I made a business decision in June which means I can afford to take the whole of 2011 off. I’m calling it my gap year. And this has caused consternation amongst those who think they know me, the most frequent question being “What are you going to DO?” I reply “Nothing”, for that is my intention. But now I’ve had a brilliant idea.
Propped up in bed the other day, watching Strictly on my laptop on my dressing table, I was perusing my vision board which is an enormous coloured collage framed and positioned above the dressing table so I can see it from bed. Eureka! I know what I will do in 2011…I shall Live My Vision Board.
Lots of things on my vision board have just come into my life because I have been gazing upon them and feeling “as if”. But what if I were to spend my gap year deliberately going after the things and experiences I want. Perhaps that would make that a journey in itself, providing me with a framework to my year off, maybe even for the rest of my life.
So, what’s on my vision board, what would I be actively pursuing and magically manifesting?
- Five Million Pounds. I’m reasonably sure this is the in the bag if not yet quite in the bank account.
- T. Harv Eker’s Attitudes of Wealth, one of which (the most relevant for me now) is “my part-time business is managing and investing my money and creating passive income streams”.
- Seafood and ocean views – already booked for a month of that in December this year, as ever.
- Sunflowers – since quite a lot of the other pictures are clearly holidays in France, this shouldn’t be a problem. One of the holiday homes is a yellow house with green shutters and a swimming pool and the other looks like an elegant cream bedroom in a chateau.
- There’s a lot of Mediterranean and Caribbean turqoise water, including infinity pools and beaches. One such image has the strapline “our unexpected move led us to Paradise”. Some of the Med pictures suggest to me Mallorca and Ibiza.
- A drop of rose, drunk at Burgh Island. I would drink it at Burgh Island, not be drunk at Burgh Island.
- My favourite seaside hotel in Kent. I quite want to buy that one actually.
- An Irish spa – and many other spas and treatments besides, including meditation, journalling and shirodhara which is an ayurvedic treatment where warm oil is poured from above onto one’s fevered brow in a continual, relaxing stream. The Irish spa is in or near Kilkenny National Park and Ragdale Hall appears too, not especially because I want to go there but because it is a delicious photo of a calm space.
- Three Mediterranean holidays, at least! Turkey, Corsica and…?
- Cornwall – Carlyon Bay, Hayle and Jamie’s restaurant at Watergate bay between Padstow and Newquay.
- An elegant, glamorous wristwatch and a pair of cool and funky diamond earrings.
- A seaside flat in the UK, the one on my vision board overlooks the Widewater lagoon and the sea in Lancing, West Sussex.
- My own island or an experience thereof. Happy to rent one for a week.
- An exclusive water home in the Palm Jebel Ali in Dubai, where the sun rises on one side of the property and sets on the other. Happy to rent this one too.
- Lots of al fresco dining with seaside balconies, warm evenings, fairy lights, champagne, sun parasols and turqoise sea ebbing and flowing within earshot.
- More beaches.
- The Shangri La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa in Oman.
- Various exhortations to live the dream and/or live my best life.
- There’s a picture of Helen Mirren, my role model for ageing gracefully and sexily alongside a little quote which says “more beautiful than you were at 20”. I dont think this is going to be difficult, frankly, because I certainly wasnt beautiful when I was 20 or at least I had no concept of being so, that’s closer to the truth.
- A london Thameside apartment. Oddly, my desire for this has abated since I created my vision board, but I shall keep an open mind. I will definitely want a new London pad. The pictures include one of the penthouse at my old building in Canary Wharf. We shall see. At the time of writing I am negotiating to buy a penthouse, but it’s nowhere near Docklands.
- A new car, make and model unspecified as yet.
- Lots more USA, New York, Boston, Sedona, San Diego and San Francisco.
There’s a poem too on the board, by Mary Anne Radmacher, which I’ve shared before on this blog but which is worth reproducing again as it speaks to much of the journey ahead of me in my gap year and beyond. Unless and until I come up with a better version of this myself, I shall live by it:
Live with intention
Walk to the edge
Play with abandon
Choose with no regret
Continue to learn
Appreciate your friends
Do what you love
Live as if this is all there is.
If I play my cards right, I think its possible I may never need to work again for financial reasons alone. It remains to be seen whether or not I would need to do something productive or whether I can successfully make the transition from Human Doing to Human Being, which would be my preferred future.
I consulted with a guru once a few years back; at that time I was also getting close to achieving my dreams. And I noticed an odd phenomenon. As I got closer to the things I thought I wanted, they changed. Which meant my goal posts were constantly moving. Said guru encouraged me to go after them and get them anyway, as this trains my subconcious that I can have anything I can put my mind to.
So whether or not I still want a wristwatch, a new car and five million pounds, I’m going to get them anyway to tick them off my list and to train my subconscious to be an achiever, a goal attainer. Presumably if my experiment is successful, I shall know when my gap year ends because I shall end up with a completely new vision board as this one will have been fully realised.
Anyway, that’s the plan such as it is. What do you think of it so far?