Joy sets goals for continuous achievement, and loves connecting with others by helping them reach their own ideals and aspirations.
What Lies Behind the Windows of Your Desires?
Truths to Remember as You Sift Choices
Your heart cannot tell the difference between real and imagined scenarios. To your heart (if not your brain), an image is an image. All images are real, or have the potential to be. The more beautiful imaginations of your heart turn into your reality when you focus on them with overflowing gratitude, acceptance, and serenity.
Conversely, the obscene, wicked, or degrading imaginations also manifest when you focus on them with a similar emotional laser.
Learning to focus wisely will build your life up. Focusing on poor choices will only yield more of them. In short, you get what you focus on in your heart--not in your head. Your conscious thought-life has relatively little power compared to your heart and subconscious.
How to Tell What Is in Your Heart
The recurring thoughts and images that are most prominent when you are sleepy or your guard is down, are those most likely to be stored in your heart.
If you don't like what you see, you can learn to yield to better choices. In other articles, we discuss ways to change which thoughts are carried in your body and energy field.
For now, simply make an effort to become aware of what is in your "treasure house". Also be aware that you are probably not responsible for putting all of these things there. Parents, teachers, spiritual influencers, and other influential people helped you build your collection. But no matter how the thoughts got there, you alone are responsible for what you choose to keep.
It can be difficult, while wading through the garbage, to decide what you truly want.
Especially if you have been gaslighted, or your choices were belittled or stomped on, learning to know what you like and how to choose for yourself can be daunting.
What I Don't Want
If this is the case, begin by deciding what you don't want.
Consider the statements below, and see what kinds of thoughts and feelings they spark.
- I don't want a fear-driven lifestyle.
- I don't want unnecessary pain--only that which is needed for growth and strength.
- I don't want turmoil or confusion.
- I don't want bad or degrading relationships.
- I don't want . . . (You fill in the blank.)
What Is On Your Don't-Want List?
What I do Want
Now, turn the statements into positives. It's okay if they're not perfect. Just start where you're at, in this moment.
- I want a lifestyle characterized by hope, courage, love, faith, and strength.
- I want to grow strong mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
- I want peace in my mind and heart. I want truth in my life, not lies from others or myself.
- I want pure, beautiful relationships characterized by respect and affection.
- I want . . . (Now you try one.)
In another article, we will learn how to turn these desire-statements into tailored affirmations suited to you and the way your mind is naturally wired.
As you go through these processes and exercises, try to keep in mind that you are rebuilding your life. You are learning to be an architect. If you have never learned to build, it's going to take some time. It's okay to take the needed time. It really is. You and your life are worth rebuilding.
How much time is needed doesn't really matter. Depending on how many things you need to unlearn and how much trash you must clear out to make room for the good things, the process may take weeks, months, or even years. That's okay. Let it be.
Baby steps are acceptable. Baby steps are good. Moving forward at all is better than being stuck. Celebrate your movement and efforts, no matter what the early results seem to be.
Another time we will discuss why our bodies and minds fight so hard against change, but for now, be aware that you will have to put up a fight. You will have to fight harder than your old patterns. This means that even deciding to have a good life may feel almost impossible at first. That's fear talking. Fear is a rapist. So sucker punch the bastard, get him where it hurts, then stand tall, and hold onto the first good thing that catches your attention. Use it to begin climbing out of your hole.
The Hardest Part
Choosing pictures is quite possibly the hardest part of this whole Vision Board process. That's because trauma and fear have trained you to believe that you don't deserve anything good. This is a blatant lie. We all are created to receive and give good things.
Sometimes, we have to begin breaking the cycle of bad by giving ourselves good things. Let me rephrase that. "Gifting" ourselves good things. Whether this is your birthday or unbirthday, it's a good day to give yourself the gift of time, attention, and a new start.
This is such a super important concept that I want you to pause and see to it that you can go forward relaxed and comfortable. So pause and get a cup of your favourite coffee, tea, or other beloved beverage. Treat yourself. Your aim is to get in a position to believe, even for one instant, that you deserve to have a satisfying life filled with good things. You deserve to feel happy. You deserve to be treated well. You deserve to love and be loved.
Even if at first, you have to do it yourself.
You Deserve Good Things (Yes, You Do)
Ready? Set. Feel!
That's right. Feel. What color are your feelings? What color do you want them to be? What comes to mind when you try to imagine serenity?
Find an image with these "serenity color(s)" prominent. Anything. A cup of coffee. A garden. An animal. A mountaintop. A kiss. A room.
If nothing comes to mind, try rain, an old book, or a solitary armchair.
The colors may be purple. Black. Red. Outrageous orange. Ocean blue. Shell pink. It's your choice.
