Unite the family and lift their spirits with the Family Vision Board.
CEOs moved to tears. Can this be true?
I run intuitive visioning workshops to help people and teams chart a course through the vast sea of possibilities in way that is more aligned to their true nature and outside “the iron cage of rationalisation”, as Max Weber, Sociologist so eloquently described it. I give people the experience of sourcing ideas, inspiration and answers using their intuition (which we all have) as oppose to mulling it over in their heads, churning their intellect to chuck out the answers faster. I show them how to use their creative right-brain to get beyond the known for innovative solution-finding and problem-solving. I’ve written a book about it: Awaken Your Intuitive Vision. It’s available on Amazon and online book stores - and what follows is an extract.
Moved to tears
“In my workshops it’s not unusual to see people moved to tears, as they recall parts of themselves and buried dreams that have been dismissed to toe the party line. The problem is when you conform to external social pressure like this, it can dampen your spiritual nature too and your connection to deeper wisdom. Then you cannot know what living with authenticity is or what you’d give your wholehearted yes to. It’s not possible to entertain living your true purpose when this is the case. No wonder there are tears, which if unaddressed can develop into symptoms of anxiety and depression to mask the chasm.
“I once ran the Intuitive Vision Board workshop for 12 CEOs of small to medium-size companies. There were nine men and three women, all members of an executive club, and this workshop formed part of their annual retreat. The organiser had briefed me beforehand about each person’s circumstances. They requested I focus the visioning process on business and not on personal aspirations because they felt this was more important to CEOs.
CEO's are human
“I smiled to myself on hearing this. Ultimately CEOs are human like the rest of us and whatever pulls at their heart and was genuinely significant to them would surely appear on their Intuitive Vision Board, whether it was related to business or not. It was not for me to send them in a particular direction but to trust the creative process to deliver what they most needed to hear and to show what adjustments they could make to keep them healthy, sane and inspired. This, more than anything, would support and enhance their leadership ability.
“We’d got to the stage in the creative inquiry where people were putting the finishing touches on their vision boards and I was doing a final sweep of the room to see what had emerged. I approached a man I’d been told had a very successful software company. Middle-aged and overweight, he was unhappy and, in spite of monthly coaching, had not got to the bottom of it. What caught my attention on his board was the large photograph of two Argentine tango dancers in the centre. Astonished, I blurted out the obvious: “they’re tango dancers in close embrace”, at which point I glanced across at the CEO and saw tears in his eyes. ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘not only was I a very good tango dancer once, I was also a good teacher. I’m such a long way removed from this now and it’s hurting. I must do something about it.’
When did you stop dancing?
“What had happened to him is not untypical. There is a tendency to push aside hobbies and pastimes in favour of activities we consider should have greater priority. But often the former is the very oil we need to lubricate our wheels. The fact it shows up on the Intuitive Vision Board is a clear indication the maker must find a way to incorporate this into their life – or ignore it at their peril.
I have never seen anyone walk away disappointed with their Intuitive Vision Board. On the contrary, midway through the workshop I witness people who are totally engaged in creative activity, not anxiously looking over their shoulders to compare their vision board with their neighbour’s. At this point I am the one who is moved to tears as I give thanks for the privilege of helping to midwife the visions now emerging and witnessing the profound shifts that are occurring.
“What fascinates me over time is the degree of constancy that appears on the intuitive vision boards of returning creators (because I encourage you to make a new board roughly every year). Images may bear resemblance from board to board but they are never identical, each re-occurrence unveiling a different aspect of that person’s path in life. This makes me wonder if the content of the Intuitive Vision Board is less about what the creator needs to be happy and more about what they need to stay aligned to their true calling – a theme which is likely to have travelled with them a whole lifetime.”
Obtain a signed copy of “Awaken Your Intuitive Vision” Also available on Amazon and other online book stores.
This article in The Times describes how I'd helped resurrect the fortunes of a residential school for autistic children using Feng Shui. How timely, I thought, since the author was once again to interview me on the radio (link to the recording below).
Depressing, overwhelmingly impossible
I remembered how shocked I was on my first visit to the school. A dismal, depressing environment in beautiful natural grounds yet I was unnerved, afraid that anything could break out at any time. It was also impossible to ignore the massive redwood tree directly opposite the dilapidated front door whose domineering presence would need to be curtailed with Feng Shui technique and not by cutting it down because it was protected.
I warmed to the headteacher. I had empathy for her predicament. She had a holistic view of life and was committed to restoring the school for the pupils and teachers alike. But I needed to bear in mind, whatever recommendations I made, would have to be executed on the strictest budget.
Not that I could report the situation quite like this to The Times. Our aim was to spotlight the predicament and potential of schools like Heathermount and how Feng Shui can help without upsetting current investors. The article is contained therefore but the schools success with Feng Shui is still very evident. See what you think ....
Feng Shui at work – the story
“Since we started working with the environment rather than working against it, doors have opened,” says Stephanie Lord. “I don’t feel like I’m banging my head against a brick wall anymore.”
An holistic approach to autistic care sets Heathermount School in Ascot, Berkshire, apart. Ms Lord, its head teacher, adopts the same teaching methods as others but believes the environment is just as important as education when caring for children with severe learning disabilities and kept an open mind when she first heard about the benefits of environmental harmony at a business forum.
As well as national curriculum studies, Heatherwood offers a range of holistic therapies for a balanced, calm environment in tune with Feng Shui with yoga, massage, aromatherapy, drama and dance. “We believe Feng Shui has created a less stressful environment and would encourage other schools to adopt this ancient practice,” says Ms Lord.
An inexpensive facelift on a tight budget
A working business plan was created for the old school which received an inexpensive facelift. Dingy offices and schoolrooms came to life with vibrant colour. Log fires, fresh flowers, relaxing chairs and colourful throws made it less intimidating. Getting rid of clutter to invite fresh ideas and thinking has worked.
Staff sickness and absenteeism due to stress are almost a thing of the past. Heathermount is determined to be a centre of excellence not only in Britain but with Europe. In the early days she did not know from one minute to the next whether there would still be money from the local authority to keep the school running. Once salaries had been paid there was not enough in the kitty to have the grass cut on the 14-acre site. There had been numerous hints that Heathermount was not paying its way and the future was bleak.
The hopes and dreams she had when the school was opened by Jane Asher, the actress, in 1992 were evaporating, despite having successfully run schools in Wimbledon and Plumstead, London.
“All my best efforts were being undermined by lack of money and negative people. I felt emotionally and physically drained before adopting Feng Shui. Now I feel invigorated and alive,” says Ms Lord. “Introducing Feng Shui was not easy. It had to be done bit by bit. Some of my staff did not know what I was doing at first. They saw me hanging wind chimes and assumed they were just nice objects to have around. Now the staff recognise the benefits and are thoroughly behind it. They are changed people and the place has a different atmosphere entirely.”
Feng Shui benefits everyone living and working under the same roof and not just the champion who introduces it. Heathermount is evidence of that.
To listen to my recent interview on Marlow FM radio download and click on the download to play https://we.tl/t-hEA9UHlMwd
To attend my free talk on Feng Shui Friday 12 July at 7.30pm in Bourne End RSVP email@example.com
More information http://www.marynonde.com/fengshui
If romance is on the cards for you, it will certainly appear on your Intuitive Vision Board. Join me at the Intuitive Vision Board workshop to explore who's out there.
