Editor’s Note: Since this is the first post of the New Year at CVI we thought it would be fitting to focus attention on vision, dreams, goals and resolutions. We hope that this post will help motivate and inspire you to create your own vision board. We want to encourage you to set goals and objectives for this year and to look beyond your visual disability to bigger and greater things in your life. This post was originally printed on the Fedora Outlier’s website in 2013.
The first time I heard of the idea of a vision board was after reading the book “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. I had heard of people writing out their goals and dreams for their life in a private journal but actually displaying that on a board that you look at daily was a different concept. At first I just thought that was a very cool idea and dismissed it because I am blind and how would a “vision board” help me with pursuing my goals and dreams. “After all I can’t see the board,” my mind told me. But last year the vision board concept came up again. This time I was invited by some friends to a Women Aspiring Together To succeed Meeting (WATTS Atlanta) and they were creating vision boards for their January meeting. When I read the invite I again was thinking this is not for me. I am blind and can’t create a vision board. But since this was the second time it came up I decided to investigate the idea. I talked to a blind friend who really challenged me to go to the meeting and create a vision board too. She explained that I should not allow my disability to keep me from fully participating. I thought how will I do this? Then the idea came to me. It was like that little light bulb over the cartoon character’s head in a comic strip.
I would create a vision board but it would be a tactual one. Instead of drawings, pictures or written words I would use raised objects I could touch and feel. Before I got started creating my tactual vision board, I had to sit down and think about what my vision would be. Lose weight? Make Lots of money? Get married? Travel the world? Advance my career? All of those were great ideas but not exactly what I had in mind. Then it came to me – get out of credit card debt. I had one credit card that I needed to pay off and like a lot of people I was paying the bare minimum, which of course, will take forever! Next, I called an artistic friend and shared my idea. I told her I wanted to create a vision board that would show in one column my debt and in the next column would be a rain cloud with rain falling demonstrating a “rainy day” fund. I wanted to have arrows pointing from the debt column to the rainy day column to show that I would be moving my money from one place to the other. One thing I have learned about money is that if you don’t assign it to a specific area such as things like vacation, retirement, home repairs or savings you will waste it. So, I wanted to get out of debt and then use that money to create an emergency fund for things that might come up unexpectedly.
She agreed to help and so we headed to Target to pick up supplies. She was great with helping select tactual items from the scrapbook aisle in the store. I got raised self-adhesive letters and numbers to use for the words and dollar amounts. I got self-adhesive squares that I could use as credit cards. Who knew that scrapbook supplies could be also used to create and design my tactual vision board? Lastly she helped me select a colorful poster board to display everything on. As we chose items I got really excited and realized that I could do this. I was envisioning myself actually creating a vision board. What a concept for a person who is totally blind!
When I got home, with all my supplies, I responded to the WATTS meeting invite and contacted the coordinators to let them know that I would need some help assembling my board. Both coordinators, Donna Satchel and Linda Hall, who have been doing vision boards for years, were more than happy to assist and were excited that I was coming. They both greeted me when I arrived to the meeting and had a table set up for me to use. I explained my vision for my board and Linda began to assemble the pieces on the board. Before permanently pasting and gluing the pieces down I told Linda I wanted to touch and feel everything to be sure that the board was correct. Once I did that we both worked together removing the self-adhesive strips and I pointed to the places on the board where I wanted them to be placed. While Linda was putting the pieces down I got cotton balls and pulled them apart to resemble clouds. We next glued them on the board above the tactual raised raindrops to resemble rain coming down. For the square pieces that looked like credit cards we placed raised letters that spelled out the words American Express, Master Card and VISA on top of the squares. We then placed raised arrows between the two columns to show money moving from one side of the board to another. After everything on my vision board was in place, I again touched and felt around to be sure it was exactly what I had envisioned in my mind and Donna took a picture of my completed vision board. After that I went to the front of the room and shared, with the 20 plus women assembled, my journey with creating this board. I told them how at the beginning I was not confident about creating a vision board since I had no physical vision. I told them how I decided to stretch myself and venture into doing something I had never done before. I explained the process of how I created my board and encouraged the women to come and check it out for themselves. The women were all encouraged and praised me for being creative and finding a way to do this.
That was about a year ago and my vision board is still proudly displayed in the hallway of my home. Each time I walk by I can raise my hands up and touch the board helping me to not only remember my goal to get out of debt but my accomplishment in creating a vision board with no vision.
What visions or dreams do you have for yourself this year? Have you ever created a vision board? If so, what was the experience like? What about creating a tactual vision board? If not, has this post inspired you to do so? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.