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®.
You will rarely find images with words in the image piles at a SoulCollage® with Megan Menkveld workshop because for some reason, I want the image selection to be just that: images. But that doesn't mean they don't show up here and there, and even on my cards once in a while, too, and since there are no rules to SoulCollage®, participants are welcome to add their own words that they find wherever, and I've seen some beautifully meaningful cards with words.
In these examples, the words are all used differently. The stickers are documentary, with the words not necessarily meant to be read independently, but to blend in with the overall sticker as an image. The head, heart and gut are very intentional, and those words are powerful to me when I read them. In the last SoulCollage® card above, the words are part of a sign, kind of self-explanatory, but I like how it announces that there's something there for me. These words, like everything that ends up on my SoulCollage® cards, wanted to be there, and made space for themselves. Mostly they humor me and let me get away with my "random" rule about no words on a SoulCollage®, but there's no resisting the universe's suggestions during SoulCollage® when it gives me words. They go on a card!
The great thing about recycling material is that it's cheaper for me (and you!), and it's good for the environment. Not only do I source almost all of my images from used books and magazines, I re-use parts of the re-used materials, like hard-covers for Exacto knife cutting surfaces, unused pages from magazines for scrap paper, and the latest idea, soft-covers for mini-binder separators!
Recycling is your best bet for emergency SoulCollage®, too. Use old folders or soft-covers for card stock and cut it to 5" x 8". Reach into your or a friend's recycle bin for magazines, or hit a thrift store for a used book or two. My mom makes my dad give me magazines rather than let them sit in a pile that becomes permanent storage. He understands.
There are so many images waiting to be rescued and placed on your SoulCollage® card!
So, you've been to a few SoulCollage® with Megan Menkveld workshops and have some SoulCollage® cards. What do you do with them? I keep an active deck, and put retired cards in a separate bigger box for permanent storage. At first I kept my new cards in a canvas bag like the one you see above, which are hand maid by a friend and are for sale at the MMSoul store complete with cards and sleeves and are the perfect size for SoulCollage® cards, just $12.
Once I had too many to fit in one or two bags, I had to find a new solution, which was an inexpensive box I found at a hobby shop to hold my first, official active deck. If you decide to go with a box, pick one that let's you easily draw from it for when you do card readings and will hold the number of cards you want to have in your active deck. There is no rule on the number of cards in a deck.
And of course there's electronic storage - I always take pictures of my SoulCollage® cards and keep a copy on my phone and one in the e-cloud, as they are priceless and I would hate to lose them. Whatever you do, I encourage you to keep them all somehow, somewhere.
What have you done with your cards?
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.