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Archive for the ‘SoulCollage(R)’ Category

Butterfly Prayer
Susan Heffron Hajec

In a star-filled Jamaican sky
Souljourner’s voice
sends out a Divine Spark
of love and gentleness
across the calm waters.

A living prayer of protection
and passion transforms
the holy monk’s confined walls
to golden vibrations
of worldwide peace.

They seek
the cry of the wolf
and soothe the ancestor’s
pleas of long ago.

 

 

SoulCollage(R) by Susan Heffron Hajec

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Valentine Table

Napkinwriter has been silent lately. While I hold great value in silence and quiet and while it serves me well, I also need to keep speaking as Napkinwriter. I hope over the next two weeks that intention manifests as I enter new posts.

I am not sure what form it will take. Probably just practice writing. But it will be a start.

Ahh, the word……practice…..so very important in all phases of life and being.

I may use writing prompts as jumping in points. I have relied on reading daily in my spiritual guides and uplifting literature increasingly these past few months. I am grateful to pick up a long-held book or review one of my favorites on my Kindle. They hold much support for me, indeed.

My life is filled with caregiving for Tom these days as he has had a steep, uphill recovery path from skin surgeries for cancer coming very close together. From his usual Mohs procedures to complicated full OR surgical procedures, for about six months now with a weekly return for more procedures and checkups coming up in March. These treatments and medical care have been given expertly and consciously by the medical staff members at University of Michigan Cancer Center. We have deep gratitude for the caring attendance and professional guidance and skills they have given us all through this ongoing journey.

We have had to allow a lot of quiet space and companionship in our days together. Not much talk. Some. But a lot of observation on both the physical and emotional planes. Respect. Love. Trust. Gratefulness, above all. Never to let that slip, keeping our hearts open to the goodness and richness of our together life.

Tom's Valentine

Remembrances. I made a SoulCollage for Tom’s valentine. I was hearing the clues in music played that led up to Valentine’s Day.

I have stood on the mountains with Tom. The Smokey Mountains. The Blue Ridge Mountains, Pikes Peak and the Colorado Rockies and Mount Haliokula in Hawaii.

We swam together and snorkled in the luscious Caribbean seas of the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. What glorious times.

I do want to stay this way forever, as lovers, companions, spouses…..

Until the sky falls down on me.  It has been above us for more than fifty years.

For that, I am grateful.

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Golden Anniversary

I have a “Stuff” file that piles up at the end of every year as holiday festivities and fun take over the days into the new year. Then I usually procrastinate and stare the pile down before I work up the courage to sit down and take care of “the stuff.”  Usually medical EOBs and other stuff that bears looking into or catagorizing and making a place for.

Today was that day. I did it.

But in the midst of the work, came some playful fun. There were several cards in this pile given to us for the celebration of our 50th wedding anniversary in June.

So as I sorted them out, I began to see an image form for a SoulCollage card, and I stopped the work and brought a beautiful and symbolic image together from the cards that I now add to my SoulCollage deck.

I love having this card, and Tom and I being the golden butterflies, fly freely among the roses and into the see breeze.

The lighthouse stands as a symbol of the guiding spiritual light we have always felt in our love and our lives. The seashore brings the water of graces flowing into our lives.

And while there is sand, our love is rooted on firm ground, strengthened by the rock of faith and the values of church, love and joy. The Holy Spirit brings these gifts to us and we are grateful.

The poem that back the card says:

Love is the power
that brings two souls
together.
It is a promise,
a dance, a song.
It opens doors
and explores
new worlds.
Love is a gift
to be celebrated,
and love is
a lifelong journey.
Love grows
in the marriage
of two
devoted hearts.

We have made that promise of love. We have opened new doors and explored new worlds. We are on a lifelong journey.

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daughters

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Crying for a Woman I Never Met – Honoring Seena Frost.
Posted on January 14, 2016 by Barbara Techel
GUEST BLOG

Seena FrostSeena Frost, Founder of SoulCollage®.com

Crying for a Woman I Never Met – Honoring Seena Frost.

by Barbara Techel

I never met Seena Frost— the remarkable woman who created the process called SoulCollage®. A creative, intuitive, and fun process I learned about in 2014 and trained to become a facilitator.

