I’ve spent the last two days in synagogue, singing, listing to familiar prayers and the beautiful sound of the shofar being blown, reflecting on a another year of my life gone by. I take Rosh Hashanah very seriously. It’s a time to think back on everything I’ve done this year, both positive and negative. It’s a time to keep going in some ways and a time to start over in others.
A lot happened to me this year. I got involved in theater and got to work with the most amazing women ever on not one, but two shows. I had a good stint at a client I was passionate about. I raised money for several causes and got more involved as a travel writer, writing regular columns for several sites. My kids fared well in school. They loved camp. They have successfully started 2nd and 4th grade. They’re growing up so fast.
But I recently hit a wall. We had long considered a move to the UK where most of our family resides. An opportunity arose early this year and I was ready to move abroad, but it fell through. I’m ready to go back to work fulltime and after years of consulting and being entrepreneurial, I’m getting out there and it’s daunting. One could call it a “funk” but I have way too much to do to call it that.
As the Rabbi stated this morning, we need to be mindful of our actions as we enter the New Year and try to fix what’s broken. I have a future to craft: an interesting year to look back on, and a more interesting one ahead. It’s important to look at the positive and face the negative head on.
A few months ago, I was lucky to attend a Coca-Cola conference where we literally were expected to consider the futures of our brands for two whole days. Part of the process was creating our own vision board to help look down the road and lay out our vision of where we see ourselves going. It was very therapeutic and I’ve been looking at my board daily since I got back:
A vision board is basically a collage of images that reflect your personality, interests, goals and focus. It’s an encouraging process that “can ultimately shape our reality. The more we align our thoughts with our goals, the more likely it is for us to act on them and ultimately accomplish them.” (via bizfilings.com)
We were provided with a poster board, a wide variety of magazines, stickers, materials, markers, pencils, scissors and glue sticks to use to create our vision boards. Then we were given about 45 minutes to produce our boards and then we went back into the board room where our meeting was taking place to share. When I started creating mine, I worried that I had nothing to lay out, but once I started, images began to cover the page.
Words/expressions threw themselves out at me from the printed page like these:
“Share a story, wherever you are.”
“Just for you. Take your time.”
“No kid hungry. Share our strength.”
“Evolves into the whole person you were intended to be.”
Pictures also threw themselves at me: travel images, an image of a woman jumping into the air, a photograph of the legendary Nora Ephron who stayed true to herself and her words until the end, the Eiffel Tower, film, books and a picture of a woman spreading her wings.
And now when I look at my vision board which thought would make look silly in front of this incredible group of woman, it inspires me. It sums up a lot of who I am and who I want to be. I have a vision and I didn’t even know it. It tells me a lot about my focus and what makes me complete.
Fast forward a few weeks. It’s the end of summer vacation and my son has stomach flu, keeping my 9 year-old daughter and I stuck inside the house for a few days. One afternoon, he was napping and my daughter started to go stir crazy. I suggested she make a vision board and I gave her a poster board, magazines, glue sticks and told her to cut out images that make her feel good. Without her knowing, she created a fabulous vision board that truly defines her. Take a look:
So, I not only suggest the vision board as a project for yourself, but have your kids make one. It just may help you both see things more clearly than ever before.
What inspires you and how do you achieve your focus?
Disclosure: I was a guest of Coca-Cola at this conference and my expenses were paid, but I was not required to post. I really wanted to share my experience as it was truly unique creating this vision board.