I sometimes get asked whether negative things appear on Vision Boards. The answer is ‘no’ having watched over a thousand 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 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 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 a 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.