Have you ever heard of Intention Board Parties? They are get togethers where you and your friends create vision boards for your life in the coming year. This particular party happened to take place the day before my birthday and during my transition out of maternity leave. An opportune time for envisioning my life in the coming year. Fourteen women, a kitchen counter packed with yummy food, numerous bottles of wine, and waist high piles of magazines, poster boards (in your colour of choice), scissors, glue, and a sunny afternoon at our disposal.
This was the 6th annual Intention Board party, but my first. Some of my girlfriends have been to previous parties and were delighted by how much of what they envisioned came true. “careful what you wish for” they said. Okay, less wine, more gluing.
Here is why i will definitely be at the 7th annual Intention Board party:
1. The ladies, the wine, the food. This was not another kid-friendly arts and crafts project. I get enough of those at home.
2. It’s not about making resolutions. I don’t like making resolutions, never have. I don’t even like the word resolution. It feels strict and finite-it stresses me out. Thankfully, research on habit forming agrees with me. Most resolutions are too abstract (“I want to lose weight” instead of “I want to lose ten pounds”), too many (“I want to lose weight, quit drinking, get a new job…”), too unrealistic (“I want to find my dream partner and have a perfect relationship”), too focused on the final result (quitting smoking instead of my thoughts and feelings when I no longer smoked), and finally, many resolutions lack a plan (how to do it) and a set of rewards for encouraging you along the way.
3. The benefits are long lasting. If you’ve ever been to therapy then you know that it often starts the moment you make the appointment (sometimes even before) as you begin to imagine what you and the therapist might say to each other, and what you will work on. For me, the process of envisioning what i wanted on my board began the moment I gave my RSVP for the party, and remains an ongoing process. The board is now taped to my bedroom wall where i can look at it to be re-inspired, and reminded of what is important to me. More seasoned intention board creators will also attest to the benefit of looking at intention boards from previous years (not that you need to have all of them on the wall, but its good to have them handy). Seeing the changes that have taken place in your life, and in your mind is a wonderful gift of perspective.
4. Intention boards work with your brain rather than against it. Research on the benefits of hands on experience shows that the more senses are involved the better the learning is retained and integrated in the brain. Whenever I do clinical hypnosis and Imagery therapy with a client I instruct her/him to include all of the senses in the imagery (when imagining yourself on that finish line, you want to imagine what you see, hear, smell, and especially feel). Creating an intention board does just that. It gives us a chance to look at, and touch the paper. The images help us imagine the smell of a red rose, the sound of a roaring ocean, and the taste of a decadent piece of cake.
5. Intention Boards help you ask powerful questions that direct you to your goals. Visualizing, both in our mind and on paper, engages our brain in a rich and creative way. This in turn helps us to assess our life creatively and ask powerful questions such as: What is important to me in my life? What feeds my soul? What does my ideal life look like? What do i want more of? What do i want less of? How much effort/time/money do i want to dedicate to the different areas of my life? What is missing for me in my life? What lessons do i need to learn?
The image on top is of my lovely friend Heather’s intention board who happens to also be the party’s organizer. You can find her at www.heathereschuk.com