Last month I signed up for a free vision boarding workshop which turned out to be one of the best decisions I’d ever made. I had been on a mission to work out what I wanted from life and the class really helped to clear things up. What surprised me the most was how simple the whole process was. It’s something that everyone can do, but it’s also something that not everyone may know about. With that in mind, I decided to ask Susannah Elizabeth a few questions about Vision Boarding. Susannah is a creative teacher and coach who works with women to help translate their inner knowing into life-changing action. She ran the workshop I attended and is an
First things first, what is a vision board? I’d heard a lot about them before coming along to the workshop but I wasn’t actually sure what it was!
Susannah: Making a vision board is a wonderfully life-affirming process. Simply gather up text and imagery and bring them together in order to create a visual map of your desires for the year. You can find images in magazines and on the internet. The more images you can lay your hands on the better. Using your own photographs can be really powerful
It is important to gather images from as wide a range of sources as possible. Part of the making process is about sifting through lots of images and then snapping up the ones that appeal, even if you don’t know why they speak to you at that moment. You can make a vision board on Pinterest too, but I think there’s something really special about using your hands to make a physical board. When we engage in craft, we get quiet and connect to our inner world, where we make discoveries about the things we really want. The quiet focus gives us the time to listen inwards and it is surprising what we hear, when we listen.
Shelley: I completely agree — there’s something special about stepping away from technology and working with your hands. As much as I love Pinterest for planning projects I’d be far too distracted trying to make a digital vision board!
What are vision boards good for then?
Susannah: The process is all about intention setting and giving yourself time (and permission) to get clarity about your desires. Creating a vision board is creating a physical reference of the life you want to step into leading. Once you have created your vision, you can work on being the person you imagine having the beautiful life featured in the vision board.
How can vision boarding help your life or goals? Is it all related to the law of attraction? I keep hearing a lot about that lately!
Susannah: There’s definitely a bit of a ‘law of attraction’ aspect to them. They are about how we set intentions and focus. Images are a powerful way for us to remember something, they lodge themselves in our brain and allow us to keep our personal vision front and centre in our mind. When we select images during the making process, we are emotionally connecting to them. The act of making the board is a little act of self-love and we feel an elevating rush when we complete our board because we have imagined an exciting future for ourselves. That emotional link to the images cements their importance in our psyche.
I think it is important that we place the vision board somewhere we can see it so that we can refer to it. It is important that we do re-visit it — which just means looking at it regularly and checking in with ourselves about what we actually want our lives to look like. It is easy to find ourselves so caught up in daily functions and surviving the 9 to 5, that we forget to live the life we actually want. As the saying goes: ‘You get what you focus on,’ having a vision board is like having a little focus gym in your own home: You exercise focusing on what you want rather than what you don’t and that consistent focus makes it easier to live the rich life you truly desire.
Shelley: That’s such an uncomplicated way of looking at it! I’d spent ages trying to look into how a vision board could help you and it left me a little confused, but that just seems so straight-forward. That’s actually what surprised me most about the whole vision boarding process — how easy it is. I’m kicking myself for not doing it sooner now!
Can anyone create a vision board?
Susannah: Absolutely ANYONE! Adults and children get so much out of the process.
Can you do it alone?
Susannah: Yes, definitely. I always spend a few days making mine on my own each year. I get them going and leave them on a table to come back to over the Christmas/NewYear gap. It’s one of my favourite parts of the Christmas Holidays. Making them with a group of like-minded souls is also really fun too.
Shelley: I definitely found it useful to make my first one in a group situation. It made it seem less scary and I knew that I’d just put off doing it alone. I do love the idea of creating one over Christmas though, perhaps it’s something I’ll try next year. It’s always a funny time of year and I often find myself getting a little bored so a creative outlet would be nice.
What do you need to do to prepare?
Susannah: Its super easy: All you need to do is collect a few things. You need scissors, a decent glue stick and a piece of paper or card to mount your images onto. A3 is a good size I think, but there are no rules! For the images and words having a handful of magazines is usually enough. The more images you can lay your hands on the better.
This is such a relaxing affirming process. You will probably want to do it again, so start to create your own stash of magazines. Collect freebie magazines through-out the year to add to your collection, then when its time for vision boarding, you’re all set!
Shelley: I knew there was a good reason for keeping old magazines!
So once you have all of your magazines or imagery, how do you make one?
Susannah: Sift through all the magazines and collected images. Cut out and gather up a heap of the pictures and words that you feel drawn to. Even if the images that appeal to you
Once you have a healthy looking heap of images and text, sift through and start to compose them on your mounting paper or card. Don’t stick things down just yet. Enjoy the process of putting different words and images together. Don’t forget that you can always hand write or even stencil some of the words, if you can’t find exactly the word you have been searching for. Once you have hit upon a composition that makes you happy, use your glue stick to stick it all together. Once the vision board is complete, save all the spare images and words with your magazine stash for next year.
When you’ve made your vision board, what should you do with it?
Susannah:Admire your work. When you finish the vision board, take a moment to look at it and internalise what this special collection of text and image means to you. Show the vision board to someone who will understand what it means to you and explain it to them. If that feels too uncomfortable: Think about the person who lives your vision board life (future you) and consider what you can do to take yourself a little bit closer to being that person. Put your vision board somewhere you will be able to look at it regularly and be sure to do just that. Spend time looking at it and reminding yourself of the things that you want for your life.
Shelley: Thank you so much for this Susannah!
Will you be creating your own vision board this year?
You can find out more about Susannah Elizabeth, her work and upcoming workshops over on her website susannahelizabeth.com. She’s one of my favourite people to follow over on Instagram, too (@susannahgram)
If you’re interested in wellness and wellbeing, you catch up on my #ayearofwellness adventures here.