Collaging to Heal Your Life and Paint Your Dreams

Perhaps you have heard of vision boards, and most certainly you have seen wall murals. But , have you ever tried to collage your way to a happy and successful life? While I do not have any artistic talent and do not consider myself an artist at all, I have fallen in love with this art form, that fortunately for me, anybody can do. I look at collaging through the eyes of a clinician. Since I am a psychotherapist, a hypnotist and a psychiatric nurse practitioner, I use collaging to transform realities, to breathe power into dreams and to heal myself and others. As another collage expert says, collaging “steers you straight into the heart of your own truth” (Anne Marie Bennett). It is a unique blend of spiritual practice and pure fun.

I first learned to collage for healing, completion and full self-expression in an advanced course with Landmark Education called Wisdom. In that course I was introduced to the power of cutting images out of magazines or newspapers or whatever and putting them together in one large overlapping kaleidoscopic mass to speak to me about myself. It is an amazing experience. It is entertaining, fascinating, wonderful. . It is the easiest way to talk with your subconscious mind. It is a magnificent way to heal all your nightmares and your daymares. It is a miraculous, magical way to manifest your dreams.

That is MY definition of collaging. The dictionary definition of a collage is kinda dull by comparison: A collage is “a paste-up mode by sticking together pieces of paper or photographs to form an artistic image.” All you need is a pair of scissors and some tape and a bunch of old magazines. If the magazine has value ( like my husband’s National Geographics) and you cannot tear them up, a color copier comes in handy. That copier may be too expensive to buy for just collaging, but if you own one anyway…it’s a great solution. Saves me a lot of arguments with my sweetheart.

If you would like to create a deck of cards that represents your soul, please check out www.soulcollage.com. On that website, Anne Marie recommends four different suits: The Committee, which represents the inner voices of your mind; the Community, the family and friends who love and support you; the Companions (animal totems who lend us their energies for healing and growth) and the Council, the archetypes who symbolize major life themes).

Since I am a Catholic, I include my favorite saints and guardian angels in my “Council”, as well as images for the Divine Mother and my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Who would be on your spiritual team? Or as they say in the Master Mind groups, who would be on your Board of Directors? You can also use color copies of your favorite Tarot cards in your personal deck.

Anne Marie Bennett says, “The idea is to have the cards in your Soul Collage deck name and honor your individual voices: the luminous and the clear as well as the dark and the shadowy, because it is only in accepting every facet of ourselves that we can bring ourselves to wholeness.” I couldn’t agree more! If you would like to read a book on this aspect of collage spirituality, I recommend you read “The Dark Side of the Light Chasers” by Debbie Ford.

When you select pictures from magazines allow yourself to dwell on those images that attract you, intrigue you, inspire you, “call your name”. I pull pictures and images whenever I can and keep them in file folders. Sometimes I organize them by theme, often I just put them all in a pile. I usually wait until a sleepy Sunday afternoon to put my collages together. Often, I will set an intention for a collage, such as “I want to collage innocence and purity” or “I want to collage my blocks against becoming wealthy.” Other times, I will just gaze at my collection of images and allow the collage to “do itself”. Even when you have a particular intention for a collage, put the images together as they come together…I promise, they will do so all by themselves.

Anne Marie suggests that you do journaling exercises with the collages you create. After creating a card, ask it “ Who are you? What do you have to give me? What do you want for me?” I often write on the back of the collage what the message of the image is for me.

Something else I love to do with collages is construct photo albums with them. I place each collage on an 81/2 by 11 construction paper and insert it into a sheet protector. Then I put as many as I can in a spiral 1 inch notebook. I have about 5 notebooks full of my favorite collage conversations! Whenever I feel down or lost, I pull out one of my albums and search for my favorite themes. The dark collages express to me the kind of negativities I struggle with. The brilliant collages represent what I live for and what I want to bring to life.

Another great way to collage is buy a artist sketch pad and spread the collage over a paper. I put two sheets of construction a paper over the white sketch pad and have the background colors match the theme of that collage. I use my sketch pad when I have too many images for the 81/2 x 11 paper, when I have an overarching theme to express.

One last way to collage that I want to share with you: you can get a cork board and make a vision board which you can keep in your office or your home. The vision board is illustrated in the movie The Secret. Careful what you put on that board!! Imagine your best life, your best success, your best home, your favorite people, your favorite pastime, the legacy you want to leave, your best hopes and prayers for a needy world, etc… Put those on your vision board and watch life show up according to “plan”. Have you ever read the book “The Science of Getting Rich” by Wallace Wattles? If not, let me know and I will send you a copy of that e-book. It is similar to a condensed version of “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. It is a great companion to your collage work.

Please consider including collaging in your spiritual disciplines and creative sports!! If you would like to see some examples, I have posted several of my favorite collages on my website at www.lifemotivationssa.com. I also teach workshops in how to collage so let me know if you would like to join us. Call me for details: 210 473-1619 or email me at [email protected]. When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true….especially if you collage it first!!! Blessings, and Namaste, Elizabeth

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