What doing vision boards taught me about how I fill up space in my life

Hi everyone, I’m feeling stoked! Today I am writing to you from one of my favorite coffee shops in blue-skied, lovely San Francisco. For those of you who don’t know, I moved from San Francisco to New York City last February and have not been back since then.

While I am here reconvened with my parents who flew in from Europe and my brother who currently lives here, I am feeling so grateful to get a few days with NorCal nature, SF flair, and most of all, my former host family (who I lived with when I initially came to the U.S. for an exchange year in high school) and amazing SF friends.

Last Sunday night, one of my best friends Amy and I had a slumber party at her house. We had it all planned out: sofa and catch-up time at night followed by cooking breakfast together the next day, going on a hike, lunch at my favorite spot, window shopping, and wine in the evening. After a series of incidences that included a midnight gas leak and a broken water boiler the following morning, our original plans were a bit disrupted.

But, since we are the-glass-is-half-full types of people, we quickly embraced the novel and highly complex philosophy called: “Roll with it.”

For us that meant to seize the time we were waiting for the plumber and whip out all of Amy’s art gear to create vision boards.

Let me tell you, doing creative work at Amy’s house is nothing short of amazing. She is a former Art major turned Personal Chef (get inspired by her cooking blog here), so rest assured that all my needs were more than covered. Check out our working table in the picture below. Not too shabby, right?!

Vision Board Table

To make our vision boards extra special, we put a twist on them: Instead of using huge boards that fit everything that we ever remotely thought could be fun, we cut out approximately 5 x 7 inch foam boards. The idea behind this was to really focus in on the things we actually want to invite into our lives right now.

Thinking of myself as a vision board pro, I expected this project to be super simple. What I discovered, however, was that I am a total sucker for power words. Loving. Play. Reinterpreter. Catalyst. Ready. Timeless. Excitement. Calm. Adventure. Organic. Natural. Romance…the list goes on. Deciding between them is really hard for me and had I had a large board, I would have undoubtedly plastered them all on there. Selecting only the most important ones and committing to glue those onto my mini-board was a true challenge.

Then I realized something: What was currently happening with my vision board paralleled my real life.

Especially in these final months of the year, there are always so many things I love to do, so many people I want to see, so many experiences I still want to have that I can go into total overwhelm. I tend to fill up the space in my life like I was embarking on the creation of my vision board: Over eager and filled with so much excitement that I can forget to feel underneath the surface for what I actually need. Similarly on my vision board, I was pre-occupied with the liveliness happening on the pages of Bon Appétit, Real Simple, and Interior Design that my own inner needs were blurred.

Expressing my difficulty to Amy, she calmly responded “Don’t worry. There is no such thing as cheating on your vision board.” Oh!

Vision BoardsI leaned back, took a few deep breaths, noshed on some more deliciously sweet Persimmons and wandered into my inner world. 2012 had been all about simplifying and un-cluttering physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And this is what I needed to express onto my vision board. ------------------------------------------------------------>


So here is to today’s challenge:

Ask yourself how you fill up space in your life. Do you commit to too many things because everything sound so exciting and you don’t want to miss out? Do you then forget to check in with your core instincts to make sure that doing all these things actually fuels your energy?

If you have time and like doing vision boards, embark on your own journey and create a mini vision board for yourself. Perhaps suggest to do this as a Thanksgiving project with your family or friends. It’s so fun to do this kind of work with people you love.

If you feel pressed for time or simply don’t like vision boards (that’s cool too), take a few minutes and check in with yourself: What is your inner world asking for? What needs attentions? Do you need more adventure in your life or more calmness? What are three power words that truly resonate with your energetic needs?


I would love to hear what you have to say in the comments below. If you make a vision board, send it to me at Caroline@carolinezwick.com. I would love to see what you made.

Xo, Caroline