If you could manifest anything in your life, what would it be? A dream job? A new car? An ideal partner? When it comes to making your dreams come true, your wish is the Universe’s command, according to Aloha Dreamboard founder Tiare Thomas. With a little imagination, some elbow grease, and quality “me” time dedicated to tuning into your desires, you can make all of them appear in your life.
Dreamboarding, also known as vision boarding or goal mapping, utilizes printed images such as magazine and catalog clippings to depict ideas of things that you want to attract in your life. A visual representation of your goals, dreamboards are believed to activate the “law of attraction,” which some argue can program your mindset to attract situations into your life. Fulfilling your wishes couldn’t possibly be that simple, one may say, but for Thomas, who has led over 1,000 people through the process over the last decade, knows first hand that it works.
Back in 2009, Thomas was already living the dream life on the Big Island—married to a pro-surfer, with whom she shared a beautiful new home, Thomas helped his contracting work while fulfilling her life as a model and co-publisher of an upcoming magazine. “Everything was picture perfect,” recalls Thomas, “Except that we weren’t happy.”
The couple divorced, and Thomas fell into a downward spiral; she lost her partnership in the magazine, quit surfing—her life’s passion—and within six months, gained 33 pounds on her petite frame. Uncomfortable in her own skin and feeling like she had “pretty much hit rock bottom” at age 27, she turned to her “soul sister” friend, North Shore jewelry designer Noelani Love. It was Love who encouraged her to try dreamboarding.
What Thomas thought would be a fun night crafting with girlfriends turned out to be cathartic in the midst of the deepest rut of her life. As she cut and pasted images and phrases that evoked her desires, she felt a shift within. “During the process of this—this manifest experiment—I experienced a sense of liberation, freedom, and clarity,” Thomas recalls in awe, “and all of a sudden because of it I felt almost like this empowerment and motivation towards actually doing things in my life and setting goals again.”
Quickly it became obvious that an 8-by-10 sheet of paper wouldn’t do to contain all her wishes and aspirations. She and Love made a make-shift board out of a Costco-size diaper box, on which Thomas attached inspiration after inspiration over the next several hours. On her dreamboard were images of things she loved, like shells and bikinis, mermaids and surf; places she wanted to visit, like Japan; fears she wished to overcome, such as public speaking; words and phrases that she wanted to live by, “inspire” to be exact.
Within weeks, life events that were beyond mere coincidences began to manifest. Through a friend, a Japanese TV show approached her to follow and feature Thomas’ surfer lifestyle. Soon after, Thomas scored a sponsorship from a bikini designer who she thought wouldn’t be interested in her. Through these manifestations alone, she was reunited with her passions—surfing and fashion. She was also thrust into the spotlight where she conquered her fear of public speaking, and was steadily unraveling her path towards inspiring others.
Ecstatic that her manifestation experiment worked beyond her expectations, Thomas began sharing her technique with friends, then expanded her practice to small, donation-based workshops. Today, she offers both one-on-one and group sessions from her Moiliili office in Honolulu, and periodically holds workshops in Japan.
She also began collaborating with businesses that promote inspired living; she teamed up with an interior designer and Waikiki’s new Surfjack Hotel to offer a “Dream Home Board” workshop for prospective homeowners wishing to create visions of their “dream home.”
Her sessions begin with a guided meditation, followed by intention-setting. Thomas uses feng shui elements to parse a cork board into metaphysically balanced segments, then assists in selecting images in magazines and brochures to “anchor in” desired goals and dreams.
Whereas conventional dreamboard projects use glue or tape, Thomas prefers the versatility of cork boards and push pins. “If we glue something on, we’re stuck with it,” says Thomas, “Things shift and we’re inspired by other people, so it’s nice to have it flexible.”
Dreamboards aren’t limited to just one, either. In fact, Thomas encourages having multiple displays, such as a “Life Board”—the mother of all dreamboards that encompasses long-term and short-term goals—and mini boards that focus on specific aspect of your life such as family and business.
The first step is to feel inspired—or even just curious—to pin your goals and dreams to a board. For at-home dreamboarders, Thomas offers simple advice: “Schedule some ‘me’ time, turn on some good music, and look through some magazines and see what you’re attracted to.”
“And don’t allow your limited beliefs from pulling you back from putting something on your board,” she warns.
For those seeking extra guidance, Thomas offers an initial complementary session, and a menu of options including one-on-one dreamboard sessions, group workshops, life coaching, and business coaching.
“This is a safe place,” assures Thomas, as she knocks on her solid, handcrafted wood desk where clients sit and begin their private sessions, “People come in distraught and unclear and feeling like they’re on their last limb.” But no matter what their blocks or limitations, Thomas is confident that her method of questioning and guiding awakens her clients’ deepest desires.
“Whether they’ve hit rock bottom, I help them take that leap, to help them transform their lives, and keep them on track and motivated, and push them just enough.”
As for Thomas, she is well on track. A few years back, for instance, a girlfriend invited her to San Jose to see her idol, Oprah—a figure highly visible on her dreamboard. The guest on that episode, leading Thomas and 10,000 other like-minded audience members was, none other than, her other spiritual muse (also on her board): Deepak Chopra. “A dream come true,” comes to mind; it’s safe to say that this “experiment” is working.
Not only has she manifested opportunities, career, travel, prosperity, and a solid relationship, but she envisions herself inspiring Hawaii’s youth to use her tools and techniques to identify their goals and dreams. To that end, she was recently summoned by Molokai Intermediate and High School to address students, staff, and members of OHA on the benefit of dreaming big.
“I’m passionate about helping them pinpoint what it is that they’re striving for,” says Thomas, who often sees people with degrees and skills without knowing their kuleana—their “responsibility” and place in life.
Also in the pipeline are her dreams to reach more people through online courses in both English and Japanese.
Thomas hopes to continue sharing her gift in evoking aspirations, one dreamer a time, with a larger ripple effect in mind. ”Dreamboarding for me has been a gateway towards helping me to cultivate my gifts and to create ways of using my gifts to be of service to our community,” says Thomas.
The message is clear: if you dare to dream, you already have the ability to manifest them. How quickly they come true is up to you. “It’s all up to you and your mindset,” explains Thomas, “It’s all up to your believability level.”
“When you believe so much that you can let go, you’re present in the moment,” she continues, “You let the Universe do its work, you let God do His work. Whatever you believe in, you just let it happen.”
By Suzanne Sasaki
Suzanne is a freelance writer, translator, certified yoga teacher, and fascial stretch therapist. She teaches in the vinyasa style, harnessing her background in mobility training and myofascial stretching to help practitioners improve overall movement, body awareness, and reach new levels of feeling awesome. Her power yoga classes are held at Corepower Yoga, and bilingual Japanese classes at Ohana Space Yoga.