I have a New Year’s tradition of making a vision board for the coming year. I’ve done this for the past five years or so, often with my daughters. The idea of a vision board, if you’re new to stuff like creative visualization, is that you put together a visual representation of what you want to manifest in your life. And then you display it somewhere to help keep your vision fresh in your mind. That’s the idea anyway. Depending on who you ask, some will say that you don’t even need to see your vision board for stuff on it to be summoned into your reality. Like, if done with the right intention, you can just cut out a picture of a mountain, glue it to a piece of paper, stuff it in a drawer and forget about it, and then some time in the future, you’ll realize you’ve started mountain climbing. (For example.) And I’ll admit, I’ve had some pretty random and unlikely elements of my vision boards happen to occur later in the year, even when I had forgotten they were on there. Really!
If all this sounds ridiculous to you, I can’t say I disagree. But I’m not yet in a position in my life where I can afford to ignore any possible options for getting what I want, however ridiculous they may sound. And anyway, I like cut and paste. And most of my favorite things in this world are pretty ridiculous. So this all suits me fine.
So a vision board. I do collage for mine, because I wouldn’t want to look at anything I attempted to paint or draw for a full year. I gather magazines, usually from my garage on New Year’s Eve. And I don’t really subscribe to magazines, so the selection is spotty at best. In the past I’ve used everything from Psychology Today to Maxim to Lands End catalogs. So I take my random hodge podge of magazines and cut out anything that stands out to me without over-thinking it. (I read that tip somewhere… overthinking might disrupt the magic!) And mind you, being that this is on New Year’s Eve, I’m often a couple of hours past my usual bedtime, and a couple of glasses of champagne, into the night. And the last two years, as a busy mom of four, I didn’t even finish the vision boards completely that first night but instead spent a few minutes here and there on them for the next couple days or weeks, until I had something I could call done and stick in a frame. (Not sure how that should affect the magic, but you do what you can do, right?)
So between my lame selection of magazines, my refusal to over-think the things I cut out, the sleep deprivation and the champagne, you might imagine (correctly) that at no point in the process am I particularly focused on what the hell is going on my vision board. This thing that I, with all my sage-burning, divine-channeling, intention-setting dedication, have handed over my very future to, is never really given my full attention at all. So there are probably elements of these boards that I never knew were on there. Again, what can you do?
This brings me to my story about making meaning. So my vision board for this year has been sitting on a dresser in my room, in a large, glass frame, collecting dust for the past eight months. And though I probably glance at it at least once a day, my eye sight isn’t great, so I’m not really sure what’s on there. It’s mostly a blur, except for the really big stuff. There are a few words or pictures on there that, because of their large size, do get noticed by me fairly often.
But even some of the big stuff doesn’t get seen, because I have a few things placed on the dresser that block the bottom part of the board, including a beautiful touch-drawing card made for me by a friend when I was pregnant with my youngest daughter. That card leans up against the vision board, right under the largest word on the whole board. The word is “Making.” But because of the touch-drawing card, I can’t see what comes after that. So, I’ve often found myself sitting across the room on my bed, gazing at my vision board, without the foggiest recollection of what I cut out of those magazines in January, and wondering to myself, “Making what?”
Now, I say that I “wondered”. But really, I always thought I actually did remember what it said below that, where the touch-drawing card was blocking my view. It said, “Making meaning.” I was pretty sure I remembered that. And that made sense as something I would have chosen to cut out, because a cherished tenet in my life is the idea that meaning is something we make. Which isn’t to say that meaning isn’t real. On the contrary, meaning is the only thing that’s real, to us anyway, and what gives life purpose. It’s everything. But it’s also created by us, and nothing without our input. So though I couldn’t be certain, and though I did occasionally pose to my empty room, out loud, “Making what?”, I was pretty confident that the answer to that question was, “meaning.” My vision board for this year was about making meaning.
Anyway, the other day I was walking past that dresser and got curious. I reached down to grab the touch-drawing card and moved it out of the way, so I could read, once and for all, what I was supposed to be “Making.” But it didn’t say anything under that. No more words. “Making” was the whole thing.
Making meaning, indeed.
Also, when I moved the touch-drawing card to reveal that blank space, basically shattering my whole understanding of my vision board or my year or my reality, I noticed that something else had shattered. That damn frame. The glass was cracked in several directions.
I have no idea how that happened! And I’m not sure what I’m supposed to make of it. What is the universe trying to tell you when you pour all your intentions for the coming year into a glass frame, and then you find that the frame has mysteriously shattered. I’m not sure. But if I learned anything from this vision board, it’s that it’s probably best if I don’t try and guess.