I was overcome with emotion when I read this on her daughter, Jennifer’s Facebook page today: “my mother and friend, merged peacefully into oneness with Spirit late last night at home with her family gathered around her.”

Why does this feel so emotional? I wondered. And as I thought about it there are many reasons. First, to think about losing my own mother someday I know will be one of the hardest things I will ever have to face. I can’t even imagine it. But I know this is reality and I pray she will have the same peaceful transition as Seena when her time comes.

Second, I have such immense admiration for Seena. She made such a difference in this world. She has helped thousands, many being women, to find their authentic voices and to be proud in letting their light shine.

In a world where so many are frightened to let the mask come off and be who they really wish to be in fear of judgment, to have had someone like Seena who thrived on encouraging others to tap into their own wisdom, was such a gift – a deeply, rich, wonderful gift.
I’m also getting ready to facilitate a SoulCollage® workshop in my home this Saturday in the lower level of my home which I’ve dubbed, “Joyful Pause Studio.” It’s not my first time sharing this process, but it is the first time in my new space.

I can’t tell you how often I’ve felt scared to take this leap – scared that no one will sign up for the workshops —worried about being disappointed. But I’m honored to have five ladies who will be taking part in the workshop this Saturday.

And so it will be an even more special honor in sharing this with this group of ladies, knowing that I, along with over 2,300 other facilitators, are carrying on the legacy of Seena – with our own authentic styles and voices added to the mix.

I discovered through the many thoughtful memories being shared on Facebook of Seena something she wrote in an article that I want to share also in her honor and memory:
“I truly believe that creating our SoulCollage® cards and sharing them in groups adds positive energy to this cosmic vibration, and will help humans move into the next paradigm. We may not be able to see it, but perhaps, if we look up at the night sky, we can be reminded and reassured of the vastness of Indra’s Net, and, as individual jewels, continue to create and share compassion and hope and humor and love.”

Seena, now part of that night sky, shining ever so brilliantly bright – I take into my heart that beautiful vibration of her spirit and hope that by sharing this process with others, I too, can make a difference in helping others feel safe in sharing their inner light.

Godspeed Seena. Godspeed.

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Creative with Prayer 3- Feature photo

My guest post today comes from Christine Sine, who I’ve met in my community of the Holy Disorder of Dancing Monks. This group is a loving part of Christine and John Vaultner Paintner’s Abbey of the Arts and we are currently on a 50 day pilgrimage of the Resurrection, expressing ourselves and our prayers  in writing, photography, drawing, poetry, painting, haiku, mandala creations, labyrinth walking, Rosemaling. WE are FEASTING on Creativity and Prayer.

Just in my brief acquaintance with Christine Sine, I see and understand that she truly lives her LIFE as CREATIVITY on a daily basis, fueled by a quiet sense of prayer and awe for the wonder of life and how we contribute good to it.

I have been on this path for some time, never intend to be off of it again in my lifetime. And I give thanks for the pilgrimage that brought this traveling “companion on the journey” to me. Grace be, Christine.

Two of my praying companions came out of the clay to meet me on my first attempt at Raku’ fired mask creation.

Woman of Peace  and Fire and Fury

United as Peace and Fury

I also pray each year with a Yearly Intention Mandala.  This year my intention is  I LIVE AS LOVE IN MY LIFE.

Change 7 Intention Mandala

and now, here is Christine!

Let’s Get Creative With Our Prayers
Christine Sine
http://godspace-msa.com/2015/04/30/lets-get-creative-with-our-prayers
Its time to stir our imaginations and creativity and learn to pray in new ways. Our imagination connects us to our inner selves, to God and to the world around us. Stirring our creativity helps us dream God’s dreams and bring them into reality. It helps us to focus our prayer energy, and frees us from the limits of prayer forms that have become rote and stale. It gives us permission to venture into the unknown realm of God’s imaginative, creative power.

