How to Turn Your Apartment into a Living, Breathing Vision Board

Today I am happy to be having the lovely and talented Ms. Doniree guest posting.  She’s amazing and extremely kick ass in every way.  She blogs at doniree.com and nomadicfoodie.com, and you can follow her on Twitter @doniree.

I’m a BIG fan of the vision board.

I’m totally on board the “thoughts become things” train and believe that what we put out to the Universe (in terms of thoughts, then feelings, and especially the action of how we choose to spend our time) play a massive role in what we manifest in our lives.

On that note, I’m a HUGE proponent of being laser-focused and deliberate (intentional) about what I put out to the Universe. I want abundance, travel, love, adventure, and peace. So, I’m constantly spending my time working on things that support those values.

So what does a vision board have to do with anything? I believe that any great thing we accomplish starts as a tiny idea somewhere. For that reason, I believe that putting up a constant reminder of exactly what it is we want forces us to keep focused on the big dreams and helps align how we spend our present moments.

 What’s that got to do with your apartment (or your house)?

There are many ways you can do a “vision board” or a “life list” (bucket list). Many. But I think there are three that are particularly interesting – and easy enough!

Create a Vision Board

This one’s the easiest. Grab poster board or foam board, a pair of scissors, some glue and a stack of magazines you think best reflects you and what you want out of life. For me? It’s Yoga Journal, Real Simple, Bon Appétit, Wired (sometimes) and a random collection of travel magazines. The pictures and words I cut out and put in front of my face? Those look something like this:

  • women doing yoga in beautiful places (on mountain tops, at beaches)
  • gorgeous, clean living spaces with lots and lots of sunlight
  • boats, airstreams, and other modes of transportation that one could conceivably live in for a period of time
  • anything that supports travel, especially to places like Europe,Australia, andIndonesia
  • anything that supports successful writing: books, notebooks, bylines.
  • dollar signs

The vision board I did a little over a year ago is here. I’m in the process of my next one, as I’ve gotten even clearer on what I want in the next phase of my life.

 Skip the Board and Just Use a Wall

My boyfriend (Chris) and I have space on a wall in our apartment that just is our vision board. We started with a picture of a house in a city we like (and want to live, hint: Southern Califonia), and have since started surrounding it with photos we find of other things we both want: an Airstream Trailer, an address at a home in a beach town, programs we want to be a part of.

Every time I look up from my desk I’m reminded that my priorities (values) include:

  • travel
  • living in a place that’s warm all year-round
  • success

Keeping that front and center keeps me focused on the work I choose to do. Does this task/client/relationship support those values? If so, full speed ahead. If not, how can I make it work?

 Note: I wouldn’t recommend the glue for this vision-board-on-the-wall-one. Go with push pins (thumb tacks) or tape instead.

Use ALL of Your Space

I have yet to do this, but it’s something I’ve considered and would love to put into action sometime. What if you turned your home decor into a living vision board? What if the pictures you hung on your walls were of places you wanted to travel, rather than places you’ve already been? Or what if the wine or beer you stocked your fridge with was from a part of the world you wanted to visit? I can’t help but believe that when we choose things so specifically and intentionally as deciding how we surround our every day living space – big things could happen.

If you were to use your entire living space as one giant vision board, what would you decorate with?

Doniree Walker is a freelance writer/blogger based in Portland, Oregon. Her clients include UMoveFree.com, a service helping renters find The Colony, TX apartments. She spends her free time frequenting Portland’s farmers’ marketstraining for her first 5K, and daydreaming about the places she plans to travel.

She blogs at doniree.com and nomadicfoodie.com, and you can follow her on Twitter @doniree.

Guest Post: Wake Up Dance Parties, Revolutions, and Beginning of a Manifesto

I am headed back from Georgia today, which means you get another guest post!  Today’s post comes from my IRL friend Andrew.  He is literally the funniest person I know; hands down.  He’s also the king of karaoke.  He does not have a blog, but I wish he did so I could start my mornings laughing like I did reading this post.