ARMADILLO. Discerning, empathetic, resilient
Most contemporary visions and the vision boards that go with them are frankly tame. Why is that?
Because their scope is limited to images chosen by their maker to meet predetermined definitions of what success, happiness and achievement should look like. But this is only from the finite frame of reference of the maker’s logical-left brain, dipping into a limited pool of information stored inside their cognitive mind.
This type of concept board originated in the world of design, where it served to capture ideas, moods and concepts together in one place. From the outset the designer is deliberately working to a brief and controlling the search filters to meet it.
This is creative planning; it’s not visioning.
It is not very inspiring either. It’s certainly not innovative. And no new thinking can breakthrough or emerge under these conditions.
On the contrary, look what happened for a range of intuitive vision board makers who chose to quell their logical-left brain in favour of their creative right-brain to explore where they might be heading in their lives. Such a variety of unpremeditated Intuitive Vision Boards emerged.
An Asset Manager says …
“A wonderful process to step away from rationalising, organising, and processing to a free-form creativity and letting your imagination have a turn. It left me feeling very in touch with what I want.”
A 17-year old says ….
“I’ve never worked in silence for that long before and being in that particular room helped me gain clarity and to really think about and plan my vision board. I can now visualise how I’d like my life to be.”
A Copywriter says ….
“A very powerful technique. Not for one moment did my left-brain switch on so it felt wonderfully liberating. Mary is such a generous facilitator.”
A Healer says …
“I really enjoyed having the time and space for myself to be creative and in the moment. It gave me chance to explore and visualise where I want to go ….”
To discover what making an Intuitive Vision Board can unlock for you, find a workshop date to suit you. Or drop me a line if you prefer to work one-to-one. http://www.marynonde.com/vision-board-workshop
I asked for feedback at a recent workshop and this is what Helena gave me.
You may relate to this if you’ve made an Intuitive Vision Board with me before.
If not it will give you a jolly good insight into what to expect.
FAQS ABOUT THE INTUITIVE VISION BOARD WORKSHOP
Seek clarity, find your path, achieve a breakthrough
These are the questions I am asked the most about the Intuitive Vision Board workshop, which is ideal for those who are at a crossroads and wondering which way to go next.
Do I need to be intuitive or have psychic ability to make an Intuitive Vision Board?
Not at all. It is a straightforward creative process that anyone can follow to connect you to your intuition and super-conscious intelligence and ideas beyond the scope of everyday intelligence.
How often should I make a vision board?
Once a year is a good interval. Most of the board’s content will have emerged during that time and you’ll be ready to explore what’s waiting for you around the next corner.
Does it matter if I have a vision board already?
No, especially if it’s a visualisation kind where you gave thought to what it would contain in advance of making it. That’s a goal-setting exercise rather than visioning but the two boards might sit well together.
What an intuitive vision board does is unveil surprises and opportunities, prompt you in taking alternative actions – and that’s what’s so exciting about it.
Is it an all day workshop?
Not quite. It’s five hours from 10am – 3pm. Hot drinks are provided but a bottle of water and something for you to nibble on would be useful to bring.
Where is it held?
My favoured local haunt is the light and airy garden room in Bourne End Library, South Bucks. It’s quiet and secluded and on Sundays we have it to ourselves.
The workshop can travel anywhere too if you’ve got a group of 8 or more lined up and ready to go. Please enquire..
How young is too young?
A four-year old once attended alongside her mum but she could use a pair scissors well on her own. It’s more suited to older children, particularly those at choice points in their education. The workshop is super-helpful in giving them direction and confidence.
What’s the age limit?
The oldest so far has been a 78-year old spiritual leader. Past retirement age an intuitive vision board can help you explore how to ‘unwind’ after a busy life and what legacy you want to leave behind.
Do I need to prepare anything in advance?
Absolutely nothing. It will all happen on the day, in the moment, starting from a clear head. This is a visioning exercise you see and not planning. You’ll use the right-brain and not the left.
What do I bring?
Your wonderful self. A few magazines (although I provide loads and all the art materials). And about half a dozen objects of different sizes to create a group installation - but you will take them away again afterwards.
What will I leave the workshop with?
1. A large inspirational vision board which you’ll love to pieces
2. Additional insights into what else you may need to bring your vision to life
3. Other gems from your interactions with fellow visionaries and observing the range and variety of their intuitive vision boards
4. A private coaching session to follow to focus on your board and explore in-depth the signs and metaphors emerging and what they might mean for you.
Alternatively Chapter 6 in Awaken Your Intuitive Vision describes what you should look out for on your intuitive vision board.
May I ask a question?
Yes, please contact me here.
Thank you for reading these FAQs. If you think of anyone who is seeking clarity over some area of their life or could do with a steer in finding their path, please share these FAQs with them.
I’d like to attend the workshop what next?
Have a look at the dates coming up on my Events page and then reserve your place.
Or, if you’re a busy professional, having a one-to-one workshop and coaching session with me on a day to suit you may work better. Please enquire.
I recently took a random call from a good friend with a random outcome.
Four days later I’m flying to Dublin for the weekend, all expenses paid, as a kind of tour guide! I'm to discover the hidden gems of Fingal on the northern shores of Dublin during a music festival in honour of Séamus Ennis, a genius for his uilleann pipe playing.
On arrival I am to be collected at the airport. One hour later my male escorts had still not showed. That’s because they’d gone to departures! That's Irish right?
I was taken to nearby Skerries, a charming fishing village where I enjoyed my first taste of real Guinness in a fisherman's pub that has been looking out to sea forever. I took a photo of the charming boats. I ask you. Do you see any resemblance to the image on my vision board I’d created 11 months earlier when a trip to Ireland was completely off my radar? A lovely example of precognition.
That’s my daughter there too if you’re wondering. She plays her part in this mystery. Back home when I’d contemplated this section of my vision board, Denmark kept coming to mind. I’d even thought I might go to Copenhagen but hadn’t got around to it. Celine, on the other hand, did - this summer! Not that she’d planned to do so when I’d pasted her up onto my board next to the colourful boats. Curious isn't it?
It also transpires that Fingal is historically linked with Denmark because the Vikings decided to land here. I also learnt from the Irish organiser she has a sister living in Denmark, and suggested I might visit her. The plot thickens....
Meanwhile, if you’re wondering where you might go next year, come and make a vision board with me on 25th November and all will be revealed. I’ll show you how to side-step the conscious mind and engage with the unconscious through active imagination and access this extraordinary intelligence we all have but so seldom tap.
More 'Irishness' to follow....
After Skerries I was dropped outside my hotel to chill. At check-in the owner asks for my name but says the only reservation he has is for Mary and Jerry. “I really don’t want to share with Jerry,” I said smiling, “I want my own room.”
At this point it’s clear I’ve been dropped off at the wrong hotel - and this one is full. I then sit tight to wait for the men to return (2 ½ hours later) to take me out to dinner. I kept myself entertained listening to the gorgeous Irish brogue and their wonderful sense of humour, while the owner plied me with drinks and snacks on the house. The meal that followed in an ancient pub was fresh and delicious.
Next day, I’m required for a family fun-run. However my lift is late fetching me and by the time we arrive at the fun-run, everyone has run off and the school hall is empty. The two of us decided to walk part of the course and pass the lead runners on their way back yet apparently I am still required to give away the prizes.
