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vision boards vs. breadcrumbs

There’s a lot about my life I’d like to change right now. I can see pretty lucidly what’s not working and where the problems are, but I’m actually experiencing an even bigger problem.

The way I’ve gone about creating new futures for myself, now rings hollow.

I used to do the “vision board” thing: create a very clear vision of what I want, write out lists with criteria as specific as possible, and then send that desire out into the Universe.

If that way is working for you, hallelujah. It works for a lot of people. It’s worked for me in the past. It’s no longer working for me.

So I’m in this in-between place of wanting a different future, but lacking new tools to help me get there.

In a profound conversation I recently had with my coach, she laughed as I described the “vision board” way of manifesting.

We agreed that relating to the Universe as though It were Santa Claus — and if we’ve been very, very good we’ll get everything on our carefully-drawn-up list — just didn’t fit for me anymore.

I no longer resonate with the idea that the Universe is waiting for my neatly bullet-pointed list at some cosmic boardroom table, then carefully checks to see if I’ve written it with only positive thoughts in my mind, and if so, waves a magic wand and grants my every desire.

It’s so transactional. And a little creepy, like if I don’t sit on Santa’s lap and ask nicely, I might end up with a sack of coal.

What feels more true to me is that I am in an ongoing, emergent CONVERSATION with the Universe. I ask, and then listen in for a response. Back and forth, call and response, response and call, call and response.

And the response isn’t some canned answer from On High. It is new and fresh, co-created on the spot, emerging into its true shape AS we converse and BECAUSE we are conversing.

However, the response never seems to be a full plan; it’s one step. The response isn’t a full vision, it’s a scrap of an idea. A breadcrumb. A piece of a puzzle.

When my coach reminded me of this Breadcrumb Technique, it was my turn to laugh. This is exactly how I make art. The Breadcrumb Technique is how my creative process works, so why should it be different for the troubled areas of my life?

Yesterday, while I was prepping for a class I was to teach later in the day, a line of a song jumped out at me:

I want to be shameless
like the sun.

Shameless. Like the sun. The sun is so damn shameless, isn’t She? Shines full-out no matter who’s watching, judging, or finger-wagging. The brighter and hotter the better. Shine and burn, shine and burn, for an eon or two, until She burns out and turns back to star-dust.

I want that.

I wrote it on a sticky note and stuck it on the wall above my desk. 

Shameless sticky-note: 

Breadcrumb #1

And then later in the evening, into my mind came an image of a woman sitting, seen from the back, her knees like mountains and the sun rising between. With the shameless words written in raised gold letters all over her shoulder blades.

Shameless image:

Breadcrumb #2

And so I have my next painting to paint, thanks to the Breadcrumb Technique. No, I do not yet have a plan for how to fix my life, but I’m pretty stoked to be in an intimate two-way with The Creatrix.

If you’d like to join me in applying the Breadcrumb Technique the emergent conversation with the Universe here’s how I’m going about it:

  1. Strike up a conversation with the Universe.

    You might share what’s on your heart, what’s not working, where you’re in pain, what you are curious about, a desire you have, or ask for some advice.

  2. Listen/observe/sense for a response.

    Pay attention to whatever jumps out at you, in whatever way it happens to be interesting or compelling to you. Interesting. Compelling. To you.

    That uniquely interesting or compelling morsel might jump out at that moment, or later. Whatever jumps out, is a breadcrumb. For you.

  3. Write it down.

    Or put it on a sticky note and put it up.

    Keep going.

  4. Don’t worry right now if the breadcrumbs are mismatched and motley.

    At some point, they will probably form a pattern or a path. And then you’ll look back over that trail of breadcrumbs and where they led you, see the stunning intelligence of it all, have a cool manifestation story to tell, and have an interesting part of your life to live.

Enjoy conversing with the Universe,

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