I was excited to learn about this concept from a participant involved in my research project a few years ago. Thank you to her for sharing this idea! It is rooted in a suggestion made by Napolean Hill in Think and Grow Rich where he made reference to his “invisible counsellors.”
The idea is to reflect upon your influences – the people – living or dead, personal relationship or famous figure, and real or fictional characters. Who would you actively recruit for a seat on your board of directors? Think of this board as the group you rely upon for guidance, for wisdom, for support, for encouragement, and for direction as you navigate your life’s path. This group is there for you to access when you are faced with challenges, decisions, ethical dilemmas, and choices. You might consult your board of directors daily to assist you in setting the tone and intention for your day.
Consider the following:
- Who do you admire?
- What qualities does this person/character embody?
- How do you imagine they might behave in your “shoes?”
- How do you think they might respond to your deepest questions?
- What aspects of their personality/approach/philosophy do you wish to incorporate into your own life?
- Describe the values you believe this person/character possesses. In what ways does this leave you inspired?
I loved this activity so much when I was first introduced to it!
Meet my spiritual/mythical board of directors, in no particular order:
One of my favourite authors representing for me, wisdom, enlightenment, compassion, and a beautiful ability to illuminate the mysterious with humour and grace.
Another favourite author representing love, personal growth, insight, personal responsibility and an amazing capacity for resilience coupled with the openness and willingness to be vulnerable and share experiences for the benefit of others, all with a great sense of humour and capacity to laugh at self.
And one more favourite author representing authenticity and integrity demonstrated in writing and teaching that draws on real life, often traumatic, experiences. She is a courageous trailblazer.
A spiritual teacher representing “Christ Consciousness” focused on love, compassion, acceptance, grace, peace, purpose, enlightenment, inner wisdom and guidance.
A fictional character representing truth, faith, simplicity, intuition, unconditional love and acceptance
Winnie the Pooh
The cuddly bear who has long had a place in my family representing wisdom with simplicity, friendship, loyalty, humour and wit.
You will likely note some themes here and may also be aware that I have chosen people/characters that do not include those in my personal life, past or present.
I like to think of those people who have blessed me with their presence in my life and who continue to do so, as great teachers who I have access to in my human experience. While I would be thrilled to “meet” in this realm every one of my spiritual directors, I am encouraged to know that I have access to them at any moment I choose to seek their guidance and support through the precious qualities that I perceive in them.
Working with Your Board of Directors
Once you have established your board of directors, be sure to call upon them regularly for consultation. You might engage in this activity through meditation, visualization, journaling activities, and self-talk. Your board of directors when well chosen will provide you with precious insights and guidance over the course of your life. You can alter the assembly at any point in time. Always be sure to practice patience and gratitude when you communicate with your board members and remember to document well the minutes of your meetings for future reference.
One final thought – remember that quite often we think about the qualities that we admire in others as something we are lacking in ourselves. But consider this – perhaps, these are the very qualities we do possess but have yet to acknowledge within ourselves. Our spiritual directors will assist us to recognize and embody our inherent gifts.
Let’s get started!
Have fun with this…..and please do leave your comments. I would love to hear about the amazing spiritual boards that are taking shape in our community!