Often times, when I want to achieve something glorious for myself, I will create a visual affirmation of my goal. This is not a novel idea, as many have talked about it including Shakti Gawain, in her book Creative Visualization http://www.shaktigawain.com/products/books/creative-visualization and others. It was her book that exposed me to this process many, many years ago and I have used it often. So, for example, I decided that I wanted to go to Egypt with my family recently, as we travel often. This trip was particularly difficult to plan for a number of reasons. So rather than struggle through the process, I created a vision board. I located an 11 x 14 board and headed to a travel agent to pick up a travel tour book on Egypt. I then cut out pictures of all of the sites that I wanted to visit, including the pyramids, the sphinx, the various temples, the bazaar and beyond. I then cut out various pictures of myself and posted them on the board with me standing at some of the sites. I even went a step further and packed a suitcase with all of the clothes that I would wear on that trip and put the suitcase by my bed. I wrote affirmations on the empty spaces on the board such as "I am happily enjoying my trip to Egypt with my family" and other positively affirming statements. Subsequently, and with ease, everything fell into place for my getting to Egypt and approximately 1 year later I was there. I took a lot of photos and we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly on that journey of a lifetime. Subsequently, after New Years Day, as I always do, I made my Vision Board for the year with all that I want to accomplish during the upcoming year (not just travel) and I included a section, in pictures, of what I accomplished a year prior. I included a picture from my previous "Egypt Vision Board", which was of the Sphynx with a Pyramid behind it. I did not include myself standing in front of this site on my board. After I finished my new board and stood back to look at it I noticed that one of the pictures that I took in Egypt was the exact spot that was in the picture that I put on my Egypt vision board before I went on that trip. At that moment, and once again, I realized that it is possible to visibly affirm your dreams and then see them manifest. I have done this on many occasions for travel (for Brazil, Europe, other parts of Africa and beyond) and it amazes me how my vision of my dreams come into focus and turning them into reality becomes nearly effortless. I noticed recently that Oprah Winfrey also supports the notion of Visual Affirmation and has a link on her website for you to create your own on your computer. Check out her website as she refers to this process as Dream Boards, and if you prefer to do so via computer, this may be a great way to get started: http://www.oprah.com/packages/o-dream-board.html.
How does this relate to N.I.C.E.? Many women who are in the process of transition from permed hair or weaves to their natural hair, or just considering it, will state that they just can't see themselves with natural hair or sustain it because their hair isn't long enough or they don't know how to manage their kinky hair...essentially, they just can't see themselves achieving their desired goal of going natural. Others worry that their hair won't grow or they won't look attractive with their natural hair. Why not visually affirm a positive approach to the process? So what follows is a mere suggestion: 1) Acquire an 11 x 14 poster board or larger. 2) Cut out images from magazines of beautiful natural hair styles that you like or that you can see yourself wearing. 3) If you want your hair long and natural, find pictures of naturally long styles, braids, twists, or other natural styles that inspire you. If your desire is short or mid-length, do the same in terms of photos. 4) Find pictures of yourself before you had a perm or weave, at any time when you wore your hair naturally (as it grows out of your scalp); even if they are pictures of you when you were a child. 5) Glue all of these pictures to your Visual Affirmation board and write affirmations across the empty spaces that remain after you paste your images which express what you would like to experience, in the present tense. For example, "I am happy and grateful that I am wearing my hair naturally and I feel beautiful", "I love my long/short (whichever you prefer) natural hair and that I am able to manage it with ease," I am so happy and grateful that I have gorgeous hair in its natural state, as it grows out of my scalp." These are just examples but create your own affirmations. 6) Place your Visual Affirmation Board in a place that you pass often and will be sure to get a glimpse of it frequently. That's it...and wait patiently as your dream unfolds with you creating the reality. Just like anything else, "IF YOU BELIEVE IT, YOU CAN ACHIEVE IT." Below are pictures to get you started. Visualize your way to N.I.C.E.!