What is the serenity image? What does it speak to your heart? Don't think it--feel it. Now solidify those feelings. Journal them. Color them. Scrapbook them. Play them in music. Build them. Get them where you can remember them and possibly re-experience them.
Which Is Your Favorite Today?
When you are ready, repeat the process.
You don't need to journal or create something about every picture, but if you find the thoughts flowing, sweeping you on to somewhere good, jot them down or record them. You can rely on them to boost you when you cannot feel why you should try anymore.
What Types of Images Are Allowed
Remember that the pictures don't have to make sense. They don't have to be happy and bright. They don't have to be full of friends and family and amazing parties. They don't have to be Paris. They only have to make you feel how you wish you could feel all the time.
- They can be morbid or a bit lonesome seeming.
- They can be about you, by yourself.
- They can be eventful, or quiet.
- They can be religious, or not.
- They can be full of stuff, or not.
- They can have pets and kids, or not.
- They can be focused on a career, or not.
- You are exploring you, not everybody else.
If you like a picture--any picture, whether serene or not--file it to refer to daily, or at least put it in a dump file where you'll be sure to come back across it in a week or a month. It's okay if you're not sure about it right away. Today, you are just exploring. Playing with the possible. Exploration is good.
Search Your Inner Winding Roads
After a few days or a week of noticing and collecting pictures, spend some time seeing what you've got. Really seeing. Look for the patterns.
- What themes emerge?
- What colors are prominent? How do they make you feel?
- What kinds of activities are shown?
- What sorts of clothes or possessions?
- What are the relationships doing?
Just notice. Observe the patterns. No judgments are needed at this time.
Are there different distinct themes or attitudes shown? For example, both Gothic and pastel clothes? Both red-lipstick dates, and nights by the fire? Both tabby cats with paws tucked in, and snarling wolves defending their territory?
What do you see the most of? This may be a clue to whatever you most need to heal, or cope. For example, if you have 17 photos of coffee, and 10 of rainy days spent alone recharging and sleeping . . . you probably desperately need rest.
If you have pictures of fast cars on open highways, what is it you wish you could escape?
Put "Abundant time to rest and recharge" on your shopping list for a new life, even if you don't expect this need to last forever. Or put, "Settle conflicts with [name]," or, "Move to [new city/country]."
If you have a lot of new clothes or shoes shown, ask yourself how you actually feel about your body, or maybe money.
Ask, and then walk away from the question.
Yes, walk away, after adding the determination, "I have the power and resources to be healthy and love my body, and all conflicting thoughts must move out to make room for this truth to take over," or, "Resources are available for my needs . . ."
This will allow room to be made in your thoughts and life for good changes.
As you progress in your ability to recognize what you actually want and need, images which will help you on your journey will begin coming to you easier, sometimes popping up seemingly out of nowhere.
Color Associations Exploration, by Sara Lobo
Tips for Narrowing Down Your Selections
I want to give you some examples of how this process has worked in my life, but first, let's go over some tips for getting the most accurate results, should you have a seeming jumble of conflicting images, or images that don't seem to lead anywhere.
- Test pictures several times before deciding whether they are appropriate to your long term goals or desires. To do this, just notice how each image makes you feel when you see it. Each one must always produce the feelings you want to cultivate as normal in order to make your final cut.
- Use nothing that "catches" at your spirit or which produces anxiety. Zero anxiety. There should be no increase in anxiety when you look at any picture. If you still love a picture, but it makes you feel slightly anxious, set it aside in a Maybe Someday file. Don't use it daily at this time.
- Choose what you want--not what your parents, siblings/friends/relatives, or partner think you should have, like, do, or be. Not what society says. Not what has been traditional or available to you. Not what you thought last year, or when you were in a particular situation or relationship. Not what makes someone else comfortable, or makes you "acceptable". Not what fits your current income and lifestyle. Only what you truly want.
Last winter (January 2020), I had an epiphany. I realized that in the last few years, I had been unable to move forward properly because I was stuck in a previous ideal. This ideal was over a decade old. It had served its purpose, but was outdated. And it was okay to roll it up, put it in a memory drawer, and move on.
The ideal had been being able to move out of town onto a homestead and be independent. My family and I had done that. We had left behind an aggravating small-town situation, and had set about renovating an old farmstead which had a 1828 farmhouse on it, still set up to 1930s standards.
The dream had been achieved. And it had become a burden.
I didn't want to stop living on my tiny farm with my sheep and wide views and pink sunrises. But I wanted more. I had outgrown the dream, as I had proved up on it like a wilderness farmer proving up on a property claim.
I wanted to be a full-time writer, with farming on the side. This meant I needed to make many more improvements to my property, so that operations could be done with a minimum of fuss. It meant investing time writing so I could increase my income. It meant figuring out what the perfect writer's lifestyle looked like to me.
