One of my special friends hosted a get together which included a short meditation. After slowing our breath and leading us into a field, down a path, she asked us to notice a building. Now, I am a meditator-in-progress, and I’ve always been a default rule follower (unless civil disobedience is called for), and there was some time pressure to imagine this building because I knew she’d keep talking, and then I remembered I was supposed to be calm and just go with the flow and so I saw a brick and wood building, like something you might find in Shrek-land. Good done.
Then she said, the building was a temple. A temple? But I didn’t imagine a temple! You said building! Deep breaths, it’ll be okay. I decided it was too late and “wrong” to go back and re-see the temple/building, so I made the best of what I had. It was not big enough to hold everything that was inside this temple, but yet it did. It ended up being pretty magical. Surprise! Not surprised.
Not long after, I was doing some workshop image prep and found the stone base and wood structure of my temple building. They combined perfectly. It felt rewarding for just going with the originally imagined building, and generally validating that I am on the right path. It made me smile, laugh inside, and give a special, silent, thank you to my friend, SoulCollage®, and the universe.
Prior blogs have looked at the other two Transpersonal cards, Source and Witness. This is the third one, SoulEssence. Seena Frost, SoulCollage® creator says that “deep within each living being, and indeed all created forms, from their beginning, is a spark containing a pattern and a thrust towards what it can become.” That is our SoulEssence.
For me, as I get older, I realize that the things I let go are impediments to that thrust, and the things I easily enjoy and want to spend energy on are boosters. I’m more sensitive to, and proactive about my feelings, my gut, my intuition. It’s a way my SoulEssence speaks to me, and the more I listen and practice using it, the “better” life is. Be true to yourself. Be the change you seek. Let that spark ignite growth and expansion, eliminate obstacles.
Although I say that there are no rules to SoulCollage®, there are Principles of SoulCollage®, published on the SoulCollage® website. Most are more like “agreements,” but there’s also a section labeled, “SoulCollage® cards are for personal use only.” Part of the reason for that is we use copyrighted material in our collages as the images all come from published material, and so, to be absolutely certain you will never encounter any copyright issues, SoulCollage® cards should not be copied, sold, or bartered, except as a back-up in case of damage.
That said, I’ve never worried too much about sharing my cards on the SoulCollage® with Megan Menkveld Facebook group, for instance, or Instagram. According to SoulCollage® principles, I can share publicly when “sharing one’s own personal process,” and that’s basically what I do. I’m not putting my cards on display at a gallery, for instance, or charging to view them, and I certainly do not sell them! They are mine, all mine!
If you are concerned about copyright issues, here is my opinion, just my opinion. First, we are collaging, which is a generally accepted art form, which, by definition, uses material previously created by someone else. Art friends have said that as long as you substantially change the original piece, there’s no legal issue. They are not legal experts, but they do know people who collage who are not in jail for it. There are also no SoulCollage® police, and finally, there are sources out there for copyright-free images, such as www.pixabay.com, and your own photos and/or art as alternatives to copyrighted material.
I think collaging for personal purposes, using images with a unique spirit separate from the original use, and not making money from it, is fine. I try to be mindful about the process of creating the images I use, expressing gratitude for it, and loving what it brings to me and my deck. Thank you, images, and their original creators.
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.