The Solidarity Of Values In A Changing World
Surprise compounds the stressful potential of change. Instead of having time to anticipate the change and adjust to it before it happens, we are startled and have to process a lot about that change all at once, as it is happening. Just like an overloaded hard drive on our computer, our psyche’s “processing equipment” can be overwhelmed and will shut down if there is too much change and too much surprise for it to handle all at once.
Just like an overloaded hard drive on our computer, our psyche’s “processing equipment” can be overwhelmed and will shut down if there is too much change and too much surprise for it to handle all at once. ~ Kylea Taylor
A Change In Our Government: Surprise
In the USA we have had a significant change in our government. It was a surprise to most of us and to the world. Other countries have had different challenging, surprising changes. Research has shown that change of any kind is stressful, even if it is something we wanted. A well-anticipated wedding or a desired move to a new geographic location, for example, is still stressful, because it is new. With any change, one experiences loss of the old, the familiar and, therefore, some degree of grief and readjustment.
Why Practice SoulCollage®?
SoulCollage® is a fun and a deep process in good times, but it can be really helpful in challenging times. SoulCollagers make a deck of cards, one collaged card at a time, choosing images that are meaningful or ones that just grab us. When we have about 6-8 cards (representing parts of ourselves, our community, and various archetypes) we have a deck, with a card for each of many parts of ourselves. We can go to our SoulCollage® deck whenever we have a question in life, then speak guidance to ourselves from our own inner wisdom which is inherent in the meaning we assign to the images in each card. It is particularly helpful to consult our cards in the midst of stress and confusion.
Why Practice SoulCollage® is one of our most popular introductory videos, and a favorite among therapists. In this short video, founder Seena B. Frost, M.Div., M.A. and Mariabruna Sirabella, M.S., LMFT, Seena’s Training partner and friend, set the stage for us to recognize SoulCollage® as one of the many, varied processes working side by side, secular and mystical ones, and combinations of scientific and spiritual ones, each striving to help humans “wake up” and evolve into more whole beings. SoulCollage® can even help people find their passions and find more fruitful and satisfying directions for their lives.
With more than 11,000 views since 2014, Why Practice SoulCollage® includes excerpts from the Facilitating SoulCollage® in Groups CD (Second Edition) by Seena, one of the prerequisites for attending a SoulCollage® Facilitator Training.
Consulting My Cards, Remembering My Values
I have 93 cards at this point and, after the election, I sought their counsel. I could feel that some of my parts (particularly the SoulCollage® cards representing my personality parts or “Committee Suit Neters”) were more affected, and other, usually functional parts felt less available for a few days. My Organized Self broke down a bit; I felt more scattered and spacey while I was trying to work. More than is usual, I needed touch, soothing, quiet, less input, and additional sleep to absorb and reorganize.
I noticed my journey through the stages of Grief, that come with any loss of the “familiar” through Change, and I imagined that many people in my country might also be trying to “act normal” while feeling to some degree dazed, disorganized, sad, angry or irritated, after the surprise of this political change.
I imagined that many people in my country might also be trying to “act normal” while feeling to some degree dazed, disorganized, sad, angry or irritated, after the surprise of this political change.
My “Grief” Card (Council)
When Grief Is What Is Present, Be Fully Present With Grief
I have lived through lots of change and grief over the decades. As soon as I can recognize what is happening, I now choose not to “act normal” but rather to do grief fast and hard — to feel, express, and cooperate with the grief process 100% for as long as it takes. If I do that, without trying to cut it short or tamp it down, it always completes itself more quickly. I then feel ready to face and engage with whatever comes next.
