Since I last wrote, I’ve attended several training opportunities which also gifted me with spiritual growth as well. In December, I flew to Connecticut and then took a very expensive cab to Westfield, Massachusetts for a 5 day training workshop to be a SoulCollage© facilitator. I have created a information page here on the ins and outs of SoulCollage© so I won’t rewrite it all here.
My first experience with SoulCollage© was in the fall of 2018 when I attended a day retreat/workshop. I fell in love with the creativity of the process which awakened more of the right side of my brain. For me, it brought balance to the creative and analytical sides. When I’m intentionally creating and seeking the “right” image my analytical brain evaluates the size, shape, color, etc. of an image then the left brain kicks in like Jackson Pollack throwing paint!
Last June I had an amazing and deep experience of creating SC cards while on a 7 day, personally directed silent retreat at Our Lady of the Pines Retreat Center in Fremont, Ohio. https://www.pinesretreat.org/ I’m going again this year. Being able to create collages of images to express the indescribable growth in spiritual matters gave me a way to describe without words all the “stuff” of interior movements. Theresa of Avila used the image of Spanish mansions to describe the work of the Spirit in her life and her mystical encounters with the Divine. I cut and paste magazine and calendar images to 5×8 cards!
And the end of January, I attended a prequalifying workshop and a 2 day training to be a Veriditas trained labyrinth facilitator. The prequalifying workshop was SoulCollage© and Walking the Labyrinth! I created a page about the labyrinth here so feel free to read more on that page. We were introduced to SC – some of us were trained SC facilitators but it is always great to see how someone else facilitates a workshop – and then went to the outdoor labyrinth at the Avon Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC. After our walk we came back to the fellowship hall and created SC cards.
My very first time walking a labyrinth was weeks after my mother had passed away in 2016. I seem to tuck that away when I talk about my labyrinth experiences. I also had access to one in my spiritual direction internship program which I used frequently. My first time walking was during a workshop at the Oldenburg Franciscan Center. It’s probably one of my first expressions of body prayer unless you consider sitting in stillness and uprightness on a Zen cushion as a form of body prayer. I recall walking with the rawness of the grief and loss and also finding comfort in the twists and turns and journeying to the center and back out. You can’t get “lost” on the labyrinth. You might miss a turn – and I’ve done that – and come back round again but the labyrinth is truly a metaphor for life. It is an ancient archetypal symbol of the journey and the path.
We think it’s linear but live meanders and comes back on itself and goes to the center and back out on the edges again and again. I love walking a labyrinth for that reason. I think walking and looking where the turns are gives my left brain something to do while my creative mind – and my heart – have a space to be open to the movements of Spirit and Universe.
I’m planning to facilitate some SoulCollage© workshops. I also want to facilitate helping others experience the labyrinth. If I am able to pull the two together at some point then that would be fantastic.
The motto in SC is Discover Your Wisdom, Change the World. Many quotes apply to the labyrinth but St. Augustine said it succinctly when he said “It is solved by walking.”
Please contact me and let me know how I can help you create and collage SC cards to help you discover your inner wisdom. And let me walk with you on your own labyrinth, your own spiritual path and discover inner wisdom in walking.
CATHERINE DE HUECK DOHERTY – Catherine de Hueck Doherty was a Russian-Canadian Catholic social worker and founder of the Madonna House Apostolate. She was a pioneer among North American Catholics in implementing the Church’s social justice teachings and encouraging contemplation! A prolific writer, she urged Christians to take time apart, enter the poustinia and encounter the Divine in silence and solitude. Thursday, March 5, 2020, 6:30 to 8:00 PM Lenten Series Workshops at Oldenburg Franciscan Center $15 http://www.oldenburgfranciscancenter.org/programs.html
MIRABAI STARR – Mirabai Starr is a writer, teacher, and bereavement counselor who seeks to honor all the world’s faith traditions and to honor contemplation. The experience and connection of between loss and a longing for God is the ground of her spiritual life and the basis of her writings. Her first book, a translation of St. John of the Cross’ Dark Night of the Soul, was released the same day her youngest daughter was tragically killed in a car accident. Mirabai coped through writing, contemplation and seeing the connection of all. Since that first publication, she’s written several books on mystics. Her latest book, Wild Mercy: Living the Fierce and Tender Wisdom of Women Mystics will be the basis of this Lenten Series workshop. Lenten Series Workshops at Oldenburg Franciscan Center $15 http://www.oldenburgfranciscancenter.org/programs.html Thursday, March 19, 2020, 6:30 – 8:00 PM
(This blog is not intended to serve as individual spiritual direction. Spiritual direction and spiritual companioning is typically done face to face in a confidential setting. If you would like to explore one on one spiritual companioning, group companioning, SoulCollage©, the Labyrinth or Reiki, please contact me. If you, your faith group, your church or your book club would like to know more about spiritual companioning, please contact me. In the meantime, my hope is that the photos and this blog serve as a pause in your day, food for thought, or just a reminder to breathe in and breathe out all that is holy and good. The Divine Milieu is all around us. Thank you all for your prayers and support.)