Last year I asked God to enlarge my territory.

I created a vision board full of selfish desires. He gave me nothing that I wanted, but everything that I needed. I thought I knew what would make me happy and assumed it could be found in a man and a pocket full of money to buy a bunch of material things.

Instead He blessed me beyond what I could have imagined for myself and it had nothing to do with that man or shopping. I am grateful. God be knowing.

Earlier this week I hosted a vision board workshop – in the very space that God created for me to share my gifts. Won’t He do it? I took a different approach this time to ensure that all of those in attendance could realize blessings above what they could imagine for themselves.

This time, I was sure that we began the activity with a prayer of thanksgiving. I think it is important to honor God for all that we know that He will do and all that He can do. The prayer circle did not just include my own voice but each woman/man in the shared space was able to express their hope for the year.

It was a powerful affirmation of faith.

Next, we wrote personal love letters to ourselves with strict instructions not to open until December 31, 2016.

Often times we fail to recognize how much we have grown from one year to the next, and this personal letter becomes a special reminder that you have done the work to start off with love.

And then finally, we spent some time creating a STRATEGIC plan for this vision.

It’s not enough to throw some magazine clippings on the board and fancy it up with motivational words that pop. It is essential to have a central focus of thought for which everything you do is aligned with the road to our idea of success.

The practice of putting together a vision board requires a formal layout of how the vision needs to come together so that we can be intentional in our efforts, to be accountable for moving in the right direction.

As I sketched out of the draft for my board I remembered my grandmother’s favorite scripture. Proverbs 3:5-6 says something like: if we trust in God with all of our heart and not lean into our own understanding of life then He will direct the path that is right for us. That was my inspiration for the work of this vision board project.

I also specifically began to identify with the distractions that keep me from owning my goals and winning my race. Interesting enough I realized that I am often in my own way. I am in a constant balance of learning how to serve others while managing the different wardrobe changes of Superwoman so often that I neglect the self care of Queen B.

With my vision board I decided that I wanted to focus energy on making myself a consistent priority. So no matter what other projects, work, dedications and commitments that are a part of my life, all roads need to lead back to me.

Because after all, the vision should be about me, right?

I heard Oprah or Iyanla say once that we must put our oxygen mask on first because we simply cannot save anybody else if we don’t first save ourselves.

Self care becomes the essence for which I carved out my vision in an effort to have a daily reminder that I cannot win, I will not win, if I am not pouring into me and carving out the space to find the peace that I need.

I encourage everyone I know to indulge in creating a vision board – a self care vision board – so that this can be your best year yet.

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