It meant growing. Possibly being willing to leave behind people and situations that chose not to grow with me.
The journey has been intense but gratifying.
The shift in my thinking came gradually, over a series of weeks. I slowly took stock of exactly what I needed to change in order to make myself into a full-time writer and a more sophisticated person . . . not just a homesteading mama with lambs in the house, interrupting my family's homeschooling.
Maybe right now you are going through a similar shift. It's okay, you are not alone. And you can see this through.
If you are scared of the changes, ask yourself whether they are more scary than staying where you are.
It's time for a few more examples, to help you grasp what is happening to you throughout this image choosing process.
For full-time writing, I urgently needed:
- A fully working well yielding abundant water. Our 300+ foot deep well had always been unreliable, and had been totally unavailable for the last 3 years. We had recently got it working again, but it pumped only a few gallons of muddy or silty water per day.
- A clean and warm home office, or at least a quiet, comfortable writing headquarters. (I'm currently using my bed in a room without its own heat source.)
- Wifi. I was (and am) working strictly off a tablet and a cellular signal. No laptop. No desktop. No regular keyboard. No easy data or file transfers. No full features. Instead, mobile version glitches in writing platforms.
- A way to keep the kitchen and dining room clean, for food photo shoots related to articles.
- Cooperation from my family, who seem to think that writing is a non-job, in spite of the fact that it has paid for their shoes and house.
What My Baby Steps Look Like
How am I going to get these things accomplished? One baby step at a time. The same way I've gotten our property nearly paid off, and have been writing seriously for the last 10+ years. Except more. I'm doing more of the good things.
I'm making meal planning a priority so that my day is less interrupted. I'm encouraging the kids (both teens) to be responsible and show initiative . . . even if I don't always like the way they do things. For example, they do their own laundry and usually make their own lunches. They are loud and messy, but things get done.
I've cut out of my life all unnecessary or counterproductive events, as well as people I don't trust and to whom I have no official commitment.
I've worked in dabs to improve my home and property. This means planning a minimal-care kitchen garden, culling sheep who have questionable mothering instincts so I spend less time looking after lambs, building better farm buildings, and decluttering my home. It means putting in a few minutes here and there to take care of distractions or anything I will regret having not done in a month or a year.
It means taking care of myself. Spending time healing. Eating as well as possible. Trying new things to keep my creativity high. Doing things I enjoy. Realizing that a "bad" day might mean I get my hair brushed, and make it through a math lesson with my daughter with neither of us yelling.
Finally, it means keeping a tab open on my browser so my latest article is always in front of me. No excuses. No procrastinating. Just one foot put in front of the other. In this way, I've gotten more new material written (and published) in the last 6 months than I typically do in two years, as well as a mountain of edits made to older material.
Ideally, I want to have proper facilities for the sheep and other animals, so that my yard and home stay cleaner. Currently, they are mostly legally free-range . . . which means we have a petting zoo on the loose.
I want to be able to hire someone to do building improvements and sometimes clean portions of my home, as well as do maintenance like painting and refinishing hardwood floors.
I want my property to hold a serene but wild-wood mood, being welcoming but a bit secretive, where nature feels comfortable.
I want an orchard of various fruit and berry bushes, and hedges of lilacs and honeysuckle and bridal wreath spirea. I still enjoy cooking and canning, and take great delight in all growing things.
I want to remodel my kitchen so the pantry is more efficient, and I have a baking counter, a pet feeding station, and room for certain appliances. This will help streamline daily tasks.
I want to feel comfortable, not embarrassed by manure on the floor, to have friends over to supper . . . friends with different income levels, social positions, and viewpoints. I want to learn to be more hospitable.
Socially, I want to become easier with a few people, resulting in a small circle of friends who adore our friendship, and spontaneously help to maintain it.
Moods in Color Palettes, Coastal Theme
Color and Object Associations
Colors influence us way more than we usually know. So it may become important for you to work to decode your own personal color meanings. This can help you choose appropriate steps to reaching your goals, as well as finding truly enjoyable clothes and decorating schemes.
Below are a few of my personal color associations. Yours may be quite different.
- Clean home=Yellow
- Time to Myself=Purple
- Black=Home Alone, Comfortable
- Red=Summer, strawberries, carefree days, reflections of sun on leaves and glowing September grass
Ever since I was a child, I wanted a bright yellow kitchen. After I was married, I waited 11 years to get one. It's been six years since I painted my home, and I still love it. In fact, the walls in all my main rooms are spring yellow, with robin's egg blue ceilings.
