Vision Board Party

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My mom, sister Linda and I meet every Tuesday evening, sharing a meal, working our way through the book Liver Rescueand creating vision boards. It’s been an extended vison board party! As soon as we finish discussing important info about our livers, we clear the table and go into creative mode.

I’ve made vision boards for years. (Check out this one from 2014 and see how my boards have grown with me.) The last few years, the three of us get together and have fun chatting and laughing as we flip through magazines and cut out images and words that appeal to us. The shared experience helps each of us to focus on what we want. And we help each other search for specific pictures or phrases.

In the past, my oldest grandchild, Dayan, joined us and either created a board of his own or sketched while we cut and pasted. This year my youngest grandchild, Aubrey, created her first board.

Join the party!

Vision Board Party

What is a Vision Board?

These visual keepsakes represent what the creator desires. Writing down hopes and dreams in a journal makes them more likely to manifest. Creating a vision board ups the energy by keeping desires foremost in the mind.

A vision board, or dream board, is a collage of images, words, affirmations and phrases that expresses one’s desires. The board serves as inspiration and motivation and should be kept in a highly visible place so it can be easily seen.

Each board is as unique as its creator. We use magazines, that my mom collects all year, and glue sticks to affix the cut out words and pictures to poster boards. My mom’s hint: visit your local recycling center to see if they have magazines you can have for free.

Vision Board Party

Vision Board Party

The fun part, creating these boards as a group effort, is that we bounce ideas off each other and help to search for elusive words, phrases or pictures. I typically bring along a travel magazine, for the specific purpose of cutting out images from different countries I intend to visit. This year, I forgot to bring one.

I mentioned aloud that I needed travel images. Moments later Mom found beautiful pictures in the magazine she was flipping through, of various locations around the world. Perfect. Before that night’s party ended, I had also found the words “travel”, “explore” and the phrase “there are adventures to enjoy”. In a non-travel magazine, I even found a man in a kilt.

When looking through magazines, I suggest moving quickly and cutting out any picture, word or phrase that snags your attention. You can sort through clippings before gluing down, and discard any that don’t “bring you joy’. Clarity comes, in making choices. Often one of us will ask the other, “Do you want this?” Every yes or no sharpens focus. When it is time to glue cut outs to the poster board, the things we most desires are collected right there in neat little piles.

Here are our completed boards.

Vision Board Party

Vision Board Party

Aubrey’s Vision Board

Aubrey created her vison board on a Saturday afternoon, while spending time with me. She expressed the desire to make a board and I happily obliged. We met at Mom’s and the rest of us worked on our own boards while Aubrey looked through magazines. She asked great questions and knew what she wanted, to represent this year. I cut her board down slightly in size, at her request, so she could complete it in a couple of hours.

Aubrey’s word for 2019 is “Strength”, and her board represent her desire to be a young woman who is strong in all areas of her life. She has a deep love for animals, with dogs being her current favorite. Therefore dogs are prominently displayed on her vision board. In fact, the dog just might be her symbol for the year. These playful animals, descended from wolves, symbolize protection, loyalty, unconditional love and bravery. I love those very qualities that Aubrey possesses.

Aubrey has visual reminders to drink more water and eat healthy meals. Every word, image, phrase and symbol mean something to this bright kid. I love her vision board and that she enjoyed making one. The board tells Aubrey’s story…and the story of who she is becoming. I look forward to seeing future boards from this girl.

Vison Board Party

Linda’s Vision Board

Linda has this vision board making thing down. She knows what she wants and she finds it. Her word for 2019 is “Change”.  I noticed that Linda turns her poster board horizontally, which is perfectly fine. It’s something she does without really thinking about it. I’m sure I could find something symbolic about that!

An interesting feature of Linda’s board is the momma giraffe with her baby. Linda said she doesn’t really know why, but she feels drawn to the giraffe.

Well that’s something I CAN interpret.

The giraffe represents a different perspective on life, and the ability to see surroundings clearly, from a high vantage point. Additionally, the giraffe symbolizes self-acceptance and self-love,  important qualities for all of us to have, and perhaps something my sister is consciously or unconsciously drawn to as well. Giraffe reminds us not to waste a moment wishing to be somebody else, and to celebrate our  beautiful uniqueness.

