Snippets of Inspiration

We naturally possess fear of the unknown. We who have PKD know we have it, but some of us choose to live in denial with blinders on our eyes. Others muster the guts to face it head on. Those of us with PKD, or any other illness, have the choice and freedom of how we cope with our battles. I choose optimism. I live wide-eyed, seeking answers to my questions.


This week, my mind needed a break from looking at blood work labs, talking with doctors, and thinking of my endoscopy procedure this Friday. I sat on my living room floor looking at a blank corkboard in front of me, trimmed with a pretty turquoise boarder. I held scissors in my right hand and began turning the pages of several magazines. One by one I started snipping thoughts and phrases that inspired me. I cut out words that described me or attributes that I aspire to be. When I read something that is a goal of mine or that I am looking forward to in the future, I added it to the pile of words now surrounding me on the floor. I found a picture of a young blonde woman wearing an outfit that I loved. Her hand was wrapped around colored ribbons that lead upwards to a bundle of balloons. It spoke to me how her eyes were looking up toward the sky and it left me wondering what she was thinking. This was the first picture I found and the first one that I placed on my board. I then randomly tacked each snippet of inspiration around this hopeful looking woman.

For the few hours I was entertained by this project, my mind drifted off into a happy place. After I was finished, I smiled as I read all of the words placed on the “vision board.” I had collected thoughts that motivated, inspired and moved me in a special way. Such as:

-Not all strength is built in the gym.
-The big picture.
-An extra day in paradise.
-You can draw strength from others who care about you.
-Let hope redefine your beauty.
-Live life vividly.

The fun part is that only I know what each cutout means to me, why it touched me and is now on my vision board. I am a big believer in surrounding yourself with positive thoughts; positive energy and that the thoughts you put out to the world will become a reality. I now have something to look at every day to encourage me, inspire me, remind me of my goals, the things I look forward to and the type of person I aspire to be.

This fun little craft is a work in progress and something that I will continue to add to and change. It is like life, always changing and always evolving. Nothing is constant. Something can be taken away from us and things can be added to our lives. The important thing is to always be positive and focus on the beauty and inspiration around us. It was enlightening to sit back and look at my vision board to see that all of the words that spoke to me were hopeful and powerful words full of determination and zest for life. I know that there will always be health battles for me to face, but I am determined to face them with as much strength and grace as I can.

What’s on your vision board?


  1. Sara

    I love the use of magazines and graphic materials with creations as you have described…I think that we are sometimes more visually perceptive, being more keen to things and able to pick out messages or symbols when we see them than we could bring them forth on our own verbally–making use or possibly giving “voice” to other parts of our brain. How great to have a visual board that is open and accepting of change…sometimes we are quick to want to frame and cement our moments–but I appreciate your writing and inspiring others to permit/embrace new visions.
    Personally, my vision board is going to have some destination trips on it. I want to take advantage of being more able-bodied and energetic now. 😉

    • Valen Keefer

      Hi Sara,
      You so eloquently described the meaning of and why I created the “vision board.” Thank you! My board has a few trips on it as well that I am putting out there in hopes to make them a reality soon. You enjoy those destination trips of yours and live every day to the fullest with all of that energy! 😉

  2. Narciso Tapia

    I love the idea of having a vision board. Since I’m always online maybe a Pinterest “vision board” will work for me. 🙂

    • Valen Keefer

      Hi Narciso,
      That is an awesome idea! I love it! 🙂

  3. Carla

    Valen, thank you for sharing this story. Sending love , hope and strength out west.

    • Valen Keefer

      Hi PA Carla! 🙂
      Thank you for reading my blog and for all of your love! Sending lots of love back to PA! xoxo

  4. Hils

    I’m with PKD also, and 4 siblings of mine. 2 already passed away. My vision board is traveling around Europe, cos I live in South East Asia, Indonesia. It must be an exciting journey if can see other universe different with my culture.

    • Valen Keefer

      Hi Hils,
      Thank you for sharing what is on your vision board. I hope that can become a reality for you. Take good care!

  5. Judi Herr

    Well written, Valen! Ox

  6. Michele

    You are a winner and very courageous! Thank you for your inspiring stories.

    Many blessings ahead!

    • Valen Keefer

      Hi Michele,
      Thank you so much for your kind words, well wishes and for reading my blog! Many blessings back to you! 🙂

  7. kermit keefer

    hello v-dog,
    i love your inspiring blog and creativity!! The way u choose to cope with life as a whole is nothing short of amazing! You don’t only help yourself, you help others with your words of wisdom and happiness! Love ya and smile on……… on

    with happiness,love,laughter, and adventure……..K.frog

    • Valen Keefer

      Dearest K-Frog,
      Thank you so much for your super sweet words! They mean so much coming from the best frog in the entire world! This put a huge smile on my face! You rock! Love you and miss you tons!


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