Elisabeth Grover

Category: Life Coaching

Vision Boarding for Beginners

For those who haven’t heard of vision boarding, I’d like to introduce you to this art form. Using vision boards for a few years now, I have found that it can be a simple method of seeing your goals come to life. I really enjoy the process too.

Vision boards can come in different forms and each one is as individual as the person creating it. I like to create a vision board in a book rather than a board so I have a Moleskine A2 watercolour book where I keep a few pages dedicated to my vision.

I create my pages as-and-when things change for me and my goals need to be tweaked. I’ll be doing another board this summer to adapt my goals after a winter of ill health.

Before you start

It’s important to think about your goals before you start. Otherwise, you will spend time creating a nice scrapbook and not much else. In order to create your list of goals, please check my posts entitled Living your Values . This link will take you to the first post so work through that one and then read the following four leading up to the conclusion.

These posts will give you an idea of the direction in which you are heading.



Creating a vision board can be quite reasonable – or you can spend a lot on various pieces of ephemera! If you are on a budget, I would advise you to surf the internet and take images from there to print off. If you have a little more ready cash available, invest in some magazines which resonate with you. 

By this time, you should know the areas you are looking at, so you may want to invest in some travel magazines or perhaps those dedicated to the home or health and fitness.

Perhaps you can buy a handful and then fill in the gaps with some print-off’s from the internet.

Board or book?

You can buy a board from your local art shop quite reasonably choosing the size you want. I think that A2 is a good size as A4 can be quite restrictive.

Perhaps you’d like to put your images on a cork-board instead?

I prefer to visualise in a book so I can use different pages for different themes. I also create mini vision boards in my journals to keep me on track but these are a lot smaller and more compact, printed off from the internet.

Pens, glue, stickers, scissors

Anything you can get your hands on to create an atmosphere of fun and enjoyment while you do your board.

If you are in the UK, you’ll find a shop called The Works is pretty good for stickers and glitter. I personally love Etsy for my stickers but they tend to be a bit more expensive.

You may not be a sticker and glitter type of person and that’s fine too.


Yes, I’ve put time on the equipment list! It’s the summer holidays and time is a little less restrictive. No checking the clock for the 3pm pick-up so you can create some space in which to do some work.

I think this is a great activity to do with your children. They can do their own while you do yours. Of course, there’s wont be goal-orientated but they will have fun sitting at the kitchen table cutting and sticking with Mummy.

But how do I do it?

I gather my equipment together and start by flicking through my magazines and seeing which images catch my eye. I cut them out and put them to the side ready to glue into my book.

Sometimes, I cut out images that may not seem to ‘fit’ with my ideas as I find it interesting to see why that picture resonated with me, Sometimes I don’t find the answer straight away but it’s when I go back to it that I discover what it is about that image that drew me to it.

I have a break for a cup of coffee at this point and relax for a little while before going back to my book.

When I sit down again, I put my images in some semblance of order. I have different pages for different types of goals and sometimes I have pages for values that resonate.

For example, I have a page that says ‘peace’ to me and although that’s not strictly a goal, I like to collaborate all my pictures together into one section so I can go back to it and remind myself what peace means to me.

This can sometimes take longer than the time available to you and that’s ok. Simply put the images in a safe place with the book or board and return to it when you next have some time to spare.

So what’s stopping you?

Pick up some glue and a notebook or board from your local newsagents when you are next in town along with a handful of magazines. Work out your life values when you have some time in the evening.

Grab a pen and a notebook and work your way through the short exercises instead of flopping in front of the telly!

I know you’ll find some nuggets of information from doing these exercises as it really helped me when I had young children at home and no time to myself. So give it a go and let me know how you get on.

I’ll be running some short workshops in the autumn term for mums with very little time who would like to work on their vision board. Or perhaps you’d like to learn a little more about journaling instead?

Why not drop me an email if you are interested in joining me in the Garden Sanctuary for a session of arts and visioning.

You can find me on elisabeth@thegardensanctuary.co.uk.

In the meantime, have a great summer break.









Living your Values – Conclusion

Our final post of this series so I’m just checking in with you at the end of the process.

