Recently, I was tasked with creating a vision board for what I wanted for my professional life. I decided that rather than doing image searches based on a list of words I came up with, I would look through magazines to see what spoke to me. My rationale was that, in using a list of words, I would inadvertently be searching for what I had been conditioned to believe was/is the standard I should be striving for. Thumbing through the pages of a magazine, on the other hand, would allow me to recognize words and/or images that gave me pause or made me take another look. Those would be the key points for the direction of my life. Needless to say, this was much easier said than done.

My mission was almost a failure from the start for one main reason - in today’s digital age, it isn’t quite so easy to pick up a stack of magazines anymore. My household does not have subscriptions to magazines with a variety of images. I pass through mainly residential and Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods on my way to and from work so there aren’t any stores where I can even look for magazines to use. Most of the newsstands I knew of have long gone out of business. Most corner stores no longer carry magazines. So what do I do? I can’t just give up on my assignment! I had to enlist my husband’s help to get some magazines from a store close to his job. My husband was able to get a couple of magazines for me and I dove in my assignment, only to hit yet another roadblock. 

I thumbed through three different magazines and came up with very little. The first magazine provided me with the word UNAPOLOGETIC. I cut it out, yet I wasn't quite sure. I have definitely used the word to describe the people who I admire and the feeling that I want in my marketing videos, but I have never applied the word to myself. I couldn't see how it applied to my career/professional goals. I found a few other images that I was attracted to but I also couldn't figure out how they could possibly apply to the task. I cut out the images but I didn't attach them to my poster because they didn't seem to make sense. 

I went into the meeting to review my vision board - without a vision board. I explained my conundrum, showed the images, and explained what I liked about the images. I was then questioned as to why I felt my selections were not right/appropriate. I was reminded that the point of the assignment was to select images/text that resonated with me. There was no right or wrong. I was supposed to just follow my heart/gut - without question, without trying to be "right," without assigning judgment, and without expectation. When I thought about my selections again, I realized that they did symbolize what I wanted - for my LIFE, not just my career, 

The vision board assignment made realize a couple of things. For one, it's hard to break free of the conditioning we've been subjected to throughout our lives. Second, we should become more at ease with listening to our instincts - our internal voice - without question. We need to release ourselves from the burden of expectation.

You may be wondering what this has to do with jewelry. Well, guess what - these lessons can applied to all aspects of our lives. I (and you) need to remind ourselves of these lessons when it comes to thinking about our personal, professional, creative, and business lives. For me - on the creative and business side - I am becoming more at ease with following my gut and doing what speaks to me and what brings me joy. I've always felt unseen and not understood, and I'm realizing that it's time for me to claim my space. I create for my voice to be heard and for the people who want to feel seen, understood, and represented. I am no longer creating based on trends or what I think will have mass appeal. I am now creating solely based on the ideas that come to me naturally. I am excited to see what I create and accomplish as I tap into my true self more and more. 🙂 

I invite you to apply this lesson to your life, be aware of the changes that come, and feel free to share. 💜💜

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