Ever wonder what wants to be born in your life?

by Amy on April 11, 2012

I like to start the New Year by creating a vision board. It’s a collage of images usually pasted to some poster board. The idea is that by pasting images of what you want to a poster board, you are clarifying your desires and setting the stage for those things to come to you.

A lot of women have no idea what they want. In fact, a lot of women think it’s selfish to want anything. I agree with Brooke Castillo “… what we want is very important information. I believe it’s code for directions to our destiny.”

So my vision boards over the years have helped me clarify, without apology, the things I want. Cut-outs of ipads, images of happy families at Disneyland, bobbles from Tiffany’s, my vision boards have seen it all…

But this year, my vision board turned out very different.

Here’s the story.

I agreed to meet some friends for a day of vision board creation. That morning, I woke up sick. And I had hardly slept the night before. I stopped by to drop off some magazines and decided to stay.

I was so tired I could barely form a coherent sentence. I just sat there, ripping out pretty pictures, looking up and nodding whenever someone appeared to be speaking to me. I left, a few hours later, with a handful of odd images that, to my logical mind, made no sense at all.

A week later, I started reading Martha Beck’s latest book, Finding Your Way in a Wild New World. She writes about “wordlessness.” According to Martha, when we turn off the thinking part of the brain, we access a vastly more intelligent, nonverbal part. The verbal brain, for example, can process forty-bits of information per second, the nonverbal part can process eleven million bits of information per second.

She says that when we imagine from this wordless place, we find out “what wants to be born,” not what we think we want. I had accidentally chosen images for my vision board that came from the “wordless,” part of my brain. And, as a result, I believe I accidentally discovered what “wants to be born” in my life this year.

A few examples…

I don’t like to surf. I tried a few times on the Oregon coast and lets just say, I cannot pee in a wet suit. But, for some reason, I pasted a picture of a surfer on my vision board. A few weeks later, I signed up for a surf retreat in Kauai.

Next, there’s a beautiful image of a heart. I watched a film called I AM last year that got me interested in the human heart and it’s mysteries. In February I read The Heart’s Code, a book about the very literal power of the human heart as a transmitter of wisdom and energy. I’m now researching how I can incorporate this information into my coaching practice.

Then there’s the tree covered in snow. I’ve been wanting to take the family to the snow but the sheer amount of gear required to keep a family of five warm and dry has been… how shall I say it nicely, an obstacle.

I was selling some clothes the other when a woman next to me happened to be selling a ski jacket. It reminded me to ask the buyer if there was snow gear for sale at the store. The woman next to me overheard and offered to give me all her old ski clothing.

Just a few examples of vision board magic happening for me based on these accidental discoveries.

The New Year is long gone but you can still try to create a little vision board magic of your own to see what might want to be born in your life.

5 Steps to Vision Board Magic:
(You’ll need magazines, a poster board, scissors and a glue stick):

  1. Grab a bunch of magazines. Don’t censor. Draw from anything that appeals to you.
  2. Find a way to shut off the thinking mind while flipping through the magazines. You don’t have to be sleep deprived or sick but it may help! The key is to choose images that light you up, no matter what. If you notice your thinking mind trying to talk you out or in to choosing a certain image, drop back into your body and notice how you feel when you look at it. If it feels good when you look at it, tear it out.
  3. Take the images and paste them onto your poster board in any way you please.
  4. Look at the final product. Does it make you feel good when you look at it? Done. If not, feel free to keep working as long as you are still having fun.
  5. Let go. Now, this may sound strange… but you have to forget about it. Drop any attachment to outcome. Don’t worry about seeing any results but be open to what comes.

So… give it a try! You may not get what you think you want, but you’ll uncover something a lot better — what wants to be born in your life.

And let me know what happens by posting a comment. I love that!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Leah Badertscher April 12, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Hi Amy,
I loved reading the story of your vision board! The title of your post caught my eye; lately, I’m ALWAYS wondering what wants to be born. I think this is a huge key – if not the whole enchilada, when it comes to not only creating great, soulful work – the kind that has GOD written all over it – but also when it comes to living fully ALIVE. My personal challenge is getting out of my mind and into that space of allowing. I spent many years and a couple degrees “shoring up” what I felt were left-brain deficiencies, so it’s interesting that those strengthened weaknesses are now what I have to get past in order to access my strengths. Getting out of my mind and accessing a deeper wisdom, from the body and elsewhere, is work that fascinates me. It’s my goal in poetry, writing, painting, coaching…also mothering and just everyday living.

Thanks for the cool post and best to you on allowing what wants to be born!


PS- surfing is also somewhere in my future, though I’m a landlocked Midwesterner!


Amy April 12, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Hey Leah, Yep getting out of my own head is a huge challenge for me too which is why the sleep depro and the cold helped so much! Love what you say about making up for left brain deficiencies too. I can soooo relate.


Liesl Emerson April 18, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Hi, Amy. So, you have no idea how timely your vison board post was for me! My daughter visited me over the weekend and noticed a piece of yellow poster board tucked between my bed and the wall. She asked me what it was and I told her it was for my motivational poster (I couldn’t remember the term “vision board” at that moment, though that’s what I meant)I hadn’t gotten around to making yet (I’d had the poster board for about 6 months). Well, needless to say she thought it was pretty funny that I hadn’t been able to get motivated to make my motivation poster! We had a good laugh. Then yesterday when I read your latest Happiness Notes and the post on vision boards, I decided to try your technique. It really worked and helped me to figure out why I had been putting off doing the vision board – the things that want to be born in me right now are not material things, yet that is where my mind tried to go every time I thought about working on the vision board. Instead, all the pictures that made me feel not just good, but great are intangible things, not material things. These are the things that want to be born in my life right now that your technique for making the vision board helped me gain clarity on:


Thanks, Amy! I am so grateful to see Happiness Notes in my e-mail.



Amy April 18, 2012 at 10:32 pm

Wow Liesl! What a great post. I’m so happy to hear you put of your vision board. Sounds like there was a reason you weren’t motivated! Love that you were able to use my process to help you get clear.


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