Have you created your Wheel of Life?

Is it computer generated or hand drawn?

I love to paint so I’m going to create a circular image and watercolour the slices. I will make it large enough to be able to put it on my desk as a visual reminder of all the parts of my life that I am thinking about.

Have you used my examples of ‘Life Slices’
have you adapted and used your own?

Which one have you worked on this week?

I have been working on my financial side and filing all my receipts in an app. I’ve also been spending lots of money on planners as I LOVE this time of year with all the 2017 planners in stock. I’m a sucker for a plan!

I’d love to hear about your plans and what you are working on.

Life Values

Looking back at part 2 of Living Your Values, when we looked at three of your top life values, can you see anything resonating?

Week two may have been too early in the process to discover the important values but now you are a few weeks into the process, what theme is standing out for you?


Need More Help?

I have really enjoyed taking you through this basic coaching process over the past few weeks. If you would like some more help to find a peaceful way in a noisy world, please drop me an email.

I’d be very happy to help with some gentle coaching techniques and reflexology or reiki to help you find your way.

If you haven’t already subscribed to ‘Reflections from The Garden Sanctuary’, a monthly email with hints and tips for creating a peaceful and calm life, please follow the link below.


I’ll see you all next Sunday with another ‘Reflections from the Sanctuary’ blog post. Until then, have a great week.

Liz x


Living your Values – part 5

Hi Everyone,

Over the past few weeks of living our values and looking at what matters most to you. Last time we looked at your Wheel of Life as a whole, this week we will drill down into a specific section.

It’s exciting personal development work and well worth spending some time on.

If you aren’t familiar with the Wheel, please click here.

Drilling down to the parts of your life that aren’t working for you can be very challenging as it makes you think about painful times, but it’s where the magic happens when you can see small but incremental changes.

Just One Section

If you have been following my blog, you will have looked at a part of your life that doesn’t work for you at the moment.

Given it a score out of ten.

Ask yourself:

Why have I scored that a four?

I’d like you to clarify what makes it that number (in this case, a four).

An example:

My family section is a four because:

  • My toddler isn’t sleeping, and I’m exhausted
  • My parents live at the other end of the country;  my partner works long hours and no-one is around to help me
  • I am working part-time, and my nursery isn’t very flexible with pick-up hours. I rush back from work and feel very stressed
  • I don’t have any time alone.  I arrive home from work, get my son ready for bed and  then flop on the sofa.

Think of five reasons why you have given yourself that number and you have now clarified the issues that cause you pain. It may feel that you are completely stuck and can’t see a way out with lots of things to change (or things you can’t change) but let’s see what we can do.

Take one issue, such as childcare:

How can we move from a four to a five?

  • Can you look around at different childcare options?
  • Childminder with longer opening hours?
  • Nanny share?
  • Maybe swap childcare with a friend on the odd occasion?

The purpose behind this exercise is for you to think about the options on the table. Most of these won’t work, and you may discount them from the offset, but it’s helpful to start thinking in terms of options rather than being stuck.

Feeling stuck can be very disempowering


So, this week, I would like you to work through a couple of issues in one section of the wheel, giving them a score and looking at your ‘why?’

Next Week

We will complete this short series about living your values with an overall view of what has worked over the past few weeks. This post will take a look at what values are important to you and how you can increase your levels of daily calm.

More Help

In The Garden Sanctuary, I  offer my clients personal coaching sessions and combine it with a calming reflexology or reiki session. My sessions can help you to create peace and calm in your body whilst you work on your mind. This has many beneficial effects and can help with your stress.

My monthly hints and tips newsletter can help motivate you to make changes at your own speed so click here if you would like to join my mailing list.

There are also some Sanctuary special offers for my readers – great if you live in the local Harpenden area.




Living your Values – part 4

Hi Everyone,

Today I am continuing our look at personal values by beginning to put them into context with the rest of your life. There will be a few posts to follow on this subject as it is such a great start to creating a conscious life.

Over the past few weeks, you will hopefully have made the time alone to reflect on the important things in your life. You may have looked at the list of items that resonate with you and the values that they represent. You could be aware of where your values clash and the pressure points that may cause you pain.