He was born to have a mic in his hand.

Greetings Bri Fans!

For this post, your guest blogger is:
A. Female
B. Pregnant
C. Married
D. None of the Above

Answer: D. Don’t worry; you’re still in the right place.

For lack of a tactful segue from that disclaimer, I’ll paraphrase the greats and let you know that we’re going to tackle something completely different from this blog’s more recent content.  Ladies, gentlemen and sentient artificial intelligence of the internet, I invite you to join me in my current pursuit of Early Mornings and the Art of the Wake Up Dance Party.

On another blog, this post would have started, “My name is A______ S______, and I’m a Snooze-a-holic.”  That confounded button has been a blessing and a curse in my life (mostly curse) since I’ve been in high school.  At my Snooze Button Rock Bottom, I would easily set myself back a solid two hours each day by hitting snooze 12 times per morning.  The annoyance to roommates and wall-sharing-neighbors would provide short term deterrents, but as recently as last week I was snoozing for an hour each morning.

My intentions have always been good: to wake up early, spend some quality time with my canine pal Taylor and maybe even go for a run.  My actuality has been hurried morning preparation followed by a sense of guilt and disappointment that I let myself down once again.  In other words, my Snooze-a-holism has been anchored in a significant knowing/doing gap.  It’s taken over 10 years to find my bridge over the gap.

I’ve tried moving the alarm clock across the room, setting multiple alarms, waking up to music, setting a timed coffee pot, waking up to slow increases in volume and all of the other tricks in the book.

If you’re not the exposition type, start reading here.

Then I discovered that iHome* had started including a feature where you can wake up to a random song from a playlist. [*No financial compensation accepted for product placement. Yet.]  Now, I get to greet each morning with a surprise pump up song.  That in and of itself is great, but does not provide the complete solution to my Snooze-a-holism.

No, I’ve developed a new morning ritual: the wake up dance party.  While a walk across the bedroom was never enough to wake me up and keep me out of bed, the 3-4 minute mandatory dance party absolutely does the trick.  I’ve also found the wake up dance party benefits to be numerous:

1. I do get out of bed without hitting snooze.
2. My dog Taylor looks at me quizzically every morning, then joins in. It cracks me up
3. I typically *actually* wake-up midway through my dance party for one, and catch myself in the bedroom mirror.  It cracks me up.
4. Like Ellen Degeneres (who is also my fashion icon, but that’s another guest blog post), I dance my way around a larger space, and have mastered brewing coffee while dancing.  It cracks me up.
5. Per 2-4 above, I’m starting my day with levity instead of stress or worry and have found my disposition is consistently and congruently more positive every day.
6. I think I’m getting REALLY good at dancing, and all the laydees love that.

So, my friends, this 1% overall improvement in my life has led me to believe I’ve discovered a breakthrough with universal benefits.  Before I write my complete manifesto and become a self-help millionaire, I ask, are you with me?  Viva la revolucion!

Guest Post: Some Thoughts on Marriage from @wonjuwife

While I am in Georgia with the family the wonderful Danielle was gracious enough to guest post for me.  I met Danielle during VEDA last August and she is the most full of love, passionate, real person I know.  Love love love her.  I am so happy she agreed to write a little something for me.  I really respect her views on love and marriage; I think we’re both very similar in how we approach it all.

 

Hi! My name is Danielle and I am thrilled to be guest posting for Bri, as she takes a well-deserved break. I write over at Wonju Wife, sometimes, and I read Bri’s blog, all the time!

I am bursting with joy for Bri and Mr. A as they start their life together as husband and wife! What an exciting time for both of you and I couldn’t be happier for you. Because I’m sure no one will give you any advice about anything marriage related ever, I’m going to fill the gap with a bit of my own.

Make your own marriage.

