Did you know that you can create a vision board for any question in your life, any upcoming chapter, or any problem you’re facing?

Most people use a general vision board and fill it with fancy cars, mansions, and beach scenes. That’s also OK.

The feelings that a vision board evokes in you can indeed motivate you to save money, or earn more, or pay off debt, or manage what you’ve got even better – as long as you connect to the vision, rather than feeling sorry for yourself every time you look at it because of how far away it seems.

But today I’m talking about creating a vision board to solve a specific problem.

Here’s my story:

Over the weekend, I was feeling at odds, at loose ends, and in conflict with myself. I ate a bit too much Nutella (right from the jar, with a spoon), and I kicked around, not doing much of anything useful.

I am keeping a daily journal, so I asked myself in the journal what was bugging me. This came up: “What are you going to do when you are 61?”

Huh? I’m only 49 now. I mean, I’m a grown woman, I know what my calling is, I know what the main roles I’m playing on Earth are. Why was 61 coming up to scare me with nothing, when it’s still 12 years away?

Then I realized something important: at 61, I won’t be a mother full-time anymore, I’ll be an “empty nester.” No kids in the house = no “real purpose” in life. Hmmm. That’s probably it. Even though I’ll still be a psychic, a healer, a writer, and all that (and maybe more?), my primary biological purpose will have passed. Aha. Now we’re getting somewhere. #ThankYouJournal

So I set about creating a vision board to solve the problem: “What Will I Do When I’m 61?”

Here’s how I did it:

1. Start.

I put the radio on “classical music” so that the words wouldn’t interfere with my head (I’m funny like that).

2. Get supplies.

I dragged out a stack of magazines I had lying around. Two were the free “Get It!” shopping mags, then there was House & Leisure, Good Housekeeping, and Marie Claire. Your mileage may vary, but those magazines have a lot of pretty pictures, plus cool, colorful backgrounds as well. You’ll also need a scissors and some regular school glue or paste, like a glue stick.

3. Choose images.

Without re-reading the magazines (ahem, hard!), I flipped through them and looked at every single page. Slowly and steadily. I scanned each page, both sides, and as I did so, I listened to my heart. I waited for a moment of joy, of recognition. Something that made my heart beat faster. Every time that happened, I ripped out that page and cut out that image. The rest, I put aside for recycling.

Flipping through the magazines took me about 20 minutes. The whole time, I was gently repeating to myself, “61, 61, what am I going to do at 61?” But that didn’t mean I was looking for vitamin adverts where happy white-haired couples were frolicking on the beach. I trusted the right images to come through even though they were not directly related to the question.

4. Rest.

When I had a pile of my own chosen cut-out images, I gave myself a break. I went outside, hung up the washing on the line in the September sun, and didn’t think about anything serious. Then I went back inside for the next step.

5. Get a base.

I took a piece of cardboard from the side of a delivery box and cut it into a plain rectangle. Mine is about an A3 size, or two typing paper sheets next to each other.

6. Lay the groundwork.

lay down a background, gluing the pieces into place onto the cardboard. To my surprise (since I do not actually have green thumbs or fingers in real life) all the background images came out floral / botanical. Here is stage 1:

7. Put down the smaller pieces.

In stage two, I took smaller images, such as people and words, and pasted them onto the floral background. The stage 1 photo has the first human image already on it in the upper right hand corner. She is soon joined by many other images and a few words.

8. Take a look, make changes, trim if necessary.

You might notice the board is a little messy, a little busy.

What I noticed in particular was that the pictures didn’t necessarily FIT on my board. Look at the right side, in the middle, that nice dining room with the table and chairs and chandelier. It’s hanging right off the edge.

And I’m not sure if you can tell at the top, but that boat-on-the-turquoise-sea image is too tall. So I needed to crop them (just wait, I’m getting to the “meaningfulness” of these things; right now we’re doing the practical side 😂)

So, stage 3 will not look that different to you, but it’s got clean edges. This is the one that’s on my dresser now, where I can see it every day.

9. Interpret it in your own way, for now, and let the images continue to speak to you.

So, what does it mean to me? What WILL I do when I’m 61?

According to my subconscious mind, when I’m 61 I intend to be very busy, because this vision board is VERY busy. It’s flowering, which means I can still consider myself a flowering, productive, fruitful person. It’s colorful, which means my life doesn’t have to get bland and boring just because I’m getting older.

You might notice that there are only images of women, and women on their own, rather than couples holding hands and staring into the sunset. Hmmm, I noticed that, too. Also no kids. Right. Although the coffee mug with “Best Mom Ever” does take a very central position. Also, a couple of Asian travel images (great!) and some rooms which look like hotels (double great!). And why did my nice dining room get cut in half? Because probably making a homey-home won’t be that important to me. In fact, time on my own or in a small gathering of people (notice, only 2 chairs are remaining, not 4) is OK.

I have now completely gotten over my mid-mid-life crisis and am excited about what the next 12 years will bring. I’ll keep my eyes open for colors and flowers and especially that cool red hippie dress the woman on the left is wearing. Kind of Frida Kahlo, eh?