You are making a really good start to creating a conscious life.

Today I am going to take you through a really good coaching tool called The Wheel of Life. This can help you to chunk down your life into manageable parts so you can look at each section in time. I look at my Wheel every month and see how the sections are changing positively and negatively, and think about what I can do about this.

Firstly, I’d like you to draw an image of a circle on a piece of paper and draw lines which split it into 10.  You can draw it in Excel or Word if you prefer a more formal look.


For each slice, I’d like you to name a category. I use the following but you can choose words which resonate with you.

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Personal development
  • Personal finance
  • Business/Career.
  • Spirituality
  • Personal environment – home and work
  • Health and fitness
  • Giving Back/Community/Charity
  • Rest and relaxation.

How does it feel to segment your life in this way?

Are there sections that make your heart soar?

Perhaps there are parts that make it sink? What is it about this part that makes you feel so negatively?

Today’s task:

I would like you to choose a number that represents where you feel you are in each segment of your life,

For example, in the Personal Development section, you would  love to read more personal development books but just don’t have the time. You are passionate about changing and improving yourself so , instead of reading, you watch one 10-minute personal development Youtube video a week whilst writing your emails.

For this, I would mark the Personal Development section as a 5. You have the drive and interest but struggle to do the things you would like to and you are distracted whilst watching  the video. There’s a lot of room for improvement but you’re not in a dreadful situation of a 1 or a 2.

So go through each section and give yourself a mark out of ten. You can take your time over this and do it over the course of a week. That way you really immerse yourself in how you are feeling about each section, and that can help you to create a good starting point.

If you get stuck, email me and I will help you to find the number that resonates.

I won’t be writing to you next Sunday so you will have a couple of weeks to complete this. You can make the wheel as pretty or as functional as you like. If you are a creative soul, you may like to hand-draw and add images so that you want to spend time with the Wheel. This is why it’s such a great tool, it suits everyone. So enjoy your fortnight of looking at your life and I’ll catch up again soon.

Liz x



Image and further instruction about how to draw the Wheel of Life  in Excel, courtesy of www.homeandlearn.co.uk 





Living your Values – Part 3

Hi Everyone,

It’s been another  stunning Sunday and a week has flown by. Around the fields and woods in my local area of Harpenden, the trees are starting to change. The beautiful colours resonate with me and walking through the woods make me feel joyful and free. Being at one in nature is so calming to my soul. On my walks this week, I have been reflecting about how little time I now spend reading my books, and this seemed like a good starting point for my article today.

I have always been an avid reader, and I would happily devour a number of different types of books a week. When my children were little, they saw books as a big part of my life and I found a way to make ‘addictive reading ‘work around my young family. It’s important to me that my readers are aware that the self-care topics I talk about in my posts are achievable to you with your young family.

Reading gave me a great deal of pleasure, but since setting up my business this year, my reading time has been taken up with writing blog posts, articles and emails, with networking in various groups and creating images for my website. These aspects are amongst other things you need to do when running your own business.

This has led to a clash in my values and causes me some pain. On one hand, I love learning and delving into a good non-fiction to pick up some hints, but on the other, my ambition for my business is pulling me the other way. I feel that tension when I get up and the little pile of books by my bed  that I used to read, look sorrowfully at me while I sit down at the computer and reply to emails or create a new image in Canva.

So I would like you to look at your list today and tell me which ones do not sit comfortably together?

Maybe you are a mum with young children, and you are desperately trying to maintain the sacred sanity of alone-time while balancing the needs of your family. The clash of family duty v solitude could cause difficulties for you and lead to some feelings of conflict.

Perhaps you are used to a level of fitness, but your new baby makes that difficult to achieve. You have to arrange childcare before you go out for your run and that makes it difficult to achieve, especially when you are tired. What can you do to feel better physically that fits in around your baby?

You may be a working mum desperately trying to compartmentalise your life so that you can balance your work, family and still see your friends and have fun. You can see three differing values competing and you may need to look at each one in turn. What is it about our work that you enjoy? Perhaps you want to make a difference, and work brings you that sense of satisfaction that you don’t get anywhere else in your life, but your time is severely limited. Your friends want to spend time with you, and you want to have fun with them, but things have changed for you since the baby came along.

