Karen Pilgrim
“Karen Pilgrim Visionboard vs Actionboards” – Watch HERE.
3rd Annual TEDxWilmingtonWomen: Showing Up // 30 November 2018

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Karen Pilgrim for TEDxWilmingtonWomen

Meet the Speakers: Karen Pilgrim for TEDxWilmingtonWomen

Cleaning out my email I noticed a message from TEDxWilmington about their 3rd annual women’s conference. Feeling excited, nervous and humbled it read “you have been chosen”.

This journey has been rather reflective of my own interactions with vision boarding and the impact that my practice has made on my community and others. The TEDxWilmington process has forced me to revisit the very trials and tribulations that has brought me to my purpose and passion. Years ago, I stumbled upon vision boarding when I was at a tragically low point in my life where the future did not look like something worth investing in.

After the creation of my first vision board, I was able to reset and prepare myself for a new journey that had been uniquely planned and stitched together by me. In the process of creating my vision board, I was able to choose my canvas for the board as it would be the foundation on which my success would be built on. The pictures chosen to represent my goals and future endeavors were carefully cut. I had to cut things out of the bigger picture in order to highlight the smaller things that held value to my . The canvas, glue and scissors truly symbolize the Foundation, the glue that holds the dream together and the scissors that cut away the negative to let in the positive  . As the years went on, I watched my vision manifest in real time.

Over time, I found that something was missing or delaying the manifestation of my best self. Yes, my vision was clear but my timeline was not. I had to put down the scissors and the symbols of my future for the first time in my journey with vision boarding. I decided that I would apply dates and times to my multi-faceted vision. On that day, I was able to turn my thoughts into things. My vision board no longer highlighted my ideas of success , but became a constant action item that would kickstart the navigation of my future. The most validating part is TEDx was on my vision board and now I am here.

As a licensed vision board specialist, I have been able to provide the necessary tools for disenfranchised communities to GPS their futures for society has not put the tools in their hands to manifest their best-selves. After the certification to instruct vision boarding workshop, I decided to create my own business named “VISION VEGAN SOUL”.  VISION=GPS your best life , VEGAN=Good things in your body for clarity, SOUL-= emotional and intellectual energies. After 20 years of working in public service with youth of color and incarcerated populations, I have come to TEDx with the intent of spreading my idea to a larger audience to provide the tools to GPS a future. The process itself to prepare for my TEDx talk has been demanding yet valuable.  I am so eager and excited to live my vision. This opportunity to present at TEDxWilmingtonWomen is a true blessing and affirmation of the work that I have invested so much time in. Vision boarding is a real thing and I am excited to share my idea with the TEDxWilmington community!

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the TEDx process: Karen Pilgrim for TEDxWilmingtonWomen

While Reflecting on my experience this time around, I can say this process has been challenging. I ran into various obstacles that has tested my resilience and commitment to my vision.

Over the course of just a few short weeks, my mother was diagnosed with a serious medical condition that has kept me by her bed side for endless hours. After her admittance into a local hospital, we were given the tragic news that we had lost a family friend to gun violence. He was young man 26 year old entrepreneur that I mentored and a long-time friend to my children.

At the times of these trials and tribulations, I had been asked to submit various materials to TEDx to ensure my candidacy and prep my materials needed for my talk. I was in the hospital recording many videos of what my speech would look like. I have many failed attempts of transferring my speech via video to the TEDxWilmington speaker curation committee. With the gracious help of a TEDxWilmington member, I was given a handful of opportunities to resend my video despite the deadline closure.

The overwhelming pressure of the task at hand to me coupled with the personal issues I had dealt with recently, I relied even more on my vision-boarding practices. I am empowered by my visualized tomorrow. I find myself practicing out loud, working on projecting my voice, and making my point clear.

Being surrounded by people who care about my vision helped pushed me to reaching my goals and these deadlines despite the challenges.

I am looking forward to being at the women’s conference to share some of the steps and tools of the art I have crafted to ensure the success of those around me along with my own success.

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TEDxWilmington Karen Pilgrim Photo by Alessandra NicoleReflecting: Karen Pilgrim for TEDxWilmingtonWomen

The somewhat demanding deadlines developed by TEDx had sufficiently prepared to execute the best performance I could have done. Despite the hiccups and the road blocks through my TEDxWilmington journey, amazing team and organized assistant Stephanie Breen helped me to stay on task to meet those vigorous deadlines.

Over the last several weeks,  I would repeatedly Say “I made it, we made it” and now it’s time to share my idea with the world. I arrived in Wilmington, Delaware at the Mill Auditorium on a rainy and freezing cold Thursday. The hotel and theater were located in the same building. I walked into the hotel to retrieve the keys for my room but unbeknownst to me, they said they had no reservation for me. Feeling confused, a little sad and cold but still excited I returned to the car put on the heat and went to sleep. Rehearsal began at 7:00am, I walked right on into the theater to see the big red letters that said “TEDxWilmington”. It was so surreal. I had just broken the glass ceiling to the point where my dream, my vision became a reality. As Ajit welcomed everyone and gave the run down of the schedule he said we had to come up and introduce ourselves and educate fellow speakers about our talk. I returned to my seat still saying in my head “ I am a TEDx speaker” while grinning from ear to ear.  It was time to practice and get critiqued. A calm came over me and I began, my speech was flawless because I spoke my truth. The speech coaches gave nothing but great feedback, it was amazing. The endless speech sessions provided my coach, Edwin Life Speaks.

As the glorious day came, I was third in line to share my story with the TEDx community. I was greeted by the TEDxWilmington team and cheered on by colleagues before my speech. The moment I stepped onto the red dot, I feel liberated and empowered to speak. My speech ran through ugly through the 10 minutes that was allotted to me. After my final word, I received a standing ovation and warm energy from the crowd. Post-speech, I was able to network with the diverse body of speakers and TEDxWilmington volunteers who made this day possible. I am proud to say that amongst these talented individuals, I too, Karen Pilgrim am blessed to be a TEDx extraordinaire.

Watch Karen Pilgrim’s TEDx talk HERE.

TEDxWilmingtonWomen 2018, Photograph by Alessandra Nicole


Born in Brooklyn, Karen Pilgrim is the CEO and founder of Vison, Vegan, Soul.  Through her guidance and mentorship, Pilgrim has helped countless individuals to jumpstart their lives by becoming the best versions of themselves. She does so through the development of her one of a kind vision boards. Such vision boards and action boards have helped others GPS their future by articulating, creating, and visualizing their futures on papers, boards, or walls. Her utilization of action boards reinforces positive images that then allows you to attract the best life possible. Her love for life and people has led to over 20 years of service to the community inspiring others through her work at schools, correctional facilities and group homes.  READ MORE

3rd Annual TEDxWilmingtonWomen: Showing Up // 30 November 2018
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