"Like a river we can design and carve out our own course in life with our imagination. Our imagination can either envision a life of drudgery, problems and issues; or we can envision what we truly want. Getting your heart's desire really begins with you." - Nancy Anderson, Work with Passion
Each of us has the amazing capacity to imagine and co-create our life. Investing time in visioning is the first step and pays rich rewards on many levels. Visioning can help us to:
* Step out of limiting patterns and draining habits the have crept up on us in the past year
* Connect with the deeper themes of our live and recognize our soul lessons
* Tap into authentic self-esteem and re-ignite motivation
* Become inspired by new possibilities we are on the verge of living
* Energize ourselves for the journey ahead.
What is vision?
Vision is a felt sense of what we really want in life. It's the highest and best direction in life, as we understand it now, as it's been revealed to us by our inner wisdom. Each person's vision is entirely unique, yet they all serve the common good.
We don't "make up" our vision. We uncover, or discover it. David Steele, founder of the Relationship Coaching Institute, compares our vision to an iceberg. At any given time our conscious self is aware only of the tip of the iceberg. Yet the iceberg is there, always, under the surface available to be discovered at a fuller and fuller level.
In some ways we have no choice about our vision. Our true nature, our essential self IS. Our choice is how we choose to align our lives, and our actions with our vision...or not.
Remarkably, vision has two dimensions: it's both linear and an energy field. When we envision ourselves a year from now living an authentic, passionate life, our vision gives us a linear picture of our desired future. As well, this vision ignites an energy field that permeates and lights up our present. We become empowered to move forward, and become more attractive to the people in our life and work.
Vision vs Goals?
Vision is sometimes confused with goals, and yet they are distinctly different. Our vision is the big picture of our life intentions, the overall best picture and felt sense of what we want. It provides direction and energy. Our goals are the concrete, specific results we want to produce as we live our vision.
To live a fulfilling and successful life, we need both vision and goals. Creating goals without having them linked to our values and life intentions, leads to driven behavior, and results in an empty feeling when the goal is accomplished. Our greatest joy comes from accomplishing goals that have real meaning and heart for us because they are anchored in our essential self.
What are the consequences of ignoring our vision?
Not honoring and being true to our vision can manifest in physical symptoms like depression, anger, anxiety, irritation and restlessness. If we get involved in the lives of others as a way of avoiding fulfilling our own potential and vision it will sap us of our energy. We will feel aimless and annoyed and eventually get on a downward spiral to decreased self-esteem.
Tapping into and living our vision takes courage. Once we learn what we want to do, the next step is to do it!
Discovering our vision is about asking great questions and listening to our inner knowing. I recommend taking time this month each day, or three times a week, to reflect and write on these questions. Have a special notebook for this and jot down ideas whenever you realize you are thinking about what you want this year.
1. What do I love about my life now? What do I want to bring forward and build on? What's not quite right? What are the issues and challenges I'm facing?
These questions start with the present. When we start by connecting with our current situation and what we love about our lives, we move into our heart. Our vision will be about growing, enhancing and enriching our lives vs fixing it.
2. What do I want? What don't I want?
It might sound odd to say to write about what you "don't" want, however I have found this can be pivotal in avoiding writer's block. We always know what we DON'T want! And this can provide powerful clues to what we DO want.
Draw two columns on a page and head one with "One thing I want is..." the other "One thing I don't want is..." Then, just start writing down whatever comes to mind, like you are emptying a cup. You might have a few items come to mind; you might fill pages. Allow your creative spirit to direct the flow!
Here are a few questions to consider as you look at what you do and don't want:
What do I really want to have happen this year?
What do I want to attract?
How do I want to grow? What do I want to learn?
What blocks or limiting habits do I want to be free of?
What do I want to have happen in my friendships and love?
What do I want in my family life?
3. What's the theme for my year?
Listen "behind" everything you have written. A year from now, if you actually have everything you have written, how would you feel? What difference would this have made in your life? What's the essence of your vision?
Capture that essence in a theme - a short inspiring statement that makes you smile when you hear it. This is a simple way of capturing your vision in a memorable way. For example, "Connecting and connected" "Breathing space" "The year of living grace."
"I have moments when I'm absolutely clear about what I want. Then, it's like I forget. My vision just goes away. What can I do to stay inspired?"
You are so right! When we are in our vision, it is like standing on the top of a mountain. We can see the vista and path with ease. However, when we descend into the valley of day-to-day life, it disappears.
There are ways to capture our clarity so that it continues to spark us, pull us forward, and keep us on-track. While there is no one "right" way, here are a few ways to do that:
Create a Vision Board.
Clip inspiring photos from magazines. Draw pictures. Use your favorite photos. Design a 24x36 inch collage that depicts your ideal year and states your theme. Then, place it where you will see it daily.
Post your theme so it's visible.
Put a post-it note on your computer. Write your theme in your date book. One woman links her theme to a song and hums it daily to stir her feelings and life her spirits.
Identify your ten "Most Wanted."
From your vision, pull out your top five to ten most meaningful goals, the ones you want to accomplish by mid-year. Write them in bold statements of intention. Then map each one out as a project. Blocking out actions and developing a time frame signals to your unconscious that you're serious. It not only gives you an action map, it seems to attract resources, people and opportunities to help you fulfill your goal.
Take time to dream this January. Be radical this year. Rather than try to cram your goal-setting into the first few days of January, allow yourself the whole month. Dream. Imagine. Entertain what is possible for your life and your business/career. Develop an inspiring vision for a truly great year. Taking this time is one of the highest forms of self-care you can give yourself.