Creating a Vision Board: 2011 Feelings Dream Board

2011 Dream Board

I love Dream Boarding. The art of collage, combined with the optimism of dreaming up anything your heart dares to desire, added to a bold dose of faith that “anything is possible,” proves to be a potent and powerful combination in my life.

It’s goal setting, only more fun and creative.

The number of things that have happened or are happening from my last dream board is nothing short of miraculous.

The problem was . .  . I wasn’t feeling it. Amazing, exciting, wonderful things were happening and I was feeling neutral about it. This bothered me. It was depressing. Why put forth all the effort to make all that amazing stuff happen if it wasn’t going to bring me the happiness, joy, fulfillment and validation I had expected?

Just in time, exactly what I needed appeared where it always does . . . Martha Beck‘s column in O Magazine. She writes of two women, one who wanted her business to succeed and one who wanted to have a baby. They thought it would make them feel loved or successful. It didn’t. It made them stressed out and that was disappointing. You know the feeling, you get the job only to find it eat at all your family time or your boss is a jerk, you have the baby only to find you’re so sleep deprived that it’s hard to find the love, you come back from the honeymoon expecting wedded bliss and you find yourself locked in a power struggle over housework or starring into the dark wondering when the snoring is going to turn to music.

Turns out it’s a simple lack of adjectives that accounts for this disparity between what we want and how we expect to feel when we get it. Do we really, really want a successful business or do we really, really want to feel happy, stimulated, creative, focused, validated and successful? Prior to this month, I would have answered, No Martha, I really, really want to be a best-selling author and to achieve this list of goals because I know that’s what will make me happy. But, having achieved a long bad-ass list of goals this year and feeling disappointed in the emotional payoff was enough to make me consider another perspective. Perhaps, Martha is right. Perhaps putting the feelings I’m hoping to achieve on the dream board rather than the goals I’m hoping will make me feel that way, will lead to those goals or better. (In my experience, I usually get better than my dreams.)

I went to last year’s dream board and looked. Sure enough, where I had written adjectives (feelings I wanted in my marriage) I had experienced a positive shift in my feelings. Where I had focused on achievements and goals (work) I had achieved a lot, but found it disappointing emotionally.

This year, when I brought home three pieces of poster board, collected all the old magazines, scissors, colored pencils and sharpies the kids and I focused on adjectives to describe how we want to feel in 2011, instead of goals we wished to achieve. I still have the goals. They are still on last year’s dream board and since many of them were super-ambitious, I’ll keep trucking along. But, this year, the focus is going to be more on feeling good while I achieve them. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Words for 2011: present, productive, powerful, inspired, excited, pleasure, joy, validated, successful, wealthy, confident, connected, loved, intimate, successful, fun, miraculous, electrifying, effortless, in flow, healthy, fit, sweet, happy, content, adventurous, passion, spiritual, sexual, stylish, charismatic, lucky, unified, fortunate, valued, feminine.

Ainsley’s Dream Board


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