Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Vision boards look like the new big thing lately, but it is only the phrasing that is new.  When I was in my teens they were called treasure maps and even earlier when I was in grammar school they were simply called collages.  Treasure map resonates much more for me than vision board because I'm writing an entire series of books about a man seeking treasure.  But, whatever the phraseology, it is all good because the end result is the same.

So what is a vision board and what is its purpose?  Simple, it is a method of allowing your subconscious mind to guide you in choosing words and images so that you can see what it is you truly want as well as the road to manifesting your dreams.  You don't need any fancy materials, just a collection of magazines and other printed material, some glue and a canvas of decent size.

I have made many treasure maps in my life, in fact my big board is just a larger and more functional version of a treasure map.  But it was my conscious mind that put the big board together, so when my good friend Maude Schellhous sent me an invite to Hypno Studio for guided vision boarding, I was anxious to attend.

Maude and I go back a while, well over 10 years now starting when Clyde suggested we get hypnosis to help get us through a rough patch in our relationship.  At the time, Maude was in business with another therapist who took on Clyde, and I - thanking all my well aligned lucky stars - was given over to Maude.  My sessions with her changed my life in ways both subtle and broad, because of her, I easily let go of a lifetime of old, useless hurts that I had been clinging to desperately.

The most important treasure that I ever uncovered during my sessions with Maude is Nelly.  Other people would call Nelly my spirit guide or my angel, but neither of those terms is the truth.  I am a trinity, we are all a trinity of Me, Myself and I, and Nelly is I.  Me is the who I am right now, Cairn from California; Myself is all those other people I have been before this life and I is the eternal me, the essential me and the culmination of my journey.

Nelly has always been with me of course, but I never saw her before Maude.  Nelly is a very old woman with a stern visage and long steel gray hair, she lives on a sunlit prairie with a tall chain of bluish mountains on the west side and a huge fig tree on the east.  Nelly always wears a yellow gingham dress that sets off her pale blue eyes and she is frequently not alone on her prairie.  Until last night when everything changed.

There were about 15 of us last night, all stretched out on yoga mats and blankets on the floor as Maude's practiced tones put us into a relaxed state of being.  Once you've been hypnotized, it doesn't take much to go back under - at least for me - and my inner wisdom perks right up as soon as it hears her words.  It was no different than a solo session in a comfy chair and my mind went where it always goes when I'm under, out to the prairie.

At first I thought there was something wrong because it was dark on the prairie, everything was saturated in a deep, dark indigo blue including Nelly.  She was not garbed in her faded yellow gingham anymore, last night she was wearing a long indigo dress with a strip of pure white lace around the throat.  And she was not standing on the prairie, Nelly was floating above it with a sea of twinkling stars sparkling around her and a copy of The Last Prospector tucked in her arms.

There was only one other time that Nelly was not dressed in yellow gingham, she wore a shiny pink dress the day that Maude regressed me.  It was Nelly's way of acknowledging the help that Maude had given us because pink holds a special meaning to Maude that I found out about afterwords.

When Maude brought us all back out, I was a woman on a mission.  I cut out all the vivid dark blue images that I saw and was especially drawn to round things like a pristine white bowl and rings encrusted with blue and white gems.  Pictures of people leaping with abandon, a random paragraph about creation stories, a school of tiny blue fish and a photograph of a mason jar filled with small white Christmas lights on a dark blue background are the images my mind keeps seeing today.

My treasure maps are not works of art, I've seen many that are but that is not my style.  The minute that I try to prettify my collages is the exact same minute that my conscious mind has usurped control, so my treasure maps are a visual hot mess.  To other people.  I see those seemingly random bursts of images and I see my own thought process, I never claimed to have an ordered mind and my treasure maps are ample evidence of that.

I'm still not exactly sure what message Nelly is trying to send me, there's the obvious one that I am doing the right (write) thing with my life.  Which is good to know, btw, Nelly doesn't always approve of how I go about things.  But there is something more, it's all that indigo that keeps making my inner dog bark.  In my book series, the Yndigon tier is one of the most influential in Solstice and the Yndigons prefer to worship the dark twin Ynoirya.

Ynoirya is chaos and destruction, she almost destroyed the indigo tier once but the people who survived the 'great uplift' did not curse or blame her.  Instead they built a cultural tradition that embraces the blessings of Ynoirya and go on to create one of the strongest communities in Solstice.  The Yndigons are an interesting group, inspiring awe and revulsion often at the same time, but there must be something else there that Nelly wants me to see.

But I don't see it yet and that's the thing with vision boards, the meanings aren't always immediately clear.  Often it takes years before a person sees the connection between an image and how it affected their life. It will come, my inner wisdom will bubble up with something good when I'm thinking about something else.  Or not, maybe it's just the question that is the thing itself, seeing as how my engine runs on queries that would not be impossible at all.

You don't need hypnosis or a special class to make your own vision board, but I recommend it if you get the chance.  Is the now the time for you to see what your inner wisdom is trying to tell you?  Absolutely yes!  Do it for fun if nothing else because you just might be surprised at what pops out.

And, if you are feeling especially treat-worthy, give Maude a call and set up a session.  If you tell her Cairn sent you, I get candy :)  Just kidding, I don't get kick backs.


  1. I made a vision board for the first time last year. I am looking forward to living in this vision as I continue to grow my Divorce Guidance business.

  2. This reminds me a lot of some of the books I read from Lynn Andrews. I have shoe boxes full with pictures I have saved over the years, because for what ever reason they speak to me. I also have made collages, but I am not sure if they can be called vision boards. I think Maude and I are a bit far away to do a session though... But who knows what road lays ahead of us.

    1. Try going through that shoe box and pulling out half a dozen or so of the images. I like to do this process quickly, so my conscious mind doesn't engage. Scan and grab, then just lay them out on the table and have a look. It's kind of a treasure map thumbnail :)

  3. Many years ago I used to make collages all the time - for myself and as gifts for others. Never called them vision boards or treasure maps. They were just pictures I liked to put together. And, the ones I made as gifts incorporated family photos and memorabilia.

    Just about 10 days ago a colleague wrote a blog post about vision boards and I thought the timing was right for me to do one. I've collected many phrases and words that resonate with me. Still looking for more pictures, but I'm on the road to putting one together.
    Thanks for sharing your experience. ~Debra

  4. I have never heard about vision boards before but they sound really interesting!

  5. Fun post, Cairn, I also like making vision boards. Haven't done one yet this year but will get to it eventually. I like how you create your board, trusting your intuition and not trying to make it pretty. It can be hard to let go of that need to make it aesthetically pleasing. I find the most powerful collages are the ones that I create without any plan but just with whatever images come.

    1. Pretty is for canapes, intuition is generally quick and vicious. And what's up with not yet making a board this year? It's already the 9th of January!! My god woman, Arbor Day is just around the corner and then where will you be????

  6. I love the term treasure map rather than vision board
    I need to update mine
    Thanks for the reminder


  7. Hi, Cairn! ~

    Love, love, love this post!

    I teach a concept called Super Celestial Vision Boarding which combines Vision Boarding with other practices such as Astrology, Astronomy, Feng Shui, Tarot, Dream Analysis and many others. I have not yet incorporated Hypnosis, but you've got me thinking now about inviting a guest speaker for that purpose!

    One of my specialties is helping people get even more out of a their current Vision Board. It doesn't have to take years anymore to see what your Vision Board is telling you ;-)

    Here's a link to one of my posts on the subject -- I have a feeling you'll especially like the movie clip with the Black Widow