MINDFULNESS MATTERS: BUILD YOUR BEST LIFE

Post by Gennifer Birnbach

As 1st quarter was nearing its end, I was reminded to reflect back on my optimism on New Year’s Day where I announced, “this is my year!” Armed with my checklist, I took some small and big steps to start achieving my goals.

I drafted a vision board, I started to follow more empowering accounts on social media, I joined organizations and set myself off to make my dreams come true. Finally.

My one reoccurring goal I had yet to achieve was “guilt-free selfcare.” I’ve had this goal for years since I became a working mom with a 3-hour roundtrip commute each day.

The most powerful things I’ve done so far in self-care was sign up for the WICT NY “Create Your Blueprint” Vision Boarding Workshop with Shushan Aleaqui.  This was a full-day commitment on a Saturday, in the city AND we were without power in our house from the “Blizzard Cyclone” that left my town in a state of emergency.

Regardless of the chaos around me and the maternal need to make ensure my family had a warm place to go, I got myself to this workshop.

IN CLASS:

Once we got to class and finished introductions, we answered questions like, “What is one great big dream you have that would thrill you to the core if you achieved or manifested it?”

Everyone selected magazines, glitter glue, scissors and a poster board that would hold together what we wanted in our lives.   We poured through magazines collecting images and words that spoke to us and sometimes to the others at our table.

Shushan asked us to be mindful of how we felt when we found images and words that would support what we were asking for. This reminded me of that book “The Magic of Tidying Up” and how touching an object and asking, “does this bring me joy?” helps clear the clutter.

I mysteriously came across exact images in random magazines that 100% matched what I wanted. This validated “the law of attraction” theory for me and I was purposeful in finding exactly what I wanted or needed without doubting I’d find it in the publications I ended up with. It was such a transformative and emotional experience for myself and those around me.

Some things that were on my list logically matched, but I didn’t feel as excited when I considered them. Other photos and language were exciting to find, but I felt nervous as if they were unobtainable or really not meant to be found.  And then when I found things for those at my table, I felt my normal self of satisfaction in helping others. The women at my table were, in turn, finding me things. That made me feel heard which was validating.

After the freeing experience of just grabbing it all, we then had to go into an elimination round. The board size was not going to change so we needed to ask ourselves, “what would make it to the final round and what would end up in the trash?”

I found myself surprised at what I was throwing away. Things I thought I wanted, I actually did not. Through this simple, but impactful exercise, I have shifted direction. Wow. That’s really big!

My vision board was complete, and I must say that I was REALLY excited and feeling empowered. Shushan moved around the room to check-in with each individual to learn more about where they landed.  When I took her through mine, I felt like this was really all a big dream and not possible. This wasn’t from anything she said or did, but I guess saying it all out loud scared me. What if I fail? What else do I have to dream about?

Shushan asked us to place our vision board somewhere we could see it every day. I had a late start given we had to move from house to hotel to house until our power was restored. When I finally did find time to set up a shrine for my vision board, I began to see possibilities.

SO FAR, SO GOOD

We learned that our belief systems become habits and our habits become us. It takes 40 days to break a pattern and it takes 21 days to establish a new one. So far, so good.

It’s been six weeks since this workshop and I’m rereading my goals to see what I’m hitting so far, what needs to be reimagined and what is just a hard pass. I will say things are accelerating beyond my wildest dreams around many of my must-haves. The biggest one will take time, but I’m steps closer each day.

I’m curious to learn how the others are pacing and I’d like to report back around the 6 month-mark to share back how these vision boards are or are not driving the boat.

Regardless of how fast or slow these things take, I encourage everyone (myself included) not to lose sight of what you want, but to also check in to see if it’s really what you want.

For more information about Shushan Aleaqui please visit https://shushanaleaqui.info/ and for more about what WICT has to offer under its MINDFULNESS MATTERS: BUILD YOUR BEST LIFE theme for 2018, please visit: https://www.wictny.org/events/