Ever since I was a little girl, I have always loved the process of collecting pictures and words to capture the essence of who I am, what I love, and how I want to cultivate my passions and live out my life.
I didn't call it a vision board when I was young, but that's basically what I was doing.
I would cut and paste pictures of people, places, textures, and colors that I loved and also wrote down goals and habits that I wanted to pursue in order to live out the "me I wanted to be."
I found it to be super creative and fun and loved the process of capturing all the joyful parts of life into one place.
And then the whole law of attraction craze happened and I started to believe that I could actually get specific things I wanted if I just created the vision for it, so I started to create my vision boards from this mindset.
It became of game of "manifest all your dreams into reality" that eventually morphed into a tortuous mental battle of personal shame, blame, and depression when things didn't go as planned.
Not only did I not get my dream home or car as promised, but the medical bills came pouring in faster than you can say Lamborghini.
Needless to say, real life came crashing in and the promise of "get anything you want" was left by the wayside.
For a while, I didn't even feel like creating any type of vision board because I honestly kind of felt betrayed by the concept.
But eventually, I caved because it's just who I am. It's a creative process that I personally enjoy. I love to capture all that is good and joyful in the world, even though there are so many things that are not.
So I had to reframe the whole concept in order to make it work for me.
I went from a mindset of "I want a light-and-airy, modern, cottage-style home"
"I love the look of a light-and-airy, modern, cottage-style home and will enjoy looking at all the beautiful pictures of them. I will also seek to capture the essence of them in my own home in ways that work for me and my family."
It's a mindset shift that focuses more on what I can enjoy and appreciate right now, verses one that focuses on what I don't or can't have at the moment.
This doesn't mean that I no longer work toward goals or dreams. I do. It's just that I no longer expect that I'm going to get whatever I want just because I want it.
I recognize that although I can choose some things in life, I cannot control everything.
I am now much more gentle and intentional about creating habits, goals, and mindsets that are healthy, wise, and honest in relation to my current life circumstances.
I am much more compassionate with myself when things don't go as planned or when I need to make changes.
I still appreciate the process of capturing a visual and tactile vision for my life because I find that it helps me access clarity, purpose, and joy, but I just don't expect things to turn out exactly how I want them to all the time.
I still like to get clear on the essence of what I love and who I want to be, so I focus more on things like:
STYLE CHOICES THAT BRING ME JOY (like home decor, personal style, places, music, etc.)
VALUES THAT SPEAK TO ME PERSONALLY (like gratitude, mindfulness, kindness, love, etc.)
I cut out pictures and words that highlight those two things and put them in a big sketchbook rather than a board, because it's such an evolving process. Doing it this way allows me to change and evolve as the pages turn in the book.
I call it My Personal Joy Book because it simply helps me capture the essence of what I love and how I want to feel.
More fun, less stress.
(Also, I use this workbook for a deeper dive into creating habits and intentions if I feel like being more structured. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.)
Here are a few free printable covers if you want to glue one onto a blank notebook or place one in the cover of a binder.
Happy joy making!
Lots of love,
(I just want to validate the times in life when we don't feel very joyful and a post like this might feel annoying. I get it. Sometimes posts like this annoy me too. I know there are times when we need to honor grief and other challenges in a way that is a little more gentle with joy. I think it's ok. Self-compassion always and forever.)