Sylvia Nibley Transformation, business and life coaching, change core beliefs Mon, 12 Jan 2015 05:20:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 23216043 A vision board…and more Sun, 11 Jan 2015 09:52:12 +0000 [content_band inner_container=”true” no_margin=”true” border=”none, top, left, right, bottom, vertical, horizontal, all” padding_top=”40px” padding_bottom=”40px” bg_pattern=”” bg_image=”” parallax=”false”] … [/content_band]


A lot of us love our vision boards. That fun and powerful process of gathering inspiring images that speak to your soul and put your wishes into the shopping cart of the universe.

The colors, the gluesticks…the intention. It’s all good.

Dusty dreams

2009I’ve made a lot of vision boards in my day. Especially in January when the calendar is blank and inviting just like my fresh, white posterboard.

But last year as I gathered piles of magazines to tear up for my annual New Year’s Intentionfest, I realized that all the lovely vision boards I’d made in years past had lost their luster in a couple of months.

Even though I enjoyed the ritual of making the boards, hanging them where I could see them every day and sincerely wanting to “manifest” what the dreamy images were showing, somehow those boards felt stale pretty quickly.

Being a lover of self-inquiry, I paused to ask some questions?

Questions like, “what’s up with that?”

“If these are inspiring images for me, why am I not being energized by them for very long?


The other problem

I’m a dreamer. A big dreamer–which is not the problem–but here’s what is. I actually lasso a lot of those dreams and build them even when it takes a long time. I daresay we could use the word “visionary” here. Which means that I have dozens of ideas and projects that I’m tracking and a LOT of plans and goals that span from days all the way to decades. How do you make things that don’t exist yet? That’s a great question and one I’ve been playing at for a long time.

squareboardI’ve tried all sorts of tools to get the plans for these big dreams into physical form. Mind maps, digital notes, white boards, post-it’s plastered in lines and layers.

They’ve kind of worked. In a way that feels like getting a few brownie points from the great day-planner in the sky, but none of them have really felt good or like they actually fit me. And they’re certainly not inspiring to look at. I mean, really? A wildly creative goddess like me hatching magic from plain poster paper and square sticky notes?

Possible? Yes.
Fun? Not so much.

And definitely not pretty enough to hang on my wall!

Time to pause for more questions:
So what would I want to hang on my wall?

How can I keep track of my visions and priorities in a more inspiring way?

Could I combine the best parts of several tools somehow?

Yes! The inspiration struck.


And here’s what I did in a joyful, creative surge:


• Cut 2 circles of different sizes out of posterboard.

finishedchartSince time doesn’t happen in straight lines and boxes, even though for a few hundred years we’ve been pretending it does (our standard calendar), I decided to go with the closest thing to a spiral that I could make with paper. That immediately felt better. Yes! Life moves in cycles.

• I divided the inner circle into quarters (to mark the solstices and equinoxes, which I love to celebrate), then divided each quarter into 3 sections (to mark the months)

• Then I was ready for pretty pictures!

Based on the impressions I’d gotten in my New Year’s meditation, I collected images that resonated with my big themes and desires for the year and put them around the edge of the large circle.

For the inner circle, I wanted to capture the feel of each season.

And to represent my projects and goals, I printed some small, circular images to use as icons (like my product logos and images from my courses). I glued these onto a background paper, and added a blob of removable sticky putty to the back (the kind you get at office supply stores). These dots get put on the inner wheel for the month where they’ll get my focused attention.

There’s a nice, natural limit to this because only 3 of the project dots will fit in the space of a month, which keeps me from trying to cram too much into my life. Of course, I’ll give attention to many things during a month, but I’ll only allow myself 3 priority areas to focus on.

• I cut a small hole in the middle of the collage circles and used a metal fastener to connect the pieces. As time passes, I turn the inner wheel so that the current month is at the top of the outer circle (in the12 o’clock position).

• Each month as I rotate the wheel, I get to reflect on that season of my life, to reevaluate what the priorities are and move the icons around in a way that feels organic and true to the way life really unfolds–with surprises and gifts and challenges. With illnesses and accidents and opportunities.

The turn of time

2015versionAs the year ended and I moved into the annual pause I love so much to reflect and plan, I thought maybe I’d scrap this thing and start fresh. After all, I made it a whole year ago. But as I felt into creating this year, I realized that almost all of the images I’d been looking at through a whole cycle of seasons still felt alive and inspiring to me.

Quite a surprise after years of dusty vision boards.

So, I refreshed the outer circle with symbols and images that I’d discovered in my recent New Year’s meditation.  Just some simple additions of a few new themes and phrases and this vision-board-calendar-piece-of-art is ready to serve me for a second year. I’m learning that what inspires me is quite perennial.

Now when I look at it every day by my side, I smile and know that what it really is, is a lovely object that holds space for the very best magic. The moments of people and purpose and the kind of creation that doesn’t fit in a box…or even a pretty collage, but turns us around and around in this precious dance of life.


wallshotWhat are YOUR visions?

What kind of tools would help you hold those visions and stay inspired as you work towards them?

Please share what you come up with, so we can all learn!


One question to never ask yourself again Sun, 11 Jan 2015 03:40:20 +0000

whymeThere is one question I recommend you never ask yourself again.

One question, made of 2 little words that together are so insidious, they can instantly put you into victim mode and keep you stuck there for as long as you keep asking it.

Chances are this little question has come into the corners of your mind when something challenging, disappointing or traumatic has happened and once it came sneaking in, it probably stayed a while and brought a load of pain with it.

