About thirty years ago I was living in Gainesville sharing a tiny apartment with a friend. I had recently broken up with my first serious boyfriend. Because I was young and dumb enough to tolerate the jealousy and control of a bad-boy boyfriend I’d become distant from my family, had few friends and no social life. No fun, no friends, no boyfriend. A decent job but no real focus for my life.
I’d read books about positive thinking by authors like Norman Vincent Peale, Zig Zigler and Robert Schuller. Then my friend, Connie gave me a book by Catherine Ponder called, The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity. That’s when I first learned of vision boards, affirmations and visualization. For the first time I was introduced to tools to help focus my thoughts on the life I wanted.
Catherine Ponder’s book presented the idea of a vision board in the form of a ‘dream book.’ Rather than putting pictures of what you wanted onto a poster board, you put them in a notebook. I remember sitting on my bed, looking at the photos in my dream book. I closed my eyes and imagined in detail that I would live in an apartment in the Atlanta area and call on department store cosmetic departments. I’d worked in the cosmetics department of the local Belk store and the sales reps that came to our stores seemed sophisticated and glamorous. The stories of their travels seemed so exciting. I wanted that!
Less than a year later I moved to the Atlanta area. Soon I was working for a cosmetics company as an Account Coordinator, calling on department stores. That led to my next career goal—working as a trainer and traveling the southeast teaching salespeople about our products. In that job I traveled to New York, California and New Orleans—three of the four places on my dream list!
Eventually I married a wonderful man who met all the criteria on the list I’d made of qualities I wanted in a husband. Creating a vision really works! With him I traveled to the other places on my list. I continued dreaming, visualizing, using affirmations and making dream boards as I started my business, we moved to a new home and traveled the world. And then my husband died. I had never imagined that! It devastated me, shook my faith and made me question my beliefs. For a long time I didn’t use the tools or focus much on any big plans or dreams. I just focused on getting through the days, the weeks and the months.
Now I’ve turned a corner. I’m in a new home and focusing on what I want the next chapter of my life to be. I believe there are things in our lives that are destiny. Things we didn’t ask for, may not have wanted and can’t control. There are other things we can control. We can decide where to focus our thoughts and how to spend our energy. We can define what we want, set our intentions, make decisions and take steps to create the life we want. It all starts with a vision.
This year my friend, June Cline and I are doing a Vision Board Workshop to share with others how vision boards have helped us through the years. For information click on the Vision Board Workshop Invitation page in this blog or send an email to me at Myra@MyraMcElhaney.com. Let’s create a great vision for 2013!