So this is just a taster for you to think about this week. Let me know how you get on and where your conflicts lie. I will share some of my clashes with you in my  post next Sunday. Until then, have a great week and remember to make a little time for yourself.

Liz x

Living your Values – part 2

Hi Everyone,

How are you feeling on this Sunday morning? I’m looking out of my window into the garden and it’s a lovely autumnal day here in Hertfordshire, UK so I’m feeling good! I get up early to do my meditations and morning pages before I start to write my posts and it’s great to watch the sunrise and see what kind of weather is greeting me today.

So….today’s big question…..did you make some time to look at your values and pick your three favourites?

Which ones stood out for you?

Perhaps you struggled to do the exercise from last week? If time is short, you may have felt that it can just be one more thing to do, and there’s plenty of other people and activities competing for your attention. I’d like to reassure you that this is ok and today’s article has been written with you in mind. We will be looking at ways of finding your values and the joy in your life in a quick and easy way.

I feel that it’s important to take the time to yourself to breathe and reflect, even when it’s busy (probably more so when you are busy). When doing this, you are saying to your inner being that you are important and worth it. So if you are a mum with babies or toddlers, you may find five minutes when the children have a nap or perhaps you could get up a little earlier in the morning before they are awake. If it’s the weekend, maybe your partner could take the children out for a short walk leaving you to spend some time alone. Think about the possibilities in your week for some gentle solitude.

When you find your special five minutes, I would like you to take a notebook and pen and find somewhere quiet in your house to do this exercise. It can be your living room or a corner of your bedroom, wherever feels calming to you. I’d like you to sit here quietly in a comfortable position, either on the floor or in a chair, back straight, and settle into this tranquil place with some nice deep breaths. Nice long inhale and exhale. Watching your thoughts as they float in and out.

Sit here for one minute, watching the breath and just allow yourself to be.

Now take your notebook and pen and write down a list of events from the week previously. Just a quick list which can look a little like.

“Loaded the dishwasher, remembered how much I hate doing it; felt resentful that David never offers to help.”
“Made dinner, Emma refused to eat it. I had spent 45 minutes cooking it; I wanted to cry.”
“We walked to school, Sam wouldn’t keep up; I felt angry and frustrated that we were going to be late again.”
“I talked to Jenna at the school gate, she told me about her latest house renovations; I felt inadequate and jealous.”
“Put Josh down for a nap, and I collapsed in a chair as I felt so exhausted.”

Once you have a few episodes in your week written down on paper, start to look for the hidden gems in there. The small things that made it worthwhile, the things that made you smile. It may have been a challenging week, and you can only find one good thing, and that’s fine too. Life can be difficult when the children take over your life. But look at that one thing.

What was it?

Your top three values may be caring, support and duty at the moment, and it may not feel like you (these three can be exhausting when they are your top three) but it’s only for now, and it’s important to remember that. It will improve.

So back to your gem, what was it? The smell of clean washing as you take it out of the washing machine? The joy of walking to school in the autumnal, watching the beautiful trees as they change colour over time? Perhaps it’s the sound of crisp, crunchy leaves under foot or the warmth of the sun on your face as you walk?

Maybe you met up with a friend and talked about deeper issues in your lives, and this made you feel warm and supported by her. Other women can be a great support to each other in times of stress so it’s worth asking for help if you can.


It’s important to remember that if you are feeling very low and struggle to find one thing in your week that has brought you joy because you are exhausted and overwhelmed you may feel that it’s a good time to look at seeking further help. There are lots of sources out there to support women who are struggling with their mental health, and I have listed some below.

My point is that there are some hidden gems in there, it’s just sometimes difficult to see them when you are feeling this way. So find yourself a solitary five minutes this week and do this exercise during your alone time. Light a candle to demonstrate to yourself that you are creating a space that’s just for you. Perhaps you have some soft music to play in the background. Just slow it down and start to really value yourself.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments and to checking in with you next week.

