After graduating from journalism school, Mary Beth LaRue had moved to Washington, D.C. to work as an editor for a major news publication. But despite landing a dream job and all the trappings of a successful life, she felt stressed out, unhappy and unfulfilled.
Fast-forward 10 years, and she’s living the life of her dreams in Southern California. The images that were once on her vision board—inspiring spiritual work, a home by the beach, traveling the world—have become the scenes of her everyday life. Here, she shares how to make the transformation.
5 Steps to Make Your Vision Board a Reality
1. Notice what’s not working, and learn to say “no.”
My early 20s were a challenging time. My always-busy life in Washington, D.C., didn’t feel fulfilling, and I wasn’t happy working long hours in a cubicle. My life looked successful and happy from the outside, sure, but I felt like I was just checking items off a list of what adult life “should” be.
I started asking myself, Is this really what I want? Then I was able to identity and begin to say “no” to all the things in my life that made me feel drained rather than inspired.
2. Pay attention to what lights up your soul.
Once we start saying “no” to what we don’t want, we open up the space to say “yes” to positive change. I created a vision of my dream life by paying close attention to what inspired me. Taking notice of what made my soul light up was like following the breadcrumbs back home to who I truly am.
I tapped things that inspired and spoke to me on a deep level, like yoga, writing, living a more bohemian lifestyle on the West Coast and spending lots of time outside.
3. Integrate those things into your life.
Here’s where the real work comes in. When you figure out what lights up your soul, seek out opportunities (both big and small) to bring more of it into your life.
When I discovered my love of yoga, I started taking daily classes and eventually signed up for a teacher training. On a trip to visit a friend in Los Angeles, I found so much of what I had been visualizing for my lifestyle. Within a month, I moved to Venice!
4. Don’t aim at success.
Any success that has come to me is by virtue of the fact that I absolutely love what I do, and I’d do it even if I was never recognized for it. Instead of aiming at success (or at a life that looks good on Instagram), aim to do more of what you truly love, and you’ll likely find happiness along the way.
5. Trust that everything happens for a reason.
Setbacks are a part of the journey. When something doesn’t work out, I’ve learned to recognize that it wasn’t ever for me. It’s not easy to be rejected by a potential employer or romantic partner, but I believe that when something doesn’t happen, that’s because it wasn’t right for me.
ABOUT OUR EXPERT
Mary Beth LaRue is a Los Angeles–based yoga instructor and life-design coach. She loves riding her bike, scribbling ideas over coffee, and taking long road trips with her family (including her English bulldog, Rosy). Inspired by her teachers Schuyler Grant, Elena Brower, and Kia Miller, LaRue has been teaching yoga for more than eight years, helping others connect to their inner bliss. Learn more at marybethlarue.com.