But I kept seeing other yellow rooms, and getting very emotional over them. After some introspection, I realized they were all extremely clean, as well as cheerful. Both of these things were all but missing in my life, no matter my efforts. This inspired me to work smarter to make the necessary changes in my home to attain clean, comfortable, and convenient surroundings.
I realized the meaning of purple--and other colors--in a similar way. I couldn't appropriately have a Gothic purple bedroom in my Craftsman farmhouse, alongside a redneck husband who has no neatness instincts. But I could wear purple, use purple accents, and have a purple study-hideout. The hideout is in progress, as damaged plaster needs to come out of the walls and ceiling and be replaced before the room can be anything but a catch-all. Still, things are going forward. I am currently working a bit here, a bit there to clean out the extra belongings, so that when my husband and I are ready to deal with the room, we can go forward with a will. The hideout is a wonderful morning room, with a view of my "woods" and mid-spring poppies.
Objects or places, too, have symbolic meanings for me:
- Meadows/pastures/green wheat fields=Quiet, not getting yelled at or belittled.
- Dairy goats=friends.
- Friesian horses=freedom/liberty to explore life and do well.
- Lilacs in bloom=Warmth and serenity, especially after a grueling winter.
So explore your own associations, and consider how you can use them as tools to brighten your surroundings and mindset.
Color Associations, by Moviola
How Filmmakers Manipulate Our Emotions Using Color, by The Verge
Dealing With Assumptions by Others
When others have told you what you're supposed to be, it can be difficult to learn to define yourself. Start by thinking of times when others have definitely got it wrong, and work backwards to figure out what you wanted instead.
For example, I grew up in a beef and crops region, where Western style horses were common--especially Quarter Horses. My aunt had been known as a good gymkhana rider, and seemed to think that horses equalled Western showmanship and games. I was not interested in these. I wanted to learn dressage and try foxhunting. But no one ever asked me. I was given trinkets and mementos related to the Western horse world and cowboying . . . not to English riding and the more elegant breeds I admired. I didn't dislike the ranching lifestyle. In fact, I enjoyed rodeo and admired many real cowboys and ranch hands. I got a rush from the occasional horse which bucked under me. But at core I craved beauty and elegance . . . not sage and broncs. I was butterflies and purple meadows and Friesian or warmblood horses performing dressage . . . not western horsemanship and lariats and bawling calves.
Have You Caged Your Light? Please Let it Loose.
What assumptions have people got wrong about you and your desires? What have you gotten wrong?
For example, I like target shooting, and I'm good at it. But I don't so much enjoy most hunting scenarios. Still, I assumed that because I liked dogs and guns, this meant my husband and I would have a good time hunting together. After four years of trying every kind of hunting available to us, I had to admit that sitting out at the coldest hour of the day just to shoot something, isn't my cup of tea.
Are there classes you took that never did you any good? Forgive yourself (or the system requirements) for the time misspent, and move on.
Are there clothes you bought and never wore? Let them go.
Are there efforts for holidays or celebrations that didn't turn out or were no fun, even though you thought they would be? At least you had the experience, and know now what not to do.
Examine other aspects of your life and see where the regrets remain. Forgive yourself and others, and move on.
Some biggies may be:
- Living conditions
- Health choices
- Career path
Write down or otherwise create an explicit reminder of what you wish had happened instead. Then use these decisions to help you go forward with more clarity.
Next, we'll examine in more detail how to set up and develop Intention Boards by the Month, and Vision Boards by the Year, using Pinterest as our format example. You'll be able to adapt these methods to other formats.
Balancing for Others Comfort?
Topics Previously Covered in This Series
In Part 1, we explore why fear inhibits our ability to know what we really want, and act on it. Our thought loops often hold the key to realizing our deepest desires. Focusing on and owning these thought loops can allow us to move forward, first making the decision that fear will no longer own us.
In Part 2, we cover the basics of how to develop a vision board, whether in an electronic or physical format. We offer prompts and resources to help you decide what you truly want out of life.
In Part 3, we discuss the role of bio rhythms in setting intentions which yield pleasant fruit. When you pair your firm and detailed expectations with careful timing, cooperation from others and the Universe often results.
Our Conditions and Qualifications
In case you missed our intro before, we are an autistic DID System who have spent years exploring how trauma affects our ability to live our best life and act on our deepest needs. We have no official diagnosis, and no legal qualifications to offer advice or training on mental health conditions. Conversely, we have a decade of experience managing our Dissociative Identity Disorder, as well as about four years working to understand our autism.
Our Approach to Vision Boarding
Because fear is such a huge roadblock to stability and satisfaction, we have chosen to approach the topic of vision board development by exploring how it can be used to assist in healing and changing trauma patterns. We specifically use it to overcome fear and other trauma responses.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2020 Joilene Rasmussen