Some links if you are struggling with feelings of sadness and overwhelm.

Mind – Perinatal Mental Health and Postnatal Depression

Mothers for Mothers – Postnatal Depression Support

Depression UK – list of useful links

Depression in British Women – an interesting article from The Daily Telegraph

The Mental Health Foundation – women and mental health

Melanie Lambert – an excellent psychotherapist covering the St Albans and Harpenden area


Living Your Values- Part 1

Well hello there, my fellow serenity-seekers! It’s Sunday morning and great to be here with you today. I hope you’re feeling calm and peaceful and are looking forward to taking a little time to work on yourself. Today, I am going to look at personal values.

I am sitting at my desk as I write this note to you. I love this desk as it’s a large, reclaimed wood dining table and has an incredible warmth and wisdom which helps me to clarify my thoughts. I often wonder what it was before it was my desk and I make up little stories in my head about its history and where the old wood came from.

I’m enjoying the warmth of the room and the candles softly flickering in the dark. I can smell the scent of essential oils softly lifting my spirit while I write my daily journal and affirmations. As soon as I empty my head onto the page, I’m ready to start today’s post.

img_4335 I’ve been thinking deeply about the subject this week. It’s taken me a long time to understand the power of living my values fully but now I understand the importance, I fully embrace the need for writing down the values that I live by.

I was first introduced to the concept when I did my coaching diploma 13 years ago, and I met people who were further along the self-development journey than I was. I learnt so much during my time learning the craft of coaching, and I loved working towards my diploma. It was not long after my fourth child was born and I was a little lost as to who I was. This course helped me get back on track, both by teaching me amazing things and by the people I met along the way.  It was here that I started to embrace the idea of how fundamental values are to your life. It opened my eyes and changed how I lived my life.

I was asked to look at the things in my life that mattered to me and to write them down, similar to my post ’50 Happy Things’. Looking at that list, you can see my values as you read my words. Values are your fundamental beliefs. They are your guiding force. Your reason to be.

So take your pen and your journal and find some space in your day to write down a list of 20 things that are imperative to you.

Look around at the space around you, what do you see?

Pictures of a lovely holiday you had this year?

Images of your toddler taking his first steps?

A funny snapshot of your dog?

Maybe, like me,  you have candles on your desk?

Incense filling the air?

Is there a pile of books waiting to be read ?

A radio playing quiet music in the background?

Spend time enveloping yourself in the things that matter and sit with the feelings that these items invoke.

Today’s task:

  1. Find 10 minutes to yourself in a safe space. Light a candle.  Play soft music if it induces a calm atmosphere. Lock yourself away. Feel the peace surrounding you.
  2. Take your journal and in it write a list of 20 things that make you happy.
  3. Reflect on what these items symbolise to you.
  4.  If you need some help with this exercise, I’ll give you an example.

img_4336 In my list, you’ll see candles, essential oils, the crackling sound of a fire, my journal. These things all represent tranquility, inner peace, and serenity. They also represent solitude and reflection. 

Enjoying time with my children on holiday, our precious time together. You’ll notice that family and connection are important to me.

Hearing and being heard – Listening and reflection are way up on my list. Sitting alongside someone on their life’s journey is something that gives me a great deal of pleasure. ‘Holding the space’ for a friend. Allowing them ‘to be’ without me trying to change anything about the situation or offer friendly advice. 

Self-development books/CD’s/Youtube – these tap into my need to be inspired and motivated. I have a thirst for knowledge and could stay up all night listening or reading as the time passes very quickly for me when I’m engrossed in a book.  

I would add art to this list as painting in my art journal and soaking up beautiful images that others have painted (Pinterest is a big favourite) taps into my creativity and imagination.  

And so on. I hope this list has given you a little inspiration for making some time to yourself and committing your values to paper. In my next post, I’ll talk about what to do when you have these principles written down.

If you are stuck and need a little help, don’t hesitate to leave a comment in the box below or email me. If you would like to share your values, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Maybe you’d like to tell me about your top three values. Are you making time for your art/your reading/your daily walk?

I’m looking forward to feeling inspired by your thoughts and comments. Until next time.

Liz x