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.
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