My SoulCollage® Journey
Marti Beddoe is founder of Designs for Peace, SoulCollage® Facilitator, Peer Spirit Circle Practitioner, Meditation Teacher and leads retreats and workshops to teach practices for sustaining lives of Meaning, Joy, and Beauty.
My SoulCollage® Journey
Sometimes in life there are experiences that are simply beyond words. When I saw Jon Hansen’s breathtaking SoulCollage® cards for the first time in April 2005, it was truly love at first sight. I was mesmerized! Jon’s cards were like no collages I had ever seen before, even after decades of making my own collages and teaching my clients to create Treasure Maps/Vision boards.
I wanted to know more. In August I invited Jon to teach me and a circle of friends how to make these magical cards and how to use the SoulCollage® process to gain insight and self-understanding.
That same peer-led circle has met monthly since 2005! We use Circle Way practices which likely have a lot to do with our longevity as a group. At the center of our SoulCollage® circle is a sacred space of silence, a bottomless well where we can pause to drink deeply the nectar of authenticity, creativity, encouragement, integrity and wisdom before returning to our daily lives. Our circle is all about witnessing each other’s journeys. We make cards, do readings, and celebrate members’ rites of passage, including births, marriages, death, serious illness, job loss, new jobs and vocations, and relocation.
After two years of making cards and learning how to do readings, I knew it was time to become a SoulCollage® Facilitator. In October, 2007, I was fortunate to train with Seena B. Frost at the Baltimore, Maryland SoulCollage® Facilitator Training. Our paths had crossed in the 1980’s when we both attended Jean Houston’s Human Capacities Program. It was there that Seena created a forerunner of what we know today as the SoulCollage® process!
With respect and gratitude, I acknowledge my teachers Jean Houston, Jon Hansen, Seena B. Frost, Kylea Taylor, and Anne Marie Bennett, the Giants upon whose shoulders I stand on my SoulCollage® Journey.
My Illuminating Deck
When I returned from the Facilitator Training, I dutifully made the six cards that Seena suggested are universal experiences and relevant to everyone’s deck: The Fool, Death, The Happy Inner Child, The Grateful Self, The Judge of Others, and The Critic of Self.
The Death Card
Making the Death Neter card led to a powerful intimate conversation with my husband on a topic he'd normally avoided discussing. Harry was shocked that I had portrayed Death as peaceful and beautiful. Though we’d been married eighteen years, when the topic of death would come up, somehow the subject would get changed so we’d never really confided our beliefs, concerns and fears about it. Then, a few days after I shared my Death card, Harry’s oldest brother Jim transitioned suddenly. Because of our heart-talk, we were able to be present to Jim’s family in a genuine and compassionate way.
Then, a few weeks later, during emergency heart surgery, I had a near-death experience that completely changed my awareness. Any fear of "death" was replaced with an overwhelming sense of beauty and peace. Knowing my beliefs from the conversation around the Death Neter helped Harry stay calm through the whole ordeal.
Both my meditation and SoulCollage® practices have given me tools to map and explore a new and more expansive territory of consciousness emerging within. Life is truly beautiful!
A New Normal Emerges
During a course of work with Internal Family Systems, I made many Committee and Council SoulCollage® cards which enhanced and accelerated great personal insight, healing and integration. Notably, I was able to confront and heal the ferocious "Inner Critic" part that had paralyzed my soul and psyche for most of my life. Ultimately this work allowed me to take a profoundly transforming journey from "Bad Mother" to "Whole and Nurturing Mother." The work of forgiveness is ongoing and rich.
I especially enjoy delighting my loved ones with the gift of a Community card depicting their essential nature. It touches and surprises me to see these cards displayed in a place of honor.
When I am with close friends, I often will share my newest cards as a way to express what is currently most alive in me. It allows us to drop down deeper and share at a soul level.
Prison Project - SoulCollage® in Community
In April 2013, JoAnn Flynn, a Facilitator from Connecticut, wrote in the Facilitator newsletter of her SoulCollage® work with women in prison. Something about her story touched me deeply. Perhaps the part of me that is familiar with the state of consciousness of being imprisoned? I contacted JoAnn who told me more about the women and what kind of support was needed.
When I shared this with my peer circle, (the one that has met each month since 2005) they decided to support JoAnn's work by sending closely cut images and backgrounds as well as cash donations. JoAnn reported that the women she serves could not believe that “total strangers” would be so kind to them. We sent our photo and JoAnn made this card which she taped on to an l.e.d. candle that goes into the center of their circle each time they gather.
SoulCollage®, Inc. donates mat boards and other materials to any Facilitator who is working with the incarcerated. I also coordinate an informal network of SoulCollagers willing to share images with Facilitators working with prisoners. Click here to request more information on how to participate.
Fast forward to 2017, my deck has grown to over 300 cards. My SoulCollage® practice is an excellent complement to my meditation practice, offering a deep, wide and wondrous well of wisdom to help me live more happily. I have blended the complementary practices and life skills of meditation, Circle Way, and SoulCollage® into a fulfilling way of living while supporting others to discover greater happiness for themselves.
I look forward to going deeper with the Walking the Beauty Way Retreat, the first one held was in May 2018.
As I enter the third trimester of my life, I am so very grateful to Seena Frost and Source for the ever-deepening Well of Meaning, Joy, Beauty, and Wisdom made available to so many souls through the transformative practice of SoulCollage®.
It is an honor and a delight to share the SoulCollage® process with anyone looking for “a way to dive deeper into an awareness of their many-faceted Self/Soul parts,” especially their own Inner Healer and Wise One.