Why You Need a Clear Creative Vision

A few years ago, I held a vision board workshop for a group of people wanting to discover their vision of what was next for them. One of the participants was an aspiring author; he wanted to write a novel. Although he was skeptical of the process, he was curious and stayed open to the possibility that it could work for him.

And oh boy, did it work! Because making a vision board is a creative process itself, it got his creative juju flowing. He excitedly sifted through magazines, cutting out words and images, arranging them into his creative vision.

Near the end of the workshop, participants held up their vision boards and described their visions. As usually happens, we discovered symbolism and connections between the images and words that they hadn’t seen while they were making them.

When it was the writer’s turn to speak, he described his novel in detail. He knew the characters, their connections, the plot—all laid out on his vision board. Making that vision board took him from a general idea for a novel to enough details to get him started. And just as importantly, it energized him for the journey.

A vision board is a collage with a purpose. It represents your vision or goal, and your big reason behind it. It acts as a lodestar for your next creative journey—to sing in jazz clubs, to photograph horses on the Outer Banks, to paint abstracts in vibrant colors—whatever you long to do!

Here’s why it matters. Without a clear vision, and without tapping into why it’s important to you, you will stray from your creative path. Your life is like a multi-dimensional collage of hopes, surprises, connections, responsibilities, feelings, thoughts, and fears—all competing for your attention.

And whatever captures your attention, captures your time.

It’s too easy to stray from your path, often at the expense of what your soul longs to create. It’s too easy to listen to the negative inner voice that tells you, “you can’t.” Six months or a lifetime can go by while your jewelry sketches lie hidden away in a desk drawer.

Through the process of creating your lodestar, you identify your true creative north. When you put your lodestar where you see it every day, it becomes part of the three-dimensional collage of sights, sounds, smells, feelings, and tastes of your life.

The visual reminder aids you in changing old, entrenched ways of reacting—because when you begin to regularly ask yourself whether an action moves you closer to your creative vision, you begin to create a new path for yourself.

Living your creative life takes courage. That’s why I call it the Creative Heroine’s Path. (And hero’s path.) Life is inherently creative; you’re creating every day. But are you creating what you want to create? Making a lodestar can help.

If it feels like time is passing and you’re getting nowhere, and you want guidance in a fun, supportive, small group setting, come to my Lodestar: Your True Creative North workshop at the magical Two Hands Paperie shop in Boulder, Colorado on February 21, 2020.

For more information, see: http://twohandspaperie.com/lodestar-your-true-creative-north-new-class-feb-21/

If you can’t make it to the workshop, but you want to create your lodestar on your own, my book, The Creative Heroine’s Path, includes an exercise to do just that!

Being Present

Note on cork board

Yesterday, I chatted with another coach about how it feels to be in “survival mode” versus operating from a sense of purpose. (We’re taking a business class together and we were discussing what it had been like to be in jobs that did not align with who we really were.)

I love both coaching and being coached, because often what I learn is not what I expect.

I expected to come away with a painful reminder of how ill-fitting my old job had become, and from that, even more inspiration for my current coaching business.

But instead, something else happened.

I realized that although now I have work that is meaningful to me as well as a meaningful personal life, I’ve been subtly relating to things that compete for my attention as though I am still in a tug of war between my obligations and my dreams.

When I’m focusing on my business, I feel the pull of family life. When I’m taking care of my family, I feel the pull of business tasks. I often feel that no matter what I do, I’m neglecting what matters to me (whereas before I felt a pull between my survival and my purpose).

Recently, I rediscovered this quote:

If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present. — Lao Tzu

The meaning of the quote has been gently tugging on my mind since then. I’ve always thought of “being in the present” as choosing to focus on what’s in front of me, rather than being sentimental—or regretful—of the past, or longing for the future.

For years, I segmented my life into what I “had” to focus on to pay the bills, and what I needed to focus on for my soul, and I expended a lot of emotional and mental energy trying to run back and forth between them.

That didn’t leave enough of me to give to either.

I didn’t post in my blog for the past two weeks because I was out of town for ten days for a family emergency. I want to be there for my family. I want to give them as much support as I can, to connect with them, to make sure they know how deeply I love and value them.

I also want to be there for myself, for the life I am building in service of others.

Purpose sign

So it’s not “either or,” it’s both.

Now that I am a coach and I love what I do, and the things that pull me away from my business matter deeply to me, my old way of surviving doesn’t fit the new pattern of my life.

And I see more clearly how it never worked anyway.

Now, “being present” means that I’m not being fragmented by “conflicting” forces. It means that I see the bigger whole of my life, and accept where I need to put my energy and focus.

For me, being in the present is living in a sense of wholeness, looking for patterns and meaning in the good and the bad, and as much as possible, trusting the flow of my life instead of fighting it.

What do you notice when you look at your life more holistically?

How do experiences in one area of your life teach, inform, or help you in other areas?