Who would have ever thought of Pinterest as a pathway to healing or growth? I would have never guessed but that’s exactly the tool I’ve discovered in Pinterest. Crazy at it sounds.
Once upon a time I thought Pinterest was a site where mostly women visited and shared knitting projects and recipes. Of course, some do. But there is also so much more. Still, it doesn’t amount to much more than a giant social bulletin board for sharing and advertising. So what did I find there that was of such value to me?
Let me ask you a few questions first. Though they may seem completely unrelated. How much of yourself do give away every day? How many parts of yourself do you adapt or alter or conform for all the various roles you play or people you strive to please in your life? The initial answer may be a resounding NONE, I am my own person! But if you look a little closer you might find that like me, you actually do these things quite often. We play dozens of rolls every day. Employee, boss, friend, lover, husband, wife, son or daughter, friend, neighbor, activist, healer, parent, advocate…. and this only touches on the different roles we all fill. You may believe that you are completely authentic and true to yourself but the reality is that different roles require different parts of us, different approaches.
No matter how hard we may try to remain true to who we believe we are, it is easy to lose sight of our true north. When life demands practicality and survival, it is easy to set aside our dreamer in favor of something more secure. When the people in our lives turn to us frequently and want us to fulfill their needs it is easy to lose sight of our own needs. Parents coach their children to be responsible and push them to be successful and in the process they can lead them into choices that look sound and wise but feel oddly off course. Maybe our careers require sacrifices and at times require that we modify ourselves to earn the promotion or to get along with difficult co-workers.
This is exactly where I found myself. In the middle of my life, stable, successful, plugging along just fine and then realizing that a few parts of me had come up missing. I don’t know where or when I lost them. But bit by bit it became harder and harder to distinguish between my true north and all of the roles I was so successfully filling. I was doing everything I was supposed to be doing. So why did it feel like I had forgotten something very important about myself? Why do I define myself by all the things I am? An employer, a daughter, a mother, an advocate for my special needs child, a lover, a friend. All incredible parts of my life! No question about it. Yet is that WHO I am?
Even though it is a recent discovery for me (within the past two months) I have no clear recollection of how I came to Pinterest. Perhaps a friend posted something I read on Facebook and clicked on. However it happened I found myself there at the perfect time.
Every year I share New Years Intentions with a long time friend of mine. Shout out to Wisconsin!! We call them intentions instead of resolutions. Maybe because we seldom fulfill them all or maybe because resolutions is just too firm of word when you are trying to wiggle out of them later in the year 🙂 At any rate, this list of good intentions amounts to things we want to pull into our lives, new things we want to try, goals we’d like to accomplish and on my list had included an intention to start a vision board. I thought that a vision board might be a creative and relatively easy way to start piecing together what I was missing. If I was missing anything at all.
I could collect and add pictures, quotes, or other snippets that inspired me. The kind of house I’d love to live in, the places I’d love to travel to, the books that I wanted to read, the projects I’d like to try, so on and so forth and at the end of the year I would stand back and take a good hard look at what the board was telling me. Am I headed in the wrong direction? Am I ignoring some vital areas of my life? I would look at the board and it would be like a road sign pointed north. A direction to follow.
Enter Pinterest! Wow. In one place I can create as many dang vision boards as I want. I can search thousands, millions, of photos for inspiration or I can post anything from anywhere on the big wide web! It’s AWESOME and it’s been very enlightening for me.
I’m not saying that in a few weeks of pinning that I have figured out all of life. But I am starting to piece together a more complete picture of who I am and the things I want to experience in life. The challenge was not to repin in excess. I can only pin those things that resonate inside me, that really truly fit. They have to feel like they have purpose, feel natural or feel inspiring to me. That’s when I know to repin. All other things of interest I either pass by or hit the like button but I don’t add them to one of my boards.
For example, I love Victorian homes. I find them charming and I enjoy looking at them. I might even say something like “can you imagine living in this cool old house. Wouldn’t that be incredible?!” But, when I really evaluate it I don’t want to live in a giant Victorian house. It’s not ME. There are parts of that lifestyle that appeal to me but many more that do not fit.
What is my goal? INSPIRATION! And maybe awe. Perhaps focus. As well as the beginnings of a map. I’d say the goal is learning to hear that inner voice again. Living life as art again. Learning I’m more than the sum of all the things I am and I do and that here in the middle of my life it is ok to dream for me as much as I give for others. That perhaps I can give even more when I remember the off beat dreamer, artist, life lover in me that I have forgotten to nurture along the way.
Here are just a few of my pins. I have 14 boards and I am just getting started!
From fashions that fit my soul
From live where you can dream
From inspiring business
From places that awe me:
I’m curious how many are using Pinterest and what they are using it for… drop me a note via leave a comment. Would love to hear from you!!