The Practice of Creativity

Go for the WOW in Your Vision—Here’s How

Posted on: January 27, 2014

I made the case last week that your vision needs to wow you.  This week, I’m sharing a powerful  approach to the visioning process that gets you to your WOW. This is a process I have used in many of my creativity workshops.

Shakti Gawain, in the book, Creative Visualization (1988), coined the term ‘treasure maps’ – a way of visually representing your wishes and dreams using collage techniques. People now call them ‘vision boards’, ‘image collectors’, ‘dream maps’, ‘alchemy maps’, ‘maps for your heart’s desires’  ‘transformation collages’, etc. It really doesn’t matter what you call them. They act as a subconscious reminder (psst…, I really want to experience ‘x’ and I need your support!), energy boost, and place to focus your intention.

Vision Road Sign with dramatic blue sky and clouds.

Without realizing it, I made my first vision board in college after reading Alice Walker’s amazing essay, ‘In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens’. The essay highlighted the multiple ways that African American women sustained a creative impulse even under the condition of slavery. Walker argued that creativity is not just about producing things, but is about an approach to life. After reading this, I went into a kind of reverie. I wanted to create something right then and there! I gathered magazines, greeting cards and all the colored paper I had on hand. I spent a whole evening cutting out images of African American models, writers, and intellectuals. I put a quote from the essay in the middle of the cardboard, pasted my images all around it– and there was my first vision board. That vision board didn’t focus on things per se, but how I wanted to feel by the time I graduated and how I wanted to experience my creative energies. I still have that vision board, too and the feelings it evokes still guide me today!

What is your vision? A dream vacation? A new job? A better relationship with your loved one? Achieving your heart’s desire first starts with identifying what it is and then aligning your inner vision with the outer world.

Here’s a way to start the process: Think about the following categories of your life, both what’s true for you now and what you might like to manifest within the next 2 years. Ideally, you’ll jot down a few notes under each category:

Health and Body (this includes ideas about well-being, weight loss or gain, exercise, recovery from illness, etc.)

Finances (savings, paying off of debt, money for indulgences, general abundance and prosperity)

Relationships (love, romance, partnership, marriage, children, parents, friends, relatives, neighbors, partners, co-workers and pets)

Home (where you live currently, buying, selling, renting, remodeling, moving, acquiring, roommates, decorating and designing where you live)

Work (Where you want to work, what you want to do, how much you want to be paid, the kinds of people you’d like to work with, the environment you want to work in, the rewards you’d like to receive, the amount of independence you want, your contribution to the world)

Creative expression (hobbies and passions: singing, dancing, painting, photography, cooking, gardening, healing, etc.)

Travel/Adventure (travel, sports, recreation, world exploration, new experiences of every kind)

Possessions (any and all physical objects and property that make your daily life more joyous, more pleasurable, more comfortable, more practical or more fun)

Spiritual (personal discovery, healing old wounds/forgiveness work, recovering personal power, expanding intuitive awareness, finding your life’s purpose)

Special Intention (anything not covered above)

Soon, I’ll share the next step to make your vision board truly serve you.

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Michele Tracy Berger

Michele Tracy Berger

Author, Academic, Creativity Expert I'm an award winning writer.

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