Wednesday, October 12, 2011

SoulCollage® et Moi

This week I had the privilege of being featured in Anne Marie Bennett's newsletter, Soul Treasures. Learn more about her wonderful, Kaleidosoul program, here.... And read more about me below:

Feminine World

I am the pain of the world, covered with blue scarves & white.
I am the beauty of the world, bare-shouldered with upswept hair.
I am the fire of the world, burning with desire and hope.
I am the joy of the world, reaching toward the heavens.

I am the beauty of the world, bare-shouldered with upswept hair.
I am the luscious berry, bursting with flavor.
I am the joy of the world, reaching toward the heavens.
I am the soul of the world, centered through pain, beauty, touch and taste.

I am the luscious berry.
I am the fire of the world.
I am the soul of the world.
I am the pain of the world, covered with blue scarves & white.

© Kayce Stevens Hughlett

Soul Friends

The Voice of a Different Kindred Spirit Each Week

Kindred Spirits MemberKayce Stevens Hughlett
Seattle, WA

I attended my first official SoulCollage® workshop in December, 2007 although I was hooked by the process about a year earlier while attending a workshop called "Awakening the Creative Spirit." We did a larger mandala-type collage and then used it for several activities including a poetry writing exercise. In this exercise, we were invited to take phrases from a previous journaling process about the mandala and insert the words "I am" before the phrases. I can still feel the sense of wonder and connection as I spoke the words "I am." This became the poem that you see, above, and was my first recalled experience with "I am." It was incredibly powerful in its impact on my life - how I see myself and how I connect with the entire universe.

There happened to be a SoulCollage® facilitator (Maggie Yowell) in the workshop with me and she began to woo me toward the official process. Once I began making cards, I couldn't stop and in September, 2009 I went through Facilitator Training.

There are so many things I love about SoulCollage®. First and foremost is the simplicity. It is art and creativity in its most basic form. Growing up in an environment that didn't promote artistic endeavors, I quickly came to believe I wasn't creative or meant to do "art." My skills training basically ended with learning the color wheel and then being told I would be better served learning "practical" things like homemaking and accounting.

SoulCollage® allows me to step into my inner artist without judgment. I can get lost in the process and not worry about wasting resources or having a large messy project that didn't turn out like I imagined. My cards have become friends who I can call on at anytime. I make a practice of doing a reading at the beginning of the year as well as other times of transition. In my studio, I have a jeweled mobile where I can hang prints of my cards as daily reminders. Images have such a powerful voice and connect at a core level with a mere glimpse. My SoulCollage® cards have given me the freedom to trust my inner guidance and offer an experience of deep knowing in a simple and quick way.

SoulCollage® also keeps me grounded in my creativity. It has become the stepping stone toward other life endeavors. Writing is my favorite artistic medium and Julia Cameron's Morning Pages have been the cornerstone of writing for me. Often when I am feeling stuck or don't have a particular direction for my journaling, I will draw a random SoulCollage® card. The cards offer a limitless amount of wisdom and encouragement for every situation. They have taught me that I, too, am an artist which is an amazing gift in my life.

Through SoulCollage® I have the opportunity to introduce others to their own creativity and deepened personal awareness. It is a bridge builder within (as we come to know more about ourselves) and without (by connecting to others and the world in more meaningful ways.)

My message of wisdom to other SoulCollagers is to be open and trust the process. It sounds simplistic, but it's so true. Whenever I begin to believe I've learned everything there is about a card or aspect of myself, my cards will prove me wrong. When I'm open and willing to be surprised, magical things happen!

One humorous thing I've noticed about myself is that the process is inherently with me. I am a committed walker and stroll through my neighborhood on a daily basis. I'm reminded of an example where I saw a cat sitting in a window one day as I passed by. I began to speak from the cat, beginning with I Am One Who... By the time I finished my walk, I had lots of new awareness from "conversing" with the window cat. My hope is that I'm not speaking out loud when I have these little conversations with flowers, leaves, peeling paint and the like. Oh well...

When it comes to making cards, it feels like I've had a different process for creating each one. Some are super-detailed and have developed over several hours while others come together within minutes. I am a true believer of letting the images find me. When I gather images for workshops I try to be mindful of how and where the pictures may be used by others. Occasionally an image will grab me and I tuck it in my personal folder. Some have stayed there for months before being used and sometimes, I return them back to the community if they no longer speak to me.

This past summer I was preparing for a writers' workshop and we were asked to bring images. I gathered a few and took them with me, but ended up not doing the session where they were to be used. Later when I returned home, I completed a milestone piece of writing and those images popped into my mind. Quickly, I dug them out of my folder and realized they were the perfect collection to make a celebratory card.

I hope you'll visit me on my website, Diamonds in the Soul and blog, Diamonds in the Sky with Lucy

Here are two cards I want to share with you:

These cards were born one April while facilitating workshops on the Fool. Joy has become a signature word for me. In fact my business tagline is "I help high-functioning, under-living people recover and nourish personal joy in life." I spent a significant portion of my life trapped in serious endeavors that didn't really fit with my innate personality. Rediscovering play and joy have been essential to my personal, spiritual and physical growth, so these cards are very dear to me. Whenever I begin to take myself too seriously, I can look to them as glorious reminders that life is worth loving and I have wings of laughter to carry me through even the most challenging situations.

Council Suit

I am the one who is light as a feather.
I am the one who floats on air - light, airy, pink.
Carried by balloons - colorful & delightful.
I am the one who makes peace with who I am by turning old expectations upside down.
I feel the breeze behind me, above me, below me, around me.
Look, do you see me? I am not foolish.

What I have to give you is peace, joy, rest in knowing who you are.
You're only as old as you think you are.
Question: What age would you be if you didn't know how old you are?
Answer: It doesn't matter!!! Remember that - that's what I want you to remember.

It doesn't matter if you have wrinkles or saggy arms or skin as fresh as a new born baby. Be yourself. Lighten up. Don't stop when you hear the voice of the stopper.
Just go. Let go! Play, laugh, love. Be free as a bird. Blossom.

Foolish Me
Committee Suit

I am the one who laughs and plays and drums and dances and blooms. I am the one who doesn't hide behind conventional wisdom. I am the one who says, "Go," not "Stop." There are lots of ways, as long as you're moving in the direction of your heart. Stop holding onto what "others" think. Play. Release. Let go. Drum and dance. Stop stopping You!!

Play. Bloom. You won't be foolish. God's wisdom is not what the world thinks it is. We all want to play, but we get stuck. Stuck in the paradigms we think are true. We think spirituality has to look stale and safe. We've taken the fun out of worship. We've put churches inside buildings rather than out in the fresh air on the cliffs and near the water. We've forgotten how to take off our shoes and run through the grass. We hear our mothers saying, "Don't get dirty. Finish your work before you go out to play." Guess what? The work is never done.

I want to feel everything around me. To feel the wind in my hair. The breeze on my skin. The sun kissing my beauty. Be free. Dance like the feather. Let your hands fly with your own rhythm. Laugh like there is no tomorrow. Eat what you want & what makes you happy. Nourishment is all you need and laughter is the best nourishment of all. Stop hiding. Bloom, friend, bloom. Reach toward freedom.