I’ve been in workshops where participants ask if there are colored markers, rulers, ribbon, etc. No, I don’t have those in my crafting supplies because I’ve thought of them as scrapbooking supplies rather than collage supplies, but there are no rules in SoulCollage®, something I remind myself of a lot. Even without those types of supplies, participants have used their white out and black out pens to add an artistic element, and even the Post-It tape has appeared as part of cards. I have to stop myself from saying something about how they aren’t supposed to use those supplies for those reasons, because they can! And then I look at how they did it, and I smile – it’s unexpected, out-of-the-box, and creative.
I’m not sure I’ll be adding any sort of “bling” to my cards, but certainly in my art journal, a complimentary activity to SoulCollage®, I use bling like stickers and colored pens in addition to images. They add a lot. Maybe someday you’ll see a dot of glitter on one of my SoulCollage® cards. I’m feeling challenged to try.
The companion suit is my favorite because it’s animals, and I love animals. There is a guided meditation recorded by SoulCollage® founder Seena Frost that helps you identify spirit animals that correspond with each of your seven chakras. The animal may not come to you right away, but eventually you can intuit all seven. You may end up with animals that you’ve always liked or new and surprising ones. I turn to these animals and cards when I’m feeling off in a chakra area, like 3rd chakra for upset stomach, 6th chakra for headaches, etc. for some TLC.
Now when I see one of my seven animals, I tune into the corresponding chakra to make sure everything is good. Maybe the animal is showing up because I’m in good shape, or maybe I need some help. Sometimes more than one of them end up on one card and then I get to think about the relationships between the chakras and everything that goes on in my body. I would love to have a totem custom made that has all seven stacked together like I’ve done on my SoulCollage® card. It makes me feel whole just looking at it.
I’m a Taurus, and I’ve had some excellent astrology readings that have gotten me thinking a lot about where I come from and if I made a purposeful choice to be here. I also have an identical twin sister, so we have the exact same chart, yet we are different! How is that possible? I’ve learned that above all, we crave security, which makes sense, and I now understand that we define security differently. Mine looks more like freedom and hers looks more like the Matrix. To her, freedom is the opposite of security and to me the Matrix doesn’t allow me to feel secure within myself – I feel insecure and unsafe. This has helped me understand why we clash where we do.
She’s often told me I’m stubborn, like a bull, like a Taurus! I think I’m open-minded, but that doesn’t mean I’m not also stubborn. I don’t think stubborn is a bad thing. For me, it means I’ve learned what works for me and what doesn’t, and I avoid what doesn’t. I’ve learned healthier boundaries, and while that doesn’t work for some, it works for me. I’ve come to be even more stubborn about my self-care as I get deeper into SoulCollage® and I learn more about me. It makes me unpopular sometimes, but I know what’s best for me, and how to give my best to others. I thank my dearest friends and SoulCollage® for that.
This SoulCollage® card represents the strong and soft sides of my Taurus. It’s beautiful and makes me feel strong and grounded. It’s helped me let go of some things.
I like to think I manifested Post-It tape. One day, while doing SoulCollage®, I thought, “It sure would be nice to be able to stick these images down temporarily,” and then I was in Office Depot for something and remembered that thought, so went to the tape aisle and there it was, Post-It tape, in so many colors, too! It immediately became part of my crafting kit and the SoulCollage® with Megan Menkveld supply family. Not only do I use it to arrange cards, I use it to stick my pre-cut images to scrap paper for easy perusal. So handy!
As I was burning out from a toxic workplace, I tried changing jobs within the same company, and ended up back in healthcare finance, something I’d consciously left, but I do have a deep understanding of healthcare finance and concern for public health and welfare, so I thought I’d take the job and hopefully be re-motivated to do some good. I meditated on it while SoulCollaging® and came up with the card above. I brought it to work and coworkers saw it and one even said she wanted one. It reminded me of why I was there.
This card says I want to stop “the man” from just talking and scheming – it’s time for action. And I want the money to go the right way. Where’s it going now? Too much to inefficient systems and bureaucracy, and not enough to patient care. One SoulCollage® card can’t eliminate all my frustrations about our healthcare system, but it is a step in the right direction, and it’s a tangible reminder when I need one which is something.
When you’re having trouble finding motivation, getting up in the morning, facing the world, sit down with SoulCollage® and see what comes up. I bet the universe has something for you.
SoulCollage® has four suits that you can assign to your cards, Community, Committee, Council and Companion. I’ll talk a little bit about each in four separate posts. This one is about Committee which are all your inner selves, your inner child, critic, dare devil, super star, worrier… All of these inner lives talk to you constantly, sometimes sending clear messages, but sometimes mixed ones if you have lots of inner voices. SoulCollage® is a great way to separate them so their messages can be heard in a more organized manner. I’ve used SoulCollage® to explore my inner children (there are several) and my inner demons. The majority of my cards are probably Community cards, or would at least share that category.