Tools For The Changing Times
What tools do we have as SoulCollagers to use in the midst of change? The first tool is our cards, our decks! In using our cards to help guide our lives, we trust the process. We refocus from the external maelstrom to a meditative relationship with our cards. Our cards are us, after all, both our conscious and unconscious parts. In a SoulCollage® Reading, when we draw our cards, the cards are often synchronistic. They seem to be the ones we need to hear from at that time. Doing a SoulCollage® Reading, we speak from those cards and receive the messages they have for us. In this way we get in touch with parts and messages to which we might not otherwise pay attention when we are in a state of reaction to surprising change.
There’s A Larger Story In All Our Stories
I wanted to adjust to Change quickly so all parts of myself could be available again and I could get back to work with full functioning again. I wanted to recognize the Larger Story (Council Suit) in my own Local Story. When my Council Cards (archetypes) speak, using the SoulCollage® gestalt process, my Committee Neters (my personality parts) receive advice about Direction that helps me fit my experience into the big picture. When my Committee Neters speak “I” get to hear them and empathize.
My Four-Card Reading
My four-card reading on the SoulCollage® App was helpful, as a SoulCollage® Reading usually is when anyone asks a question of significance to them. I asked the open-ended question: “What do I need to hear right now?
1. My card for Oprah spoke first (through me), “I created miracles in my life. You can too. The world can too. Anything is possible. Be brave!”
2. My SoulCollage® Facilitator Self, not surprisingly, said, “Continue doing SoulCollage® to understand your connection to the Larger Story and the Larger Story’s connection to you! Remember, the Many are all part of the One. You can trust the process. Trust each voice in each card, each person. Everyone is part of the Process that can be trusted. Stay grounded in the SoulCollage® values, and you will know what to do.”
3. My Conception card reminded me, “At the beginning of anything, stay aware of what is unfolding and be willing to do what is required.”
4. My Comfortable in My Body card, with four images of Civil War soldiers on it, told me, “No matter what the conflict ahead, you can relax in the moment; you can remember what you are here to do, you can hang out with friends; you can do your best together.”
A second tool SoulCollage® offers is our values. When we have considered our values, we can align our actions to them, rather than merely reacting to circumstance. We are able to act from both awareness and choice.
Explicit Words For Implicit SoulCollage® Values
People come to SoulCollage® from many backgrounds, ethnicities, nationalities, religions, political affiliations, life styles, sexual orientations, and occupations. Despite our differences, we seem to want many of the same things in our worlds and in our human relationships. In 2011 we put explicit words to some of these implicit values: inclusivity, mutual cooperation and support, support of diversity, intention to empower and appreciate every person’s unique creativity and contribution, and trust in the process (trust in our own process, in others’ process, and in the unfolding Larger Story).
Naming our values states our intention to match our actions to them—to walk our talk. The words that name our values become touchstones that can center our being, even if we feel uncertain about what to do for a time. When I am remembering my values, I trust that every individual’s experience (Local Story) contributes to the Larger Story. I trust that if I discover my own connection to the Larger Story, I will know what action to take when it is time to take it. That action will be grounded in values I have claimed as my own.
Values give our decisions roots when the winds of change swirl around us. It is like having practiced a fire drill in the sudden event of a fire. In the midst of a surprising major change, our body and our psyche respond automatically with actions that come from what we have previously, carefully identified as important.
One More Card, One More Insight
After my four-card reading on the SoulCollage® App, I spread out all the cards in my physical deck, face down, and chose one more card to help me get clearer about my present personal connection to the Larger Story. The card that I turned over was the Watcher Crow.
My “Watcher Crow” Card (Council)
I made this card after I read about the social culture of crows. I learned how, at any given time, one particular crow in a “murder” (a strange word for flock of crows) somehow is assigned or volunteers to be the Watcher Crow for the others for some time period. Its job is to protect the rest by watching for danger and letting the others know if danger should appear. The safety of all the crows depends on the designated Watcher Crow’s commitment to its role on behalf of all its comrades and on its willingness to fly up and squawk to alert them if necessary. It may be that, perched and vigilant with a view out over our particular corner of the world, each of us functions there as a Watcher Crow for all of us.