A Beautiful Pinterest

Want DIRECT access to your inner essential self’s wisdom? Here are four Boards you can create to justify pinning deepen that relationship.

The “+10” Board — Your visual Body Compass.

What to pin: Images that create welcome physical sensations in your body.

How: Hold on — I am not thinking Fifty Shades of Anything or even Bo Derek! I mean tune up your always-accurate personal Body Compass (as described here or here) so you know how you want to feel — that’s a “+10.” Usually its some version of what Martha Beck calls a “shackles off” sense of freedom. Pin ANY picture that makes you viscerally sense YOUR particular flavor of positive.

>I think this is what we already DO on Pinterest,

which accounts for its enormous appeal!<

Why: The unconscious mind communicates through images — not so much with words. And the unconscious mind has a LOT to say. It reportedly absorbs six orders of magnitude more information than does the conscious mind (that’s six extra ZEROS at the end of the number). Since it has been observing your preferences, gifts, and talents for your entire life, your inner self knows a lot about what gives you joy — what you are best suited to give to this world. But we can’t always extract that knowledge from our non-verbal inner wisdom. Pinterest to the rescue! Let your unconscious choose the images. Don’t think. Go quickly. Be a prolific pinner without care for “consistency” or practicability. We’re just after the feeling here.

Then: Spend a few minutes a day wallowing in (and adding to) the joy of your “+10” images. The more you get used to feeling free, the more normal it seems. As psychologists know, humans have a knack for creating/reproducing conditions that FEEL NORMAL to them.  Pinterest lets you practice creating your ideal norm.

The “Everybody” Board — Your visual permission slip.

What to pin: Pictures of people that do/would encourage you to reach your +10 feeling of joy and freedom in the way you want!

How: Write down things, places, activities, times, and people that have given you a +8, 9, or 10 feeling (no matter how small or seemingly random). For each item, list people who you think did  or would approve — they can be real people you know, live people you’ve never met, historical figures, or fictional characters. Next, write down some things that have put you on the negative side of the Body Compass. List people that were or would be sorry, puzzled, or even appalled that such yuckiness was part of your life. Look for photos of the people listed — YOUR people.

Why: As herd animals, humans know that in order to be safe and successful Everybody MUST Be On Your Side because nobody wants to be left behind when an enemy tribe attacks or deprived of food when famine strikes. We’ve extrapolated this social imperative to modern times BUT the funny catch is that your definition of Everybody — what sociologists call the “generalized other” — is based on only about five or six folks. Mine is too. (Five or six different Everybodies which gives us some idea how totally non-absolute the concept is!)  Luckily, we can shape our ideas of Everybody by increasing our exposure to people who would be THRILLED for us to feel free and joyful in any way we want.

Then: Whenever you find yourself yearning for something but thinking “Everybody will hate me if I do this!” — or “What will Everybody say?” — open up this board and look at your allies. I can already tell you what THEY will say: “Yay!” (At least that’s what I got from Albert Einstein and Josephine Baker just today.)

The “Protectors” Board — Your visual amulet.

What to pin: Gems, colors, plants, animal familiars, mythical figures, and places that are your refuge — your guardians.

How: Research what’s said to be auspicious for your astrological sign, Chinese Zodiac year, Ayurvedic type, or personality type. Whatever resonates with you. Search for images that match the feeling you want with those items in photographic perfection. AND/OR think of animal, plant, rock, river, weather, rooms, artwork, or anything in your past that filled you with that deeply interactive safe beloved sensation. Search for an image that captures it. For example, one of my earliest memories is of looking through our backyard fence on the Pine Ridge Reservation at the golden grasses of the Great Plains that stretched for basically ever from there and of this one big yellow horse that would come bend it’s nose to mine and gently exchange breath with me. A pleasurable twenty minutes of searching images turned up one that could have been taken by three-year old me.

Why: Call it luck, energetic protection, or self-hypnosis… if it makes you feel safe, I am all for it.

What then: Before heading out to a scary or taxing situation, after encountering an energy vampire — anytime you need a boost — open this board and allow the images to permeate your being. Ahhh.

The “Artist as a Young Dog” Board — Your visual metaphor.

What to pin/How: Think of some thorny issue in your life. Now imagine if you could represent it as a person, place, thing, or activity. Go find and pin images of “THAT.”

Why: Our unconscious minds LOVE to play/work/communicate with symbol. [The important word is “play!” Take the following instructions lightly and in whatever order feels pleasant to you.]

What then: Sit back and look at your board. Consider:

  • Three adjectives or phrases describing your collected images of “THAT.”
  • The purpose of “THAT.”
  • The message “THAT” has for you (pretend you ARE the thing and ask it what it wishes to tell your conscious mind).

Pondering the images and your response, ask yourself “How is my thorny issue like “THAT?”

Consider any changes you might wish for in “THAT” or in your thorny issue. Look for new images that carry the feel you’re looking for. Add them to your board.

And the next time you wonder if it’s okay for you to invest moments of your precious life on Pinterest, just click on Everybody and let them gaze into your eyes with the answer!

PS — Many thanks to my friend and colleague Wendy, whose whole-hearted approach to Pinterest (and EVERYTHING) formed my thoughts on this subject — and whose glorious boards actually enhance my life in a very tangible way. Would that she were in everybody’s Everybody.

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