Your marriage is just as unique as you are! It’s not going to look like anyone else’s. And as a blogger, sometimes I find myself getting nervous or upset that we aren’t doing the things other married couples are doing, or reaching the milestones they’re reaching, or taking the adorable photos they’re taking. But when I stop comparing my marriage to anyone else’s, I realize that it is perfect for us. Because Kenny and I have come from different cultures and countries, we’ve had to custom design our own culture, taking bits and pieces from here and there and sewing them into our own marriage. As newlyweds, it’s easy to get caught up in what you should be doing or what you’re expected to do. Forget all that crap. Your marriage is about YOU TWO. And it gets so much better when you stop doing things because it’s “what married people do” and start doing things that naturally flow from your relationship with each other.

Wash the dishes.

My friend and writer, Dr. Carmen Acevedo Butcher, once wrote, “Love is a muscle, not an emotion. It is something you make strong through the hard work of exercise, not something you hope stays around.” And I’ve found that to be true. In the glow of a new marriage, you don’t notice that love is work. But it is. It’s a discipline. It’s washing the dishes; it’s cleaning the litter box; it’s washing your partner’s feet.

Go separate.

When Kenny and I finally figured out that it didn’t say anything about our marriage or how much we loved each other, we finally just started doing things separately when we felt like it. Sometimes I want a burger and Kenny wants Chinese food. So, instead of compromising and one of us being slightly disappointed and not getting what we want, we separate! I go eat a burger, while Kenny eats Chinese food, and we meet back up both satisfied and happy and excited to be together again. I know that sounds silly at first, but in a marriage you will constantly be making decisions based on what works for both of you. So sometimes, just do what works for you individually. You don’t have to spend an hour before every outing deciding how to make both agendas work. Just decide which parts of the day you’ll do together, and in which parts you’ll take your own path. Your own path always leads back to your partner anyway. 😉

I’ll leave you with a beautiful essay on marriage by Kahlil Gibran in The Prophet, because he says all this better than I ever could:

You were born together, and together you shall be for evermore.

You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.

Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness.

And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

 

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other’s cup but drink not from the same cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

 

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

 

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

20SB Blog Swap

 As a part of the 20SB Blog Swap I am over at A’s blog today hanging out.  Follow over there.  Can’t wait to be back (and talk about Glee, my trip to LA this weekend, and how I am having a boy over to make pizza tonight, which obviously means I bought a pizza stone thingie during my lunch break)
Hey there, I’m A. Share from over at Sharing From Afar, a personal blog from a college student’s point of view. The topic for the 20SB Blog Swap was “the best thing about being a blogger…”. Much thanks to Habbala for letting me raid her blog! So here goes:
 The best thing about being a blogger is that you are a writer and are published, even if no one reads your work. Although, it is more fun and interesting if someone actually takes the time to read your thoughts. But, that is the great thing about the internet, any person with a computer and an internet connection has the power to let the rest of the world know what they are thinking, whether the rest of the world cares or not. A blogger had the ability to express their views about what is going on in the government, how they felt about the price change in gas when they went to the pump, or how much they want to get a new roommate because they have been sexiled. Again. Sometimes it scares me how much freedom we have as bloggers, but at the same time I love it because I get to learn about people who are living all over the world.

So, here’s to you, the blogger. Here’s to you having thoughts and opinions. Here’s to you having the guts to write your thoughts and opinions online and putting them out for all to read. I commend you!

Guest Post: Letter to an Ex

It’s 20sb day! Hooray! Be sure to check out my post that I wrote for her blog.

Hey Everyone! I’m Shanoy and as part of the 20something blogger’s annual blog sway Brianna and I are trading blogs for the day. My blog is Jamaicanmommies and even though I mostly blog about mommy related stuff there, as a 20 something-er, I pretty much share a common ground with other women in my age group. I have been reading up on Bri’s blog and with breakup being one of her recent themes, I wanted to offer a little cheer with my letter to the ex given below. Enjoy!!

