Hello everyone! I apologize for the long hiatus on this blog. In the time I’ve been gone, I’ve written two novels, and published one you can find here on Amazon. 

Now, I know what I know, and what I know is that vision boards are kind of insanely awesome. I made my first one this week as part of a book club for teachers that I’m facilitating. We’re studying Teach Like a Pirate and twining that together with mindfulness practice, as the I in P.I.R.A.T.E stands for Immersion, which is just a fancy way of saying being present for your students. 

This article gives a fantastic description of what vision boards are all about, and why you need them in your life. My board is so big that I haven’t finished it yet. When I do, I’ll try to add a picture here. But, for now, let’s take a look at a few of the things I chose to include on my board, and why. 

Leslie Hall

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Leslie Hall is, to me, art defined. Yes, she has incredible raps about gem sweaters and having tight pants and body rolls, but what I love most about her is how she styles herself in her own words, “strangely glamorous and unflattering ways.” She’s an Ames, Iowa native, which goes to show you that yes, there are creative artist types in Iowa who do insanely creative things besides grow corn and look at corn. What I love best about her is how she has entirely, wholeheartedly, and unapologetically embraced her plus-size figure without trying to make any claim about being beautiful. In fact, the way she styles herself is straight up ANTI-BEAUTY which makes her a legit force of nature. That is the energy I need in my life. 

Julia Child

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Julia Child is, of course, a cooking genius, and I do love to cook. But for me, Julia symbolizes two very important things. First, tall women who are not apologetic for their size, and who demand to take up space, are friggin’ amazing. I hated being tall growing up because I was taller than the boys for a long while. Oh my God, like that mattered! Gah, I can’t believe I wasted time caring about that. Julia was over six feet tall in the 1940s, which would have been an even more awkward time to be an amazon. She knew she was “no beauty.” In the movie Julie and Julia she jokes with her sister when they are getting dressed up in front of the mirror, “This is as good as it gets!” which I never took to be a lament, but more of an empowering statement. Like, “You know what? This is as good as it gets. This is me, like it or not. I have put forth the required effor to meet your stupid beauty standards.” AND YET she was not afraid to appear on television for years. The other thing I treasure Julia for is how she used to make mistakes on the show and just keep going on. She showed that nobody’s perfect in the kitchen, or in life, but you have to move on with a laugh. 

The Burnt Chicken Nugget Kid

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If you know me, you know I love nothing more than to watch iconic vine compilations. I have many favorites, but one of the most inspiring ones is a little kid filming himself saying. “I love myself. Even though I look like a burnt chicken nugget, I still love myself.” You have to admit, he does look a little like a burnt chicken nugget. But if he can love himself, and I can love him for his candor and message, I can love myself. 

Amazons from “Wonder Woman” and Captain Marvel

The two most important superhero movies in the last decade are Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel. When I saw the first half-hour of Wonder Woman I literally cried. The Amazons were everything I ever wanted of women warriors on the big screen. The filmmakers cast actual female athletes of every shape and skin color to represent these elite warrior women. Watching them kick ass without in any way being sexualized was just… it was everything. Honestly, once Diana left Themyscira the movie went downhill. It was good and everything, but it still had Wonder Woman fawning over babies, eating ice cream, and boning a dude. Now Captain Marvel, that’s a movie. I almost cried again, because here again, I got to see a female superhero treated like a male superhero in a movie, with a real superhero costume that was not centered in any way about showing off Brie Larsen’s sexy bits. Some people think Brie Larson is a bitch because she came into the Marvel universe acting like she owned the place and the other actors who had been together for years on this franchise thought she was up on her high horse. Others also don’t like Captain Marvel’s attitude in Endgame. To that I say, too bad. I hope Brie came in and was like, “Hey I’m not going to fawn all over the rest of you. I’m amazing and I’m here to stay, so sorry if you’re butthurt, Chris Evans.” And when she left earth to fight for other planets? Yeah, sorry, there’s a whole galaxy out there. If dozens of super-powered heroes can’t keep the earth safe without her, that’s their problem. She came back when it counted. 

St. Catherine of Siena

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I recently visited Siena and got to hear a lot about St. Catherine’s story. The thing that struck me the most about her is how she was able to change so much about the church, and thereby her world, by writing. Her letters to the pope convinced him to reform the clergy, and she is known as one of the most important spiritual writers in Catholicism. She had a lot of political power for a woman in her time period, and accomplished much in her short 33 years, all through the power of writing. Obviously, as a writer myself, I want to believe that the pen is mightier than the sword, and that words can change the world. 

Stay tuned for my next installment — Vision Boards, Part II! I told you, my vision board is huge. There are too many things on there for one post. See you next time!