Beauty: Beginning A Journey With A Vision Board, by Kristen Ma

I was at an event called YOU Day recently where the subject of ‘vision boards’ came up.  This event was all about self-care, and making visual representations of our aspirations was a part of the event’s agenda. The concept behind ‘vision boards’ is that they help to clarify what your goals are and keep you focused on achieving them. Admittedly, I have heard of ‘dream boards’ before and always thought they were a bit too new age-y for me, but as I heard about their benefits, I was intrigued.

One of my friends at the event said to me, “I’m surprised you don’t have one!”
“Why? Because of my crunchy granola streak?”
“No, because you’re driven – and every type A person I know has one.”

You’re supposed to put these boards somewhere you can see as often as possible so that they can function as a reminder of how you want to shape your destiny and encourage you to embed your aspirations into the consciousness of your daily life. While traditionally people have posted magazine cut-outs onto a bristol board, in the digital age, we can design them on our computers! I was surprised when I found out that almost everyone at the event already had one of these vision boards and proceeded to show them to me as screen savers on their smartphone or laptop.

I’ve been in an introspective space lately, keeping up with my meditation and all, so I found this very interesting. So, I set out to make as one part experiment and one part fun. I know that this post is a departure for my usual discussion on holistic beauty, but emotional well-being and a sense of self is important for wellness and health.

Being a fairly goal-oriented person, I already keep a running list of my annual goals with me at all times in my agenda. Each year, with a new personal calendar, I assess which ones I have achieved and which I need to add to the upcoming year. But I liked how vision boards were less of a To-Do list, and being visual, they can also be a more intuitive and creative way to absorb these objectives.

While there are a few apps for making vision boards, I simply made mine with Google Images and Powerpoint (which I then converted into a jpeg). What I found was that this was very different from my annual listing of goals. I was surprised to see this exercise came out to be much more about where I wanted to be emotionally than my usual career-focused aspirations. While I put in an image of another book (to be published) and one representing financial security (I’m still Pitta after all!), all the other images were about finding inner peace, confidence in my own skin, challenging myself to be more flexible, and spending time with those whom I care about.

And I’ve already found that this vision board has changed my behavior. It may sound trivial, but sometimes we need a reminder to focus on ourselves and our happiness and not only think of achievement in terms of status or career success. I recommend trying out this little experiment – you can insert images of beautiful skin as one of your visions too, so that you will always be reminded about being the most vibrant and healthy person you can be.

Kristen Ma is the co-owner of Pure + Simple Inc., a group of Holistic Spas with its own line of Natural Skincare and Mineral Make-up.  She is an Ayurvedic Practitioner who has studied in Canada, the United States and India.  She is also a Certified Esthetician with eight years of practical experience, having worked in Canada as well as Australia.  Most recently, Kristen has authored “Beauty: Pure + Simple” which was published by Mc Arthur and Company.  Kristen has written on the subject of Holistic Beauty for Vitality Magazine, Blink and Jasmine.  She is also a regular contributor to B Magazine, Tonic and Sweat Equity Magazine. She blogs regularly at Holistic Vanity.