Vision Boards for Lupus

“What wonders can you achieve? It’s Time to find out.” – OPRAH

What is a vision board? A vision board is a visual representation of your goals, hopes, and dreams. Used properly, a vision board is a great tool to help you put these dreams into motion.

This is my personal 2010 vision board for Living a Fabulous Life with Lupus

Why do you have a vision board? Three of my friends use vision boards as prompts to achieve their goals and they were always suggesting that I make one. And I ignored them for a long time. But one day I thought to myself, “why not give it a try?”  I decided to create a personal vision board around the theme “Living a Fabulous Life with Lupus.” Then I went about finding images that spoke to me and placing them around the board. The finished product is above.

As you can see, there are butterflies of all shapes, sizes, and colors across the board.  For me, these butterflies represent beauty, hope, and having lupus. I put them around the board to signify that

  • even though lupus affects all parts of my life, my life is still beautiful (and fabulous),
  • and having lupus would not hold me back from achieving my dreams.

I put the vision board in my kitchen next to the refrigerator and passed it day after day.  Seeing the butterflies every single day reminded me that I always wanted to make a difference for others with lupus.  I went to a lupus fundraiser and another, then signed up as volunteer.  You can imagine how excited I was when I was recruited to co-chair a 2010 DC Walk for Lupus Now subcommittee and then was asked to co-chair the 2011 walk. Talk about visualizing a goal and then seeing it come true!

The relaxation section of my board

My original vision board is also a large part of a reason that Butterfly Lessons exists. It included pictures about me public speaking and writing, so I decided to sign up for a refresher public speaking workshop held by the Circle of Champions.  I didn’t go to the workshop with a topic, so I decided “why don’t I talk about lupus” since I will have lupus spokesperson duties soon. Little did I know that by the end of the workshop, I would have a fully developed concept for the Butterfly Lessons Workshop series. After the workshop, I also decided that I should write about life with lupus. I had several names for the blog/workshops in mind, but settled on “Butterfly Lessons” because it sounded great and reflected my background with lupus and as an educator.

How did you become a Certified Vision Board Counselor?

After seeing many of my vision board pictures “come true,” I thought “Wow, my 2010 vision board is a really powerful tool. I wonder if I could teach others with lupus how to use vision boards to achieve their dreams?”  When I found out that Joyce Schwarz, author of the Vision Board Book offered Vision Board Counselor certification through the Vision Board Institute, I jumped on the chance to become certified so that I could do vision board coaching as part of Butterfly Lessons. Did you create a vision board to help you develop Butterfly Lessons?

Of course. The board below is the vision board I created as the inspiration for this site. It is actually a “vision folder” that I use to hold ideas for my Butterfly Lessons blog and workshops.

My Butterfly Lessons Vision Board in the form of a folder

What’s the Butterfly Lesson that you learned from doing a vision board?

This question reminds me of an article written by the Sheri McConnell, the President of the National Association of Women Writers called “Accomplishing Your Dreams requires ACTION.” Creating my 2010 Living a Fabulous Life with Lupus vision board was my first action. I was able to use the pictures to create an enduring image of what I really wanted my life to look like in 2010. But simply creating the board and hanging it on my wall was not enough.  Actually achieving the dream required further inspired action! Image if I had said, ” I want to help others with lupus” and then never called to volunteer for the local lupus organization, never signed up for the speaking course, and never took the vision board certification course. This blog and the workshop series wouldn’t exist.

Any final thoughts?

In college I was introduced to the work of Joseph Campbell, an American mythologist and writer. One of my favorite Campbell quotes speaks to the power of following your dreams, even those that seem unobtainable:

A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. A goal is what specifically you intend to make happen. Dreams and goals should be just out of your present reach but not out of sight. Dreams and goals are coming attractions in your life.Joseph Campbell