After attending a vision board workshop with The Creative Space with Sonja, I was faced directly in the eyes of my own vulnerabilities – my hearts true desires. What I was also faced with was the gnawing truth that I wasn’t living in line with these desires, and I was in deep pain.
After releasing myself to the flow of placing all my visions and dreams on a board to look at and admire each day, I became riddled with a fear and anxiety that was always there. “I am not worthy of this life,” was the screaming message that made my heart palpitate.
But I followed through with the instructions of the workshop facilitator and placed my board on a wall I looked at every day. Without judgement of my worthiness or pressure on myself to manifest what I allowed myself to dream of, I stared into this board for 10 minutes every morning and imagined it was all already true for me. And I was grateful.
Slowly, I became grateful for the true things, the small things. And I watched in awe as the bigger things began to happen too.
Whether it was a negative one or a positive one, I began honouring all my thoughts and emotions. I allowed them to surface, I acknowledged them, I processed old pains and I let go. By allowing the uncomfortable fears and frustrations that I’d been so meticulously packing away to finally surface, I gave myself the opportunity to let them go, so new and more beautiful things could come to be.
I wrote my heart out and this process became a book, “Finding a New Kind of Happiness,” that comes out in 2020. Eventually, I stopped looking at the vision board, I stopped processing the old pains, and I started to live in fullness again.
And then I looked at my vision board today. Filled with photos capturing smiling faces and happy homes and camping trips, safari game drives and vegetable gardens, surfers and books, I find myself both flabbergasted but also ironically unsurprised.
A year that began in unworthiness and fear has, under my eyes, unfolded into the spitting image of what I mapped out my dreams to be on a vision board.
It began with a big event I hosted in January, followed by being asked to give a motivational talk on “Live Your Life & Brand Strategy”. After giving this talk, I realised it was hardly appropriate for me to teach others how to “Live Their Best Life” since I wasn’t living mine. Thereafter, I embarked on a health journey that included plant-based and organic eating, going med-free, living my authentic truth, writing out all my pains, detoxing from social media for 3 months and then from my beloved vino for 9 months too.
Having not travelled in over a year but holding deep desires to do so, my family and I began exploring local gems that were near us and affordable. We started with a night on an apple orchard in the Elgin valley followed by glamping in the Cederberg. Then my husband and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary with a cosy rustic getaway in Tulbagh.
Our boys turned 2 and 4 and we celebrated their lives surrounded by family and friends. My parents came to visit from the states and with them we explored more of the Cape as well as Mossel Bay. Everywhere we went I relished in the beauty of the local vegetation, taking photo after photo of each variety of fynbos. I began to visualise myself sleeping amongst beds of flowers, growing my own tomatoes, making bouquets of wildflowers in a big, beautiful home.
As I continued processing old childhood wounds and realising my inherent worthiness, I allowed space for the dreaming to deepen in my subconscious. My vision board became imprinted in my mind and I leaned into it now just in the act of thinking.
I continued to do motivational talks where I was invited to share my story of being abandoned as a young girl, adopted, and then healing in motherhood. One day I was invited to meet the children of a non-profit school, iThemba. iThemba means “hope” in Xhosa, and that is just what these children needed. The narrative of my dreams started to change as I realised they were bigger than me, and not just about me. My story could be one of hope for those who are still at the beginning of theirs. I started spending time with these children each week and, for my first paid speaking gig, all the money went to them. “Hope” was a word on my vision board, and a need in their hearts.
We continued to travel as a family, extending the parameters outside of the Cape and into the Klein Karoo. We splashed in natural pools in the sun, hiked, adored the succulents and had late night braais.
And then the greatest most magical wish came true, we were asked by friends to join them in the Kruger Park for a week of safari with our kids. My vision board was covered with pictures of safari vehicles, elephants, zebra, lions…. All the dreams were coming true.
Later, I stayed for two nights in our beloved old home of Noordhoek one week to write and, while there, explored its little neighbour, Kommetjie. I fell in love and wanted to spend more time on the beach. One thing led to the next and we made a way for us to have a month there with the kids.
While in Kommetjie, I paused all the passion projects and settled even deeper in to “just living”. I spent most of every day with my kids. Afternoons were spent frolicking in the waves. On weekends we simply packed a bag and went where the day took us. A morning at the beach, a mid-day lazy book read while the boys napped, an afternoon braai-ing with friends.
I started to surf, and so did my son. We roamed the slow roads and picked wildflowers. And, to our surprise and everyone else’s, we bought a beautiful big home 400m from the sea with a garden of veggies, succulents and fynbos. The words “a home is a view” is on my vision board, splashed across images of wildflowers and veggie gardens.
What else was on my vision board? The only thing that is on there that hasn’t happened yet is there are photos of old beautiful churches in Europe. My best friend lives in Scotland and I found out a few weeks ago that I am visiting her in March 2020 and finally getting the
chance to see her perform live as an on-stage actress. This is another example of a “dream” that has manifested under my eyes.
So, what does it mean to have a dream? To me it means honest intention. It means to live in truth and humility, to have gratitude for the things you love and appreciate so that more of that vibration can come your way. It means to trust.
The other thing I learned though in this transformative and rewarding year is this: you can’t manifest from a broken place. You can’t build a life of dreams on an unhealed foundation. How do we heal then? We forgive. We forgive ourselves and others, and we let go so we can move on.
In the end we learn there’s truth in everyone’s story, even the ones that hurt us. and, usually, we all share the same intention – to love and be loved. This is true even if our intentions conflict and hurt each other. But to get that perspective, the healing and forgiving one, we must own and honour our own story first. Only then do we get the clarity that empowers us to have the courage to write the future with a dream.