The Crafting of Relationship
by Dana Reynolds
Creative visualization is a powerful process.
However, it takes more than visualizing to create and
invite change in one’s life. Positive, constructive,
action and an attitude of optimistic confident
perseverance, combined with prayer and gratitude, are
also necessary ingredients for drawing forth the desires
and needs of the heart.
In a relationship, creating a unified vision of what
is desired to benefit and enrich the life of the
individual partners, and also the relationship itself,
can be a very powerful process. This month I would like
to share with you some suggestions for ways to co-create
your "Relationship Visual Prayer" with your
partner. I’d like to share a personal story with you
to illustrate this concept.
When we turned the calendar to begin the New Year, my
husband and I decided that we would take our New Years’
resolutions and create a collage to express what we were
desiring to do and to manifest in the coming months. We
spent an afternoon making our individual collages to
serve as a visual reminder to our commitments to our
personal goals. Later we shared them with one another,
finally placing them on our desks to help keep us on
track and focused.
In the week that followed, our personal visual
prayers proved to be such very powerful icons that we
decided the following weekend to work on a co-creative
collage to create a visual prayer to our
marriage/relationship. Here’s the process we created.
Please feel free to elaborate these ideas to fit your
particular relationship and creative inspiration.
We began by turning off the TV and getting quiet. We
lit a candle and sat quietly for a while meditating on
our life together. Then each of us took time to
individually write a list of things we would like to
change, enhance, or begin as a couple. Think of this as
a wish list. For example, my husband wants us to take
more weekend getaways to nearby places of interest. I
would like for us to take a continuing education class
together to learn more about a topic that is intriguing
to both of us. Both of us wrote independently that we
want to create opportunities to be with our children and
granddaughter as often as possible. After our lists were
complete we shared them, and as we talked, we came up
with a few more ideas that we believed would improve and
deepen our relationship.
When we had discussed our lists, we gathered some
magazines, scissors, and glue sticks and moved to the
table in my workspace where we could settle in for a
couple of hours to create our relationship visual
prayer. Visual prayer is a visual representation of
intention. This may take the form of a collage, an
altar, a painting, sculpture, or arrangement of
touchstones created with a specific intention for
healing, manifestation, or blessing. Intention is at the
heart of the creation of a visual prayer.
Don and I intended to create a collage to visually
portray not only our love for one another, but also the
various attunements we desire to make to our
relationship in the coming year. For an hour we each cut
and tore images that held meaning for us from the stack
When we had gathered a nice pile of clippings we used
an 8 ½" x 11" piece of cardboard for the
backing of the collage and we worked together, selecting
and placing the various images to form our visual
prayer. The process itself stimulated more conversation
about our relationship and also led to a lot of laughter
when we discovered we had clipped some identical images.
Everything came together in a matter of minutes, as
though we were simply acting as the hands of our
relationship, as if the relationship itself had energy
of its own. We carefully glued the pieces in place...
our visual prayer felt complete. The next day we took it
to our local copy shop and reduced the collage by fifty
percent on the color copy machine, making two copies. We
placed each copy in a small plastic frame and now they
rest on our desks next to our individual visual prayers.
These icons are constant reminders to stay focused
and to take time for those things that we have deemed
important to the health and well being of our individual
bodies, minds, and spirits, and also the spirit of our
relationship. Perhaps on Valentine’s Day you and your
beloved would like to create your Relationship Visual
We placed the original collage for our relationship
on our marriage altar. In our bedroom we have a table
that serves as a devotional-offering place for our
relationship. A heart-shaped silver bowl holds a
collection of heart touchstones we have collected
together. There are also meaningful poems for
inspiration and photographs depicting us throughout our
thirty-eight years together.
Above the altar is a shrine that hangs on the wall.
It is made of aged tin and has a small glass door that
opens to a small inner compartment. At the back of the
compartment is our wedding invitation and a photograph
of us as newlyweds. Standing against the photo is a
rolled paper cylinder tied with a white satin ribbon,
this is our marriage contract that we created together
several years ago following a stormy period in our
marriage. Our original wedding rings are tied together
and placed alongside our contract. We choose new rings
when we renewed our vows and made our new contract.
A relationship/marriage altar or shrine should change
and evolve just as the relationship changes and evolves.
Changing the arrangement of touchstones, placing fresh
flowers on the altar, adding a new treasure or tokens
for your beloved makes this sacred place a living
breathing expression of your love and commitment to one
For those who may not currently be in a relationship,
but are desiring to attract their partner or soul-mate,
you can create a relationship visual prayer or altar by
including those things you hope to share and experience
with your future beloved. This process can help you to
discover what the truth of your heart’s desire truly
February is the month of hearts and the expression of
love. Open your heart and pour love into all of your
relationships this month and let that love grow and
spill into next month and the next and the next and the
Copyright© 2002 Dana
Dana Reynolds is a Spiritual Director, Writer/Artist and Founder of Sacred Life-Arts. She nurtures connections between soul work and creative expression. For the past twenty years, Dana has been a facilitator for the feminine spiritual/creative process. She is passionate about the importance of themes drawn from her study and research of the lives of medieval women including; pilgrimage, monasticism, art, craft, and mysticism.
Dana encourages creative expression through journal-keeping and writing. She is the author of: Be An Angel, (Simon & Schuster, 1994), and the soon to be published novel, Ink and Honey. Her essay Visual Prayers is included in the anthology, Our Turn, Our Time: Women Truly Coming of Age, (Beyond Words Publishing, 2000).
You may contact Dana at Dana@SacredLifeArts.com