Using drishti~~a soft focused gaze~~is a part of every yoga and meditation practice. It steadies attention, diminishes distractions, helps maintain equilibrium, and calms the nervous system. Is it any wonder that looking mindfully ahead to the future brings those same benefits?
As much as I'm looking forward to the holidays~~with its jolly get-togethers, once-a-year treats, break from the daily routine, and gift-giving~~I'm really getting excited about putting together my 2017 vision board. We had a quiet New Year's Eve last year and at the last minute I got inspired to scare up the items needed to put one together while I relaxed in front of the wood stove with the cat and dog. It's a fun, easy, very rewarding project, and one that I've looked at every single day since. It's helped me stay on track to move toward those things I really want to manifest in life. And it's pretty!
Here's what you need:
- A large piece of cardboard (I used one side of an old big box I cut up)
- Some type of adhesive, like a glue stick
- A pile of magazines~~the more the merrier (holiday pun intended). No need to buy new ... ask neighbors or local businesses to save those they're done with, and you can do the same. Recycle!
And here's what you do:
- Find a comfortable position where you can sit or lie down for several minutes. Allow your mind to become clear as you let the rest of your day~~and the craziness of the holiday season~~fall away. Give yourself permission to just sit and breathe. Feels pretty cool, no?
- Next, try to imagine the things you would like to experience, and how you would like to feel, over the next 12 months. You can think about specific items or events (finally purchasing a reliable vehicle, taking a cross-country trip, or having more time with your family), or just try to tap into how your heart will feel when these things are in sight.
- Now, holding these feelings close, start to page through the magazines and tear out any images and/or words that resonate with you. They don't need to be literal or exact images of your goals ... as long as the images represent what you'd like to manifest, they will work beautifully.
- Once you feel as if you've captured all your desires for 2017 in the words and pictures you've torn out, turn your attention to deciding what your layout will be on your cardboard base. Don't get too concerned with being perfect (about anything, ever, actually ...). The more you can just go with your gut and feel your way through this project, the more fun you'll have.
- Begin to cut out the images and words~~get creative! Feel free to use curves and interesting shapes.
- Finally, you can start to tack your text and pictures down to the base. Rearrange, overlap and change your mind. Keep checking in with yourself to see if these things really embody where you'd like to be next year.
- When you think you're done, stand back and admire your creation. Ask yourself if it really captures everything you'd like to have in your life over the next 12 months. If not, go ahead and add, delete or embellish. Again, don't worry about being perfect. This vision board is yours alone, and you can even add to it in the future.
- Place your board in a prominent place, where you can set your gaze on it every day.
You'll find that your beautiful board will keep your goals in sight. Having your wishes in front of you every day will allow your focus to narrow to those things you really want, letting the little day-to-day distractions fall away. Instead of feeling as if you'll never be able to attain your dreams, you just might find that you're making progress every day. Kind of the same way your drishti allows you to sit mindfully in meditation~~or to come into a challenging yoga posture~~almost without you realizing it.
Where are you setting your drishti?