Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I Do Declare!


Touchy-feely blog post ahead. If such things cause you to dry heave, you may be excused to peruse the archives until this is over. (Kind of like sitting on a bench in the mall while your wife tries on peep-toe pumps and pencil skirts.)

Vision. . .

At risk of sounding 100% lame, I will ask this question:

Do you have a vision board? (What in the world is a "vision board?!") Aaaahh, thought you'd never ask. . .

Okay. . . so it's like this concept where you take all of your biggest dreams for your life (and that of those you love) and put them out there into the universe. It's what the Grady elders refer to as "claiming a victory"-- daring to utter your aspirations loud enough to be heard. . .declaring your dreams as tangible and doable and achievable instead of mousy little whispers in your head. . . . .


So two years ago, I spent an entire evening alone at home, working on a vision board. I'd just seen an episode of Oprah where Jenny McCarthy had written this book on life with a child on the spectrum of autism, and she showed her vision board from a few years before. It may sound lame, but I was inspired. I decided to do one, too. (Okay, okay, I'll admit that I was also inspired by the big stack of magazines that I needed to recycle that day. . .)

Getting my vision into focus. . . . .

First, my dreams were small and predictable. Get fit. Flatten my tummy. Cook more. Yadda Ya. Then something happened. I got more chutzpah in my vision. It's really good that I was alone because it made me bolder in what I listed. (My sister had a "Vision Board Party" with good friends that she completely trusted, though. That's a consideration--might even be fun to do with your spouse, partner or kids. . . .but I digress. . .)

Anyhoo. . .Where was I? Oh yeah. I included bold declarations about my kids. About my marriage. About my career. And a lot of fantastical things just about me. And you know what? By making a vision board, I put myself on the list, which was a pretty cool exercise considering my career and my family are usually fighting hard to bump everything else off of it.

"Start a blog."

That's one of the things I wrote. While cutting and glue-ing captions, it came to me: I want to write. I love to write. And I want to write more and better. The way to write better or run better or do anything with more skill, is to do just that: it. Over and over and over again.

And so I did.

"Get Oprah to read my blog."

That's on there, too. Ha ha. Who knows? She just might be one of my 88 followers, secretly hiding under some funky avatar. . . .See? That's the cool thing about a vision board. It's your vision. And no one can argue with your vision.

You know. . .there are things on my vision board that have absolutely come to pass. Sho nuff. Errr. There are also things that are still works in progress--like the cook more declaration, the run a half marathon plan. . . . And. There's also a couple of items that I've changed my mind about. . . for example:

That horrid P-90X workout!

Sidebar: Harry says I did the P-7X. Ha. 90 days of extreme exercise in front of my TV sounded like a good idea at the time. . . . uhhh. . .yeah. Excellent laugh-out-loud image: Me trying to do a chin up. Nuff said.

Okay. So why am I telling you this? Because I think everyone should have their version of a vision board. Something that boldly says that you can do anything. Not just the things that are inevitable, either. It has to be almost laughable at times and even slightly embarrassing. The kind of thing that someone else would look at and say, "You cannot be serious." But you are serious. Serious as a heart attack. (And that's serious--trust me, I'm a doctor.) My vision board holds my feet to the fire to work towards being:
  • my best mom
  • my best wife
  • my best teacher
  • my best doctor
  • my best writer
  • my best dreamer
  • my best me
For the most part, it has done just that. Even better is this: I keep adding things as I dream them for myself and the ones I love. In fact, something happened recently that inspired my husband to say, "Hey! That was on your vision board, babe!"

Say what?

more of my vision board

For the record, although he is good for a random mushy comment here and there, Harry is the least touchy-feely person ever born. So this is huge, people. HUGE. (Perhaps a Cleveland thing? Hmmm. . . ) However. Somehow God saw fit to put him with touchy-feely me, which just might explain the fact that
a.) He actually knew I even had a vision board, and
b.) He'd actually gone so far as to read said vision board. (Thump. Excuse me--I fainted for a second.)


If you are the introspective, touchy-feely type (be it publicly or privately). . . .I recommend making a vision board. I really, really do. Instead of focusing on things like (depending upon who you are, of course):
  • 7 out of 10 black women will never marry
  • The chance of getting pregnant from month to month when you are of advanced maternal age is less than 10%
  • 50% of marriages will end in divorce
  • A scary percentage of black males (read: my sons, my husband) will be arrested/incarcerated in their lifetime
It instead helps you focus on things like:
  • My single friends will marry the man of their dreams when the time is right.
  • (this person) will get pregnant despite the odds. Note: (this person) is pregnant and due quite soon.
  • We WILL shake a tailfeather at our 50th wedding anniversary. . .and be cognitively unimpaired, thank you very much.
  • Isaiah and Zachary and (these men) will contribute great things to the world and never know incarceration or the correctional system.
It's almost like a really bodacious prayer. If it's God's will, cool. And if it isn't? Even if I'm disappointed about it, ultimately, that part is cool, too.

Now, if you aren't the touchy-feely type--especially if you're new to this blog-- forgive me for this whole thing. I promise that more satisfying--though equally touchy-feely--posts can be found under my "favorites" scroll.

Scale of one to ten on lameness? Maybe a ten. But my vision board has helped me to be even more alright with me. How could it not? It includes this personal charge:

"Stop caring so much about what others think about you.
Start caring more about how others think of themselves."

Just added to my vision board: Make vision boards with Isaiah and Zachary.

Now: Back to our regularly scheduled programming. :)


  1. I love vision boards & believe in them. I'm also a list maker & believe that a spirit of optimism contributes to those list items becoming a reality. Considering that I found you b/c O magazine listed you as one of 4 medical blogs everyone should read, I'd say your vision board has served you pretty well. Welome to the blog-sphere. I'm reading.

  2. I am a Military Instructor and my class just made one for us out of magazing clippings. They are great! I LOVE your blog BTW, You are one amazing person! :)

  3. I don't have a vision board, but I think I will get started. I am afraid I am a P-14X 5 times over!

  4. I love the idea of a vision board. It kind of reminds me of the book "The Secret". I believe by saying something out loud, or creating a vision board definitely puts your dreams and aspirations out into the universe. It sort of keeps you focused, and helps you to continuously set higher goals.

  5. I'm behind on reading, buuuuuut I wanted to say thanks for your comment (which I just added to my post--super helpful! I had no idea about some of those things) and, Andi like immediately imed me Oprah's list and we were both so thrilled for you! So amazing! :) Yay for your vision board!

    Mine's to publish my book. Hopefully some good news on that front soon.

  6. Now your Oprah vision has come true-found you by reading Oprah Magazine this month!

  7. You inspire me. You truly do.

    A vision board party. Now there's an idea!


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

Related Posts with Thumbnails