With its long, graceful neck the giraffe encourages us to not be fearful about “sticking our necks out”. “Go after what you want”, this giraffe seems to say. “Pursue your goals and make your dreams reality.” I think Linda chose a symbol for her year, without being fully aware of why she was choosing it. That’s the power in staying open while creating a vision board.

Vision Board Party

Mom’s Vision Board

I love that my mother actively participates in so many of my adventures. She inspires me, truly. Thus, it is very fitting that her word for this year is “Inspire”. Mom inspires others through her example and in the way she lives her life. She continually learns and grows. This lady is not sitting by in her golden years, oh no. She continues to try new things. I love her adventurous spirit.

I also love that Mom, Aubrey and I all ended up with the word “queen” on our boards. We are a family of queens who know what we want and we aren’t afraid to go after our dreams. There is great power in casting forth visions and we three queens are doing just that…together. How precious to me this is.

Mom’s board captures her desire to create a haven in her backyard for birds and butterflies. Perhaps unintentionally, Mom’s symbol for this year appears to be the butterfly. The butterfly symbolizes beauty through transformation and a time of growth and expansion in life. Butterflies also represent playfulness, lightness of being and a free spirit. My mother embodies those qualities.

Vision Board Party

My Vision Board

I say this every year…and I always mean it. I LOVE MY BOARD! They come together beautifully, year after year. As I’ve shared previously, my word for 2019 is “Enchantment”. Try as I might, I could not find the word in any of the magazines I thumbed through. No problem. I created the word by cutting out the individual letters. Remarkably, I was able to accomplish that using two words I found. The rustic look of the word, arcing over a display of flowers, pleases me.

I could not find my symbol, the queen chess piece, either. However, it was easy enough to find the word, and I located a crown as well. Read about queen symbolism, for me, here.

I’m a bit of a vison board snob. All of the poster board must be covered. Gluing down the cut outs becomes a process similar to working a jigsaw puzzle. I lay out the pieces and move them around until they come together and I’m happy with the result. Then I start at the bottom and glue down each cut out.

Travel pictures and words dominate my board, as that is one of my greatest desires at this time. The typewriter represents writing/blogging. My board tells a story. It captures where I am, at this moment, and the direction I am heading.

My vision board is already hanging in my creative studio, where I can look at it frequently throughout the day.

Create Your Own Vision Board

Vision boards are easy and fun to do. A few tips:

  • Collect magazines, publications or picture books throughout the year. It’s okay too to use markers, coloring pencils or pens to draw designs and write words.
  • If specific pictures can’t be located, print out photos from the computer.
  • Add your own photo, if desired. I’ve done this several times. I’ve also added family members to my boards.
  • Purchase glue sticks during back to school sales. They are incredibly cheap then. Poster boards often end up on sale too. We use  14″x22″ acid free boards, that come in a package of 5. Don’t want to gather all the stuff? Order a Vision Board Kit.
  • Feel free to add other elements, such as fabric, scrapbook cut outs, buttons, whatever makes your heart sing.
  • Gather friends or family members and do this as a group project. It’s a fun way to dream together and encourage one another. Create a party atmosphere.
  • Hang completed vision board up and look at it daily. Feel the emotions attached to the images and words. How we feel about something is as important as what we think.
  • Most importantly…have fun. This is your board. It is a reflection of you.

I’d love to see your vision board, if you create one. Please share it with me!

Vision Board Party

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Wearing My Heart on My Sleeve

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I have not been one for wearing my heart on my sleeve. However, when listening to the song Ever, Ever After from the Enchanted Soundtrack, one phrase caught my attention.

“Start a new fashion, wear your heart on your sleeve.”

I heard within those words an invitation that ultimately, I could not ignore. Ever, Ever After became my song for this year, and for good reason. I have much to learn from it.

Wearing My Heart on My Sleeve

What does it mean, wearing my heart on my sleeve?

