Last week I scheduled a creative adventure with myself and attended the “SoulCollage Studio” workshop with Barbara Black at Smith Farm Center for Healing and the Arts. Before I arrived at the workshop, my inner critic archetype Broomhilda tried to disturb my creative flow by ranting and raving about me being 45 minutes late. Instead of dismissing Broomhilda’s rant, I allowed her to speak her mind. Why you might ask? Because she represents one of my chosen 8 archetypes who serve as windows of self-discovery.
Do you know what archetypes are? The word archetype is a term coined by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung. It refers to the various personalities that live inside of individuals. In my opinion, archetypes invite me to explore, embrace, and accept myself. They bring me closer to myself in ways that allow all of my personalities to serve my highest and greatest good. That’s why I have to take the time to identify, nurture, and welcome them into my life. Make them feel comfortable. Treat them as team players who use their strengths and share their gifts with one goal in mind: healthy living. I promise them I will listen to what they have to say. I reassure them I won’t pick favorites or judge their commentary, creativity, communication style, criticism, and concerns. I try to honor their presence with gratitude daily. I do my best to accept and bless who they are because without my chosen eight I would be lost.
Okay so back to my visit from Broomhilda … my inner critic archetype. As I walked down U Street to Smith Farm’s offices, I asked Broomhilda why she was upset. She confessed she was worried I was wasting the $12.50 I paid for the workshop. She was also worried I would not get what I needed to receive from the workshop. When I listened to Broomhilda’s concerns, I noted that she was trying to make sure I my workshop needs were met in her own unique way (minus her rants).
Once I arrived at Smith Farm’s offices, I promised Broomhilda that I would be fully present in the workshop so my needs would be met. She seemed happy and drifted into the background of the evening. Here’s the lesson I learned about my inner critic Broomhilda: when I listen to her without judgment or resistance, I demonstrate that I am present and aware of her concerns. I don’t have to agree with her or take action. I just have to be present and aware. My gift of presence affirms that she is being heard. It also creates space in my spirit, mind, body, and heart to embrace my full self — all eight parts of me.
Barbara Black’s “SoulCollage Studio” workshop was exactly what I needed last week. SoulCollage is an intuitive collage process created by Seena Frost, a psychotherapist and spiritual counselor. During the collage-making process, you create your own cards that mirror a unique and different aspect of your soul and self. It is the perfect creative adventure for an artist like myself … I love collages and archetypes!
Before I started making my SoulCollages, Barbara guided me through a series of exercises based on ‘The Guest House,” one of my favorite poems by Sufi poet Rumi. See below.
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
(From The Essential Rumi, versions by Coleman Barks)
I also read the quotes below.
- “I am large. I contain multitudes.” Walt Whitman
- “One must separate out the parts of something before these parts can come back together in a new and truly whole and precious way.” C.G. Jung
- “When the soul wants to experience something, she throws an image of the experience before her and enters into her own image.” Meister Eckhar
I also journaled about my personal qualities, traits, patterns, behaviors, fears, and favorite activities, past times, passions, and pursuits. My journaling opened me up to writing about my inner voices (another phrase for my chosen eight archetypes). When I completed my journaling, Barbara instructed me to put my writings away and sit in silence for a few moments. After those moments passed, Barbara invited me to join the workshop class in creating SoulCollage cards in silence.
Being able to sit in silence with my fellow workshop participants was a special treat. The silence allowed me to tap into my soul’s intuition. Check out what I created below. After the collages were made, Barbara facilitated a guided meditation that asked us to discover who the card was in our lives. We were given an opportunity to share one-on-one. That was a very powerful experience to have someone listen and write down what I thought. As a result, I developed six-word memoirs to describe each collage. They are included below.
Six-Word Memoir for SoulCollage#1 – Joy. Travel. India. Books. Heels. Dresses.
Six-Word Memoir for SoulCollage #2: Sparkle. Magic. Goodness of My Life.
Six-Word Memoir for SoulCollage #3 – – Touch Earth. Relaxation. Yoga. Meditation. Sangha.
Six-Word Memoir for SoulCollage #4 – Smart for Two. Partners. Friends. Lovers.
Have you had a creative adventure this month?
What was it?
Have you made any collages or written any six-word memoirs? Please share them in the comment section.
Enjoy your weekend!