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Feeling Stuck? Unlock the Answers Within

By Sherry Bronson February 25, 2024 Lifestyle

I collect magazines. It doesn’t matter how old or out of date they are, as long as they have pictures, they work for me. Friends know about my penchant and pass on their publications when they’ve finished with them. I’ve amassed a stunning variety, and they just keep coming. 

Bear with Me, There’s a Method to My Madness

In one of the self-help books I devoured during my tormented 50s, I came across the idea of a vision board as a tool to help sort through troubling emotions, hard decisions, or the confusion of too many options. I was instantly intrigued. The process was broken down into easy-to-follow steps and I began to hunt and drag home every stray magazine I could find. 

Over the years, vision boards have become an important part of my life. Just the other day, I was feeling stuck. I paced, took a walk, journaled, and meditated, but couldn’t shake the antsy, unsettledness in my mind. Then it dawned on me: a vision board. Why hadn’t I thought of it sooner?

But even though I love the process, this time it was like swimming against the tide. I shuffled through multiple issues of Midwest Living, Magnolia, Astronomy, The Smithsonian, Scientific American, and National Geographic, uninspired.

Winds of Change…

And then… Oh! Wait! Those words – Winds of Change. They were superimposed on the image of a fierce-looking eagle. Yes! And then, more words: Are We There Yet? And so it went until I had a measly stack of eight images – only eight – and I immediately discarded one. Despite limited fodder, the board came together. 

What appeared to be totally random at first, turned into a revealing story. Now, several days later, it continues to offer clues to what is lurking in my psyche. I love to look at it and be amazed at how magically such a simple process can bring subconscious mysteries to light. Sometimes, we have to turn our thinking brain off to get to the truth of what’s really going on. 

Vision boards can be done with like-minded friends. About six months ago, my sister and I spent an afternoon together, each in our own world. For hours, we barely spoke. The only sounds were an occasional, Hmmm, and the rasp of ripping paper. What vastly different outcomes we had, but when we’d finished, hers was perfectly her, and mine was decidedly me. 

Follow the Steps Below…

I encourage you, if you’re in a slump, can’t make an important decision, or feel adrift, follow the steps below and discover what your gut is trying to tell you.

  1. Find a quiet place, a large table, or the floor, and stack the magazines in front of you.
  2. Focus on your question or the issue you want to resolve, but empty your mind of all possible solutions.
  3. Page slowly through one magazine after another, tearing out any images, groups of words, or colors that grab you, and stack them to one side (sometimes I end up with 50 – sometimes many less).
  4. Take a brief break, grab a drink of water, then go back through your tear-out pile discarding the ones that no longer attract you.
  5. Lay the keepers in front of you and begin to organize them. A pattern or theme usually begins to emerge.
  6. Do they call for smooth edges or ragged ones? Do they want to butt against each other or float with space between? What does the energy ask for? Allow your creativity full freedom. 
  7. When you are satisfied with the placement, find a backing material (cardboard, foam core, heavy paper). Size it to accommodate your cuttings. Transfer and glue your images to the backing and… voila! 

You’ve created your vision board. It may turn out so beautifully that you’ll frame it.

In my experience, revelations come over time. As I gaze and ponder, layer upon layer of information bubbles up and I wonder why I didn’t see it all in the first place.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

How do you resolve issues that make you feel stuck? Do you journal, meditate – or something else? What do you think about this vision board approach to getting unstuck?

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Good article, Sherry! This is something I want to try. But any suggestion if I dont have magazines?


I do something similar with tarot cards. I draw from different decks either at random or by intention, assemble them into a temporary collage on a piece of fabric then take a photo. I may leave the assemblage out for awhile or pin it all to a bulletin board. But eventually all cards are returned to the decks they came from. You could also print off images from the internet.

Sherry Bronson

Great idea! I miss my tarot deck. It got misplaced somewhere in my travels.

Sherry Bronson

When I was in San Miguel, I had no magazines and I wanted to try a vision board on my phone. I googled ‘images’ and scrolled through them taking screen shots of the ones that spoke to me. Pinterest allowed me to upload those pictures, delete the ones I no longer wanted, and basically, create a vision board. If I’d had access to a printer, I would have printed the screenshot photos, but I didn’t. Now there are apps for vision boards but you have to pay for them. Pinterest was free. Hope that helps a bit. Maybe other readers have suggestions.


Go to the library, sometimes they have a “free area” – also Goodwill, and consignment stores. You’d be surprised what fun magazines you can pickup!

Sherry Bronson

That’s how I acquired them in Bali!

Brenda T.

Love the tips – now I need to make room for a new and different board (after I clear the clutter).

Sherry Bronson

Thanks for reading!

The Author

Sherry Bronson is a writer and traveler. After downsizing, she spent ten thrilling years in Bali, then a year exploring Mexico. Now, she's in northern Minnesota rehabbing a derelict hunting cabin on the family farm. On her blog, Sherry encourages readers to fearlessly and fully live their own authentic lives.

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