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Going Beyond the Vision Board

By Ardith Bowman January 02, 2024 Mindset

For many of us, early January is a time of dreaming about the year ahead. I just love taking the time for this with a cup of cacao or tea wrapped in my aqua Afghan made by a friend. Find your special place to focus on your own desires.

Perhaps you dream of following an interest long ignored or deepening love in your life. Maybe, like me, you dream of some new adventures to keep the spark shining brightly. Some women desire to make more of an impact in the world or to slow down and live a simpler life. What are you dreaming of?

Then, what can you do to take your dreams out of the “dream world” and into the life you live?

Bringing to life our deepest desires requires faith and trust because usually it is not clear how we can make them reality. That is a good thing! If you know how to accomplish something, then it is a goal, rather than a dream. We deserve to dream, to expand, to grow. A dream is allowed to come clear and to unfold over time. A dream becomes real through curiosity, exploration, and discovery.


Most of us are familiar with the value of making a vision board. Creating a vision board offers the opportunity to use images to clarify what we desire in life. Boards can be created using digital methods or a clip and paste approach. I have drawn images in a journal to help me clarify what my desires might look like in reality. The vision board is simply a tool in service to a deeper process.


Approach clarifying what you desire in an expansive way, rather than forcing certainty; surprises may await you. When you commit to a desire, often opportunities and support you have overlooked suddenly become clear. Give yourself the grace of exploration and curiosity.

You might take several days to focus your attention on one of your dreams. Observe what you notice. Follow what you are drawn toward. For example, when I committed to expanding my friendships, a paddling Meet-up group caught my attention. I said “yes” to it, and it has become a central part of my life that I love.

Design Your Moments

The most critical step for your dreams to become your reality is to fully imagine yourself living what you desire. Find one moment in your dream that moves you. Perhaps it is a moment of laughter with friends or sitting in front of a fire with your love holding hands and feeling safe.

Maybe it is a moment of complete contentment or of someone embracing you in gratitude for your service to them. For example, one of my clients imagines attending an outdoor concert, moving to the music, and smiling with her friends under the stars. Don’t you want to be there?

Notice yourself in the moment you imagine. You have become the woman who can experience this love and comfort; the woman with the capacity to serve or to master a new skill. Your dream will become reality when you truly are the woman who can live the life you imagine. When I spent over a year imagining and believing in my life with a loving partner, my real work was to become the woman who could give the love I desired and move beyond my fear of being vulnerable.

Immerse Yourself

The key to putting power in the moments you imagine is to apply all your senses. Become aware of yourself in your inspiring moment. Notice the feelings in your heart. What do you smell? Taste? Are you warm or cool? Exhilarated or calm? What do you see and hear? What and who is around you? This is a full immersion moment!

Finally, find time to experience your moments every day, without fail. This only takes a few minutes. You are, in a way, making this moment a part of you. Then, allow life to unfold in the direction of your desires. It will as you act as though it is coming to be.


Changes in life can take some time. Manage your thoughts so what you desire can take form. Here are some areas to notice.

  • Yes, you deserve to live the life you desire.
  • Clear out disorder and turmoil.
  • Allow what you desire to unfold, rather than trying hard.
  • Be grateful for what you do have and who you are.
  • Let go of what you need to.
  • Know that everything you need is available to you.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

I’d love to learn about your heartfelt desires. What practice do you use to dream? What does it feel like to desire something you don’t know yet how to create? What thoughts have stopped you from creating your desires in the past?

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diane dickson

I would have loved to live in different places around the world – to travel and experience new cultures and meet new people. Lately, I have been watching tv reality shows of people who rent or buy in warm European climates. I daydream about walking to the beach or the center of town to sit at a cafe and have coffee or wine as I absorb the atmosphere.
I believe in serendipity to have possibilities open up to me.
However, my inner voice says, “You have missed the boat”. The people in those shows are much younger, have job potential, partners, etc. They are not concerned about inevitable health issues down the road and being alone in a foreign country with no one to help you.
Also, what ties me to the Northeast in the USA is family and grandchildren that have serious help problems.
I’m going to dream of renting for a month and seeing how that might be envisioned –
to smell the strong coffee and delicate croissants, to feel the sun on my face and the blue water as I glide through it…etc. etc.


Happy New Year, Diane
I LOVE how you have handled this! Dreams from your heart incorporate your reality. The sweet spot is to not assume too quickly that something you desire can’t happen. You did not do that.

To acknowledge the value of relationships in your life is essential. It sounds like they need you…..and you need them! Too many of us have chosen isolation, or it just happened. I’ll give you an example. One of my clients thought her dream was to move to her fabulous “retreat” in a truly magnificent part of the US. After several weeks there, she discovered that all of the beauty did not compensate for the isolation she felt. She is back with friends and family…..and her retreat remains a place for rest.

How does the idea of a month enjoying an area that draws you feel? Where might that be? What options are there? House swap groups are out there! Pet sitting is another one.

Thanks for sharing an inspiring example with everyone.

..and so it is,


The Author

Dr. Ardith Bowman is a woman-centered coach, advancing the positive aging movement. Her mission is to empower women aged 60 and beyond to live with fulfillment throughout life. She will walk beside you, providing unwavering support and guidance as you navigate your path into more fulfillment and vitality. Find her at Becoming You After 60.

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