Tuesday Tales: From Imagination to Reality – Donna Thistlethwaite

Maddy, my new school-based trainee, and I sat side by side on the brown leather couch with our gazes fixed on the blue A3 card spread across our laps. Splattered with bright images and colourful sticky notes bearing scribbled words, there was a lot to take in.

“I think this will give you some insight into who I am and what I am trying to achieve,” I said enthusiastically. I’d put the vision board together a couple of years earlier and while it had adorned the wall of my home office since then, I hadn’t spent a lot of time reviewing it of late.

The words included “a blog”, “fun”, “bringing vitality into people’s lives”, “community contribution”, “online training programs”, “keynote speaking”, and “living and helping others to live their purpose”. Images featured a globe, representing travel for work or facilitated by work, a home office, a library of books, a colourful wardrobe and a bottle of champagne with two glasses to signify celebrations, amongst others.

As I explained the different elements to Maddy I heard myself saying “oh yeah, I’ve done that”, “this has happened”, “I’ve achieved that” repetitively. I suddenly realised that almost all of the items on that vision board now existed in my reality and with startling accuracy …

When I got to the bottle of champagne I did a double-take. The exact brand, Veuve Clicquot, stood tall in the door of my refrigerator. At the time that I prepared the vision board I hadn’t even heard of Veuve – it was more the symbolism that grabbed me as I fingered the magazine pages. I’d been fortunate enough to receive a bottle as a 50th birthday present some months before my conversation with Maddy. This was the first time I had made the connection.

I’m not alone in my experience of the power of vision boards. At the end of the careers course I used to run for mums all participants prepared one. Out one evening, I was delighted to bump into one of the women. During our conversations, she said, “Everything that was on my vision board came true”.

On another occasion, one of the dads from the school said to me “I now drive the car that I wanted after you told me one day to put a picture of it on my fridge”.

Another family I know vision boarded living in Australia while they were going about their lives in France and attribute the visual board to their relocation to the other side of the planet.

While I’m not personally big on new year’s resolutions, I can highly recommend a vision board if you are open to consciously creating your life and having a bit of spare time over the holidays.

If you’ve never vision boarded before, he’s some instructions to get you on your way.

Wishing you and your loved ones an amazing 2022.

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Donna Thistlethwaite is a Brisbane-based speaker and trainer specialising in mental health and resilience. She is an accredited Mental Health First Aid Instructor and Resilience at Work Facilitator with a passion for suicide prevention and for helping individuals, teams and organisations to THRIVE. You can find out about her next Mental Health First Aid courses here.

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