This is not to say that by pasting pictures on a page they will simply appear in real life. However- having a clear vision is incredibly powerful, and something magical does happen when we point our energy in one direction.
So the first step is to identify and call forth what you want. (Or even better, take a tip from Danielle Laporte’s The Desire Map and start by considering how you want to feel.) And the second step is to let go, allowing your life unfold, presenting you opportunities that may come to you in ways you wouldn’t expect.
Instructions for Conscious Collaging:
Start with a collection of magazines that inspire you. It’s best if you are able to source ones that align with your goals— for example a culinary magazine if you would like to spend more evenings cooking at home or dream of opening a restaurant. Also collect scissors, posterboard or firm paper, a gluestick, a frame that fits your paper (if desired) and a bag for trash.
Consider this step a moving meditation. Find a space where you can spread out uninterrupted, and get into the flow of flipping through your magazines and tearing out pages. Don’t give too much thought to it— when you see a word or image that resonates with you, simply tear it out. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Let your subconscious do the work.
Once you have gone through your stack, sort through the pages you’ve torn and cut out the pieces you like. If you can’t seem to remember why you tore a page in the first place, let it go. This is part of the editing process where you are really getting clear on what you want on your page (and in your life).
This is an optional step, but the one I have found to be the most therapeutic: Once you have all of your cut pieces, divide them into categories. Home, personal project, community, relationship, wealth, fitness, what have you. Notice the relative ratio of images in each category. Where has your mind’s attention been flowing?
I remember a particularly informative experience with this step shortly after becoming engaged a few years back. Because the proposal was one I had been wanting and expecting, I was surprised about the ambivalent feelings that immediately surfaced. My allegiance to my independence was strong and I felt split between my past desires and future ones. Was there still a place for my wandering gypsy spirit? When would I ever live on a Greek island? Was I really made for a lifelong commitment? And if so, what could married life look like for me?
As I sifted through my cut pieces, the answers appeared. In neat piles were images of families hiking in dunes, a man baking bread, the words “a week of Sundays”. Sure there were some images of women alone, scripty text that read “the dark side” or “the road is home” — but this pile was very small. And unlike my collages from highschool, absent were images of surfing girl camping trips or lines of camels riding off into the sunset.
By seeing (literally) that the large majority of pieces were aimed toward a rooted family life, I understood there was so need for ambivalence— the split was not 50/50. My desire for an untethered life of adventure was vastly a thing of the past. And with this new insight, I was able to reserve proportionate space for those feelings both in my collage and in myself, and move on.
5) LAY IT OUT.
Pull your favorite images from each section. What is speaking to you the loudest? You likely will not have room for all the pieces you’ve cut but that’s okay. Place your most powerful images on the page and allow your vision to take shape. If you have leftover pieces, save them— perhaps they will find a home in a future visionboard.
Once your board is laid out the way you want it, take a quick photo to remind you how it looks in case the pieces shift in the gluing process. Then— paste it all down.
With your vision board complete, take a solid moment to sit with your finished piece. What does your life look like? Or more importantly, how do you feel when you look at it? Is there a particular section of your board that makes you feel most vulnerable? Take note. Then place it somewhere you will regularly see it, looking to it often and anytime you need grounding, focus, or reaffirmation— keeping your eye both figuratively and literally on the prize.
7) EVOLVE & REPEAT.
As part of my annual creative cycle, I create a new collage every 4-6 months or whenever my most recent creation feels no longer relevant. This feeling typically signals resolution or “accomplishment” of items on the current board, and therefore, of crossing a threshold to a new phase of life. A moment, when noticed for yourself, deserves recognition. Please not to forget this very important celebratory stage of gratitude for the moment you are in, as it is so easy to continue desiring more without appreciating what we have. For items that have not come to fruition, perhaps they appear again, or perhaps you’ve evolved your goals into something different. No matter how your life evolves, remember to trust the timing of it all and be clear with what you want- the universe is listening.