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Manifest Your Dreams With a Dream Map

Author: Grace Durfee
Setting goals, determining measurable milestones, and taking consistent action are great ways to move forward toward what you want in life. I'd like to share with you a fun activity I often use with clients and workshop participants that can jump-start the process. It's a collage-making activity, and the end product is called a dream map, treasure map, or dream board. Dream maps are powerful tools for self-discovery and manifestation. They are based on a tried and true approach: that clearly picturing and creating a visual image of a desired outcome helps it come true. If drawing cave paintings helped ancient people prepare for a successful hunt, imagine what a pictorial wish list could do for you. So, set aside half an hour, bring your passions, aspirations, and intentions, mix them with paper, scissors, glue sticks, and magazines, and see what takes shape!

To prepare for this activity, collect a stack of ten to fifteen magazines and catalogs that you won't mind dismantling. You'll need some type of adhesive: a glue stick, rubber cement, or tape, and a pair of scissors. For the background, use a poster board, oversized construction paper, newspaper, or a large piece of drawing paper. If you have a choice of colors, select your favorite for the background.

Before you begin, spend a few minutes setting your intention for the exercise. Think about what you'd like to manifest in your life.

* What would you like more of?

* What's missing from your life right now?

* What may already be in your life that you'd like to devote more time to?

* What gaps became apparent as you completed the Beginnings exercises?

Now, quickly leaf through the magazines and tear or cut out pages with images that appeal to you. Don't analyze or question why you're selecting certain pictures; if something catches your interest, makes you smile, or say "Yes!" then it's a keeper. You may find you choose images that remind you of a significant place, person, or object from your past or present. Your pictures could represent what you want for the future. Give yourself about twenty minutes to go through the magazines. Then, take your stack of pictures, play with the placement of them, and glue or tape them on the paper when you're satisfied with the arrangement. Feel free to add your own drawings to complete your dream map.

Some people choose to hang their finished dream maps where they'll see them several times a day. Popular spots include the refrigerator door or an office wall. Others prefer to tuck them away to keep them private. I've used both approaches before with tremendous success. I usually need to create a new dream map every six months because everything comes true. For instance, I once chose pictures of a woman receiving a massage, a Zen fountain, a lone cross-country skier, a smiling gardener pushing a wheelbarrow of harvested vegetables, and a woman doing yoga in her living room. These manifested in my life as:

* a barter arrangement with a massage therapist

* a great deal on a Zen fountain at a discount retailer

* an opportunity to rent a Vermont ski condo which was only a few miles from a lovely Nordic touring center * an offer to work an exceptionally fertile garden plot at a nearby horse farm in exchange for tilling the soil and sharing some of the crops

* an exchange of coaching for personalized yoga instruction to help me develop a home practice for when I can't make it to yoga class

Exactly why this happens is somewhat of a mystery, although I have some theories. When you clarify what it is that you want, you are better able to focus your energy and actions to move you in that direction. When you commit your ideas and dreams to paper, whether in words or pictures, you make them more concrete. This helps harness the power of visualization. When you put a desire or an intention out to the Universe, amazing synchronicities and coincidences begin to occur. When you've clarified what you want, it becomes easier to recognize opportunities that could provide the openings you need.

Once you realize how powerful dream maps are, you may want to create separate maps for different areas of your life. Choose a background color that you associate with each area, for instance: green for financial, red for relationships, and blue for leisure. Select only images related to that aspect of your life. You may want to bind all of your dream maps into a book.

Choose a favorite photo of yourself to add to your dream map to claim this as your dream.

Use dream maps as a tool for self-discovery. Select every picture that resonates with you for some reason. I often use dream maps with people who are changing careers to help them explore their interests. If you are trying to reconnect with your passions, this exercise can provide valuable clues.

Other good times to make dream maps include: your birthday or the New Year when you're setting goals for the year ahead, when you're looking for a life partner, when you're starting a family, when you're planning a dream vacation, when you're relocating, when you're building a dream house, when you're looking for a new creative outlet, or when you're planning your retirement.

Have fun creating your dream map! This is one of those activities in which you benefit as much from the process as from the final product.

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About the Author:

Grace Durfee is a Professional Certified Coach, Professional Mentor Coach, trainer, writer, and speaker who helps busy professionals, small business owners and career changers achieve success while enjoying more balanced lives. She is the author of Balance with Grace: Celebrate the Kaleidoscope of Life. To learn more visit

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June 19, 2024
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