I find visioning an essential and hugely inspiring practice for living a healthy and full life. While I greatly value having my attention in the present moment, I spend at least some time each day visioning what I long to co-create and embody in the world, in little or big ways. Whether that means taking a minute as I wake up to remind myself of an intention to show up with each person I encounter with loving presence, or spending an hour journaling about a vision for a healthy, thriving planet Earth in the year 3,000, I find connecting to my vision for life offers both meaningful direction, and inspirational fuel for the journey. Below are some resources I’ve either gathered or created to support people in tapping into their own visions, for their lives, families, projects, communities, organizations, projects, the world, etc. May your visions serve you and serve life!
• Sustainability pioneer Donella Meadows wrote and gave a great talk in 1994 called Envisioning a Sustainable World, on the importance of visioning. In it, she explores how deep many people’s resistance can be to daring to envision a world we want to see and create. Watch a video of the talk here, or read the paper behind the talk.
• Ari Weinzweig, founder of a string of wildly successful small businesses, wrote a really clear and practical article for Inc.com called Creating a Company Vision. It offers a simple step-by-step process for drafting your own vision. I find his article particularly useful if you’re already relatively clear about the general subject and direction of your vision. If you’re not so clear on what you even want to create a vision for, you might want to explore the somewhat more elaborated process and questions I created below. Here is Weinzweig’s article.
• One of the things I found particularly useful in Weinzweig’s article was reading his vision for a local farmer’s market. Reading the specificity of his vision really helped me step into the future world he was wanting to create. With the intention to offer other examples of visions, here are three draft visions I recently wrote envisioning a Transformational Learning Center.
• Finally, I want to offer a process I have developed to support people in developing a vision, and getting the support to realize that vision, even if you are not so clear what you want to envision. I suggest you set aside at least an hour for responding to the below questions in writing, allowing yourself to write your “stream of consciousness,” meaning without stopping or editing, timing at least 5 minutes for each question (or more if you can). And, if possible, enjoy yourself! Visioning can be a lot of fun — you are creating the world you want to live in!
VISIONING & MANIFESTATION PROCESS
What brings you joy? What do you love? What are you passionate about?
What are your gifts? What are you good at? What are your strengths? Celebrate yourself!
Dream big! Be unreasonable! What would you do if you could do anything? What if money and other resources were not a concern? What would be really exciting, and maybe a little scary, to do with your life?
Drawing on your dreams from above, draft a vision you are passionate to manifest in your life. (For this step you may want to refer back to Weinzweig’s article.)
• Identify a specific project focus: Are you creating a vision for your life as a whole, for a new organization or community, for a specific project, etc.?
• Identify a time frame for this vision: 6 months, 1 year, 5 years, 20 years? (5 years is often a good default)
• Write from the future perspective, get specific, and include what you personally are doing in this vision: “It’s 2020, it’s a spring morning, and I’m teaching yoga in the practice room at the community center. There are 20 people on yoga mats on the hardwood floors, and sunlight is streaming in through the skylights….”
5) Support Requests
What would abundant support for your vision look like? What specific requests can you make of others in your community, of the world, of yourself?
What personal practices will support you in manifesting your vision? What is a daily practice you will commit at least 10 minutes per day to?
Reflecting on your passions, gifts, and vision, what would you joyfully like to offer to your community or to the world?
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post! I am very grateful for any feedback, suggestions, encouragement, etc. you want to send from the Contact page.