‘It put the heart crossway in me to hear it’ as I’m introduced as “Mary, who has come all the way from the London Athletics club to support this event.” I look just about the least athletic among them, especially as I didn’t even manage to run the course.
We’re on the road again, destination Fourknocks. This is awesome - a Neolithic site that predates Stonehenge, yet we’re the only people there. The key to this ancient burial mound resides with Eileen down the road and if you don’t get on the right side of her, she won’t let you have it. There’s no charge. No supervision. Just the four of us under the ground, marvelling at the abstract art painted on the interior walls 5,000 years ago.
Afternoon tea follows in a lovely artistic café. Then to round it all off we’re at the music festival in the pub listening to pieces that Séamus Ennis would have been proud of. A 15-piece band spanning five generations of musicians, the youngest about eight.
When my hostess finally left me at the airport (she didn’t entrust this to men this time), my flight is cancelled due to fog. No more flights that day so Aer Lingus kindly put me up in a comfortable hotel and treated me to a splendid dinner.
And since I had to wait 12 hours before I could fly home, I’m also due a £200 refund too. I think I should invest this in a flight to Copenhagen don’t you - and follow the signs.
Feng Shui. It sounds so mysterious and foreign doesn’t it? But at the heart of this ancient practice is a solid core of common sense and applied wisdom, designed to improve the quality of your life.
Feng Shui works on the basic premise that your prospects will improve when the environments in which you spend most of your time - home and work - are in harmony. Why should that be?
Because a building has a similar function to your body: it is there to support you in leading a rich and satisfying life. However, it can only serve you when you take the time and trouble to nurture it in turn. When your body is run down you become ill more easily. Insufficient rest, poor diet, inadequate sleep, and too much stress can contribute to this because it throws the body out of balance. When you neglect - or make gross changes to - your home, unaware that it is living system too, it can react in a similar way to your body; it gets sick. Correspondingly, you may notice things things go awry both inside your home and office and affect your affairs generally.
Warning signs you may need to pay particular attention to your environment are when:
· Your career, wealth, and health matters needs a boost
· Your relationships are in conflict or flagging
· You are remodelling a room or building an extension
· You are planning to sell (or rent) a house
· You are designing a new home or office building
· You are moving home or relocating the office
Literally translated Feng Shui means ‘wind and water’, which will make more sense shortly. It was originally an oral tradition that has been practised for over 3000 years in China, predating Confucius and the Tao as a body of knowledge. Other ancient civilisations also had their version of Feng Shui, which they lived by.
Early Feng Shui experts were consulted to determine the best sites for homes and villages. They looked for evidence of where the life-force energy, called Ch’i in Feng Shui, was most vibrant and flowed in a manner which supported life.
Our ancestors lived in much closer relationship to nature. It was perfectly normal to want to be in tune with nature and be able to decipher the language of the land intuitively; after all the environment was a living entity and every physical feature told a story about the quality of Ch’i with which it was imbued. They located buildings with consideration and built homes in a manner, which did not upset the natural habitat or adversely affect the movement of Ch’i.
All this is hard for us to comprehend today, which is why we are quick to label it superstitious. That’s because our prevailing ‘superstition’ is almost solely scientifically based. Early Feng Shui practitioners were not scientists. They had a very pragmatic approach to life, based on their observations of what worked and what didn’t because of the effect it had on people. They also had a well-developed intuitive and mystical faculty and were very adept at reading the signs. It’s much the same for Feng Shui practitioners today although most of our clients do not live in close proximity to nature so it’s not surprising our systems get out of balance easily.
Contemporary Feng Shui
The average person is a long way off even noticing the environment in which they live beyond the shops, the school, and the patch of green where they can walk the dog. We barely know what is under our feet because concrete covers most populated areas. When asked where the nearest natural water supply is, the closest hill to their home, or where the sun rises and sets – all of which still affect the quality of Ch’i arriving at our homes - most are at a loss to answer.
Feng Shui practitioners today are investigating very different scenarios to their predecessors. Most of the time we’re diagnosing buildings that exist rather than advising on the creation of new structures. Our intentions are still the same however – to cultivate the health, prosperity, happiness of the inhabitants.
Alive, connected, dynamic
The art of living mindfully with the environment is based on three fundamental principles. These are not exclusive to Feng Shui and shared by many spiritual teachers, holistic practitioners, and not the least, quantum physicists.
Common to all is the understanding that non-visible life-force energy is omnipresent. Ch’i animates, connects and moves through everything, including objects that appear entirely solid.
1. Everything is alive
Even an inanimate object like a sofa, which appears lifeless and immobile, is still endowed with Ch’i of a certain quality and quantity. It appears static but is composed of millions of particles in motion. That’s why it’s so important to choose the objects you have around you with care. The fact you inherited a vase or someone gave it to you should not justify its continued existence, unless you love the sight of it too.
2. Everything is connected
You are part of the interconnected web of life. You affect and are affected by everything around you; there are no islands. This means choosing your neighbourhood and your surroundings wisely because the Ch’i emanating from them will impact you. Since you can’t up and move easily or get rid of your neighbours, this means doing what you can to minimise the more unsavoury influences around you.
Inside buildings negative influences includes clutter. That over-crowded cupboard at the entrance to the home can have a restrictive and irritating ripple-effect on the whole space, if left unattended. The bank of over-filled filing cabinets in the centre of the office can have a choking effect on the whole business.
3. Everything is constantly changing
Ch’i is constantly in a state of flux and movement. This includes both the Ch’i inside your body as well as in your environment. Your home and office can get stuck in a time warp if you’re not careful and pull you back into old patterns of behaviour you’d like to outgrow.
You’d do well to lighten up more when it comes to how and where you live and not allow yourself to become so entrenched with the status quo. Let your space change and dance with the moment and movement of life. Let your external environment be the outward expression of your inner aspirations for congruency sake; as without so within.
In the meantime, here are some sure-fire Feng Shui attention-seeking hot spots to enhance the flow of Ch’i around you:
· Decluttering the obstacles to success
· Unblocking thresholds to the flow of Ch’i
· Moving furniture around for optimum location
· Balancing architectural problems
· Softening harsh angles and replacing missing corners
If you desire to live in a lovely home, sell the one you have quickly and achieve a good asking price, or simply lead a good life, you would be wise to do everything in your power to attend to the environment you are currently living in. Prevention is less troublesome and expensive than cure.
To learn more about practical Feng Shui, please join me for: Pamper Your Home with Feng Shui - a one-day introduction to the art of creating vibrant and harmonious living spaces by requesting details here: http://www.marynonde.com/contact/
To speak to me about a Feng Shui consultation, please get in touch here: http://www.marynonde.com/contact/
To discover what your inner aspirations truly are join me to make an Intuitive Vision Board by requesting details here: http://www.marynonde.com/contact/
Mary Nondé, Feng Shui practitioner, Intuitive Vision Board instructor, and author of ‘Awaken Your Intuitive Vision - unlocking possibilities you never knew existed’. www.marynonde.com
When MF came to make this vision board she was in personal transition and flux, which was playing out in her family life too. She knew it was time to stop doing once again and re-evaluate where she was heading. Rather than make a vision board on her own as she’d historically done, dragging the family along with its content afterwards, she wanted them all to play a part in creating the next chapter of life they hoped to share together. I took the Intuitive Vision Board workshop to their home so they could make a board together. This is what transpired though MF’s eyes.
