It happens every year: February rolls around, and Valentine’s Day looms and all things love and red and visual overstimulation any time I walk into a store, and I get sappy and grossed out by the exaggerated commercialism and misguided mis-connection to the big L word.

Don’t get me wrong–I love LOVE. But there are so many more members of the family. So this month, I’m putting some awareness on the siblings that are related to the love vibe: money and beauty. Instead of red, let’s talk green! As in, dollar dollar bills and compassion, y’all.

Here’s what I added to my self-care practice for February: vision boards on my relationship to money and beauty. I made them through old school cutting and pasting so I can actually touch them. I widened the scope of vision, too: these boards help me see what I want to manifest in the future and what I am manifesting in the NOW.

jobby-job vision board. I’m a solopreneur. When I started on this jobby-job path fifteen years ago, I used a vision board to assemble images of people who were successful and passionate about what they do. I wanted to be like them! But I didn’t classify them as to whether they were solopreneurs. I didn’t factor in the amount of work that goes into being self employed. I kept thinking about when I get to that point, as in, when I make a certain amount of money, then I’ll be like them: successful and passionate about what I do. I didn’t think about what I was doing in the now. I didn’t put due value on the resource that I was spending the most: time. And I spent way too much time on things that didn’t get me a return. So this month, when I decided to assemble a jobby-job board, I was mindful about putting images that represent what and whom I’m working with now as well as what and whom I’d like to be working with in the future with the notion that these are all investments in my microbusiness. I wrote labels like “6 months” and “2 years” and “today” to remind myself that these things take time. I’ve been spending a few minutes each day with the board and journaling what comes up. I’ve been reflecting a bunch on my colleagues and folks who are in my business network. The time I spend to work with them makes me feel rich because we reciprocate each others’ unique measure of success. So I am manifesting a LOT of presence, and presence is the best thingermahgawd ever to counter the anxiety of financial lack. The energetic roots of my relationship to money must be sound for me. That’s why this exercise has been helpful.

beauty vision board. I came across a post on the Numinous about manifesting a beauty vision board. The jist is to assemble images that make you feel beautiful in your skin. When you look at the collage, imagine the images as part of you. Feel the characteristics that inspire you as part of you. Again, like my jobby-job vision board, I’m taking the NOW route.  Here’s what I’m working with NOW: women athletes, physical strength, curves and muscles, beautiful. I’m surrounded by some badass bishes! But I’m not as strong physically as they are, maybe a little too curvy right now, maybe not able to move and flow in my body the way that I would like, despite my regular yoga and dance practice. That’s what I see in the NOW. It’s really hard to envision myself as beautiful aka svelte and smoove when it feels like I’ve been working forever to get there. And I’m not there. I should be there now, amirite? At least, that’s what I think. So by sitting with the vision I have of my beautiful physical self, I’m discovering places  inside where I can be more compassionate toward myself when I don’t meet my own beauty ideals. This exercise has reinforced the notion that where I am physically is enough. It is an act of compassion to accept me here and now. I’m remembering that beauty is as beauty does, for realz.

I hope you’ve found some ideas here that serve your exploration of the things related to love. Tending to other members of the family (beauty and money) can help make your relationship overall stronger. I know this process of vision boarding has been working some bow-chicka-wow-wow on my love vibe.