On a sunny Saturday afternoon in Half Moon Bay, I sat among 25 women, each on their own yoga mat, each patiently waiting with their eyes closed. Each of them was about to embark on an inner journey and, as the leader of this mini-retreat known as a Vision Board Workshop, I had the privilege of being their guide. Guided visualization is one of my favorite exercises, but it can be tricky in a large group because there is the natural tendency for some to worry if they're "doing it right" or "like everyone else." I try to reassure everyone that wherever their spirit takes them is exactly the journey they were meant to take. It is not a competition and there is no common path. The objective is to be still and to breathe. That alone can be a monumental and transformative event for a mom who is normally in perpetual motion thinking of what has to be done next and for whom. Yet this simple exercise takes all of 10 minutes and can have a profound effect on the other 525,590 minutes of your year.
A Vision Board workshop focuses on seeing from the heart, rather than the head, about forgetting the way things are and envisioning the way you'd like them to be. That "other" life can be realized, but the first step is identifying it. The second step is meeting the person who inhabits that ideal life. This is your higher self, the you who has infinite wisdom and unconditional love. Participants get to spend time in conversation with this Higher Self, posing questions such as, “What is the most important thing for me to focus on in the coming year?” Trust me, the answer will come readily. The challenge is to complete the circle and take the necessary action to, in this case, shift priorities and make that important thing the focus of the coming year.
One visualization is not likely to get it done, and while another workshop can be helpful, it's not necessary. Once you've visualized your desired existence and listened to your Higher Self's directions to reaching it, you can do it again on your own anytime you can spare 5-10 minutes. Just understand that we all have many voices in our heads, and not all of them are supportive. We all have an Inner Mean Girl, too, and she is out to sabotage our dreams. Your Higher Self’s voice is recognizable because it is inspiring and energizing. And the more you listen, the easier it is for Her voice to drown out all the others.