For many months a friend of mine kept talking about the power of vision boards. “I heard they really work,” she told me during one of our hangouts fueled by honest disclosures and delicious bottles of Bordeaux. “Oprah, Ellen... they all do it. It’s all about the power of visualization. We should get some friends together and try it.”
Fast-forward to a few months later, on the eve of a national call to socially distance, and I find myself in the company of five girlfriends with wide-ranging life stories, quietly cutting out tons of pictures from stacks of old magazines. In the midst of pending chaos caused by a menacing virus, this minimal effort feels like therapeutic relief from bad news and cabin fever. On the kitchen counter, magazine stacks topped with souvenir boxes shaped into butterflies are neatly tied with a simple twine; cutouts of powerful words sit still under a sheath of Plexiglas. We forge these fragments into a cohesively jumbled blueprint of our desired lives, peppered with catchy phrases, pictures of sandy beaches, dollar signs and lovers’ embraces.
“The secret to life fulfillment is getting clear on what it is your spirit wants,” explains North Fork resident Karen Quiros, the life coach and health practitioner behind Balanced Wellness Consulting, responsible for tonight’s workshop (from $400 per person). “Ambiguity breeds chaos; we find ourselves reacting instead of being proactive. When you’re in the energy of self-fulfillment, you’re unstoppable.” Quiros is proof of this simple approach. Diagnosed with systemic lupus with five to seven years to live and infertility issues to boot, she turned to visualization to help heal and eventually mothered two children. “Belief, along with faith, research, determination and steadfast vision, brought about my healing,” she says. “I create a vision board that anchors me to my desires, and I stay in the energy of the outcome by connecting with the vision board and visualizing life as though I already attained my wish. The vision takes on momentum and manifestation happens effortlessly.”
Visualization is a key element in Quiros’ technique. So are the answers to a questionnaire we are asked to fill out the night before our workshop. As the group readies to “arts and crafts” through our secret desires, Quiros’ soft voice takes us on an imaginary journey to a place of peace, where we’re challenged to observe and sit with the specific details of this spur-of-the-moment experiment, like the quality of an imaginary air that surrounds us, the scent of our bodies and the sounds that rumble in our ears. It’s hypnotic. We morph into the engineers of our future, reconfiguring it one cutout image at a time. Some of us leave motivated, armed with ideas and calls to action. I’m stunned by the clarity of the new purpose I discover during my visual voyage— my chapter 2.0 so unencumbered and real I know it’s inevitable.
Photography by: From top: Bashta/istock; courtesy of subject