Vision Boards

So, vision boards. Maybe you’ve heard about them? The idea is to create a visual representation of your goals, aspirations and anything that inspires and motivates you to create the future you want. And then you hang it in a place you look at on a regular basis so that you can absorb its positive mojo and achieve your dreams. The VB philosophy is sort of along the lines of positive visualization that athletes use. They see themselves crossing the finish line/scoring the goal/carrying the trophy.

With vision boards, cork or poster board is usually involved, as is a pair of scissors and magazine clippings/computer print outs and tape, glue or pushpins.

The cynic in me would dismiss the concept as an arts and crafts project at best if there weren’t a handful of accomplished people who swear by them. One vision board proponent is YA author Susane Colasanti.  I am forever grateful to successful authors who are generous enough to share their process in a public fashion, and Susane has written about her use of vision boarding numerous times on her blog. This is a person who is publishing her seventh YA book this May, so I think I better just shut up and listen.

Also, there’s my health guru and adventure cleanse guide, Kris Carr. My favorite vision board story is hers. When she was trying to get her documentary out there and getting a lot of “NO,” she tacked this note to her vision board:

“Oprah, save a seat for me, I’m coming”.

That’s balls. But, four years later, it happened. Kris was a guest on Oprah’s show, and we all know what happens when Oprah endorses you.

Of course, those four years weren’t spent idly praying at the altar of her vision board. Kris has a ton of passion and worked her butt off. As did Susane. Writing takes a lot of discipline and focus, not to mention talent, and she put in the time.

So, what do I have to lose?

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You’ll see it’s still in the wrapper with its mounting kit. It’s been like that for two weeks now. I guess I’m still trying to figure out how to get started. And I’d be lying if I didn’t admit there was a tiny part of me that’s slightly queasy over the new agey-ness of the exercise. And, also, there’s something about creating this thing that makes me feel just a little too vulnerable. What if someone sees it and thinks I’m silly? Or, worse yet, delusional?

Well, here’s what Ms. Carr says:

“A bit of advice to all the negative Nellies who like to rain on parades and poop on dreams: When a person is powered by faith, love, a righteous mission and a vision board, it’s best to get out of their way or you just might get hit with the holy sparkle (which wouldn’t be such a bad thing – holy sparkle definitely combats hot air).”
– link

If she’s got my back, I should be ok.

Speaking of…

Cleanse update: I am finishing up on week #2 and THINGS ARE JUST FINE. I even survived a birthday celebration at a not particularly vegan/gluten-free friendly restaurant last night. I didn’t have it in me to interrogate the waitress and verify that everything I ate was 100% vegan/gf, but I abstained from shared dishes that obviously included meat, dairy and gluten, and didn’t touch a drop of alcohol. I’ll admit it – that one hurt. It’s not easy watching others thoroughly enjoy their champagne and cocktails from the sidelines, and it’s slightly alarming  to be the only sober person waiting for a cab on the Lower East Side at 1:30 a.m. on a Saturday night.

Question: What do you think about vision boards? Any tips on how to get started?

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Spring Cleaning

Lately, there’s been quite a bit of this in my life:

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That’s kale foam in case you couldn’t tell.

I’m on day 7 of Kris Carr’s “Adventure Cleanse,” which is essentially a 21-day detox of all animal products (meat, fish, dairy, eggs, etc), gluten, sugar, caffeine and alcohol. The goal is to up your intake of plants and alkaline foods in general. She also emphasizes non diet-related things like dry brushing, meditation, neti-potting, enemas (eek!) exercise… I have to be honest – if I did everything Kris Carr recommends, I wouldn’t have much time for anything else.

This is about the 4th (I think) time I’ve done the cleanse and I’ve kind of adopted a cherry picker attitude toward the whole thing. For example, I never did the enema thing. I’m sure there’s value in it, and maybe one day I’ll get over the whole hose up your butt thing, but I find that the neti pot takes enough prep and already adds 5 more minutes to my morning routine. And that’s just nose irrigation.

Also, there’s coffee. I adore it. It’s a huge part of my life, for better or for worse. I gave it up the first time I did the cleanse and had a minor emotional meltdown during the first week. I am just a better person if I can drink at least one cup per day. So, that’s what I do. I allow myself one cup and switch to herbal tea.

Meditation – I can never seem to fit this in, so I rationalize by counting exercise (which I do regularly) as a form of active meditation. Sleep, dry brushing, juicing, diet , no booze – these are all coming pretty naturally to me this time around.

Am I glowing with mental clarity and enthusiasm for life? Hmm, not sure.  I guess if I’m not sure, then the answer is probably “no.” But this does feel like a bit of a “reset” button. I’m paying more attention to what I put in and on my body, which is good. And I am sleeping like a freakin rock. For months I’ve been grinding my teeth at night and waking up 3-4 hour after falling asleep. This week has been totally different. I’d forgotten how amazing interrupted sleep is.

Other things (besides my nose) I’ve been cleaning…

I do almost all of my writing and editing in my home office. A few months ago my husband helped me rearranged the computer so it faced the window and I couldn’t believe how much more better the space felt – how much better I felt in it. My productivity went way up. Mostly because I could spend hours in the office and not really notice or mind. After that I was itching to make more improvements. Despite the new arrangement, the office had become a bit of a dumping ground.

See general dusty clutter. And, yes, those are two stools from an old kitchen table holding my printer and books.

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My husband’s turntables and records with crap piled on them and a K-Mart quality book shelf I bought for my first apartment that’s two shallow to really hold anything effectively.

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I took a weekend to clear out everything that we didn’t need. Got rid of that old bookshelf and rearranged the stuff we still wanted. Swept and dusted EVERYTHING. Went to TJMaxx (hey, it’s a step up from K-Mart) and found a new side table and lamp.

The new space:

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Your breathing just got easier, right? New side table is way more functional than those two wobbly stools.

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Repurposed shelf space.

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Space for a scented candle and my new sparkly lamp.

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And affordable wall art from redbubble.com. Frame from Amazon.

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Now, this “cleanse” is having a noticeable effect. I really want to be in my office and working now that it’s been through a crumpled paper/dust/bad furniture detox.  It feels like a healthy, nurturing space.

Question: do you believe in cleanses?