A Vision Map

I don’t have 20/20 vision. I wear contacts most of the time and glasses when my eyes need a rest. A recent visit to the ophthalmologist (got an all healthy report by the way) coincided with the time of year when I look back and look ahead at my life.

Have I reached the long- and short-term goals I set for myself? What do I want to adjust or completely change in my life? Where have I been and where am I going - both literally and figuratively? I have worked on honing this skill of charting a course for myself for a long time. I have tried - successfully and unsuccessfully - different ways of doing this.

Native Americans created dream-catchers using rocks, beads and feathers to symbolize their desires and wishes. They then placed the dream-catchers where the wind blew through them, hoping the universe would transform their dreams into reality.

Some people simply make lists of hopes and dreams and call them resolutions. Others go on retreat or sabbatical to renew in quiet, stillness and prayer. Still other people use rituals and rites of passage to bring into focus the life they envision for themselves. We all are unfolding.

This year I have too many big decisions to make. I have found myself both overwhelmed and frozen (as in fight, flight or freeze). I am running on empty both literally and figuratively. Those who love and care about me have asked that I choose one change to focus on, but I can’t quite do that. I am the “I want it all and I want it now” kind of girl. So I decided that I have to have something concrete I can create, touch, refer to when I lose sight - my visual trigger for my hopes and dreams.

This year, I decided to create a vision map to reaffirm, rediscover or recognize for the first time what my dreams and desires are for this next year of my life. The map will help me incorporate these changes in a pattern that makes sense and so as not to become blinded by defeat.

To create my vision map, I used a piece of poster board and at the center pasted a spiritual/inspirational quote. Next, I browsed magazines (some of which I regularly read and some I don’t) to find words and pictures that evoke the essence of my goals and dreams. I cut them out and pasted them around the poster board. I even took photos of inspirational objects and pasted those onto the poster.

This exercise has allowed me to try on my goals and see if they express my authentic self. Do they make me feel excited or exhausted? Am I holding on to them for sentimental reasons? What will I need to bring them to fruition? Now I can decide which ones to hold and which ones to let go.

This “map” also has begun to allow me to live my goals and dreams a little at a time - no waiting here. I can see what I will be wearing; what I will be eating/drinking; what/who I will be listening to, what will I be reading and writing about - you get the picture. And some of these I can begin doing right now and some will have to come with time throughout the year.

My vision map this year is both about letting go and going for it - submission and commitment - opening up to new possibilities no matter how scary that sounds. I need to stoke my inner flame - go to my edge and take a leap of faith instead of holding back.

My goal is to create peace for myself with both stillness and movement in the right direction.