifestation.
My 'Vicki twist' on what she describes is to be sure to add a photo of yourself to the board. It increases your energetic connection to the anchor and puts you in the picture in a concrete way.
One of the best online art journaling guides I've found is the work of Kristal Norton. You can find her resources for Art Journaling 101 here. She offers comprehensive information on getting started and some beautiful insights on the value of the process.
Personally, I've used (and facilitated) art journaling techniques most powerfully as part of an ongoing process to reclaim artistic creativity and simply rediscover the joy of messing around with paint, paper, ink and colour. In terms of anchoring annual goals or dreams, I recommend art journaling as a technique for 'illustrating' and integrating your annual theme or guidewords. Several years ago I developed a workshop designed to help discover personal themes.
Essentially, this is the process we follow: Undertake a reflective personal discovery process to get at your goals for the year, you can read this blog post, and answer the questions included. Be with what you sense emerging for you. Is there a theme unfolding? Then use the following to gain further clarity:
Take a moment to reflect on the previous year. What are you proud of?
What do you want to leave behind that no longer serves you?
What are you longing for?
What are you known for?
What do you want to be known for?
What do you love about yourself now? List at least two qualities or attributes.
Final Question:(When you are ready for this question, pop me a DM or an email and I will send it over - fun, right?)
You should have a good sense of your theme or guidewords for the year as you work through these materials. If you get stuck - email me :) You will want to give yourself some time for this. Light some candles, get out your favourite notebook and pen. Honour the process.
Once you have your theme, get out the paints and get messy. It is all about the perfectly imperfect.
What energy or energies are emerging for you as the year turns? What aspects of self are wanting expression? Developed by Seena B. Frost, Soul Collage® is a powerful, intuitive process using the collage technique to create a personal 'wisdom deck'. The supply requirements are simple - basically scissors, glue, card stock, and images cut or torn from magazines -- but the results are profound. Details about the process can be found at soulcollage.com.
For the new year I recommend making a minimum of one card to represent the specific energy you are inviting to help guide the year. This is an intentional approach. Alternatively, using the technique, you can select a random image -- trusting the one that speaks to you -- and then create the card and explore its meaning once it is complete. Soul Collage® is fun, and deceptively easy. It is both powerful and revealing.
All three of these techniques involve hands-on creativity - and yet you need not be an artist or even good with your hands to use them. It is important, I believe, to undertake the 'handcrafting' process. We connect more deeply to our desires and integrate our intentions when our senses are involved. I find the creative visioning process a joyful one, opening new pathways to self and reminding me that play is as important as work. As well, working with our hands soothes the parasympathetic nervous system, a very useful coping and calming strategy in difficult times.
Once you've completed your creative visioning process, be sure to post your work where you will see it often. (I usually hang mine in the bathroom - I am there frequently throughout the day and it is also a private space.)
I invite you to join me online session where we can explore goals and seek clarity of purpose together. These private 1:1 sessions to support your creative visioning process. I am a certified Soul Collage® facilitator. Private business or personal coaching is also available.
Wishing you more joy in 2021!
I would LOVE to hear what is emerging for you in 2021. Do you use any of these techniques? Please do comment below.