During Lent and Easter I reminded us that the good news of the gospel is God’s desire to reconcile all things to God’s self. God’s plan embraces not just our inner transformation and reconciliation to God but also restoration of creation, reconciliation with neighbors and renewal wherever the image of God is distorted. Our creator has begun a process of redemption to restore all things to what they were meant to be.
I quoted from Kerry Dearborn’s inspiring book Drinking from the Wells of New Creation: The Holy Spirit and the Imagination in Reconciliation. She explains that it is the imagination that opens the heart’s floodgates to both receive the Spirit’s love and release it to others so that we can enter into the reconciling work of God. It breaks down old ways of seeing the world, offers us a new vision of life and hope, reshaping our desires and expectations around God’s vision of reconciliation and connects heart, mind and body to this new vision and catalyzes responses. (69)
Inspired by her writing and my desire to enter more fully into the reconciling work of God, I spent Lent and Easter looking for creative resources that would stir all our imaginations and assist us to create new prayer practices that further God’s reconciling work. I talked about this in my post Get Creative and Play Games in Lent, and have tried to share some examples of creative possibilities others are exploring in my new Saturday series Lets get creative.

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Unfortunately creativity is not widely encouraged in the practice of our faith, unless we are kids. Kids are encouraged to explore their creativity by playing games, reading books, walking in nature, planting and watching things grow, listening to music and drawing together. Adults are encouraged to pray only with their minds and not with their imaginations or other God given senses.

According to Albert Einstein:“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” So why should kids have all the fun? It is my growing conviction that we all need to learn to be more creative and more experiential with our prayers. We need to allow the spirit of God to stir our imaginations to create new models of prayer and new expressions of spiritual practices. This doesn’t mean letting go of our prayer life, but rather using the creative tools of ancient spiritual practices to reshape and re-imagine how we pray.

Creative with Prayer2
Over the next few months lets explore the realms of imagination and creativity together. Many of you have already tapped into this God given ability and have created prayer practices around painting, collage and photography. Others have discovered the creativity of running, walking, sharing food and gardening. Others I am sure have found creativity in places many of us have never imagined.
I love what Rebecca Joy Sumner is doing to help us reimagine scripture and prayer lived out in the neighbourhood – like her post I’m Having a Failure of Hope Kind of Morning. And appreciate the insights of Sybil MacBeth on Praying in Color that I shared a few days ago. We all need to explore this kind of creativity in order to connect more intimately with God.
Would you share what you have learned with the readers of Godspace? Consider contributing a post about your creative prayer process. Do you know of others who have developed inspiring creative practices that we can learn from? Lets have some fun together.

Creative with prayer  - christine Sine
A New Way to Grow!
MSA is excited to offer an online learning opportunity through our new school!

Interact with Christine Sine and reimagine how we pray, learn how to simplify your life with Mark Scandrette, and explore questions of God, Jesus and religion with Brian McLaren, Mark Scandrette, Lilian Daniel and others.

Join our learning community and enrich your faith as we journey together toward the in-breaking of God’s kingdom.
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You may take as many or as few classes as you like and may take them at your own pace.
________________________________________

This is WHO Christine is……

Greetings from Seattle, where I live with my husband, Tom, and my dog, Bonnie. I am a passionate organic gardener; in the spring my front porch sprouts an assortment of tomatoes, peppers, squash, and other vegetables awaiting the warmer weather.

Garden day at the Mustard Seed House
I am also passionate about helping Christians to connect their faith and spiritual disciplines to their everyday life. I believe that Christianity is is not meant to be a Sunday only faith. It is meant to impact everything we do and are.
I see myself as a contemplative activist and believe that our spiritual formation should interweave through all of life and should equip us to engage in the challenges and struggles of our broken and needy world.
My husband Tom and I work together to assist churches and Christian organizations around the world to look at the challenges facing them in the 21st century. We also founded Mustard Seed Associates, a network of followers of Jesus that seeks to unleash the creative potential of individuals who want to put God’s purposes first in their lives.
I spend much of my time writing, blogging and conducting seminars, workshops and other speaking events on spirituality, Celtic Christian spirituality and Gardening and Spirituality. I encourage participants to recognize the encounters with God and the gospel story that occur in every aspect of life

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Napkinwriter note:   I live as Souljourner-at-Large and Prayer and Care Companion assisting the home bound and I bring the arts and creativity into each day of my life. It noticeably livens up the encounters and interactions. I believe the foundation of creativity if Love, and it is Love which is the original creator, of which we are all a part. So it is very natural to bring it into our prayer life.

