If you’re on any form of social media (or if, like me, your shoes keep breaking this week!) you know that we’re currently experiencing Mercury in Retrograde. You can learn all about it here, but the highlights are that is an inauspicious time to start anything new, travel, make big purchases, or have important meetings because this planetary phase favors hindsight, treading cautiously, and inward reflection. People often attribute failures in communication, technology malfunction, and general disruption to Mercury in Retrograde, which happens three to four times a year and lasts a few weeks. You don’t have to hide in your apartment, trying desperately not to drop your phone or offend your boss, the best thing to do (as always) is to have a party!
Hate me if you must, but I travel to Paris once or twice a year for work and for pleasure every so often, when I can swing it. The shopping, the light, the food, museums, the architecture, blah blah blah, everyone likes Paris, but for me, there is one unpleasant facet to every trip- not knowing French. Yes, I took five years in school, yes, I have been visiting for years, but yes, I cringe and grimace my way through every interaction. Having struggled through my junior high and high school French classes (once my teacher asked jokingly in French if I was on drugs and I promptly answered “Oui!”) I have never considered myself to have an aptitude for languages, but the awkward entitlement of repeatedly visiting a country without more than “merci” haunted every trip. So, when my friend Emily (does everyone have that friend who always has the freshest ideas leaving you wondering both, why didn’t I think of that? and why don’t we start a company together?) told me how much she was loving the Pimsleur Method, I hoarded my audible credits, purchased French Level 1 (30 lessons!) and got started.
Feeling adrift my friend and I planned a girl’s night…to build vision boards. After a stop at Target for supplies, we ordered Postmates and got to work cutting, pasting and dying laughing; but as the evening progressed I began to lean into the exquisite cheesiness of combing magazines for pictures and words that reflect my aspirations. You know I LOVE a mood board so it was delicious to focus on a positive future, limitless goals, and setting my intentions, so why did stating (or in this case pinning) my desires feel greedy and uncomfortable? It was an impulse I had to push against, again and again- has my real life trained me to aim a little lower and want a little less? As young people, when we dreamt about adulting we didn’t let our aspirations get tangled up in the realities of mortgages and commitments, yet here I was tamping down each desire before I even cut it out. I began to realize that creating a vision board is an exercise in nurturing your ambitions, revisiting why you are on the path you’re on, and where you’re going. Can it also help manifest your desired destination? I’m going with yes (because my positivity has been revitalized, ideally for more than a week).
Read on for my modern vision board guide, to help you embrace your huge, unspoken, audacious vision for what your life could be.