“My first vision board with Mary was a personal prophecy about returning to my feminine self; switching off the corporate superwoman who had created a very successful business and switching on the yogi, the vegan, the healer. I was desperate to shed the bread-winning, decision-making mantle and become a woman ready to receive. “
“It was not an easy transition; it took time and there were moments when I felt very lost. Besides we were in a difficult place as a couple after 24 years together while my relationship with my sister was challenging too. Losing both parents within six months of one another, in very painful circumstances, had left me in a vulnerable place. It was altogether a heart-rendering time.”
“The idea of making a vision board together initially met with resistance from both my son (age 12) and my husband. But I persevered because I believed it was important for us. I had no idea what would come from it but I trusted Mary to create a safe space and her gentle shepherding through the process would give us what we needed to express our innermost desires.
Surprisingly, my husband who’d been very reluctant at first, became totally immersed in the process and took great pains to place his images intricately into the whole.
“He also took on the self-appointed role of policing our activity to ensure we each had equal opportunity to be heard.”
“Creating the vision board together was no effort at all; no friction, no dispute. I can’t say at all who put what on where, it just happened. What was extraordinary to me was that with three of us choosing the images independently - and in silence – that a consistent 3-part theme emerged between us: the desire for closeness, family time together, and to travel in the big outdoors.”
“In the early weeks after creating our family road-map, I’d look at our board and think: nothing’s happening! But then I reminded myself that 6-months elapsed before I saw any action on my personal vision board. The first sign of life was when I found a yoga practitioner in the US I liked and connected up with her online. She’d just returned from South America with a beautiful stripy rug just like the one on my board. We’re moving in the right direction I felt.”
“I’d been very privileged to be in travel marketing for 30 years, yet we’d done very little travel of late since I was no longer bringing in a regular corporate salary. We had no plans ahead and nothing in the diary, yet all over our vision board there were inspiring worldwide destinations we had all chosen. I’d just received my first travel writing commission around the time of making the family board and that was for a short haul trip - and solo.”
A complete transformation
“But after six months living with the board everything changed. In the following year the opportunities to write and to travel came thick and fast. It was mind-blowing - and it didn’t escape the notice of either my son or my husband.”
“In hindsight what started out as a beautiful pictorial vision of places and experiences we aspired to, I can honestly say we did most of them within 18 months.
My love of travel – or should I say our love of travel – was well and truly re-ignited and shared. As if that wasn’t enough, one of the travel articles I wrote got picked up by a TV broadcaster who approached me to set up a new travel programme.
The monthly programme will run across a network of 27 stations in the UK and reach 6.4m adults a month. Not only did creating our vision board together reunite and inspire us as a family, I hope it will now inspire millions of other people to visit places they may never have dreamed possible. All because we committed to spending the afternoon together and were willing to listen to what our hearts desired.”
When my plan wasn’t working
Once upon a time, when my micro business was only a few months old, I was feeling overwhelmed by the myriad of tasks I needed to do. I’d already created my website, which was a marathon in itself. But I still had a list as long as my arm of tasks I didn’t have the skills for. Rather than wallow in misery, I did what I know best. I made an Intuitive Vision Board.
Smack bang in the middle of it was the large head of a Buddleja, otherwise known as the ‘butterfly plant’. You can guess why; it's a magnet to butterflies. Alongside I’d pasted the words: “create a buzz”.
I had no rational reason for choosing a Buddleja but it was no surprise either because this is my creative process: to purposefully set out to distract my left-brain in order to have a conversation with my right-brain. This required me to let go of what I thought I should be doing by choosing pictures to represent this and allow the images to choose me. I wanted to open the windows and let some fresh air in.
The next day when I re-visited my vision board, I chuckled to see the Buddleja because the first thing I thought of was a hand-held microphone. Little did I know …
Within seven months of creating this Intuitive Vision Board, here’s what transpired - absolutely none of which I’d considered or planned for beforehand. Yet all of these, as far as I could tell, had some association with the ‘hand-held microphone’ and finding my public voice.
* I started writing newsletters and blogs regularly
* I appeared on TV for the first time talking about intuitive vision boards
* I had three separate interviews on the radio
* I began writing my book about Intuitive Vision Boards
* I sang my first-ever solo on stage in front of 150 people
* I made three commercial videos
At the same time I was intrigued to discover I actually had a large Buddleja growing at the entrance to my property, which I'd not noticed before because I’d moved house in the depths of winter.
During the summer, while I was in full swing with the book writing, 30 large blooms formed a protective arch for me to pass under - a constant reminder of my current focus to create a buzz.
From a psychotherapy point of view the Buddleja on my intuitive vision board was a transformational symbol. At the same time it was directing me towards the most effective route to develop my business. I had not previously considered any of those “microphone activities” yet as they came into my awareness, I tried them on - even when it was a stretch, involved a small risk, and an element of fear.
And what had my logical left-brain (LL) planned for me to be doing instead before my remarkable right-brain (RR) stepped in and redirected the course of history with the Intuitive Vision Board?
It sinks my spirits just to recall the massive ‘to do list’ I faced every day, systematically addressing tasks I found tedious - like mastering each social media platform in turn and writing a business plan. My progress was slow and I was very frustrated. If I’d made a vision board in the traditional way to reflect the intentions I’d set for myself, it would have looked very different from the one I created.
I’m not suggesting the logical left-brain is now redundant or the tasks on my “to do list” are not valid, ever. It’s simply these decisions were being taken too early by LL when it’s strength is not to propose solutions that provide a quantum leap forward. LL needs to be at the service of RR otherwise the outcome will always be limited.
It’s not LL’s fault; it can’t help itself. It only works with data that is known already, which has been speculated accounts for a mere 5-8% of our available intelligence. RR on the other hand has access to that vast, awesome sea of possibility and a rich treasure trove of ideas and inspiration, which is the other 92% of our available intelligence. Therefore by engaging RR in making my intuitive vision board, I entertained ideas that had never entered my conscious awareness before. And these RR nudges added momentum to my business life more effectively than all my LL thinking put together.
The Intuitive Vision Board is not a panacea but it certainly provided me with the best guidance I needed at this time. There is so much I could share with you about this particular intuitive vision board but I’ll settle for one final image, which also changed the face of my business.
See the man above sat at the desk alongside the Buddleja? When I first saw him I thought: he’ll do, he looks busy and creative to me but not a suitable romantic partner.” Then I had the subsequent thought: “He’s working for me. He’s my Man Friday!”
Until then I had not considered employing anyone in the foreseeable future. Like many micro business owners, I didn’t think I could afford to. But acting on this RR nudge, I posted an advertisement on-line. It said: “Wanted. Part-time Man-Friday to provide computer and social media expertise to a struggling creative.”
I had three replies within a day. The first came from a man who looked like the image on my board and helped me over some initial hurdles. The second reply came from a woman who lived three minutes walk away. She offered to be my Woman-Friday and has been working for me every since.
Am I grateful for Deborah? Yes! Could I afford her? No, my LL still proclaims! But I went ahead and defiantly afforded her anyway. Her presence has allowed me to progress much faster than my scrabbling around trying to do everything myself. The third reply was from another talented candidate, by the way.
Do you see how this works?
I didn’t make the vision board to reflect previously conceived ideas of what I thought I should be doing otherwise this exercise would be little more than goal-setting using pictures. There’s nothing wrong with the latter and it is more common but, it has limitations which you now understand.
