It has been a busy couple of months. The SoulCollage® workshops went very well! Those who took part in them liked them and all made some awesome cards!
In mid-April I will be presenting SoulCollage® for the St. James the Greater Women’s Weekend Retreat. The theme is “The Song of the Soul” after that lovely, inspiring song by Chris Williamson. The retreat will feature exploration of some of the many dimensions of the soul, using scripture, guided meditation, and images. There will be a scripture passage that sets a tone, that of being loved by the Divine, held and sheltered by the Holy. Then a guided meditation will help us enter more fully into ways this tone plays out in our lives. Some journaling may help to capture words and mental images that occur, and then we will choose images and collage them on 5×8″ cards. We will do a couple of exercises with our cards and then share them. The entire sequence of scripture passage, guided meditation, choosing images, making cards and sharing them will be repeated. Each person will be able to make two or more cards in the day-long SoulCollage® part of the retreat. We will close with a ceremony that honors the cards we made, those who made them, and the Maker of us all.
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I am delighted about an opportunity to facilitate two SoulCollage® workshops in January at Life by Design in Eau Claire at 2722 London Rd. The theme is “Memories, Dreams, Visions and Intentions: AnIntroduction to SoulCollage®.” Each workshop will begin at 1 p.m and end by 4 p.m. The first workshop on the 13th will cover “Memories and Dreams” and basic elements of SoulCollage®. Participants will be able to make two to three SoulCollage® cards. The second workshop on the 20th will focus on “Visions and Intentions” and provide a chance to make another two to three cards. As facilitator, I will introduce SoulCollage® and provide some guidance for making cards, including a meditation to facilitate the intuitive and imaginative creative process of selecting and arranging images on cards.
SoulCollage® was originally created by Seena Frost, an artist and art therapist. She was quite aware that everyone has multiple aspects of self and that each aspect needs to be honored and allowed to express, and often, in that process, transform. She devised the basic sharing exercises most SoulCollage® facilitators use in workshops and/or therapy sessions.
Each card made represents some aspect of the person who makes it. Most SoulCollage® cards are mad of 5 x 8 matte board stock with collaged images glued to them. The selection of images is guided by the intuition and imagination of the maker. The facilitator brings magazines, and participants may also bring their own images from magazines, photographs, or greeting cards to use. The images are cut out, arranged by the participant and glued onto the 5 x 8 card. Then, the facilitator describes a basic exercise titled the “I am the one who… exercise” in which each participant introduces their card by identifying with it and speaking as if they are the card. Sharing this exercise is powerful and meaningful for participants. Often a sense of awe and profound caring emerges as people share these precious representations of self. I will also be describing several ways of working with cards at home and will have materials for sale available as well.
I am so looking forward to facilitating these workshops!
Yesterday was the last day of seeing psychotherapy clients at the mental health clinic I’ve been associated with for almost 17 years. Sad and sweet. Clinical practice has been an amazing learning experience. I have been filled awe at the abilities of humans to grow and overcome difficult and painful challenges. Their courage and hope has been inspiring. At other times frustration has reigned as I have watched vulnerable and hurting people stumbling over themselves like puppies, not learning what is safe and what is not, repeatedly doing what doesn’t work.
In the clinical work I have had the opportunity to use therapeutic methods that at times seem almost miraculous. Yet in other situations, a yawning chasm seems to open using those same methods. For example, EMDR and mindfulness practices, including ACT have helped many clients, while others seem to find no benefit from them.
Given the clinical setting, there has been little opportunity to use some of the integrative methods that I’ve been learning and using for myself and family. Openly integrating spirituality, using aromatherapy, engaging in the energy healing modalities with healing touch – these are difficult to impossible in that setting. Over time, a strong yearning has developed to be able to use all the skills I’ve learned, the modalities I’ve experienced as helpful, in an integrative practice. So, last year I started to envision and develop Soul Focus.
The shift to my own solo practice, Soul Focus, has allowed me to work towards integration of these modalities in service to the well-being and unfolding lives of those whom I serve. I am very grateful for this opportunity, for the support of my spouse, friends and colleagues at the clinic. Their understanding, willingness to experience some of these modalities themselves, along with kind words and suggestions are so very precious to me. As I weave these modalities into greater healing and wholeness, explorations of the soul’s capacity for growth and development, I will be reflecting, searching and exploring on this blog.