Wearing one’s heart on one’s sleeve means openly showing feelings and emotions, rather than keeping them hidden away. Because being open about feelings brings with it vulnerability and exposure, there is much debate on whether this is a good practice or not!

Those who have been hurt in love tend to hide away their hearts, to protect them from further pain. Exposing the heart again, after heartbreak, feels too risky.

Dwelling on those particular lyrics from the song, curiosity led me to Google, to see how the phrase came to be.

The words were first expressed in Shakespeare’s play, Othello, spoken by Iago. He says showing his feelings would be like wearing his heart on his sleeve, where birds could peck at it. In other words, to be open with his feelings could cause him to come under painful attack. Most of us understand his concern.

Wearing My Heart on My Sleeve

Why are we afraid to wear our hearts on our sleeves?

Simply expressed, we are afraid of getting hurt, especially where love is concerned. A person loves another. That other person loves someone else. That hurts. A person gathers the courage to tell someone “I love you”. The other person says “It’s just a game to me”. More hurt. People fall in love. They change over time and their love changes too. Suddenly those people no longer know each other.

We protect that which has been hurt. A broken heart is easier to tend to, we think, than staying open with our feelings and risking further pain.

It’s the second oldest pain in the world…unreciprocated love…right behind experiencing loss. A major reoccurring theme in stories and songs, from the beginning of time, is being hurt in pursuit of love or by those we love.

Consider wearing my heart on my sleeve? No, I protected my heart. Like many people, the path of love hasn’t been easy for me to navigate. And in addition, I learned to hide my emotions while still a child. For years my heart stayed barricaded behind a thick wall of protection.

Opening my Heart

And yet…. I’ve learned that keeping my heart shut away keeps other vital parts of myself locked away as well. Reading Michael A. Singer’s book, The Untethered Soul, helped me to understand how a closed heart has energy that circles around and around without being able to pass through the body in a healthy way.

A closed heart can’t feel fully, due to fear. A closed off heart reacts to fresh experiences that trigger old pain. I chose, six years ago, to open up my heart, let emotions flow, and feel again. This has not been an overnight transformation. It is a journey that continues. Which is why the song Ever, Ever After came to me.

Wearing My Heart on My Sleeve

True Love’s Kiss

In my song for 2019, there are lyrics that are sung in the background, that I initially reacted to. In fact, when I shared the song in the blog post linked up above, I purposefully avoided mentioning them. Why? I didn’t like them.

“I’ve been dreaming of a true love’s kiss.”

I left the words out of my blog post and I didn’t like them because they don’t apply to me. I’m not dreaming of a true love’s kiss. Far from it.

However, thinking about wearing my heart on my sleeve, thinking about this song, brought realizations.

Often, in fairy tales and enchanted stories, a true love’s kiss awakens one who is sleeping. Ah. On some level, all of us long to be awakened by such a kiss.

I spent years “sleeping” and dreaming. And I have kissed myself awake, with the truest and deepest of love. My dreaming drew me toward living a bigger life and finally I woke myself up, with the help of authors and speakers and individuals whose words, action and lives inspired me. A dozen tiny kisses helped me to rise from my slumber. Yet the truest of kisses came from my own growing awareness.

Wearing My Heart on My Sleeve

I’m taking this song seriously. Wearing my heart on my sleeve means keeping my heart open and expressing my feelings and my emotions freely. It means being vulnerable. I refuse to hide. And I will not allow my heart to close, for any reason.

Imagine the heavy burden that the world carries, at an energetic level, from thousands of years of pain birthed from the messiness of love…and from loss. Imagine the burden the human heart bears. Tucked away within each heart, pain strengthens the wall erected to keep hurt away. The problem is, that wall keeps out joy as well. That pain is restless and stirs when something triggers old hurts. It’s time for the barricades to come down.

And imagine if more and more people released old painful energy and freed their hearts to love more fully. What would that do for their lives? What would that do for the world?

Wearing my heart on my sleeve is an act of courage for me. It is a risk I am willing to take. Will I get hurt? Possibly. Will my heart expand and fill with incredible joy and light? Definitely.

