by SoulCollage® Facilitator Noreen Donahue, L.C.S.W.
What a journey it is to sort through a box of “virgin” images. A fresh collection of images offers a whole array of feelings, an epic and celestial ride. I am in “beginner’s mind”, a true explorer asking questions of each of the images on the pages. I rest on Rumi’s front porch in each exotic land and welcome the guests as my unexpected visitors. I delight in each of the images that grab hold of me. Perhaps the image is an aspect of me or a messenger from beyond, a guiding force in my life. A new collection of images is a round the world trip, a shamanic journey of the soul. As I greet the images, I am filled with inquiry.
Hello old man….what thoughts are occupying your mind as you look out across the water? Greetings, exotic child from a foreign land. Are you a part of me? Have I lived in similar skin in some other incarnation? Do we share any space in the Venn diagram of the universe? Do our realities overlap?
Hello mother, gathering grain in a distant rice field. Have I cooked that rice for my family here in Florida? Hello marvelous creature of the jungle, have you been my companion in my dreams? Have we journeyed together in some altered state of consciousness? Have you healed my wounded heart or inspired me to have more courage in my here and now life?
Hello beautiful adorned woman in a foreign ritual; you exude beauty and grace. Did it come naturally or are you posing for the camera. Were you loved? Did your father adore you and keep you safe? Did your mother pass down the stories of your ancestors while she brushed your hair?
I see you little abandoned girl, gathering fairy tales on the beach…yes, I too had a mother in the ocean, one who fed my soul and nourished my dreams and hugged me through the soles of my feet on the sand. Ahoy, ancient mariner, whale. May I become you and journey to the depths of the ocean, to tickle the belly of my Mother Earth? Thank you birds, for flying from the heavens with your messages from beyond.
I bow to you, ancient archetypes. I shudder. I can hardly speak. I am awed by your presence and your intensity. Thank you for teaching me to honor you and to calibrate your essence in just the right dose for my human skin. After all, I am no Superhero (except when “I Am One Who is a Superhero!) Thank you, garden flower for allowing me to rest here on your fragrant petal. Who knew I could relax so deeply on your delicate buds and feel the sensation of the tiny insects crawling on me? Little galaxies, may I play jacks with your stars? I feel as if I can hold each of you in my hand and bounce a planet as my ball.
I see the feminine face of the goddess in eyes that grace these pages. We are truly connected in bikinis, burkhas, blue jeans and flowing robes. I know the feeling that seeps out through the eyes of your image. Thank you for allowing me to feel you so intimately, for helping me to see that I am not separate. Thank you for giving me a felt experience of being a part of the One and the Many.
I feel the presence and glory of Source as I view many of the souls that grace our vulnerable planet. Thank you, images, for helping me see that we all play our roles, soldier, war monger, peacemaker, man, woman, child, animal. We support each other’s journey here on earth. We share the same feelings and struggles, insecurities and delights. Thank you for helping me to recognize the universe within myself, a galaxy of inner characters. You are a motley crew who volley for my attention and recognition. I am surprised and humbled when you merge quietly into the oneness of Source when I feel quiet and reverent enough to respond to the invitation
Who knew that such an epic journey could take place with an explorer’s mind and a box of photos? The answers to all my questions rise up in me, some ancient and intuitive response that registers so clearly, when I listen. The little girl knows just which beach she wants to play on. The animals know exactly which part of the jungle they want to roam. Some marvelous, mystical part of me that is connected to my bigger story informs and challenges me. When I get grabbed as I do by an image, I trust that my Soul has a deeper understanding of me than I do.
I am continually delighted when the images become mine, when they gather together with their companions, when they find the exact location they want to live in, when they collect each of the relics or treasures they want to carry with them and then find a place to live on my SoulCollage® Card as little worlds unto themselves, reflections of my Soul.
Once pasted, the images hold my personal stories, become my mirrors. And the process continues as I sit with candle and deep breath and chose you, my neter for the day, my wise counsel when I seek guidance. And though my hand does the choosing, it is really you who comes forward, who slides gently and deliberately into my hand to be chosen that day. Each time that happens I want to fall to my knees with gratitude for being reminded that I am part of the whole, that my journey and my struggles have meaning and purpose. The numinous hears me and I am a part of the Mystery.
“I am continually amazed at the depth of the intuitive process of card making and reading… My favorite days are when I am holding a workshop and sharing this amazing process with people. SoulCollage® has helped me have more faith in knowing that we are all connected and that the thing we most search for is within.”