Zen and the Art of the Vision Board Home
I have several vision boards. They are littered “consciously” around my house. My home is my office, and it does look like some sort of visionary construction zone! I don’t like sitting much, and this physical restlessness drives me to have 3 or 4 desks, depending on whether I include my couch as a desk. Yes, that’s crazy. I know this sounds crazy! I know! But, it’s the perfect solution to a stationary “desk” job, and the need to move around a lot. I can stand. I can sit. I can move to a location where the desk is ready for the next Homeopathy client if I am working on the website, or sitting on my couch-office watching a how-to video. The “art” part of doing several projects concurrently, is for me, the ability to switch gears instantly and completely. My home-as-office is set up to support that.
At each “station” I have something that reminds me or represents my vision. OR, like my writing desk, I have it set up in a way that I consider ideal – nothing on it, cool lamp, vintage (kickass) typewriter on standby, and I arrive with my unjunked laptop. Coaster policy in affect. Press play.
I learned this “style” of vision board living a few years ago when I was living in the middle of nowhere in this huge century home in Prince Edward County, a rental property that was way too big for me. The wireless internet didn’t work at all, so I could only use the internet in one spot in the kitchen. My client desk was there. I was working remotely for a coaching company, so all my clients were by phone and skype. It kept it wonderfully compartmentalized, and efficiency was next to tidiness, but it was not the most inspiring part of the house. The kitchen was a mid 70’s add-on. Behind me, through the 3 foot thick breeze way, that was the original door – that’s how thick the walls were – was the most spectacular 100+ year old pine floor.
The circumstances were odd, so I was there for 6 months almost totally alone. OK. It wasn’t odd. It was as spectacular as the floor. I had made a(nother) huge relational mistake, and the job was a contract. I decided to use the oops and the space to regroup. In my line of work, some people have creative illness. I, however, could write a book called The Creative Fucking Fuck Up: A How to Pull it Out of the Tank in 78 State of the Art Brush Strokes.
My house became my private art therapy retreat. It was my sanctuary. I did water colour painting, colour book colouring, lots of yoga on that beautiful floor, oil painting (swooshing), beads of course, and when my friend visited he brought me a starter fused glass operation, so I have some killer safety glasses he stole from the government. Oh, and I grew a dill plantation, thinking I had planted cosmos, so I also learned canning, to the tune of a Jack White Old Man Leudecke cocktail. Basically, I lived several months of adult childhood. I wrote a book. I strategised my vision. I laid it out on the floor between creative “stations”, as I called them.
Ooooh, as an aside. I hid all creative stations except my studio if any one came to visit. I was not actually crazy, but I certainly appeared crazy. I was totally in love with how free I had suddenly become, and terrified that I would not be able to reel in this huge vision I could see and feel, before I honestly succumbed to the reward of permanent submersion in my artist mind. And at the same time, I did not want to have to explain or defend that. If I didn’t fiercely protect that “state” of mind, I had to start again; the criticism would derail me. To spite the desire to completely disconnect, I also knew that was temporary, and my ambition would provide the tail wind towards some sort of structure to hold it all.
I am definitely creating something huge, and the foundation was built in that house, brick by creative-station brick at a time. The cement is made of me, that me I cannot explain. I had to learn her. I had to let her set me free. I had to negotiate the visible parts of me to allow me to also walk unencumbered by my own self doubt, or its reflection. It was a beautiful experience of absolute.
AND, I had to keep myself focused. I did this with diagrams, flow charts, concentric circles to represent the phases of development, 3 – 6 – 9 planners, and single words or phrases that would come to me, like mantras. I got a giant pad of paper, sharpies, and a roll of painter’s tape. I put it all on the wall in the kitchen. I could add to it. I could cross things out. I could interact with it in a physical way, and it was as tall as I am. I could stand next to it, and it was as huge as I could only at that time imagine. And… I could roll it away easily.
These days, years later now, my vision is almost in the air, and it feels awesome. The house I am living in now is an investment property, and much larger than I need, so it also provides that really expansive, creative, ability to compartmentalise my goings-on. In each room that I spend time in, I have some kind of ornament that represents my vision, something large enough that it sticks out or above what I am working on. If I look up, it’s there, and it immediately brings me back to the reason I am doing the task I am, at that moment. The great thing about that is that is also allows me to enjoy that task, or relax into the mundane doing of it. My vision is not at all lost, forgotten, or missing. It’s right there, on the table.