A simple practice to finally start
I have scars, even in my face and my head, they are not always visible, I have had them since I was a kid, but you can’t no longer really see them, or maybe just my previous lip piercing trace, a fifteen years old good idea kind of trace. That’s life. Our feet grow from fitting size 1 to 7 or 9, we evolve from having the most fun at 4 from playing in the mud to being irritated by one drop of coffee on our shirts. Life happens, things change. Physically, this is actually the way to learn what hurts and what to avoid. When we were toddlers, in our first years, we had to understand what is burning, what is hurting, how to run and not fall, and even what we were allergic or intolerant to. It’s ok to have these signals that something is not ok.
Emotionally and generally speaking, it is the same. Sometimes we are intolerant to circumstances, we are allergic to a job, or we are hurt by someone. We evolve from screaming from stepping on a lego left on the floor to change the whole room’s furniture because of the bed corner that loves to crash your tibia.
It’s just one more signal to understand what feels ok and what’s not. And it is merely the same as what feels ok. Just like we develop our own taste as we grow up, and we love more chocolate or bananas than okra or eating a raw lemon, it is the same with life. Sometimes we just grow up, and no matter how much we like our teenage sneakers, our feet grew, and these shoes hurt (Note to young self: do yourself a favor; just let them go, the stan smith will be eternal, and you’ll rebuy them in 2018). Would you make yourself eat raw lemons every day, baring all their acidity when you can actually eat bananas and strawberries? Do you really want to walk in these tight shoes just because you are used to loving them? NO! So feel the feeling and get more of what feels right.
One of the ways is a simple two steps practice. That consists of looking closer to what we don’t see! Step one: open Pinterest, look closely. Step two: Get out of Pinterest and into real life, what don’t you see?
I realized this back in 2013. I was sitting in my apartment on a Sunday and was feeling incredibly bored, frustrated, and unhappy. The best thing to do? Spend the day as a no-brainer scrolling Pinterest and Instagram with only one human function to use one thumb: scrolling, tapping, clicking, and repining. And then. And it happened. I just started looking more closely at my pins and noticing what I was missing in real. Why do I even bother pinning recipes but never make them? I stood up, went to the market, bought some lemons, fresh mint, oats, and other items. The next day I just did my first detox water and granola jar, and only by staring at something that I wanted and that I made, I was happy. I had what I wanted. Five months later, I was flying to the US to spend a few weeks in Texas. I am in my room in New York seven years later, typing my article with freshly manicured nails in the color of autumn with nail polish I just purchased earlier this afternoon. That day, I created my first vision board.
I was feeling really bored and disappointed like something was missing. I simply did a board (on private mode), called it “a life on board,” and Instead of just random boards called “recipes,” “interior design,” or whatever, I regrouped pictures that I already pinned and decided to bring them to life. Today when I go shopping, I still open my boards to see what I wanted to have. When I move to a new room, I won’t stop until I get the piece that I wanted, that I saw for my space in every detail possible.
This might seem simple, but these vision boards have a substantial effect on shaping one’s day and life. After all, it’s all about the details. It’s in the small things of everyday life, just like taking a breath and seeing your hands typing in an article just like in an inspiring picture, or sitting in a corner reading a book. It is not about materialistic things or getting into consumerism and getting something tangible. It is about making your ideas clear, transposing your inner vision into concrete living.
However, there’s one small detail to consider: Multitude of studies has shown that when you visualize yourself succeeding as opposed to imagining the whole steps to follow decreases one’s chance to really succeed. There’s actually a scientific explanation: by envisioning the goal as achieved, the brain relaxes and distresses as if it actually achieved the image it sees. So, in contrast, the best thing to do is to envision the whole picture, the entire process of getting what you want to where you want and… simply living the vision. And that’s the step 2: close the Pinterest, the TV show, or whatever is “distracting (but actually inspiring)” you, and live your vision. Do more of what stimulates you.
We are looking all day long at pictures and captions. Some of them inspire us more than others. The aim is just to put out there what looks inspiring for us. For some, it might be baby pictures or maybe big houses. For others, it’s fashion and social lifestyle, and for so many is travels and exotic destinations, and while some dream about amazing gardens, others just want a fit body. Make a list of things that make you happy, what inspires you, what you like seeing more of, make a list of things you do daily, and adjust. Set a list of things you want to do more and just do it. It’s ok to be hurt. That’s growing. Sometimes you fall, and you keep a scar for life, but you learn to never dance again in the stairs or try to shave like your dad. Sometimes your shoes hurt, and you are just growing up. It’s only one more signal: when it hurts, it’s time to move on and change things to find more comfort. Look closely at what you don’t see and add this to your life.