Neither am I saying this style of vision board can’t work; it can. But when the linear intelligence of LL alone decides what images should be on your board, it can’t take into account the biggest picture. Consequently you could potentially be focusing on the wrong things.
And, if you've decided in advance of making your board what your goals and aspirations are, you’ll need to rely on your will-power alone to pummel them into existence. The alternative is to align with super-consciousness via your intuitive vision board because then you align with universal intelligence and its will-power is limitless.
May the force be with you
My recommendation is to get out of your own way. Open up to your innate intuitive intelligence and allow your imagination free-range when it comes to making your intuitive vision board. Be excited and curious about the images that appear.
And then make sure you stay alert to the gentle promptings to action you’ll receive in the subsequent months ahead. Don’t ignore them just because they seem inconvenient to LL who will try to convince you to wait for a more opportune moment. Do it anyway. At least be curious enough to do something with the guidance you receive, otherwise it's like uncovering hidden treasure and then throwing it away.
Don't expect an overnight result from this creative process either. It took me seven months in this example for the vision to complete its form. There is a perfect moment when it comes to manifesting a vision when providence moves with you too - but in its own time and on its own terms. In the interim, it pays to cultivate patience, which is something I had to learn but now I’ve come to trust.
VISIT MY EVENTS PAGE for Intuitive Vision Board workshop dates. Private workshops can be arranged by request.
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Battle of the Somme revisited
This summer I visited the First World War sites in Pas de Calais. Clutching a copy of Birdsong (Sebastian Faulks) with its moving portrayal of this tragic moment in history, I was there to witness a tiny fraction of the 4-month horror that was the Battle of the Somme and to visit my daughter working there.
Remains of war
The war ended 100 years ago but every day new shells surface, some undetonated, along with other warfare debris. On average 30 more bodies appear every year.
There is no escaping the consequences of man’s collective insanity embedded in this now tranquil landscape, despite the tastefully-designed memorial sites and the seldom applauded work of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC ). Their staff and team of gardeners are relentless in manning and maintaining them through all weathers, the biggest concentration of which are the 400+ cemeteries in Northern France and Belgium.
The day after the first battle in which 1 million casualties were reported out of 3.5 million fighting men, some soldiers reported a low, continuous moaning rising up from the ground itself. It wasn’t coming from the few remaining survivors, it was coming from the earth itself. From a Feng Shui perspective trauma like this needs clearing from the environment and a counter-balancing healing energy introduced, which is exactly what the CWGC have been able do and why their continued presence is so important.
Villagers were forced to abandon their homes and their farms so men could fight for priority over a ridge of land or push back the 12-mile front line to cross the no-man’s land separating sons, fathers and husbands on both sides.
After the war the French Government had the idea to seal off this barren wasteland by planting a huge forest but local farmers were not in favour of this. And who can blame them. This was their home before the fight began. Besides a forest would have rendered this area a ‘no-man’s land’ forever, with no-one being able to venture in there again safely.
Sheep are already set to graze on some war zones to keep the grass down because it’s considered better to blow a sheep up than a groundsman. It’s a moot point isn’t it? The fact is you can’t get rid of dangerous ammunition that easily. Much of it is too deeply buried. The options are to keep pushing it back down into the earth when it tries to surface - and some people are employed just to do that - or transport it away to blow it up, which has additional dangers to it.
"T'is ne'er worth it"
The First World War is over but the energy of violence and anguish is embedded in this countryside. In Feng Shui we explore this as ‘predecessor history’ and it can continue to exert an influence over the destiny of a place unless attended to. I was fascinated to learn the German army gravitated to Thiepval and occupied the ridge again in the Second World War. They headquartered right underneath the 45 metre high monument itself, climbing the spiral staircase inside the thick columns to engrave their names around its summit.
My purpose in writing is not to glorify the Great War in any shape or form - and I never once got this impression from CWGC personnel. Nor was it to stand victorious on a piece of turf called Thiepval as member of the Commonwealth, which bears both the British and French flags and the names of the 72,000 commonwealth soldiers who died in the vicinity. It’s worth remembering thousands of German soldiers died here too.
Pilgrimage lest we forget
I believe it’s important we make a pilgrimage to these sites - and to include our children and young students - because there is already a generation between them and the World Wars. We need to be reminded of our capacity for aggression, which becomes evident when we insist our point of view is right and then convince ourselves this justifies the need to defend our corner.
Visiting these beautiful sites you cannot help be moved by the tragedy; our lives predicated on the shoulders of the brave men and women before us. Whole villages lost their sprightly youth on the first day of battle. I shuddered to think of the grief endured back home. The oldest male First World War veteran, Harry Patch, a combat soldier in Passchendaele, died aged 109 only a few years ago. He’d been wounded three times in action and still miraculously survived. While he stayed quiet about the war until later in life then he had much to say about it which amounted to: “T’is ne’er worth it. "
"I felt then, as I do now, that the politicians who took us to war should have been given the guns and told to settle their differences, instead of organising nothing better than legalised mass murder.”
Lest we should also forget, in this war you were shot at dawn by your comrades if you deserted. Perhaps you were too traumatised to face going over the line again to be met by a bevy of machine gun fire. But if you hid instead then this was your fate. Horrendous.
Locating your forebears
I was delighted to hear the CWGC have created a Foundation so provide informative tours by students and graduates at the main visitors’ centres of Thiepval, France and Ypres, Belgium. These operate from the outbreak of war on July 28 (1914) to Armistice Day on November 11 (1918).
Following their intense two-week on-site training to be tour leaders, these students will continue to be ambassadors on their return home, spreading awareness in schools, colleges of the trouble with war and the consequences of it. The free guided tours are packed with a variety of content. You can miss so much by drifting around the memorial sites on your own, although you may still want to take a moment before or after to stand and reflect in silence.
If you come supplied with as much information as you can about a family member lost in action, they will not only direct you towards their grave or memorial site but also help you to flesh out your family tree. I am from Devonshire stock and I travelled all the way to France to discover my grandfather came from a family of 11, including two sets of twins. Since I've only managed to have one child I found this awesome. I knew my grandfather had not fought in France but I didn’t know why. I learnt he had been seconded to the Indian army and accompanied them to Mesopotamia.. As a secondary school teacher who’d never been north of south Devon, this must have been an extraordinary awakening. All this information and more was provided by the highly-informed History graduate on the help desk.
Open all year
We decided to visit the Devonshire regiment cemetery, a small site tucked away behind a copse of trees, beautifully maintained and peaceful. That was before the tranquillity of the moment was disturbed by the sudden appearance of a fighter jet, capable of travelling at a supersonic speed of 1,550 mph, whose shrill engine pierced the air. While in the nearby wood we could hear regular gunfire from farmers killing off crop marauders. Both noises were enough to be intimidating. I could only imagine how soldiers would have felt to hear the continuous onslaught of machine guns or be bombarded with mortars leaving massive craters in the ground around them while shattering the bodies of men in the process.
Thiepval and Ypres are within 1 ½ hours of the Channel Tunnel and the Calais and Dunkerque ferry ports respectively. The lovely French town of Arras and the Belgium town of Gent are good places to stay, within easy drive of the main sites. We must visit these memorial sites, not just to honour those who sacrificed their lives for us. We must also be on guard to our capacity to be judgemental and decide that we are right and another is wrong when it’s only our thinking that makes it so. Our unexplored thoughts, yet believing them to be absolutely right, is how disputes brew, fights begin, and wars take hold. Meanwhile Harry Patch reminds us of the consequences:
“I’ve never got over it. You never forget it. Never.
