by Nancy Alder
This month brings the beginning of a new school year and, at our house, the shift from elementary school to middle school for my youngest. She is nervous and excited at all the newness. After five years in one school with teachers and routines that are so familiar they feel like home, she is heading to a new place. She finds ease in transitions when the new exciting things that come from the transition are highlighted. So in preparation for middle school we are drawing attention to all the choices she’ll get to make, the new and old friends she’ll see and how much older she will feel.
One day recently when my daughter had a friend over to play, they were talking about how they were both excited and nervous about middle school. I told the girls that I like to make vision boards during times of transition. These boards are collections of things that help me look forward with purpose and from intuition and instinct instead of requirement. They offer a way to embrace the changes that are coming. Vision boards help me clarify where I want to go, what I want to be and what at my core feels right.
The girls and I gathered some glue sticks, old magazines and poster boards for their vision boards about middle school. They went through magazines and selected images and words that made them feel exciting about school: books, a cello, treating others kindly. Then they chose photos that made them happy: puppies, flowers, pretty jewelry, a horse, Buddha. They gathered these and in a way they each individually chose, pasted them on poster boards for their rooms.
They stood back and looked at these vision boards and had palpable excitement about middle school. There were no words or images of things that were fearful, only joyous anticipation about all the things to come. They made vision boards that made them excited to go back to school.
As the coming school year approaches, introducing the idea of vision boards to anyone who follows that schedule can be helpful. Additionally, incorporating vision boards during any time of transition can make them less daunting and more enchanting.
Making vision boards is simple and only requires a few things:
- Photos that inspire, bring happiness or are images of things you wish to manifest in your life. Magazines, Google and blogs you love are great sources of these pictures. Cut them out in a way you like whether that be neatly or a in a more rustic fashion. These photos can be of places, things, words, phrases, or anything you love.
- Poster board or some firm backing such as cardboard on which to paste the photos. Choose a size that fits in your space or cut the backing into a shape that inspires you. Smaller boards can be framed, larger ones hung up on the wall.
- Glue or some other non-toxic adhesive is used to adhere the images onto the backing. We use glue sticks because they are non-toxic and easy to find at most stores. Some people prefer fancier adhesives which can be found at craft stores.
- Decorative treatments such as paint, glitter, sequins, ribbons, feather or crafting tape can be added to the vision boards to make them extra special.
- If you are feeling ecologically conscious and do not wish to print photos or buy magazines, you can create a vision board online at Pinterest. Create a private board that only you can see and search for images and or quotes that offer your vision of the future. This option has the ability to be evolving so you can continually add to it or update it as your desires change.
Once you have created your vision board, I recommend taking a photograph of your board so you can have it with you on your phone or on your computer desktop. This photograph is therefore available to you whenever you need some inspiration and reminder of where you want to be and go.
Creating a vision board is a way to help you put some of your future ideas into a concrete container. The change of seasons, the start of a new school year or even during the new moon set aside time to manifest dreams for the future with a vision board.
About Nancy Alder
YOGI + MOTHER
Nancy Alder is a mom to elves, a yoga teacher and writer in Connecticut. She is a New York editor for Mantra Magazine and writes about the alchemy of yoga, mysticism and motherhood at her site Flying Yogini. She is co-creatrix of the eight limb // life a course in finding your yoga off the mat and everywhere. When not teaching or writing about yoga she explores the enchanted woods with her elves and counts the days until the next snowfall.