core self

It's all in our heads (and hearts!).

It's day 50 of our "South on a Bike" trip (learn more about the adventure here) and I'm reflecting on questions we've been asked by the wide variety of people we've chatted with along the way. The most common question has been focused on how we managed to put our lives on hold and travel for 2 years. 

The difficult thing to describe is that it all starts on the inside. Before we started answering the questions for ourselves about "how" we could possibly do it, we had to know in our heads (and hearts!) that we truly wanted to do it. Once we knew that we truly wanted this, all the answers we needed came flowing in.

I'm going use this as an example to share a process I use to figure out what I truly want in my life.

Making the choice for this adventure began last New Year's Eve. Keith and I had dinner together and wrote what we wanted to bring into our lives during the coming year. It was an intimate, powerful conversation. I loved hearing Keith describe the items, feelings, and experiences he wanted to bring into his life and why they were important to him. 

The first of several items on my list, and the one most relevant to this trip was, "big bold visions and actions." No, I didn't write, "a 2-year motorcycle trip to the tip of South America," but what I wrote was more important because it was an overarching theme for application to any given area of my life. In this case, it formed the energetic underpinning for the decision to take the trip.

I've come to believe that when we decide what we want to do, a higher power (God/universe/call it what you will) helps us with how to do it.  Author Mike Dooley is known for reminding us to focus on what we want, rather than worrying about the "cursed how's."

My next step in this process was to create a Vision Board, which is a collection of images collaged together to represent what a person wants in his/her life. It's a method of connecting with our inner selves, to help us know how we want our lives to feel and what we want in our lives. As a result, the Vision Board guides us in making choices for what we bring into our lives. 

Here's how I go about making my Vision Boards. There are no rules so do what feels right for you.

  1. Find a secluded, quiet place where I won't be interrupted for as long as I wish to be there. This helps me sink into my core, to feel centered and grounded in my being, to know I can wander down any rabbit hole that calls to me.
  2. Flip through magazines and cut out images. If the image attracts me for any reason, I cut it out. I've learned that while I'm gathering images, they seem to have no connection or reason but, when I begin gluing them down, they all feel connected. It's magic.
  3. Augment found images with intentional images. If I feel like there's something missing from the images I've randomly collected, I search for additional images online. 
  4. Gather all the images together and glue them down. I like to use a tabloid size (11" x 17") hard card stock. The results always astonish me. Disparate images come together on the page to accurately represent the feelings, items, and experiences I want to bring into my life. Sometimes the images are more abstract and sometimes more literal, but in the end, they all make sense to me.
  5. Hang it where I can see it every day. I came up with a great trick for hanging my Vision Board on my bathroom mirror. I use duct tape to attach it to a hanger and voila, it's there to greet me every day.

Here's what mine looks like for 2015:

I find it empowering, and at times intimidating, to know that my choices shape my life. It sounds so simple and, yet, I think we all know it's far from it. Learning how to tap into my inner self, where my answers lie, has been a personal quest for at least 16 years. It seems all my thoughts wrap back around to this topic lately including writing a book about it!