Cultivate Vision

This is a part of The Cultivate Project. A once a month project where I explore mindsets and practices we can cultivate and nurture to bring more care to ourselves and others.

For a short time the Vision collection is available as an art print or notebooks or sketchbooks. But they are only available until January, 11th 2022. After that I’ll move on to the next month’s cultivation project.

Cultivate Vision

"It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision."

Helen Keller

This past fall I was at my daughter’s equestrian lessons and I was listening to the coach and watching her. Usually I don’t take her so it was a rare opportunity for me to see how she’s progressed.

 

This was also a fun lesson for her because after warming up and going through some typical exercises, her coach announced they would take a break from jumping and instead do a little barrel racing today. If you aren’t familiar with barrel racing, in short the rider takes the horse on a course around barrels while doing it as fast as they can. And to do it as fast as you can you’ve got to get the horse to circle the barrels as close as possible. For my daughter, it was an unexpected and fun break.

 

In one of her runs, the horse went a bit wide from the third barrel. When she came in to the finish, her coach asked her about it. Actually she just asked her where she was looking when she came around the second barrel which her reply was here at the ground by the second barrel. Her coach then let her know that as she controls the horse around one barrel, her eyes have to be looking at the next, so that the horse goes to that point next. She has to keep her eyes on where she wants to go next.

 

She explained it’s easy while trying to control the horse to stay looking at what’s going on right there but she has to trust herself and the horse in that moment while looking at what she wants to do the next moment. She said she also had to be careful not to become distracted by something else in the distance or the horse will go to that spot. She has to keep her eyes on where she wants to be while also controlling what she can with the horse where she is.

 

While the coach was explaining, I didn’t expect to have a bit of a life lesson inserted for me at the same time. Good coaches are like that – often their coaching is allegorical to life. Vision works much in the same way – we have to keep our eyes on our vision for our future while also present and controlling what we can right now. It’s the opposites seemingly pulling and dancing. A delicate balance that is more of a push and pull and one that we can cultivate and learn.

 

We need to know where we are going and then keep our eyes there while working in the moment of where we are. Otherwise we’ll just go where ever our eyes are looking. And if they don’t have something to look at we’ll either end up going in many directions with the many distractions or end up stuck in one spot.

 

So, What Is Vision?

Vision is where you want to be, how you want to feel and what you want to do in the future. I like to think of it as a message from your future self to your present self.

 

It is seeing what isn’t there yet, but having the hope and belief that you can get there. So it takes a good amount of imagination. And you can’t activate your imagination without being still and allowing your mind to wander. (Which is why I started this project with Stillness – go back and have a listen if you didn’t get to it yet.)

 

Seeing what isn’t there yet means only you can see it. But it is up to you to turn your vision, what’s in your imagination, into reality. But it doesn’t mean you have to travel there alone. You can choose people who support you, who will cheer you on, who might be trying to get to a similar place to go with you towards your vision. This support is crucial and it needs nurturing. But it begins with you.

"Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others."

Jonathan Swift

How To Cultivate Vision

Casting a vision is challenging, which is why we need to cultivate it. It doesn’t just appear because we need it. We must nurture and cultivate what might be there. Holding on to ideas, letting others go, feeling them out and letting them simmer a bit. Those that we hold on to are the ones that become a part of our vision. I often write down many things and often the majority of them are pruned away but there are a core few ideas that I know are a part of my future vision.

 

It is work to nurture then prune, nurture and prune again but you have to do the work yourself. Staying curious and activating your imagination and wonder, while letting some things go.

 

Once you have a solid idea for a vision, it becomes easier to cultivate it, but it does take commitment and dedication to work towards it.

 

When cultivating stillness, your imagination will often be activated after you have let go of the past and present. Your imagination will speak of your future. Write down those things that interest you – they are messages and gifts. Cultivate them as a vision and feel them out. Those that you love and those that stick around, they become your vision.

 

Once you have it, create a way to hold on to it. To remind yourself of where you are looking so you don’t become distracted or stuck. Some use a network of people to help them, some use a vision board, some use affirmation statements. It’s up to you to figure out what works. But a word of warning – don’t tell people who would squash it unless you are ready to ignore them. And if you do happen to get distracted or stuck, because it happens to me, it’s ok – just look at your vision again and get moving towards it.

 

Vision is the second collection in the Cultivate Project Series. I am offering an art print, calendar and notebooks with my artwork.

The release of this collection will only be for a 2 week window starting this Friday December 31st, and I don’t want you to miss it.