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Dana Reynolds


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 of magazines.

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 Prayer.

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 another.

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 is.

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 next...

Copyright© 2002 Dana Reynolds. 


Be An Angel            Our Turn Our Time

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


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