The joy factor
Almost every time I do a vision board, I think “ooooh… this one is my favourite so far!” That’s how I felt last night when I completed this one. I love it. It’s the biggest one I’ve done so far (I wanted to think BIG for 2011), and it’s colourful and beautiful and MINE.
There is something so gratifying about seeing your vision appear in this way. I think it works for me for a number of reasons:
- I’m a visual thinker. Give me images and vibrant colour and I’m a happy girl. I can get lost in an image without necessarily needing an explanation.
- BUT I also love words. (I’m a writer, after all.) I like to flip through magazines to see which words jump out at me and offer me some frame for my life at the time.
- I love to combine images and words and then watch what the combination evokes. AND I love surprises, and there are always a few of those when I put words and images together in new ways.
- I am comfortable with ambiguity. I don’t need to know what every image or combination of words means when I glue it on the board. Sometimes it just speaks to me and the meaning appears later.
- I like evolving, fluid structures. I don’t enjoy being hampered by boxy things like “strategic plans” or “business plans”. I prefer to watch the way my vision boards evolve, with changing colour themes, imagery, words, etc.
Some of the things I see so far in 2011’s vision board are:
- running – this is the first time I’m whispering it aloud, but I really want to run a half marathon!
- joy – my word for the year
- growth – exceeding my limits and expanding my horizons
- travel, adventure, journey (those things always seem to appear on my boards)
- leadership, sacred space, wisdom
- variety, options
This type of visioning speaks volumes to my Sophia heart. It’s the wisdom that flows from me when I am true to myself.
For years I tried to fit in a world where strategic planning and corporate vision statements and agendas and action items and objectives and goals felt like stiff wooden boxes that didn’t fit the soft curve of my heart. Though I became adept at adapting to that world, it never felt like my full truth.
Not that those things aren’t necessary – it’s just that they weren’t fully balanced with the wisdom of the feminine.
Now I’m looking at the world differently. I’m looking for the curves and circles, the organic ways of growing, the spaces in between the cold hard facts, the colour behind the black and white, the softness in the structure, and the joy factor.
This year, as I look ahead to my first full year of self-employment, I’m focusing on the joy factor. Instead of a business plan, I’m working on a “joy roadmap”. Instead of a vision statement, I’m creating a “joy image”. Instead of goals and objectives, I’m asking “what things will make my heart feel alive?”
Do it with me! Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. List five moments from the past year when you felt deeply joyful.
2. What was it from those moments that contributed to your joy and how can you replicate that in 2011?
3. Who were the people who surrounded you in those moments and contributed to your joy? How can you continue to surround yourself with these joy people?
4. Create a vision board, adding images and words that make you feel joyful.
5. Answer these questions:
- I am joyful when…
- I can bring joy to other people by…
Now go back and read your answers to the questions in #5. Are there intersections? Is it possible that the things you do that bring you joy are also the things that contribute to other people’s joy? I suspect so!
Joy is contagious. Go out there and find some. And then pass it on.