A Visual Reminder

My daughter-in-law designs and sells shirts. What a great visual reminder of the truth I am living out.  I’ll have MiliLou Styles create a shirt, with a heart on the left sleeve and these words across the front…

I am wearing my heart on my sleeve.

Are you dreaming of a true love’s kiss? Are you ready to wake up? Or perhaps you are already wearing your heart on your sleeve.

Wearing My Heart on My Sleeve

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Movie Review: Roma

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Award season for the film industry is well underway. The announcement of the Best Picture nominated movies sets the stage for this year’s Academy Awards, scheduled to air Sunday, February 24.

Here are the nominees:

For the first time in many years, I have already seen half of the nominees. Previous reviews are linked above to those films, although I just discovered that I failed to post a review for Black Panther. Fortunately, I’ll have an opportunity to rectify that!

Up for review tonight is Roma, a foreign language film out of Mexico.

Movie Review Roma

Roma Cast

Roma stars Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira, Marco Graf, Nancy Garcia, Fernando Grediaga and Jorge Antonio Guerrero. This drama, written and directed by Alfonso Cuaron, carries an R rating, for language and a graphic nudity scene, and has a run time of 2 hours and 15 minutes. This Netflix movie is in Spanish, with English subtitles.

Roma is nominated for 10 Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Foreign Language Film, Best Actress for Yalitza, Best Supporting Actress for de Tavira, and a host of technical awards.

Movie Review Roma

Movie Review: Roma

Set in 1970s Mexico City, in the Colonia Roma neighborhood, this film tells the story of a domestic worker, Cleo (Yalitza), who works for an upper middle class family. Cleo, and the other housekeeper, Adele (Garcia) clean house, cook, run errands and care for the family’s four children. Cleo is especially close to the youngest son, Pepe (Graf).

Both of the young women live in the family complex, sharing an upstairs room across the courtyard. Their tasks are often menial and their days are long. However, there is a genuine bond of affection between the family members and the hardworking girls.

When tension between the couple, Sofia (de Tavira) and Antonio (Grediaga), escalates, Antonio moves out. His departure frightens Sofia at first, and then frees her to begin to build a different life.

Amid caring for the children and scooping up dog poop and washing countless dishes, Cleo dates a young man, Fermin (Guerrero). However, their relationship seems destined to follow the same path as her employers. Fermin leaves when he learns Cleo is pregnant.

In this slice of life film, the story unfolds, in stops and starts, over the course of a year, with unrest in Mexico City providing the backdrop. The women in the story, Sofia and Cleo, must find their places in the new world they find themselves thrust into. They must discover who they are and in doing so, create a stronger future for the children.

Movie Review Roma

My Thoughts on Roma

I found Roma to be an intriguing film. Shot in black and white, the cinematography is beautiful with interesting angles and camera positions. The focus is on Cleo, who represents a woman named Libo, who raised Alfonso Cuaron, in the Colonia Roma suburb of Mexico City. This isn’t his story though. It is hers, making this movie a touching tribute to Libo.

Roma isn’t an action packed movie filled with special effects. Rather it explores relationships and the bonds that can form between people with vastly different backgrounds. Cleo’s family is from a poor rural village. Sofia has known no lack, financially, however her marriage does not turn out the way she imagined it would.

Some will feel impatient with the movie’s slower pace. However, for me it feels just right. The scenes allow for immersion into the story and, most importantly, to form a bond as well with these women.

Movie Review Roma

My Predictions for Roma

Roma has already done well in early award shows, picking up Golden Globes for Best Director for Cuaron and Best Foreign Film. It is the type of artsy-yet-gritty film that the Academy loves, fresh and imaginative with an intimacy that draws the viewer in.  Roma offers an unapologetic peek into the personal life of Cleo, and to a lesser extent, into Sofia’s.

With 10 nominations, I expect Roma to do well at the Oscars. Will it take home the top award, for Best Picture? I’m not sure, with the strength Bohemian Rhapsody has gathered at the recent award shows. Best Director is almost a sure thing for this film, along with Best Foreign Film. I’ll be watching to see just how far Alfonso Cuaron can take his latest masterpiece.

Movie Review Roma

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