If your New Year's resolutions are already wilting on the vine try making an Intuitive Vision Board instead. 90% of successful people swear by them, including Oprah and Beyonce.
A vision board is a creative tool. Essentially it's a collage - and by making it, focuses your attention on what you really want to do, be or have in your life.
It looks easy enough, cutting out images from magazines and sticking them onto a board to represent your ideas. But there's also an art and a science behind the not-so-superficial Vision Board; Creative Arts Therapy and Neuroscience. Without a skilled facilitator to guide you into more meaningful territory, you could end up with the same-old predictable ideas appearing on your Board. Or, in the case of the DIY scenario, get bored half way through your creation, wander off and leave your vision incomplete.
What’s wrong with New Year resolutions?
Nothing as such. It's just they're made by the head - the logical left-brain along with most of our decision-making. If you allow the logical left-brain to take the lead in making a Vision Board, you'll be foraging in a dry water bed. It's boring and unimaginative.
Here's what can happen. Classes in my health club are packed in January with massive waiting lists. By February it’s back to normal again. Why? Because the resolutions were made with the head and not the heart, so it becomes a myopic Do List with no passion or feeling behind it.
On the other hand, making an Intuitive Vision Board with the intuitive right-brain will help to clarify your real priorities and keep you focused on the right things. The outcome can be innovative and radical. You'll also gain a more balanced perspective of what is best for you.
Here are the differences between the two.
Logical left-brain in charge
wants quick results
no time for sentiment or sweet humanity
Logical left believes you should only return to your softer aspirations, like attending a Vegan cookery school, when your loftier goals are achieved. What this limited thinking fails to take into account is the Vegan cookery school could be just what you need to boost your vitality and enable those loftier goals to be achieved with less effort.
By going to a different place and meeting a new crowd of people could set in motion a whole sequence of synchronicity, not calculable in advance, to steer you in the best direction of what you desire the most.
Intuitive Right-brain at the wheel
softer, fluid approach
responds to symbolism and metaphor
enjoys the poetics of colour and form
and goddammit, it's illogical!
In my Intuitive Vision Board Workshops I facilitate a right-brain approach exclusively. I respect the meandering way intuitive intelligence operates, feeling its way into selecting the images and creating an intriguing and meaningful constellation on the Vision Board.
I love to observe people working in the creative 'zone'. The energy and the space around them expands exponentially. I also know from past experience the probability of them achieving a personal break-through is very high.
Visit here for information about my upcoming Vision Board Workshops.
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Visionary with her Intuitive Vision Board
My newly-graduated daughter is preparing job applications. When you're young and full of energy, when you've worked hard and got a first-class honours degree (History), when you already show valuable work experience acquired in the school holidays and you still don't get snapped up, it's one of life's many challenges she's to face.
One of five
She was pipped at second interview for two lip-smacking jobs that on paper suited her down to the ground. In one she made it past 130 applicants to arrive on the short list of five. I was mightily impressed. At the palace too. Yes, The Palace. On her first visit she was directed to the wrong gate and had to make a right royal run through the Queen's back corridors to get there on time.
'i' before 'e'
The second near miss was for the National Trust at Cliveden; the most frequented NT property in the whole UK apparently. Her writing sample they liked very much but they didn't like her spelling Cliveden wrong!
Having spent the previous three years in Clifton at Bristol University, it was a mistake easily made under pressure - but 'Clifton' cost her.
On another occasion she turned down a marketing communications job because the photos of the product turned her stomach. Fair enough I suppose, she's not a scientist. You have to draw the line somewhere and hers went right through the centre of a colostomy bag.
Wisdom of hindsight
This episode recalls to mind a treatise on fate. Sometimes in life you have accept things as they are presented. Sometimes this means doing the one thing you're resisting like crazy. Having put up a fervent protest, only to find a particular clump of chewing gum is still sticking to your shoe, then the odds are it has your name on it. Somewhere in the distant future, you'll look back and realise how essential that hated, fated job or task turned out to be.
Since I can't impart these words of wisdom on my daughter because I'm only her mother and what do I know, I'm sharing them with you instead. Thank you!
My first-ever job after University was to work for my father. I absolutely didn't want to sell swimming pools or hot tubs. Nor did I want to start immediately after graduation. I wanted to travel, see the world, spread my wings. He wasn't at all sympathetic - nor impressed with my Anthropology degree from Durham University; I was of no use to anyone with that!
Readers, he had a particularly chauvinistic attitude and thankfully it is not everybody's experience of fatherly love. Anyway his solution was to slot me straight into secretarial college where two afternoons a week, I learned to touch-type on a typewriter; one of those quaint devices with honky-tonk keys. One false letter and you had to tear the whole sheet of paper out and start again.
Fate worse than death
Not only was it my job to type, I had first to decipher the illegible hand-written scrawl of three male directors and churn out their correspondence error-free. Computers had made it onto the scene but they were still comparable to the size of a double-decker bus so not many businesses had room for them. We didn't.
The other excruciating job I had was to front the showroom as sales receptionist. Excruciating because I didn't know a thing about swimming pools. But I knew a lot about the culture and behaviour of primitive peoples and not many of them came into the showroom, not even in Devon. With one eye on the typewriter, both ears on the telephone for in-bound calls, the other eye was free to meet and greet customers shopping for this high-end product after they'd finished at the market. Once I'd got over the initial embarrassment, curiously enough I enjoyed it.
If the esteemed Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor, had been around I'm sure he would have counselled me accordingly: "That which stands in the way is the way, Mary."
But I was two thousand years too late for him so I kept on hating the typing. And I hated my father for insisting I had to do it. After a year of this I quit the job but only after I'd inadvertently mastered touch-typing at speed. I moved to London and with my newly-acquired typing skills, bluffed my way into a secretarial job where I worked long hours for three months and saved enough to head out across Africa for six months.
Post-Africa, I got a job for a Mail Order Book Club. My job was to select books for three clubs and to commission copy-writing and design to produce the monthly catalogues. In contrast I loved it. Four years later I volunteered redundancy and moved to Richmond, Surrey and offered my services as a freelancer in Marketing Communications. Now I'm the one writing copy, which means that dreaded touch-typing skill is coming in very handy again. "That which stands in the way is the way, Mary."
More than words
The business grew and within two years my partner resigned his job as a Marketing Director for a Financial Services company and joined me. Not long after it seemed we became a full Direct Marketing Agency with 15 staff and a flotilla of company cars. And now I'm still writing copy but for our Fortune 500 clients - banging out the words fast and furiously and well-paid for it using that fated touch-typing skill.
Oh, and I'm the Sales & Marketing Director for the Agency as well. Where on earth did I cut my teeth for this job? As the sales receptionist in my father's torture chamber! "That which stands in the way is the way, Mary."
Resistance is futile
Me thinks that once you've put up a stout protest and nothing changes then that's enough. It's time to accept that which stands in your way is your way and to drop any resistance to it gracefully. Because years later, when you're as old as me (lol) and get to join up the dots, you'll discover the heinous job or task proved to be a gift horse in the end.
So thank you Dad for your contribution to my writing. And thank you Marcus Aurelius, receiving you loud and clear.
