The New Year always presents societal pressures to have your entire existence figured out by end of day one. What a daunting task. And yet, if we do not plan, we inevitably plan to fail. So I took a step in the direction of what some people believe will lead to success.
I’m not the biggest fan of vision boards or parties for the occasion. After all, the last board I made in 2013 is still folded up in the trunk of my car. You paste all of these vague and grandiose dreams on cardboard and miraculously expect them to come to pass. But one woman really shifted my perspective on the activity.
I was invited by a friend to attend a vision board experience a while back. I had no expectations – just to have good-natured fun with friends. I definitely did not expect to leave so full of life and clarity.
As the instructions commonly go, you use magazine clippings to paste on a board. These clippings signify the things you’d like to accomplish or would like to become in the year. There was a beautiful introduction by a woman named Melva Sampson that really caused me to be more deliberate with the images that I clipped. She encouraged us not to get overwhelmed but to keep it simple – to make it ring true.
It was her words and the inflection of her voice (with an Iyanla Vanzant tone) that made me enthusiastic. This time around, I didn’t clutter my board with images. Although the last ones were not random, they did not lend to a clear focus. I wanted my board to be uncomplicated. And so it was.
After we had completed the task, we rejoined the group for a closing thought by Ms. Sampson. To begin, she handed us all an index card with instructions to keep them face down. On each card was a different quote. She intended for us to use these quotes to guide us through 2015. Mine, a quote by Ntozake Shange simply stated: I found God in myself and I loved her fiercely. I’ve heard this one before but I never took it to heart. That night, I briefly meditated on it and decided to apply it to my life. To love myself and honor the God in me. But that isn’t the quote that truly stuck out to me.
From the moment I heard the next quote, I felt a shift within me. It struck a chord. It was what I unknowingly had been waiting to hear all night.
Even though…I am.
As told by Ms. Sampson,was woman who transformed her life of drug addiction to fulfilling her purpose. She managed to steer her life in the right direction. Having the words “Eventhough…I am ___.” on a billboard one day is one of her dreams. As Ms. Thompson began to elaborate on what she felt this statement to mean, every word hit me like scripture. And as she filled the phrase with her own interpretations, I began to create a few in my own mind. Some that ring true to many women today.
- Even though I’ve been abused, I am still lovable.
- Even though I’ve hurt others, I can make amends.
- Even though my womb is barren, I can still give love.
- Even though I lack direction, I can still find purpose.
And finally, even though, I AM. I just AM. I am myself. I am one. I am someone. I have a right to be here, to exist. I am not what has happened to me. I am the soul. That realization hit me like a ton of bricks. I am not your opinion or your idea. I am not my situation. I am me and I am parasailing to my true calling.
Maybe you too have felt that making vision boards served no purpose. But if you left a message like I did, I sure hope it would give you some. I hope that the words I received would cause you to make a few changes in your life, not because of a new year, but because you need it in order to discover your true self. I hope that whoever you choose to be, is someone you’re happy with. Because even though you are a mess, you’re a beautiful one.