Just two words and one question mark is all it takes.

“Why me?”

Now, I haven’t forgotten that the whole point of these articles is to develop a habit of asking better questions, and I promise we’ll get there, but for just a brief moment if you can  remember a time in your life that you actually did ask yourself the question “why me?” I think you’ll really get what I mean.

What event or situation led to you ask yourself “why me?”
How does your body feel even remembering that moment in your life?

When I recall asking that question at 13 years old as my dad was diagnosed with the illness he died of 9 months later, I instantly remember the sinking feeling in my belly, the heaviness, the hopelessness.

I didn’t know any better then, but I understand now that unlike a good question, “why me?” is not an opening at all. It’s a dead end. And that’s why I’m suggesting you drop it like kryptonite. It’s one of those questions (and there are more) that doesn’t have a real answer.

“Why me?” is a short road that leads right to shame and unworthiness. Even asking the question assumes there’s something inherently wrong with you, that you deserved that bad thing that happened. That you were somehow singled out for pain.


Once you notice yourself asking a less-than-great question, all it takes is replacing it with a better question and you can instantly access a new state of mind with new possibilities.

Try these questions instead:

Why not me?
What’s the gift in this experience?
What can I learn from this?
What do I want to create?

Here’s a simple way to engage with the power of questions. The Inquiry Card deck has dozens of better questions that can be used in those moments when you feel confused, discouraged, upset, frustrated or scared.

The Cheapskate Question Sat, 10 Jan 2015 03:45:01 +0000 Have you ever noticed that there’s a question behind most everything you do?

The decisions you make. The actions you take. Even the feelings you live with every day.
And you probably don’t even realize what those questions are.

Here’s an example of what I mean.

macbook-proI realized a few months ago it was time to get a new computer. I’ve had the same little Mac laptop for about 6 years and not only was the hard drive completely full (as in I literally had to erase a file to save something else), but I’d also noticed that for the 8-10 hours a day I’m usually on the computer, I was leaning forward and down to be able to read that little screen, which is not so great for my body.
Those kinds of habits add up and probably explain the knots in my shoulders in my otherwise low-stress life.

So I started looking online for a new computer. What I didn’t realize was that my “guiding question,” the question underneath the action I was taking was “how little can I spend?”

Not a great question.

Sure price is one of the considerations, but if it’s the main question and I only succeed in spending the least possible, I miss a lot of other possibilities.



So, once I realized that my guiding question was pretty lame, I replaced it with questions like;

“what computer would support me in doing my best work?”
“what do I really want?”
“what’s my ideal budget?”
“is there such a thing as ‘too big’?”

And check this out. On the very same day I asked these questions, I found a gorgeous 27″ (yes, think movie screen) iMac, that was souped up with all kinds of extras for video and audio production (something I’ll be doing a lot of this year) for the same price I was ready to pay for a new computer.

Talk about a game changer!

I really don’t think I would have been open to this way better possibility and had the clarity to make a quick decision if I hadn’t asked my “better questions.”

I’m happy to say I no longer think there’s such a thing as a computer screen that’s too big. : )


ALL the Inquiry Cards have better questions that can be used in those moments when you feel like a cheapskate.

Give yourself the gift of a better question and draw an Inquiry Card.

Get to the Root of What’s Stopping You…and Pull it Out Like a Weed Fri, 09 Jan 2015 04:29:32 +0000 weedpullHow many times have you made a plan, set a goal, or experienced momentum in some area of your life but then felt thwarted in some way you can’t quite put your finger on?

Have you spent a lot of time, energy and money working to make something happen, but find yourself pushing against barriers and not breaking through to the results you want? Are you running into the same old challenges, even after years of personal growth work?

What if being free of limitations around money, health, work, relationships or ANY area of your life were as simple as weeding a garden? Come find out how it can be.

In this FREE phone workshop you’ll learn:

• how easy it can be to find the hidden, root cause of your challenges
• what the biggest “weeds” in your life are
• how to remove limitations quickly and permanently no matter how long they’ve been there

Register below to get access to the recording.

Don’t let this question stop you in your tracks Thu, 08 Jan 2015 03:56:51 +0000

whatifHave you ever noticed that there’s a question behind most everything you do?
The decisions you make. The actions you take. Even the feelings you live with every day.
And you probably don’t even realize what those questions are because they’re running in the background and don’t quite make it to the light of day.

Here’s one that stops a lot of us in our tracks, but can be turned into a better question quite easily.

“What if I fail?”

Yes, it’s the question that goes with the dreaded fear of failure and it usually goes with answers like “my world will fall apart,” “no one will love me” or “I will die miserable, penniless  and alone.”

But let’s take a closer look.
We know we’re all human. We all make mistakes. We all fail. And we know that the most successful people are really good at failing. In fact, they’re friends with failure; they fail faster and more often than people who are unwilling or too afraid to take action (there are lots of books and success stories about these people. So if you want inspiration, it’s easy to find).


Try this.
Next time you’re facing something scary and you hear these frightened words inside your head, “what if I fail?” ask these questions instead:

SO WHAT if I fail?”
“What is the opportunity?”
“What if I wasn’t afraid?”
“What if I was willing to fail?”

These questions will lead to very different answers.
And remember, ALL the Inquiry Cards in your deck have better questions that can be used in those moments when you feel confused, discouraged, upset, frustrated or scared.

Give yourself the gift of a better question and draw an Inquiry Card