Vision Boards – Adding Hope to Caregivers

” I have a dream…………”.
We all recognize that line from Martin Luther King’s famous speech.  But how many of us have forgotten that WE had a dream?  I know I did.
But one of my new year’s goals was to make a vision board…..as seen to the left…….and in making this vision board, I regained some hope.   Since my father passed, I hadn’t really taken the time to stop and hope…..and dream.
Have you heard of vision boards?  I think they became popular when the book “The Secret” which has to do with “the law of attraction” became popular but they’ve actually been around for quite awhile.  Let me just quickly explain the story of John Assaraf which can be found in The Secret.  He had pasted a photo of a giant mansion on his board and several years later, as he was unpacking his boxes at his new home, his son came across the board and asked him about it.  He shrugged it off saying it was one of his vision boards but as he looked more carefully, he noticed that on it was a magazine photo of the exact home in which he was now living!
I’m not sure I believe in all that “manifesting” mumbo jumbo (and perhaps I shouldn’t call it that) but I do believe that if you put your hopes and dreams and intentions onto a 3-demensional object, even if you just wirite them down on a piece of paper, you are more apt to achieve them.  Perhaps it’s because you think of them more often, or because you pray for them more often or that when you consistently see that item on a piece of paper or vision board, your subconscious begins to work on it.
So…phew…….why is a vision board important to caregivers?
The simple answer: It’s so that you can put your hopes and dreams onto something tangible and not lose track of them.  You can be reminded every day that your caregiving journey will not last forever (let me just insert one sad statistic here: 40% of caregivers die BEFORE the person for whom they are caring IF they do not remember to care for themselves too).
How do I make a vision board?
Before you make your vision board, take a few moments to sit quietly and ask yourself what is it that you want.  It may just be one word or it may be several.  Keep these thoughts in mind as you begin your creation.  Put some great music on and enjoy the process.
There are 2 different ways to make your board – one is the physical version and one is the software version.
I’m sure there are other sites but I know that  www.Oprah.com has a downloadable “O Dream Board” on her website HERE that you can use to create your vision board and keep it as your screen saver on your computer.  You can choose images and words and position them where you’d like on the bulletin board background.
The other option is to use a large Poster Board (you can find these at Michael’s, Target, Walmart or other office supply stores).
Then simply peruse your old magazines for photos and words that have an impact on you or that represent your hopes and dreams.  Rip out the pages – no gluing yet! For instance, on mine, I pasted part of a box of green tea to remind me to drink it more often (it’s good for maintaining memory, they say), a phto of 2 people dancing because I want to do that more often and the words OWN IT because I want to OWN being successful this year.  You can choose anything that gives you hope for the future.  Cut out these words and images and narrow down to the ones you’d like to place on your board.
You could also purchase some supplies such as cut-outs, markers, paint, etc at a craft store such as Michael’s or Tall Mouse in order to decorate your vision board.  I purchased some glittery letters.
Now go through your pile of images and words and choose the ones that resonate with you the most. (This is the difficult part – narrowing it down.)
As you place your images onto the board, you might place them according to theme or just randomly about.  Then simply glue your images onto the board (I used double stick tape but Tacky Glue – if used sparingly – or acid-free photo adhesive will also work) in a way that makes you smile.
When you are done, hang in up in a place where you will frequently see it and be reminded that your hopes and dreams are still intact.
You can always add to your vision board as you see fit, but at the end of the year, take a look at it again and you may be surprised at what has come to fruition.
Above all, have fun with this!


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