Yesterday, I had the opportunity to join other women/moms for a Soul Collage workshop held by Ready to Exhale, LLC. Ready to Exhale is a local business that provides retreats and workshops promoting self-care, relaxation and fun. Also, if you aren't familiar, Soul Collage is the practice of creating collages designed to facilitate self-discovery in all of its forms. It creates opportunities to understand yourself, your relationships for goals, and ultimately who you are/what you want to be.
The workshop I attended was held at the Ruby Tree, right here in Woodbury and facilitated by Debbie, who is both the owner of Ready to Exhale and a Soul Collage Facilitator.
At the start of the class, Debbie provided an in-depth explanation of what Soul Collage is and how to use it as a means to foster a connection with our inner-beings. We learned about the core-concepts of Soul Collage and spent time centering ourselves and preparing to "connect with our inner goddess," which was the theme of the workshop.
Once we were ready to get started, we were given tons of photos and pictures to choose from. Additionally, there were no explicit directions on what we should collage or how it should look. We were also told to simply "trust the process." As someone who tends to like directions I initially thought I would need more instruction on how to create my collage. I was surprised however, when I found myself quickly being drawn to certain pictures and how easily ideas for my collage developed in my mind.
As I wrapped up my first collage (which was a depiction of all things important in my life), Debbie explained to the group that we could also spend time with her processing the collage through a series of reflection questions. I decided to give it a try and sit with Debbie who lead me through the self-reflection.
The questions were based on what we created in our collage and helped me to more fully understand the purpose behind the work I completed. At the start of the self-reflection I was a bit stuck on what to say. Debbie however, helped me to get "un-stuck" by guiding me through additional exercises that helped give me the words to understand the meaning behind my collage. Soon enough, I had tons to say about my work and definitely learned a few new things about myself.
After I completed my self-reflection, I had some time to work on a second collage. Debbie explained that many people like to create a collage that honors someone in their lives. I thought it would be a nice gesture to create one for my husband. I excitedly found a few pictures that I felt best represented him and went to work. This time around I felt like I had a better understanding of the Soul Collage process. I found myself relaxing into the work and enjoying the mindful process of creating a piece of art.
Not only was the actual work of the collage both relaxing and inspiring, spending time was tons of amazing women was just as great! These ladies were thoughtful, encouraging, engaging, friendly, and a great bunch of people to spend a Saturday night with.
Overall, I think it's safe to say that most of us are in search of more opportunities to foster self-care in our lives. After my experience last night, I would defintely recommend Ready to Exhale and Soul Collage as another tool in your self-care tool belt.
Check out the Ready to Exhale Website here for info on all of the upcoming workshops and events.
For more information on Soul Collage, click here.