My dear Heart Talk Yoga journeyer,

New Year, New You? Find out the #1 mistake people make in creating their visions for the future (hint: it has to do with “thinking realistically.”) Create a vision board to give voice to your heart’s desires and begin manifesting them.

Watch this video or, if you prefer, read the transcript. Don’t forget to leave a comment below and let me know if you’ve done your vision board and what you have discovered in the process. Or, share how “realistic thinking” is holding you back. Or comment on anything else this blog made you think about.

I love hearing form you. I appreciate you.


My dear Heart Talk Yogini,

Welcome to a special New Year’s edition of the Heart Talk Yoga Heart Talk Yoga® vlog. I’ll talk about a powerful tool of intention setting and invoking the energy of change in your life. This is relevant at any time of the year. But of course, the start of a new year is a highly auspicious time that’s ripe for setting intentions and pouring some powerful energy into them.

My intention for Heart Talk Yoga Heart Talk Yoga® is to transform common unhappiness into uncommon happiness. By dismantling the components of common unhappiness one by one. For example, one component is that we’re not fully present in the present moment because we resist our actual experience, we flee from it into ruminating, fantasizing, angering, or any other distractions. I talk about it in the video entitled “Finding Happiness Where You Least Expect It.

Another is that we orient ourselves to the external rather than the internal points of reference. We’re taught—conditioned, really—to emulate others rather than organically emerge as who we truly are. What follows is the tyranny of comparisons, which Mark Train referred to as the death of joy. For more on this, check out the episode called “Revive Your Joy.

The common unhappiness component that we’ll zero in on today is being trapped inside the think box.

The situation here is that we buy into our own thoughts. We believe they are real. We believe that whatever we believe is real. Including what we think about ourselves. This concept ourselves that we construct of traps us.

What’s even more disturbing is that we project into the future based on this limited and limiting concept of ourselves. What’s truly heartbreaking is that we call this “thinking realistically.”

Really? What reality is it that we’re basing this thinking on? For thinking to be “realistic” we need to have sufficient data points about the reality of the future. Do you?

The truth is, we’re basing our thinking about the future on the data points from our past. True? Well, that’s all we have, after all. Assuming that neither we nor any conditions or situations around us don’t change a wink, our projection might be on point. But is THAT realistic?

Ok, now that I’ve sufficiently confused your rational mind, let’s turn to your imagination, shall we? What I have here is a totally right brain exercise. Your left brain can take a vacation, which I’m sure it deserves after working overtime this whole year.

In the meanwhile, with right brains, we’ll be creating a vision board.

You’ll need a large piece of paper, a glue stick or tape, scissors, a pen or markers, and a stack of old magazines. Make sure that the magazines are diverse—you don’t want them all to be about finance or fashion or health. A good diverse mix is best. If you don’t have old magazines, you can use google images.

Set all your tools in front of you and take a comfortable seat. You can light a candle if you wish—that’s a nice touch to help center and clear your mind and create a sacred ritual space for this visioning project. Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths and allow them to bring you deep inside, into the core of your being. When you feel settled, ask yourself one question: “What is my heart’s desire?” Allow the answer to emerge from your core—this is not an intellectual inquiry. Spend a few minutes dropping this question into the inner stillness, and observing the ripples.

Open your eyes and begin going through the magazines, while staying tuned into this one question: “What is my heart’s desire.” You’ll notice that you’re drawn to particular pictures and words—tear them out. Be careful not to censor yourself, “This picture makes no sense in my life” or “That’s silly.” Remember, you’ve sent your analytical mind on vacation, so keep rolling with your intuition, with your inner knowing. Prepare to be surprised.

If you’re working with Google images, use words that came up in your meditation as key words for your search, one by one. Then save the images you resonate with in your Vision Board folder or send them to print right away.

When you have a pile of images ready, begin arranging them on the board. You can write or draw on it too—whatever your inspiration moves you to do. Prepare to be surprised!

I was! When I created a vision board a few years ago, it was totally “unrealistic.” I was working full-time, I was in a full-time doctoral program, a part-time private practice, taught part-time as an adjunct professor in a Master’s Program, and I was a new mom. On my vision board, desires for more yoga, more time, and more money showed up among other things. I thought, huh, how’s that going to happen? If I want more money, I need to work more hours, here goes my time and yoga. If I want more time, I’ll have to give up the idea of making more money. Right?

That’s what the data points I had at the time told me, and yes, it was right. There was no solution. Yet my vision board thought otherwise.

Some time passed. I graduated from the doctoral program, left my job, expanded my private practice, and began teaching online. Here I had my trifecta—more yoga, more time, and more money.

Don’t let “realistic” thinking stop you. “Realistic” is another word for “limited vision.” Push the lim-its. Think unrealistically—with your right brain! Create your vision board. PS I would love to see it!

See you next week. Until then, listen to your heart.


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