Letter to the EX

I’m sure the average among us has had at least one break-up. Of this amount, there have been some terrible ones, and at times I’m sure we want to rant and rave, and if opportunities present itself, tell the ex lots of things not fitting for airplay. Well what if you had the opportunity to write a letter to your ex, telling them about all that you thought about them immediately after the break-up and what you think now? What if you could actually say all the terrible things you’ve ever wanted to say without risking a harsh tongue lashing? Now that would be interesting.

Break ups can be tolerable and even amicable, but more often than not there are the break-ups that went wrong, where a girl might have her boyfriend telling her “Honey it’s not you, it’s just me…so we should break-up” or the classic where one person says to the next “I think you should break up with me because I don’t deserve you”. Now these words are usually personified with emotions galore, until the poor ‘break-up-ee’ starts thinking breaking up with the bastard will mean that he/she is losing a darling.

There are countless cases and since break-ups happen pretty much every day, I think there should be a standard letter to the ex that persons can use and edit as necessary. Now the letter has to be as loaded with as much criticisms as possible and whatever happens, the sender has to make themselves look good (no better) than your ex, So lie about your present relationship status if you have to and remember the key is ensuring that your ex feels like they were really a fool for letting you go. And big tip # 1- Include one of your most flattering photos as It will be sure to grab the ex’s attention and add to the ‘missing you factor’
So let’s say we start out with something like:

I would have written my address and even a date
But you’re so nauseating that this letter can’t wait.

What’s up you sleazy (can be replaced by other more descriptive terms) ___________________________________________ (insert whatever name or term you want to here). Hope you’re having a ball thinking you’ve ruined the hell out of me. Well surprise surprise, I’ve dried the tears from my eyes and when I wasn’t even looking, I reaped a bigger, better prize.

Oh and I must have forgotten to tell you that so many things with you sucked (literally).Remember that time when __________________________________(insert one of your most memorable moments here and then say how disgusting it was and how much you had to pretend that you were enjoying yourself all the time). So now you see, had it not been for my acting skills, our otherwise bland relationship would have bored me beyond belief.

In fairness to you, I won’t deny that we’ve had good and even great times together, but those were when I got truly in tune with my inner self and emitted positive energy, totally exclusive of your input.

You may be in shock at what I’ve had to say, but how could you? When your friend____________ (insert friend’s name here) told me that he/she was always wondering what it is that I found in you, since he/she only stuck by you because his/her peer support group made you his/her ‘love an unlovable’ assignment.

By the way my NEW boyfriend says to tell you thanks for ensuring that our relationship was always on the ground level (based on your deficiencies), because now he has taken me to the skies. And speaking of my NEW boyfriend, remember when you used to brag that nobody does it better, well I figured out that was a scam, cause now I’m in heaven, having someone, who loves to see me smile So now you see, DEAR (Dated Erratic And Retarded) fellow, I don’t need you now, and will never need you anymore, but I wish you luck with your LIFE (Lowered Interest Fake Existence).

Go now and feel the pangs of regret for having let go the best thing that has come your way to date. It’s just way too bad that the diamond I am was way too bright and was blinding your eyes to what was really there. But now that I’m no longer there for you to hold, listen to the sweet nothings you told, plan a future that was doomed and burn my effervescent fervour in your rooms, I’m sure you’ll miss the kiss, the late night flicks, the passion within and the beauty without. I’m sure you’ll miss me, there’s no doubt.

Sincerely yours,
The best thing that happened to you and will ever happen to you. (Oh please don’t add your signature in case your ex had a big laugh out of it and decided to make fun of you. You can always deny it, because there would be nothing to link you back to the letter)

So there now you have the standard Letter to the ex. It sounds a bit tame but I was trying to be critical without being outright nasty. So Cheer up, this may not make your ex truly feel like a loser, but it might certainly make you feel better, getting all those thoughts out, if it’s even to put a smile on your face.

Oh be sure to share whether or not you’ve ever written a letter to your ex. Did you actually send it to them? If so, how did it fare? Let us know.

XO
Shan
Jamaicanmommies.blogspot.com

N.B. I love this version of a letter to the ex here too