How to Get Grounded in Times of Change

Last week, I spent several hours doing something I have never done before. It was an activity I have always secretly scoffed...that I imagined was frivolous and silly.

I’m not one to hold back on admitting I’m wrong about something, so I’ll tell you right now, I was wrong about this.

What I did, to no longer keep you in suspense, was make a vision board.

Yep, a vision board. And it was the most grounding thing I could have chosen to do for myself and my business on that day at that moment.

You see, life changes constantly. When you work in a nonprofit, or run a small business, the environment around you simply does not cooperate long enough to get you into a super comfy groove, does it? Once you think you know what you’re doing, everything has, once again, shifted - sometimes slightly, sometimes drastically.

The truth is, without understanding your core - all you care about, the values you carry with you that don’t change - you can’t find your footing fast enough to keep up. That’s why I took time out last week to build my vision board - it helps me remain anchored, no matter how choppy the seas are, when I continuously focus on the big picture. Why am I here? What do I want to accomplish? What makes me who I am? How will I live into my own essence?

The most valuable part of it was just taking the time to think it through. It’s the root of all self-care. Who am I, and what do I need? When I know where I am going, I can get out a road map and figure out a whole bunch of different routes to get there. It changes the stakes of everything I do. Instead of putting all my hopes and dreams into one route, only to find it’s under construction and closed to thru traffic, I can be adaptable, flexible, lithe. I can roll with the changes because I know the route isn’t the most important thing. What matters is what drives me in the first place. That makes me want to go where I’m going. Detours are no longer nuisances or something to be feared. They become a happy surprise.

Here are the four main questions I asked myself, and around which I built my vision board. I’ll tell you something - you don’t have to sit around cutting pictures out of magazines and gluing them onto poster board to find grounding. You can, of course, and it’s worthwhile, if you ask me. But I think the biggest value to me is making a space where I can constantly remind myself of what I want in these areas:

I want to feel…

I want my body to…

I want the work of my hands to…

I want my environments to…

Framing my heart’s desires in this way allows me to keep my efforts and attention focused on creating what I want in the here and now - instead of only focusing on the destination. Yes, I have places to go - some of which I’ve decided, others that have yet to unfold. I know some elements of them...yet, I’m still moving toward them openly and with a light-hearted spirit. Even though I’m in a time of flux and change and uncertainty, I know I will be OK (am OK).

Take five minutes to fill in your own answers to these four statements. It’s a few minutes out of your day, but I promise, you’ll find out more about yourself in these moments than you will in a day of running around saving the world without taking a minute to connect with yourself.

Here are the things I’ve said, to get you started:

I want to feel…

  • Content

  • Happy

  • Inspired

  • Delighted

  • The sweetness of my life

  • The love that surrounds me

I want my body to be…

  • Flexible

  • Strong

  • Agile

  • Loved

  • Whole

  • Lively

  • Healthy

I want the work of my hands to…

  • Be fun

  • Be significant

  • Provide a bountiful living

  • Provide opportunity for others

  • Make a difference

  • Transform lives and organizations

I want my environments to…

  • Make room for play, rest, healing and work

  • Be beautiful

  • Be comfortable and cozy

  • Reflect love, peace and joy

  • Provide expansive space for creation and exploration

Your turn! Feel free to share some of your “I wants” below. Once you know what you want, the way to get those things will become clear to you as you move through life.