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Vision Boards created hope for seniors in rehabilitation  

Some seniors recovering from surgeries and illnesses found hope when I had the opportunity to conduct a vision board workshop at a local rehabilitation center my dad was in before he passed away.

My husband and I and two staff members helped them to create the life of their dreams on their vision board.  It was amazing as we watched the images emerge into beautiful, colorful stories of whom, how and where they want to be upon returning home from the rehabilitation center.

Over the years, I worked with people of all ages, sharing what I learned through experiences in life; motivating, inspiring and guiding them so they too can connect to what brings them joy and peace, to live their lives in a happier, more positive state of mind.

Prior to the Workshop  

Prior to the workshop I cut out pictures, phrases, quotes and sayings. The patients also picked out their own that   meant something special to them. Some of the images picked were: vacation areas, people walking, pets, family, words such as health, happiness, take control, stand tall, walk strong and the list goes on.

I started out by asking everyone - What are you looking forward to when getting home? Patients shouted out answers.  (This is not my usual way of conducting the workshop as it is much more extensive and we set intentions and go over affirmations).  

One said "Selling my house", which was fascinating being that something lead me to cut out a for sale/sold house sign before the workshop, so there was her first image.  

Other responses were "my dog/cat",  "privacy", "a cup of coffee on my deck" and " going to the local market", and again, the night before my intuition lead me cut out a picture of a local market.  Hooray.  She got to use that one too.

As I spoke to everyone individually I asked questions such as - What is your life’s desire? Where will you visit? What haven’t you completed yet that you wish to do when you get home?

Vision Boards help create a new vision  

I explained how this is one of the steps for developing and creating a brand new vision. If you are unaware of the concept of vision boards, briefly, a vision board is a wonderful manifestation tool that helps you to create the life you always wanted. Though it sounds too simple, I've been creating vision books, boxes and boards for half my life and I’ve conducted many workshops and vision boards have been an integral part in helping me stick to and achieve many, many goals over the years. I’ve been astonished at the outcomes I’ve created by what looks to be a simplistic collage on my wall, not only for myself but in my marriage as well.

Before the workshop, what I found by observing the patients in rehab was some were thrilled they made it through surgery one day and the next day calling themselves invalids, even though it wasn’t true.  They were just giving up hope. My thought was why not have them look at pictures of themselves dancing, walking or just smiling or cut outs of people doing the same. Why not turn their negatives into positives?  My true believe in life is "Whatever you focus on is what you get, good or bad, so why not focus on the good"?

Reconnecting with self  

My hope was to reconnect them with the person they were before their illness, who they always wanted to be or what they’ve always wanted to do, have or achieve.  Here are some of the comments I received.

93 year old woman who barely talks to anyone "This is so beautiful", "I'm so excited", "This really made me happy, thank you".  

Another participant - "This was so therapeutic, I’m so glad I came".  "I feel happy just looking at this already".
"I think this will brighten my days here, thank you so much, I’m glad someone talked me into coming".  

Another - "I needed this.  I was ready to give up and this somehow has given me some hope as silly as that sounds".  

I wanted to shed happy tears because I felt like maybe, just maybe, their vision boards will give them hope and bring a smile to their face every day while at the center and when they get home.  From the buzz going around, when I returned the next day,  some already realized their dreams of going home and living a productive life again were not so far out of their reach.  I’m honored to have been a part of this.  

Every workshop is different for every person and age group but the results are always the same; a happier, more positive outlook on life.  I feel as if I helped find a little peace within them and some already created a thought process of hope, motivation and willingness to go onto a healthier, more fulfilled life.  What more can I ask for? I am truly blessed to have been a part of this very special day.  

My dad  

The main reason I decided to conduct this particular workshop was because my dad was in rehabilitation after surgery. Whenever he felt like he wasn’t progressing I would tell him to focus on the positive and all that he has to look forward coming home. I asked dad what he wanted to do when he gets home. He said, “Do you think I will be able to ride a horse again?” A light bulb went off in my head; why not have him create his own vision board with everything he wants to do once he gets home.  

The idea blossomed; why not offer a workshop for all the residents to give them hope. At first dad asked, “When is that thing you are doing?” sounding as if he just thought it was arts and crafts. Then as I started asking him what pictures he wanted me to bring in for him, he began getting excited. Dad said at the end of the workshop, “That was good” (as if he felt surprised he enjoyed it) as he heard everyone else commenting. Even though I visited him daily, the day he passed when I came to see him he asked with total enthusiasm, “Hey are you here to have another one of those classes?” He was looking forward to the next one so know it brought him some joy before passing. Since that day, others have asked if I would be offering another workshop.

I will be offering on-line workshops end of December and early January for anyone interested.

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