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Envisioning

 

Self-Improvement“A vision board is a collage or collection of images of tangible and intangible things you want in your life.”

I have a real vision board, much better than the one I created (above) on Oprah’s website today. Only it’s not a board. It’s a file folder stuffed with images and quotes I’ve cut out or copied down since high school. At the time, each one spoke to some deep part of my heart or soul–showing a path to answer some need or fill some void. I didn’t know while I was collecting all this stuff that I was actually gathering the component parts of a vision board. In fact, I’d never heard of a vision board until I read Rarasaur’s Prompt for the Promptless this week. I thought the snipping and filing was a manifestation of my innate (but so far under control) hoarding tendencies. Beyond the actual collecting, I really had no solid plans for all of this inspirational fodder.

After reading Rara’s links this morning (to the point of almost being late for work), and finally having an idea of just what sort of end product my clippings yearned for, I decided to have a go at making a trial vision board on Oprah’s website. In the interest of time I just chose images from the 500 or so archived at the site, although I had the option to upload my own. I added my own text, futzed around with the layout (why are there no rounded corners? no cropping tools? no borders?), and saved the whole shebang as a .jpg on my hard drive. I could now theoretically use the file as my desktop background, therefore ensuring the vision board is in my direct line of sight on a daily basis, as it should be.

The purpose of a vision board is to subtly remind you of what you want in life, to encourage you to envision success in achieving these goals; keeping your aspirations at the forefront of your mind makes you more likely to recognize alternative paths to fulfillment when they are presented. Therefore, the board must be easily and regularly visible (a major flaw in my current vision folder system). Assuming that your wants and needs will change as priorities shift, reality bites, and dreams come true, your vision board should morph as well. New images should be added, tired old quotes should be replaced, the layout should shift to reflect the importance of today’s dreams (some people like to start from scratch instead of rearranging an existing board, but I don’t think I can find that much free time). These requirements lead me to conclude that a good old-fashioned corkboard and some pushpins are going to be the best tools to build and maintain my real vision board. I have no doubt that there are computer-savvy folks out there who would find it just as easy to build an electronic version and update the content with a couple mouse clicks, but I am still a fan of hands-on cutting and pasting.

I’ve already got a whole pile of projects that need my attention, but I will add “create vision board from accumulated stuff’ to the stack. Maybe I should make that task HIGH PRIORITY and add an inspirational quote to my board naysaying procrastination–then I can envision a project list with all the boxes ticked and open myself to new ways to make it so.

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Posts I commented on today:
(In case you missed the reason for this, I participated in the A to Z Blogging Challenge in April, and though I posted every day, I was lousy at visiting and commenting on other blogs. So for each day in May, I’ve vowed to visit and comment on three posts, one of which MUST be from a new blog I haven’t yet visited.)

Today’s Writing Prompt: Dreams (The One-Minute Writer)
W is for Writing Groups (A Guy Named Soo)  new blog of the day
Cat Heaven Island in Japan–Photos (Janice Heck)

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Dare

APRIL-2013-CALENDAR-001

I love that ideas are practically falling in my lap these days…it’s been a couple weeks since I’ve found myself in front of a blank screen, struggling for something to post. The blogosphere is a gold mine of ideas, and the only manual labor involved in the mining process is sliding the mouse over to click the “Follow” button on other bloggers’ sites! Joe Owens, over at Joe’s Musings, just wrote about his intended participation in the 2013 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, which he himself had found while scouting around on other blogs. From his page, I clicked over to the challenge link for more details, and decided to accept Joe’s dare (oops, I mean invitation) to join him in this month-long challenge.

As you can see from the calendar above (graciously provided by Jeremy, one of the A to Z Challenge hosts) each day in April is assigned a letter, “with Sundays off for good behavior.” The idea is simple…each challenge day, we bloggers will craft a post around that letter. This challenge can be adapted to suit any type of blog–writers and poets can obviously incorporate a word beginning with that letter into the theme, title, dialogue, etc. of their entry. Photographers could post a gallery of photos centered on any word beginning with that letter (Bob Mielke at Northwest Photographer has got April 13 covered…L is for lions!). Food bloggers can include recipes whose main ingredient showcases the featured letter. The possibilities are just endless.

Throughout this challenge, I intend to keep to the overall blogging routine I’ve set for myself, maintaining my own daily themes while incorporating the day’s given letter. It seems counterintuitive that setting more and more restrictions on my posts, and combining so many prompts and challenges within them, is actually boosting my creativity (you probably didn’t even notice–unless you’re following Rarasaur, which I highly recommend–but I just responded to this week’s Prompt for the Promptless). In order to publish quality posts, I’m having to think outside the box, which I admit had gotten pretty small as one by one I let most of my right-brain pursuits fall by the wayside when I entered adulthood. When I meet a creative challenge these days, I get the same high as when I have completed a strenuous workout at the gym…endorphins galore!

So, thank you, Joe for pointing me in the direction of this new challenge. I accept, and am eager to see where the 26-day exercise takes me. If you dare, you can join Joe, me, and the 1400+ other cool kids who’ve already committed to the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, but hurry, the doors to the clubhouse close April 1!

 
 

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