Two and a half years ago I made a vision board. Well, two because the boards were too small to fit all of my hopes and dreams. Honestly, I thought it was kind of silly, but my roommate at the time was really into Oprah and it was cold and snowy outside so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to cut out pictures from magazines whilst watching Super Soul Sunday. I had read in some self-help book about the power of visualizing what you really want and how it supposedly will help you attain such things.
So here’s what I came up with:
Pretty straight forward. Travel, animals, friendly reminders, food I wish I could eat… The quote in the middle:
“The beginning is perhaps more difficult than anything else, but keep heart, it will turn out all right.” – Van Gogh
Although it’s encouraging, considering this artist’s life and how he ended up, perhaps not the ideal quote, but it sounds nice, right? Here’s the second board:
This one never got finished. But in a way it’s perfect because of that. There is room for more dreams. The words next to the dancer:
I am in control of my body.
I am in charge of my life.
I am aware of my limitations.
I am willing to set goals.
I am able to achieve them.
The words and images were motivating and challenging and have reminded me of what I want to achieve. It has been frustrating at times to read the phrase, “Dream it. Plan it. Do it,” without any plan and a growing sense of resentment that I had ideas to go do something adventurous in the first place. My frustration hit it’s peak this summer, and I finally decided to make a change.
I leave August 22nd for Medellin, Colombia. I’ll be teaching yoga at Flying Tree Yoga five times a week and exploring, creating and learning the rest of the time. This is something I wanted to do for a long time. But, it didn’t happen because I visualized it. It also didn’t happen because I set the intention, contemplated, or waited for the universe to unfold.
To be clear, this happened because I researched online and persistently emailed people, was intentional with my finances, and bought a plane ticket. I made a decision and I followed through. While I believe the universe conspires in our favor and it is important to identify what you want, it’s also important to take initiative. It’s easy to get sucked into pinning and painting a picture of what we want without taking the steps to make it happen. While the reasons why we don’t pursue our deepest desires are endless, we often don’t know what they are or we’re just not willing to make the effort. And with so many options and distractions the spectrum of our desires grows larger and seemingly more unattainable.
I was on the verge of following through other people’s dreams before I planned this trip. I almost bought a car. I almost stayed at a job that was not fulfilling, knowing well that it wasn’t the best fit for me. It would have been easier. It would have been much safer. I’m so grateful for the people who inspired me to create space to do something cool. Your authentic adventure must be chosen. The power of setting an intention is in your awareness and consciousness to take steps to see it through. It opens up a willingness to deal with the roadblocks so that you can get to where you want to be.
I recently connected with a woman named Cait Lawson who teaches yoga in Puerto Rico. She’s also a surfer and a badass. I reached out to her after reading one of her blogs to get some advice on how to teach overseas. She told me about how she had just completed her 200 hour teacher training and she was waiting tables in Puerto Rico. She wanted to make teaching yoga a real thing, so she did. Her advice to me:
I truly believe that if you want something bad enough you will make it happen. Trust yourself and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. I find when I am honest and genuine the right things/people come my way. Find a space that you really connect with – the energy and the people and other teachers there. Like I said if you want it bad enough, I have faith that you will make it happen!
Well there you have it. No more half-assing it. Find your inspiration and start walking towards it. And if you don’t know what you want, why not start asking, “Who do I want to become?”