For workshops, I try to trim images to be 5 inches or 8 inches in at least one direction when possible, but there are many images that don't fit that mold and are odd-sized, like a background that’s only 7.5 inches tall. If you’re like me and don’t want to see blank card under your SoulCollage®, you either have to pass on the image, or find a creative solution. Here are some examples from my deck of instances where I've "fixed" this problem.
"I am one who has spirit guides."
During share time at the end of SoulCollage® with Megan Menkveld workshops I get to see lots of different spirit guides that have shown up for their creators. To hear the interpretations, personal stories, and messages, and to see the variety of shapes and appearances of the spirit guides, the emotion in the creator's face, and the validating response of the group, make it impossible not to believe in spirit guides and the ability that SoulCollage® has to give them life.
The example above is one of many that has revealed itself to me. The shaman-music healer and white heron are a team. The bird is my Earthly contact to the deep magic that is the shaman-music healer. I find it calming and comforting and that's what their messages often convey.
Come find your spirit guides at a SoulCollage® with Megan Menkveld workshop, or on your own, through SoulCollage®. It has exceeded what I thought possible over and over again.
As I hope you know, MMSoul has a 50-Card Affirmation Deck with 50 unique collages and affirmation messages crafted by me for you. Though they look like SoulCollages®, they are not, because they are intended to be used and viewed by many, and SoulCollages® are for personal use only and use copyrighted images. The Affirmation Deck, however, uses only copyright free images, including some of my own personal photographs.
One particular SoulCollager® I know has used photos of herself and people she's known on her cards, a special, vulnerable thing to do, if you wish to give it a try. I have not used actual people or animals on SoulCollage® cards yet, but I incorporated some into the MMSoul Affirmation Card Deck as a personal signature and an ode to special times and people that impacted me in positive ways.
There are no rules to SoulCollage®, so if you feel drawn to using your own art, please do! I can only imagine what kind of energy that adds to a SoulCollage® card.
I struggle daily with the state of our union. I also struggle with my own personal affairs, negative experiences, and unfulfillment. I know I’m not alone. 99% of my Facebook friends are in the same boat, and yet our lives are so different. How is it that so many people from different cultures, income brackets and careers are experiencing the same angst and sadness? Our issues have become that big and that widespread that it’s affecting everyone. No group is immune, not even 99% of privileged white people.
When I feel overwhelmed, and have a minute to myself, I SoulCollage®. I SoulCollage® my anger and sadness, and I SoulCollage® my hopes and dreams. It’s my way of finding a way to live with the negative without being gobbled up by it. It doesn’t make it go away, but it does help me cope. Not only do the cards themselves help, but the process of sitting quietly with images, scissors and glue is meditative and mindful, a stress reliever.
I strongly encourage you to do the same, and to tell others to as well. This is not a sales pitch, it is my true and genuine offer of a compassionate space for you to be yourself and to work through whatever issues may be plaguing you. I look forward to sharing more SoulCollage® with you.
SoulCollage® is Family Friendly, for those who are able to cut and paste, and can handle PG-13 images and discussion. This will vary by individual, and as long as they attend with an adult, they are not only welcome, it's a wonderful thing to experience with a child and for the child. In general the images are not meant to trigger trauma or anything toxic, scary or disturbing, but that can never be guaranteed since all our experiences are so different.
I've done SoulCollage® with my 10 year old nephew and 12 year old nieces and we all had a great time. It was so very special for me. I have to contain my excitement in front of them so they don't freak out and decide they don't want to do it anymore. I was amazed at what they came up with. See examples below.
I've had collagers around the same age as my nephew and nieces attend workshops and they had as rich and valuable an experience as the adults. It's a gift to see SoulCollage® through the eyes of children; to see the magic at such an early age is refreshing and hopeful. So please bring your kids along if you feel they would enjoy SoulCollage® as much as you do. They are welcome!
Once a month the blog will feature a SoulCollage® idea/tip, for actual collage making. I get most of my ideas from other SoulCollagers® and my "mistakes," as I have no art background, just many hours of SoulCollaging® and seeing many SoulCollage® cards created by others. This is the first SoulCollage® idea blog post and it's about combining backgrounds.
Sometimes I find lots of backgrounds I like and want to use them all, and sometimes I find a background I mostly like, but I wish the sky were a different color, for example. Both of these occassions call for combining back grounds. This example has three combined on one card, plus the mouse, and that's the whole card. It reminds me that the world is big and likes to be gently explored.
In this second example the backgrounds are combined vertically with ocean water on the left and hot geo-thermal water steam on the right. It ended up being a card about awesome diversity and solidarity in women.
I often end up with space as a secondary background, too, lately. It's a fun way to mix and match and find unexpected combinations.
It too often goes without saying that SoulCollage® has great therapeutic benefits. I am neither a therapist, nor any other kind of professional in mental health, but I am a patient/client of the U.S. mental healthcare system, and I've had therapists who have encouraged me to do as much SoulCollage® as possible because they've seen the immediate and lasting benefits for me. That's just my case and my experience, and it's why I tell people they have to experience SoulCollage® for themselves in order to truly understand the power of it. Once they do, they understand!
I got deep into SoulCollage® a few years ago when I was deep in depression. I never thought I'd be depressed, let alone a person who lives with depression, so it was a tough transition: confusing, tiring, draining, and I tried everything to make it, and the anxiety and panic that went with it, go away. I had a good job with good benefits so I could purchase too many self-help books, take vacations, spend time with friends and family, meditate, keep pets and see a primary care doctor, medical specialists, a mental health therapist, naturopath doctor, accupuncture doctor and massage therapist. And still the anxiety and depression persisted.
In order to get me pointed upward, and at least stop the downward spiral, I remembered SoulCollage® from a girls weekend a long time before when I noted that I'd do it again. I even collected supplies that were never touched. I finally made time to SoulCollage®, and I made a lot. It started me on a path of healing unlike anything else. It's a way for me to put feelings onto a tangible thing for studying and contemplating, a way for me to look inward, a way for me to let go. It's personal and quiet, yet there's comfort in sharing space and SoulCollage® cards with others who are on their own healing paths and love SoulCollage®. As an introvert, those two parts of SoulCollage® are particularly appealing to me. I'll continue SoulCollaging® forever, I hope. The more I do it, the bigger and clearer the messages get. I laugh, cry and cringe. It never ceases to amaze me. Now I love sharing it, too!
MMSoul is happy to announce its own regular blog with new posts every 7th, 14th and 21st of the month. Each will be a short article having to do with upcoming events, Megan's personal experiences with SoulCollage® itself including tips and ideas, and other items of interest. Please comment and share. All are welcome!
The MMSoul newsletter will still come out on the 1st of each month with the regular SoulCollage® food for thought, information, blog exerpts and other fresh, new material. Follow us on Facebook for new blog notifications and all else MMSoul.
Megan Menkveld created MMSoul to have a platform from which she could share SoulCollage® and the overall gift of art in order to create balance and wellness for all individuals open to receiving it. This blog is a way to stay in touch and keep the conversation going outside of workshop time. Please visit regularly, comment and share! All are welcome.