Vision boards are synonymous with a New Year, a time when we resolve to do things differently, and perhaps play with techniques to help us manifest what we want to happen in the coming year.

Yet when a friend exclaimed, “Nothing on my Vision Board came true for 2020!” I began thinking about how, like many things now, Vision Boards just don’t work the same as they used to.

In fact, we may need a new vision for HOW we envision our lives, our future, our wishes and dreams, ourselves.  A new vision for those beloved Vision Boards.

Surrendering 2020

Not so long ago, if I was having an experience in my life I did not like I would deny its power over me and affirm the experience I wanted to have instead. Denial of the reality you don’t want and affirmation of what you do is basic Law of Attraction work. My Vision Board might have included pictures of things I most love and want, for instance. I’d focus on those, and perhaps employ practices, like affirmations, to change my vibration to resonate with what I wanted. It (usually) worked.

Yet over the past years we’ve been working a different spiritual lesson plan- All of us. Instead of denying what we no longer want to experience, we have been learning to sit in the center of it. To feel it all, surrender to all. Truly, to transcend and potentially transform our current reality we must fully feel, see, accept reality As it is…in its tangled complexity, with all of the human reactions it triggers. Instead of asking for reality to show up in a different way, we’re being asked to surrender totally to it.

Here’s the interesting thing. When we can do this, it creates a sense of Compassion, Peace, Divine Grace within What Is. Within this Grace, when we are experiencing the sense of sitting right here in the center of it, there is nothing to change or to become. Nothing to manifest or want, no new car, job, mate or role, because Grace IS the realization that we already have everything to feel and be complete and whole in this moment. Grace is Radical Presence with What Is. It doesn’t mean we don’t want other, new, experiences; but the realization Grace allows is knowing inside that All is alright, right here and now. There is nothing to change.  You just know: Change will occur when It is ready, and so are you. In time, that change will become as intuitively obvious as a doorway appearing before you. You will know when it is time to walk through it because whereas it was not available to you before, now it is. Beyond this, there is nothing to “do”.

When we can embody the Grace of Radical Presence, we feel marvelous! The world, our life, could change, or not. We are still okay and good. Ironically, paradoxically, we sense when we truly become Grace things finally could change.

New Vision in 2021

I stopped making Vision Boards and manifestation lists a few years ago. It wasn’t for lack of Faith. I felt “the rules of reality” changing. Nothing worked the same as it had. I couldn’t affirm or collage my way into a new experience anymore than I could deny the weather. When the work is coming fully into the present moment, the future… falls away.

As things shifted, I noticed how the goals I used to have about “what I want” became “who I want to be… no matter what is or is not happening.” Essentially, it was: I want to embody an experience of myself right now, quite different from “I want ABC to happen for me”, which was feeling increasingly disconnected from the Present.

Now I focus on who I want to be, and how I want to feel: in my own energy, present, in alignment, kind toward myself, self-honoring, abundant, inwardly connected to Source…

Instead of aiming for goals about where I want to be out there, now I feel into the Truth of my experience in-here right now. My new Vision Board is in my body, grounded in the Now. If it brings me the connection & Presence I want, I do that thing- an energy practice, for instance, or getting off social media. If It brings me inner kindness, I do that thing- maybe shift my attitude or recognize old conditioning and let it go. If it brings me self-honoring, I do that thing – draw a boundary in a relationship, for instance. In the details of how this all plays out, I am open to the Universe leading me moment by moment.

Is there anything else to be at this time but open and flexible, allowing the Universe to lead us, moment by moment? As what once worked may not work in the same way any longer, Life is teaching us to find our center within the Present.

If this resonates, you can try on your 2021 Vision in a very practical way. You can make your Vision Board, or your list. You can perform a ritual around it by lighting candles and incense at the right time. I still love doing that.

However, the two questions that have far more Universal permission to expand you are:

Who do I want to be, how do I want to feel?

What does the Truth of this Present moment say about this?

I take a belly breath and connect inward before asking these questions. This process goes something like this, and each answer will be unique to the moment:

I want to be kinder toward myself. What does the Truth of this Present moment say about this? I want to take a break. I want to do something else now. I want to judge myself less.

I want to feel valued in my work. What does the Truth of this Present moment say about this? I want to do something that I value – make some art or work on a book.

I want to feel more expansive. What does the Truth of this Present moment say about this? I give myself permission to explore some curiosities that light me up.

As you can see, this is less about putting a Vision Board down, sprinkling magical mojo on it under the right lunation cycle, and tucking it away until it manifests and more about doing what it takes to feel good and connected right here and now.

There is nothing wrong with the above. What I’m suggesting is, if the outcomes you have been envisioning for yourself just aren’t manifesting in the way they used to, try this.

Because at core, within your goals, wishes, hopes… whatever does or does not happen in 2021…you still get to be You. You get to decide every. single. moment. If a storm veers your external goals in a different direction, instead of paddling your little boat against the current, instead of struggling against What Is, you can decide to ease into and become one with this moment. You can decide you will be okay within whatever happens. You get to manifest the life you want day-by-day, by becoming more intimate with who you are, inwardly, and dialoguing in the Now about what you most need and want.

As 2021 begins, many of us aren’t where we thought we’d be. It Is What It Is. May what we’ve been integrating throughout 2020 become the Grace we experience in 2021!