Using SoulCollage® To Cherish And Honor Special Times

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“Summertime . . . and the livin’ is easy. . . .”  I love that song from George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess! Summertime can be magical. It can be a relief from the busy schedule. Vacation! Adventure! The chance to get away to someplace special!

Capture The Freshness Of Your Adventures

The mountains . . . the beach . . . visits with special friends or family . . . or maybe the opportunity to go someplace you’ve been dreaming about for a long, long time. And, when you come back, you can capture the energy of your adventure . . . and keep it fresh . . . in a SoulCollage® card!

If you’re like me, it’s pretty easy, after vacation, to get sucked back into my “usual” life and schedule. By the time I’m caught up two weeks later, it can feel as if it never happened at all. But when I take the time to create a SoulCollage® card to remind me of that special time or place, I can “go back” in my mind and stay connected with my relaxed, open-hearted “vacation self” just by looking at my card!

And it’s easy to construct your vacation card. Bring home pamphlets and promotional material. Cut them up and fit them on a card. Voila! Here’s the SoulCollage® card I made when I got back from Haida Gwaii, formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands – a place I’d been longing to go for over fifteen years:

 

Haida Gwaii

I Am One Who breathes in the sweet, clean taste of the forest. I Am One Who lies down on its spongy floor, hundreds of years deep with moss and leaves, and takes her ease among the giant trees that stand witness to our human lifetimes. I Am One Who has been suspended and stretched by the openness of the sky and the sea. I Am One Who has seen the whales and the dolphins play . . . the eagles teach their young to hunt . . . the starfish and anemones dance. I Am One Who has been richly and unforgettably blessed by the aliveness and beauty of this piece of the natural world.

Even Places Have A Story

Haida Gwaii is located off the coast of beautiful British Columbia, above Vancouver Island and below Alaska. Have you ever seen totem poles – heard of pot latches? These are from the Haida Indian culture and Haida Gwaii is their home.

The Haida nation was nearly wiped out by smallpox and T.B. in the late 1800’s thru the early 1900’s. A population of 30,000 was reduced to fewer than 600 people. They had to abandon their traditional villages and band together to survive. Now, they number around 3,000.

They have been taking back their language by collecting Haida words and phrases from the few remaining native speakers. They have been teaching their language to the children in elementary schools. They are maintaining old village sites where vandals pillaged in the past, stealing the artwork before it could be collected by museums. Now, most of the totem poles are gone, the houses collapsed – but “the watchmen” are showing visitors through what’s left and explaining the Haida culture in the summer season.

The Empowering Advocacy Of Wisdom

Back in October, 1985, Haida elders dramatically stood up to the logging company that had no clear title to their land. They stopped the logging, and now, the entire south island is a pristine park reserve. (This is the area I visited in July on a small ship operated by Bluewater Adventures out of Vancouver.)

The Haida Gwaii card I made when I got home stands to remind me of the lush denseness of the magnificent old growth forest there and the openness of the water and sky that surrounds it. My card also recalls the strength and beauty of the Haida people and their art — and of their strong connection to their community and their bountiful and beautiful land.

Imaging A Second Memory Through SoulCollage®

I also did a card to honor our Baltimore Symphony Orchestra this year. My husband and I travelled to New York City, with other symphony supporters, when our BSO played a concert at famed Carnegie Hall in April. It was, to me, an event worthy of commemoration!

 

Baltimore Symphony at Carnegie Hall

I Am One Who swells with pride when I hear our symphony play great music, with one mind and one heart – each person making his or her individual contribution — each sound contributing to the whole. I Am One Who is inspired by seeing people work together to create something beautiful and uplifting.

Remembering “Who You Really Are”

So . . . what inspires you?

Places you’ve been? Groups or organizations? People who help others? What stirs your heart?  What reminds you “who you really are” inside?

Will you honor what inspires you . . . with a SoulCollage® card? I’d love to hear from you!

Ann H. Hughes has been a SoulCollage® Facilitator since 2007. She presented a popular workshop at the 2013 International SoulCollage® Conference in Skamania, Washington, and is a member of the American Art Therapy Association. She is also the author of Craft Your Wholeness: How to Make & Use Intentional SoulCollage® Cards for Healing & Living (available from Hanford Mead and Amazon). Read Ann's articles at the SoulCollage® Blog and Craft Your Wholeness.

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