I'd like to mention too I've almost finished my book and publish in 2018. It's around 55,000 words. Each one touch-typed, of course.
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Anna got lucky with her first Vision Board. She cut out a circular piece of gold foil which resembled a coin. She didn't know why she'd chosen it but was intuitively drawn to do so. Four weeks later she received an envelope in the post from the People’s Post Code Lottery with a gold coin on it. It bore an uncanny resemblance to the one on her Vision Board.
Thrilled she was next to receive a cheque for £5,800. And unbeknown to him, her son is getting his first set of wheels this Christmas.
To discover what gold your destiny has in store for you, come and make a Vision Board with me. Your gold may not be as literal as Anna's. It may be something like an unexpected career change, a house move, or an addition to the family. If you're wondering what a Vision Board is, there is more information about them below.
If it's a year or more since you made your last Vision Board that's a good interval in which to consider making another. Any students in your family seeking clarity about their study options or a boost to their self-confidence, this creativity workshop provides the ideal space for addressing this. Full details are on my open Events page - firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is a Vision Board?
A Vision Board is a collage of images you cut out randomly from magazines and stick down with Pritt Stick. And what images!
The Vision Board will turn out to be a veritable treasure trove, speaking to you about all the things, activities and places that can lead you to authentic joy and prosperity. Contrary to what you might imagine, the images are not literal representations of what you're about to manifest in your life. They're more likely to be signs and metaphors which point the way towards what it is you truly need to be happy and fulfilled rather than the item itself.
These symbolic images are super-special because they unlock doors to your subconscious and unconscious intelligence and the potential lurking there beyond your wildest imaginings.
It’s very tempting to jump to first conclusions about what the pictures on a Vision Board mean. But this can stop you explorer deeper. It's better to sit patiently longer with the unanswered questions raised by the Vision Board - until the answers come to you rather than chasing after them in the customary way. It's fascinating how the creative mind works.
A Vision Board is a gift to be treasured - and that's why it makes such a wonderful present too. It's a personal development tool with value and longevity beyond the actual workshop itself. By the very act of creating it, you will have woven a web of interconnecting possibilities and paved the way for serendipity and magic to begin.
Warm wishes Mary
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Simon is a professional Tai Chi teacher. Like so many of us, he wanted to experience more “spaciousness and presence” in his life and “achieve a better balance between work and family life and not get so bound up in knots”.
During the Intuitive Vision Board Workshop it can feel quite luxurious to take all the time you need to flick through magazines without an agenda; to savour choosing and arranging images without pre-planning or censorship. Working at this leisurely pace, allows the creative side of our brain to open up like a flower and inspiration and innovation to get through to you.
Towards the close of the workshop when others were finished and presenting their boards, Simon had considerable empty space on his and a pile of images still to sort through. As a seasoned vision board facilitator I’m perfectly happy to see these empty spaces, knowing there will be good reason for it which the unconscious mind knows the reason for and the conscious mind has yet to catch up and comprehend. Simon, however, left feeling disgruntled and talked about finishing his board at home.
One image had caught my eye right in the centre of his board. It ‘felt’ edgy and slightly controversial and I felt happy and sad to see it there. Days later I had a niggling concern that Simon was not in love with his board (which most people are with theirs) and I wondered if it was to do with the image at the heart of it. I got in touch and hoped I could help him arrive at a more positive inclination towards the image.
Another two months were to elapse before we finally got together for an in-depth session. To my surprise the first thing I noticed was the controversial image had disappeared. The second surprise was that most of the empty space on the board had been filled. I was puzzling over this when Simon announced: “I’m delighted with my board now it’s finished.”
I'd enjoyed seeing the gaps on Simon’s board and the space he’d left around many of the images. To me it resonated with his desire to increase the number of pauses between activity and to enjoy more a leisurely pace and to be at peace.
The gaps had now been filled with more literal representations of spaciousness such as the cosmos and the depths of the ocean.
The absent image had been of a young boy with Downs syndrome wearing a gas mask and flippers on his hands and feet. It was a joyful picture and made me smile because he looked so present and happy. But I appreciated it ran close to the mark since Simon’s son also was a Downs boy.
Simon remembered the image as well but could not account for its disappearance.
Another little boy had appeared to join the images which represented other family members he said and spoke to me of their collective desire to have a more playful attitude to life.
Since there were nine images of bathrooms on his board, we also explored how important it was for Simon to create a watery retreat for himself in the home. With my Feng Shui hat on, we took a closer look at the neglected bathroom and I advised him how to transform it into a floating haven that resonated with the floating motif that ran through the ‘spine’ of his board.
By the time I left Simon was happily reunited with his vision board. The empty space had been filled in an acceptable way to him while the mysterious disappearance was to remain a mystery.
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With not a moment to lose and while his car is still crawling down the driveway do you open the back door to your clandestine visitor.
There she is the Feng Shui lady. She arrives complete with a set of mirrors for all occasions and a three-legged frog that doesn’t need a pond and will sit happily with a coin in its mouth at your front door to encourage prosperity. Seconds later she's assembled her trolley to remove all the stuff you're about to part with into the skip that’s arriving any minute now. You're spending the day together and there's much pleasure in store.
There are too many messy people living in your house and it’s driving you insane. When you try and explain to the messy people their behaviour is lowering the value of your property and reducing the quality of your life together it falls on deaf ears. That's why you've succumbed to this illicit rendezvous.
That’s even before you've mentioned the “chi” word to them and how important it is for life-force energy to arrive at your door in a good mood and to move unhindered throughout the house. They’re too absorbed in their own worlds and oblivious to the effect their dumping around the place is having. It’s one darn shoe after another. If you wait for everyone's approval to rectify the problem - or expect them to do it - you'll wait a lifetime.
As the person who does care and is aware of the impact this is having on everyone under the same roof, it’s time to assume your title as Facilities Manager and start kicking arse around here before the river of chi bursts its bank. The cost of a Feng Shui correction is a snitch compared with 360 days wear and tear on the property - and on your psyche.
What school, college or University do you know that allows its pupils to bring whatever they want into the building and plonk it wherever they like - and wander off? What organisation do you know that allows paperwork to high rise on surfaces, dirty dishes to pile up on tables, and clothes to trail across the floor? Furthermore they employ cleaning angels who breeze through the premises overnight working to the remit of the Facilities Manager preventing the river of life silting up and business grinding to a halt.
Once upon a time I lived with a hoarder. Thank goodness he now lives on the other side of the channel because I swear he’d star in Britain’s Biggest Hoarders. We met just as I was completing my Feng Shui training and took up residence together. The irony was I owned the house but his stuff occupied two-thirds of it.
Repeated attempts to have him pare down led to no progress at all. So I had to cheat on him and enrol the help of my lover, Hestia, the Greek Goddess of the Hearth, to come to my aid.
Repeated attempts to have him pare down led to no progress at all. So I had to cheat on him and enrol the help of my lover, Hestia, Goddess of the Hearth, to come to my aid.
True confessions. For one whole week while he was away on a training programme I beavered away. I didn’t just tackle his stuff, I finely-tuned my own. I didn't remove anything of his you could absolutely describe as valuable and sentimental. Besides what is more valuable than your physical, mental and emotional health and this behaviour was an early indication of dis-ease. Call me a wicked witch if you like but I’d had enough. Besides how could I go forth into the world as a Feng Shui consultant when my own home wasn’t in order.