The first example above is my inner child returning home, to Holland, Michigan, with its alter ego, the alien. I’m reintroducing myself to childhood. The other example is from one of the darkest times of my life. I felt setup for failure and hurt, picked on, and gobbled up. I walked into it every day, until I didn’t. This is my inner victim speaking, and I have cosmic support to turn to in those times, and I also have cards that represent my inner defenders – thank goodness!
Which of your inner voices want to speak through SoulCollage®? Welcome diverse voices and have fun talking with yourself!
SoulCollage® has four suits that you can assign to your cards, Community, Committee, Council and Companion. I’ll talk a little bit about each in four separate posts. This one is about Community which are people, animals, souls, or energy that are worldly, or “real.” It could even be a place or an event that is meaningful to you, but it is an actual something, as opposed to inner people or fairies which are not (usually) visible.
Your Community is full of mostly souls, probably, who made an impact on you, not toxic people or anything that would cause trauma (always avoid those on SoulCollage® cards), but it could be someone that taught you a life lesson. Maybe it was difficult, but it ended up being a healthy experience. Or maybe it’s someone who has always been a bright spot for you and fills you with feelings of self-worth all the time. When you create or draw one of these cards from your deck, listen to the voice of that particular person. They want to tell you something. My first dog, Milo, appears in many of my cards. He has a lot to say.
These examples don’t include Milo, but do introduce you to my childhood orchestra director from 6th to 12th grade, Mr. Van, who instilled confidence in me, trusted me, and liked me as a person and leader (I was always first stand, first violin). I loved orchestra and I loved Mr. Van. The other example is a former co-worker, Chris, an army veteran, Ranger, and inspirational person. When I put the kid in the water on the card, I didn’t even notice he was wearing camouflage until after it was done. That’s what I call SoulCollage® magic.
You have a Community around you. Let them talk to you, help you, guide you. Even if they aren’t part of your everyday life, they can live on your SoulCollage® cards forever.
I started pre-cutting images because I was bothered by the extra space when laying out my cards. I was also bored. Then I kept doing it because they store better that way (taped to scrap paper), and it’s a good thing to do when I’m too tired to think through a whole collage, but I feel like doing something crafty and mindful. I don’t use all of the ones I cut, but it’s still worth it. I love being able to go to my folder and be able to create my cards without the extra time of cutting. I can automatically see what it will look like when glued down without squishing together a bunch of larger pieces of paper, and they are easy to peruse all taped to scrap paper.
Most of the time I do SoulCollage® it’s because I feel the need to do it, or it’s workshop time, but sometimes I do it just for fun. The “fun” cards are just as meaningful as the “serious” ones, but they have a lighter, more joyful energy about them. Sometimes I get to demonstrate my sense of humor, sometimes funny images find me, and probably more often than not, it’s my inner child wanting to play.
I even laugh at the alarm clock card – I really dislike getting up with an alarm in the morning, but this still makes me giggle inside, as if funny me is trying to wake up crabby me. I’ve also made several mate-manifestation cards, but the Batman and Rose walking dinosaur bones card remains one of my favorites. I would love that to be me someday. And the alien-cat-Joshua Tree card is a combination of several fun things I like, and this card connects me to them.
It’s important to keep these around in your deck, because even if you’re like me and you feel like you’re not growing if you’re not meditating, studying, or doing something mindful, they do provide growth. Sometimes it’s a reverse growth, like being an adult who finds that healthy inner child that has been pushed into the dark for too long. With all the fun killers out there, like work, bills, traffic, news, fun has to hold its own space, so make fun cards, let the silly flow, let the happy joker dance across your cards, and then smile at what you’ve done.
One of the only absolute rules to SoulCollage® is that there's no such thing as a bad SoulCollage®, yet there are still those participants that will scowl at their cards because they "messed up." No, you didn't! That's part of the magic of SoulCollage® is that everything on the SoulCollage® is how it's meant to be. It may not be as you intended it, but now you have the gift of figuring out why it's exactly as it should be.
I had a participant who was intentionally wanting to address a "gremlin" in her life. She was open to whatever the images had for her, but as part of another project, she had gremlins on her mind. During share time, she showed us her gremlin card which had a cartoon creature with wings that she'd spent time to cut around in detail, but she left one little spot of white, similar to what you see in the image above, to address her perfectionism. He was her Perfectionist Gremlin, and it was clear in her voice and expression as she shared, that it was very hard for her to leave that white space, but it acheived exactly what she needed.
Would you be able to leave the white space? Are there "gremlins" needing some attention, then letting go? They're itching to be on a SoulCollage®.
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.