By Justine Lister
If anyone was asked, Family Fortune’s style, as to what they wanted to achieve in life, what do you think would be on that list? With absolutely no time to survey this myself, I am assuming that the survey would say that we would all share many of the same life goals and dreams, or that they would tend to centre around the following:
Fun, adventure and travel
How we look
How we are perceived
What we will be remembered for
How many of your goals would fall into those categories?
On my most recent quest to carve out a life less ordinary, I happened across a number of workshops on ‘manifesting and envisioning’ that would allow me to get in touch with my true and actual dreams and goals in life. Furthermore, the workshops would also introduce me to the techniques that would allow these dreams to form into a reality.
I was skeptical. I was intrigued. I was hopeful.
I was not prepared for the connections that I felt with the online community that I joined. Being a New York based group and being the only UK participant, I was tentative about opening myself up to complete strangers.
Would they understand my estuary Essex accent? Would they think that I was in favour of Brexit? Would they ask me about the Queen?
My own naïve prejudices were completely unfounded. Instead, I was welcomed and immersed into an absolutely fabulous group of wonderful women that spanned from their 20s to their 60s and that came from the US and Canada. Over the course of six weeks, we worked together and individually to get in touch with our own dreams and desires and consider why they were so important to us.
Now what happened in the sister-circle stays in the sister-circle and so I am incredibly mindful of respecting this and the women who spoke their truth and shared their tears, worries, humour and fears. With hindsight, I think that the fact that I did not know anyone, and that they did not know me, allowed me to be completely transparent and open. The time was just for me and I didn’t need to explain or justify my thoughts or actions to anyone. I was only required to show up and be me. And that was both comforting and liberating in equal measure.
I can only implore you to research the process of manifesting and vision boarding for yourself. Originally, it was my intention to take you through the processes and activities that unlocked our dreams and truths step-by-step, but as I write, I am feeling a sense of commitment and privacy to the experience that should not be broken.
Instead, I am happy to share with you my completed vision board in all its weird and personal-to-me glory with a few explanations of my visions and manifestations, so that you get a sense of the idea. (I am finding it so strange that I can share the end result, but not the journey I took to get there.)
As a starting point, think this to spark your trust and faith in life and the universe (whatever and whoever that may be for you) to provide you with all desire to live your best life:
‘I surrender my desires to the universe. Instead of focusing on the outcome, I pray for the highest good of all.’
The concept is not that you fill your vision board and journal with lists and photos of material things that you want (wads of cash, ideal body, mansions, designer clothes and alike) but instead fill it with symbols of the behaviours and the mindsets that need to be adopted for you to create the right conditions for your goals to manifest themselves. Instead of thinking of the end goal that you desire, you should think about the reasons and needs behind your desires.
OK-promise not to laugh? Here is my vision board:
Bear with me as I explain some of my board.
See the ladder in the top-right corner? That is to remind me to believe that I have no boundaries and limits to what I can learn and achieve.
The yoga person symbolises my need to be flexible in mind and body and to be the best I can be. I need to be adaptable and open to new ideas.
The multi coloured body outline is for me to see my true colours and to not judge myself on my reflection. The word love is attached to my body (which I hate) and the word independence is attached to my heart to remind me that I will always be able to rely on my own strength if I am let down.
The background is made up of books (which are my thing) that indicate lifelong learning and intellectual growth. There are also patchwork quilts that remind me to ensure that I make myself as comfortable as possible in hard times and practice regular self-care.
The shower – OK I am not going to lie – I really and actually do want that shower, but for the purpose of the vision board it signifies my dreams coming out of my head into my everyday life. Stop laughing!!
I LOVE my vision board and whilst I understand it may look and sound airy fairy to some, to me it encapsulates my dreams and ambitions and gives me actual real hope that they are within my grasp and achievable. It also serves to motivate and focus my mind and energy on the things that really matter to me as a person.
It wasn’t until I took part in these workshops, that I realised that I had in fact manifested a significant relationship in my life before – completely unknowingly.
Hear me out.
Sometime in 2008, I remember being sat at my kitchen table juggling the bills. It was always stressful. I could cope with periodically not having enough money but what I absolutely hated with a passion was working out what was coming in and out and when. I swear that my fear and issues with internet banking and money could partly stem back to that point in my life. Anyway, for what seemed like hours, I sat there, and I just couldn’t make it all fit. Each time I added up the numbers they would be different, and, in the end, I had no clue what I was even doing. I was so angry, frustrated and fed up that I just wanted to rip my eyeballs out. I didn’t rip my eyeballs out. I sobbed instead, feeling sad and sorry for myself. Staring at the Halifax online banking screen with hatred and woe, I thought to myself ‘I just need a geeky accountant to come along and do this for me.’
Note that I didn’t ask for a lottery win, or to meet a millionaire. My need and want at that precise moment was not money, or riches it was help with a task that I found truly unbearable.
In November 2008, I had my first date with my still now other half, and you will not believe it when I tell you what he does for a living, or when I tell you that I now don’t have to worry a dot about juggling the household bills each month. True. Story. He even has the geeky glasses, wooly pully and laptop bag to boot!
“You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime, you find
You get what you need,”
Lyrics by the Rolling stones
For more info about manifesting: https://www.oprahdaily.com/life/a30244004/how-to-manifest-anything/
For more info about vision boarding: https://www.oprahdaily.com/life/a29959841/how-to-make-a-vision-board/
A link to the wonderful Kimberly who led the workshops I took part in: http://www.wellnessbykimberly.com/