Towards the end of the final day with the third car load full to straining and my partner due home within the hour, I was ready to make the last trip to the skip. But where’s the car key? Where’s the bl**dy car key? It could be anywhere in this junkyard. Was this my guilty conscience playing a trick on me or my partner getting his own back for cheating on him? Thankfully Hestia came to my rescue before a melt down and I drove away with a sense of relief.
What did my partner say on his return? Absolutely nothing. He felt the difference in the home for sure but was mindfully unaware of what the cause was to the same degree he had been mindfully unaware there had been a problem in the first place. Best of all he never reproduced such a surplus while we were together - but he’s obviously gone downhill since.
“I wouldn’t be happy if she did that to me,” I can hear muttering in the background. My response to that is: Well live on your own then. What makes one person more important than the other members of the household they allow their stuff to dominate the home?
And when your life is compromised by another who is not taking responsibility for theirs there is a case for cheating on your partner - or evacuate the building. Since by default you are the Facilities Manager of the home (because somebody has to be) then why not step up and get on and do a good job. And may the flow be with you.
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Someone asked me recently: Would you ever commit an imprisonable offence?
The question came at me from nowhere and took me aback. That's why I'm trying it out on you. My first instinct was to say ‘never’ and then I paused and thought about it.
Does time in prison automatically mean you’re in the wrong or make you a bad person? What about Nelson Mandela? Or the Suffragettes to pick an example from both sexes? Their willingness to take a stand for what they believed in, even when it was considered imprisonable at the time changed the course of history.
I think most of us would like to think we could make a difference if only in a small way. would we risk the iron bars for it?
I was wondering if there’s something - just a little smidgen of a subject - you quietly get fired up about but avoid doing anything about it because it's seems too much effort. Perhaps it also goes against the collective grain and therefore it's more comfortable to stay quiet than speak out.
The problem with this is you're also closing the door on your special brand of genius. Just because others lack your wisdom and insight in this matter means you are exactly the right person to educate them by taking the lead. This is your passion and purpose right there.
Besides how will you know what your edge looks like unless you go there and therefore how potent you are? I’m not advocating you commit an imprisonable offence, I’m just encouraging you to have a little brush with it.
Food for thought, Mary
I sometimes get asked whether negative things appear on vision boards. The answer is ‘no’ having watched over a thousand Intutive Vision Boards being made. I’ve witnessed People ambivalent about images they’d chosen but if there was some attraction for them I'd encourage the images to remain and see where they led them. Here’s an example.
I worked with three directors of a company each producing their own Intuitive Vision Board and I coached them afterwards as a team. Curiously, two of the three had strong eruptive images - one permeated the backdrop to their entire vision board and the other had an image pushing upwards from the baseline. Neither of them had an explanation for this at the time, which is perfectly normal. These are ideas and inspirations arising from the unconscious, creating a bridge between what is unknown and that which is yet to happen. In time the significance of this eruptive theme would become clear.
Three months later the relationship between the three partners erupted, resulting in one of them quitting the business and leaving the other two reeling.
Retrospectively you could point to the aforementioned images on their vision boards as negative portents.
Or you could re-perceive these as a significant sign that something needed to surface and dissipate to enable the company to organise itself differently. This is not negative in my view, it’s constructive – a Kali influence, the Hindu goddess that bring things birth or death whichever is most needed for life.
So what is it about my approach to vision boards that produces this authentic outcome rather than something that has to appear nice and rosy? It’s in the way I prepare people during the first half of the workshop to step into their most creative Self to make the Vision Board in the second half of it.
Head versus heart
There is a significant difference between a vision board made with the head and led by the Ego as opposed to a vision board made with the heart and led by the Soul. The former produces a predictive outcome, limited to information that is already known in conscious awareness. While a vision board made from the Soul is connected to the wider field of infinite intelligence and reaches for ideas beyond the scope of our rational mind. The advancement of humanity depends on us accessing more of this greater intelligence now.
Who creates the Intuitive Vision Board?
In my workshops (and they take a full four hours), I use a number of exercises designed to relax the hold the Ego has on our decision-making process. If not the Ego will always step in, only too ready to contribute its views on what we should or shouldn’t be doing with our lives. It doesn’t stop with us either; it will pass comment on anybody or anything that crosses its line of vision. To hear the quieter voice of the Soul above the noisy cut and thrust of 21st century lives, we must endeavour to become more mindfully attentive and wholeheartedly present.
I don’t have the absolute definition of Soul because the more you attempt to pin it down the more allusive it becomes. I consider Soul to be the spiritual or immaterial aspect of being human; the part that is immortal. It’s our characterful essence, the spark of individuality which bears our special gifts and comes complete with quirks, imperfections and some dysfunctionality, also part of being human.
Soul is more engaged with the process of life and the quality of our experiences. It’s trajectory rarely follows a straight line and cannot be pre-determined in advance. Soul is attuned to our universal assignment – what we are uniquely here to do and contribute to the whole. We can miss out on permitting the genius of Soul to shine through in our lives when we allow ourselves to be driven by some other agenda, which we is not our own.
When it comes to making an Intuitive Vision Board, Soul likes to peruse the magazines at leisure. It loves to dawdle, not looking for anything in particular. Soul favours pictures to words because these are less definitive and there is more scope to feed the imagination.
Soul is not interested in goal setting. The images that appeal suggest and implicate and are of a more poetic and mystical nature. Less black and white; more shades of grey. If we clutch too literally at their meaning and grasp so tightly the blood drains out of them, the guidance contained therein becomes elusive too. We are being goaded at the very deepest levels of our being, although we may not – and may never know - what is occurring until after it has happened. Then comes the ‘aha’ moment.
I don’t have a definitive answer for Ego either but I recognise it as the constant chatter that goes on in our head – sometimes out loud, mostly internal, delivering a whole string of false evidence appearing real (FEAR).
It’s the voice of "I want, I deserve, I am entitled to...". It's also the voice of judgement, criticism and opinion, totally convinced of the validity of its choices from its perspective.
The Ego is focused on the self with a small "s". Here is the master planner at work, predetermining what our life should look like and all the accoutrements to be gathered along the way as evidence of our success and achievement. It loves to compares our advancement to the next person because this feeds it's sense of self-importance.
If left to its own devices the Ego will already have decided before the making of the vision board begins what should be on there and on the day is looking for the best images to represent its ideas. Ego may go straight to the handbag it believes you must have but as soon as you've got it will have you hankering after the next “I want”. This chase won’t produce lasting fulfilment or bestow value and purpose to your life. It may bestow a short term gratification but may not necessarily help you evolve or make a contribution to the spiritual evolution of humanity.
The ends justify the means from the Ego’s point of view and it's prepared to walk all over another or destroy the planet in its wake to get what it wants. We see evidence for this in politics, economics and religion. Closer to home, we see evidence for this in our own families. It’s reptilian behaviour and reflects a lower level of evolution.
When something that isn’t so pretty appears on a vision board, I encourage the creator to rejoice and to leave it alone. It may have a darker connotation and point to what in psychotherapy is referred to as the ‘shadow’ side, but this doesn’t mean it’s negative and to be avoided or censored.
It may well represent a mystery currently hidden from conscious awareness yet be exactly what you need to do - or receive next - to unlock your destiny by exposing the very something that is blocking your light.