Not your same old business-as-usual take on vision

SpiralOverGoldenField.pngIt’s the time of year when everyone is talking about creating a vision, strategy, plan, and goals for 2016. Think about it. How many emails have come into your inbox in recent weeks promising to help you finally get crystal clear so you can rock it in the coming year?

It’s natural, of course, with the current year approaching completion and a new year inviting like a blank canvas, awaiting the brush strokes of creative expression.

We love the sense of wide-open possibility it offers. Wild, generative, fecund.

And so we immediately want to slap some order onto it because god-forbid we enter into such raw potentiality without having a rational plan!

I’m not for a moment saying that having a vision isn’t important. Vision is the starting point. Out of it we craft some degree of strategy, plan, goals, and/or projects to serve as a guide.

Yet my experience is that vision is often approached from a rather left-brained, primarily strategic, even static perspective. And if we’re not careful, it can also end up coming too much from the ego, which can color it with fear.

So there’s this idea that to do anything you have to first get crystal-clear on your vision so you know exactly where you’re going.

You identify a desired end-point and then define all the things that need to happen sequentially so that your uber-clear vision can be realized. And then off you go, with blinders slapped on so you don’t get distracted, marching toward your destination.

The truth is that this approach has rarely worked for me. Not the crafting of this kind of vision, nor the unfolding of it. And I know I’m not alone in this regard.

woman-ladder.jpgThere are multiple problems with this approach, one being it presumes that you can get crystal-clear on your vision right from the get-go. And that’s not necessarily true. Having that expectation can actually create a lot of performance pressure and disappointment when it comes to visioning.

For me personally, I’ve discovered that the bigger my sense of vision is as well as the farther out I try to vision, the less likely it is to come into sharp focus, especially in the early stages.

More often, I get a broad brushstroke sense of it and then have to feel my way toward it, listening for how it wants to happen in the world, trusting, and taking action accordingly.

This approach requires me to be present and receptive to what actually is emerging instead of to what I had already envisioned, since both the vision itself and the manifestation of it evolve as they come to meet each other.

It’s an approach that recognizes just how much things can change along the way, and how much the Mystery can trump any pre-conceived vision.

This process can’t be forced or bent to your will, which is where things can get sticky for the ego because when we get a vision, especially one we fall in love with, we’re determined to make it happen. And we get all kinds of upset when it doesn’t go the way we want it to.

Another problem with holding vision this way is it will have you marching straight ahead to whatever vision you so carefully identified, which could very well have you missing extraordinary opportunities you just couldn’t see from your earlier vantage point.

And if your ego was driving the process when you came up with your vision, then you’ll miss the true possibilities available because the ego will tend to create more of what it already knows, instead of something truly breathtakingly new.

And yet, our traditionally left-brain, strategic approach to business prioritizes the “get crystal-clear” perspective on visioning.

I’m not saying this doesn’t work for those who resonate with it. However, it often doesn’t align for those of us who have a more creative, organic, and/or divergent nature.

If that’s you, setting goals and realizing a vision in this way isn’t always easy, fruitful, or even particularly satisfying.

SoulSeeker.jpgSo I want to offer you a much more you a much more right-brain, emergent perspective on vision.

You might even think of it as a more feminine take on vision, a perspective that sees vision as dynamic, alive, and as something that continues to evolve, as long as you stay in relationship with it and take action on what has already been revealed to you.

I tend to think in metaphors, so here’s a hopefully useful metaphor.

Imagine your vision is like a hill way off on the horizon. You can see it with fairly good clarity from where you are – not the same level of detail as you could if you were right in front of it, but with enough clarity to energize you and get you going.

So you realize that’s where you want to go and you begin your journey in that direction.

As you approach the hill, more of it comes into view. You realize it’s actually a mountain and that it’s part of a long mountain range stretching off in the distance.

Now you can see valleys and canyons and rocky cliffs and open plains. You can see things you couldn’t see before, and this informs choices you make about how you move ahead.

