Vision boards have become very popular in the self-care and personal growth communities. People use vision boards as tools to inspire, motivate, and attract a desired goal or lifestyle into their lives. But what if your deepest desire has less to do with the details of your own life and more to do with the world we live in? Such a desire lives in my heart: a world of carefree and innocent children (including our inner child) who are nurtured through an educational environment that only knows love…not fear, not judgment, not conditional worthiness…only unconditional love. How can a vision that’s bigger than my life be manifested into the world? Let me start by bringing the “vision” itself into the world. 

A vision for education

Like many PhD students, I had a case of post-PhD depression after successfully defending my dissertation. The future looked so uncertain. I didn’t want to go back to a 9-5 professional job; I wanted to continue in academia yet I found the systemic issues in academia oppressive; and I did not have the self-confidence to “make it” as a self-employed entrepreneur. At that time, I asked myself if my personal life was all perfect and I got everything I wanted, meaning that I was at peace internally with my external reality, what would I still wish for? What came to mind was a world of happy children. And like flourishing plants that grow in supportive environments, these happy children necessitated a loving and nurturing educational system. 

Whether it was the passion to hold space for the ideal, a means to kill time, or procrastination from focusing on my own life, I used what I learned from New Age spirituality and life coaching circles to create a digital vision board for education. In fact, my Vision for Education was the first ever project I created on Canva. Although the images I used were mostly of children, I know that these happy children are also symbolic of the repressed inner child within students and academics I encountered in graduate school as well as the archetypal innocence of knowledge I want to protect. This container for the “beginner’s mind” appreciates beauty and reflection, encourages fun and curiosity, nurtures unconditional belonging and respect for self and others.

Two years later, life is still uncertain and I’m still working through outer and inner challenges. During this time, the vision board sat at the bottom of my Canva project list as new creative projects filled my account—projects that have been testing my ability to set healthy boundaries and the integrity to be creative without external validation. I can’t say that I’ve passed the test, but I must admit, I’ve become a little bit more wiser and a little bit more trusting of life since the creation of this board.

Something in me tells me that it’s time to dust off the self-doubt and the limited belief that what has been real so far is what can only be possible in the future, and bring forth the vision into a new reality. The children are waiting…they’ve existed long before you and I were born and continue to exist in the hearts of future humanity. Let them flourish!

collage of happy children and landscapes
What’s your vision for education? You can make your own digital vision board for the world you desire with Canva.
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