What if vision was like this?  What if vision was really an aspect of Vision, a map of your becoming, infused with an innate sense of future possibility?

It’s something we all have access to by virtue of our innate human capacity for vision.

And what if visioning is about allowing yourself to bring into focus whatever chunk of Vision you can access from where you are?

From this perspective, what you likely think of as vision is actually just the part of your Vision that’s this side of the horizon and currently available to you. It’s the part you can respond to now.

Now if you can’t access your vision this side of the horizon, don’t fret. There’s likely some fog hanging over your landscape – mental fog, emotional fog, fear-induced fog.

It doesn’t mean you don’t have Vision. It just means you need to clear out the fog so you can begin to access it.

Most of your Vision actually lies beyond the horizon.

YinYangMapofFuture.pngSome of it is just the other side of the horizon. You can feel it, much like you can feel the sun in the early dawn, before it actually rises over the horizon.  And so you can respond to it even though you can’t yet “see” it.

The rest of your Vision is so far on the other side of the horizon so as to be unavailable to you, at least for now. You can trust it’s there, trust deeply, but you can’t yet access it. You may not even be able to imagine it. That’s okay.

Five years ago I could never have envisioned where I currently am with my great work and my business, nor how it’s evolving in new ways that are astonishing me. It was simply too far beyond the horizon for me to see it or even sense it.

These days a lot of my vision is still beyond the horizon. I use to fret about that, feeling like I was somehow “vision deficient”. Now I know that’s not at all the case.

I’m actually quite visionary. I’m deeply connected to my world-changing vision and committed to unfolding it, whatever it is.

I trust it will emerge in right timing and in the right way for me to carry into the world. How it ultimately expresses itself may even astonish me.

One of the things I’m learning in my shamanic studies is that vision isn’t something that’s solely out in the future, like we tend to imagine it.

It’s a map of your becoming that you’re constantly calling in. So vision is actually here and now as well as “in the future”.

Does this perspective mean that visioning isn’t worth doing? Absolutely not! Visioning is a powerful process that will magnetize you and pull you forward toward it. Doing it develops your visionary muscle.

If you stay in relationship with your Vision, notice clues along the way, and move forward in response to what’s been revealed to you in your vision, however vague or detailed it may be, then more will come into focus.

Then the next chunk of your Vision that what was previously on the other side of the horizon comes into view and is available for you to respond to, move toward, and manifest.

And you can actually cultivate your capacity to call in your vision, to make relationship with what’s out on the horizon, or what’s beyond the horizon, and call it closer so you can begin to unfold it now.

As you do that, you allow it to evolve and refine, and you embody the vision. This propels you into the next level of your becoming where the next expression of your vision is available to you. And so it goes.

It’s a softer, more generative, more shamanic way of seeing and receiving the vision that’s ready to reveal itself, instead of reaching and even grasping for a vision that’s not yet available to you. Or trying to force one that’s not right.

Just to be clear, I’m not saying that there’s no place for strategy, plans, goals, and/or projects.

Rather, I’m suggesting that first you come into right relationship with your Vision/vision, and then allow these more on-the-ground structures and tools to emerge from that and in support of that. And always be willing to be fluid in the unfolding of it all!

womanMWfield.jpgOne of the ways I love to call forth vision for the new year is by taking a Medicine Walk with the soul of my business. I usually start doing this in the late fall and sometimes I get the insight I need in a single Medicine Walk. Other times a series is what’s needed.

Basically I let the guidance I receive inform the vision for how my business wants to express itself in the coming year. It works well because it bypasses my clever thinking mind and instead, partners with the soul of my business and taps into the field of what’s truly new.

Once the vision has emerged, then I can give it some shape with strategy, plans, goals, and/or projects.

In January I’m going to start offering Medicine Walks with the Soul of Your Business, for quite an affordable fee. If you can’t wait till then because you want access to your vision now, email me back and I’ll see if I can make it happen for you this month.

Otherwise, I’d love to hear how this visionary perspective on vision lands for you! And how it might inform you and your business in 2016.

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