I have had a Prayer and Creativity Room of my own in all of my dwelling spaces since first attending International Women’s Writers Guild  (IWWG) in the late 1980s. And that includes MANY homes, bought or rented, and several apartments.  From the roots of IWWG, came Women Writer and Artist Matrix group, (WWAM) who radiate creative energy and encourage, no they actually “commission” us to be true to the creative and prayerful call within each of us.  I think I may have found the same in Christine and Tom and their Mustard Seed Associates.

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Ash Wednesday Card

Today’s Ash Wednesday’s 9:00 am Mass, scripture, liturgy and Father Jim’s reflection fed my soul. The selected hymns honed my attentiveness to the season…..and Jesus, the reason.

He came so that we may have life and have it more abundantly. He came and taught the largest lesson on love there has ever been. “Greater life no man hath but that he lay down his life.”  “Love one another as I have loved you.”  “I Am the Bread of Life.”

Tom and I were asked to bring up the gifts to the altar. We, parishioners, recited the Lord’s Prayer in unison…..”Give us this day, our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

And we took into our own bodies, the Presence, the Body and Blood of Christ, transformed from plain bread by the priest. We prayed for ourselves and our loved ones and the leaders of our world to be able to……do the next right thing, something Father Jim talked about.

I knew I was going to make a SoulCollage® card for this Ash Wednesday when I came home. One line  from the song Hosea stood out in my mind:

“The wilderness will lead you to your heart where I will speak.”

Over the past two weeks I’ve been reorganizing and harvesting (peeking into for themes, actions, guidance I’ve received) my journals and photographs from over at least the past twenty plus years and this line expresses perfectly the guidance I have received over and over again.

There were a great number of times in my life that I surely did not know where the path ahead would lead and I had to pick a thread of guidance to be able to do “that next right thing” or even have the courage to take the next step. There are many stories coming in Napkinwriter that will illustrate this point fairly dramatically.

So I thought my SoulCollage® card would look something like a wasteland background with some symbols of grace or “light” or something.

But the magic and beauty of SoulCollage® took over immediately and a whole new image emerged instantaneously from randomly selected stock in my materials.

It seems the grace of the Mass and the message of Lent was still in full effect when I sat down to make the card. I took to the table with me my scizzors, glue, card backing and one National Geographic magazine plus three packages of images I assembled some time in the last year.

In SoulCollage®, you don’t really “think” your way into the image. You let the image that wants to come forth do exactly that.

But I was thinking a little bit, I must admit. I thought, perhaps, the National Geographic magazine would give me a desert wilderness type background and I’d work from there.

The first thing I opened to in the National Geographic was the full card size crucified Christ image.  Not the first place I would choose to look for such an image. I knew that was my card; but what else to collage to it?

From one of the three packs of images I had with me, I chose one. On the very top of probably over one hundred images was the image of the inter-twining hands. I knew they went on the card; right below them were images of the loaf of bread and the wheat.  And right beneath those were the people walking on the beach.

All I had to do was sense where they were to be on my card. I composed it and it will be with me in all my Lenten reflections and prayer times.

It is not hard to fall in love with your own SoulCollage® cards. I am in deep, deep gratitude to founder  Seena Frost, and my teacher mentors and SoulCollage friends, Catherine Anderson, Karen Mann, Deborah Storts, Ginger,  Neltje Brawer, Kayle Rice, Dorothy, Mary Russell, and Sara Houseman for sharing and shining our souls.

Ash Wednesday CardI AM the Bread of Life.

IMG_3930I AM the One who is Sanctuary.

Souljourner at-Large“I AM the One who is Souljourner.

IAO Birth MotherI AM the One who is your birth mother.

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2014 Courage & Passion

I Am One on fire with courage and sacred purpose. I Am One who explodes in excitement and passion. I Am One who companions you through the history of time. I Am One who is your butterfly of co-creation and transformation. I bring you through difficult passages safely and wisely.

I Am the Determined One. I Am One who sees and brings forth goodness.

I want you to know that the wonder of you exceeds the number of all the sands of the earth and your beauty compares with the gemstones of all eternity.

I want you to remember your strength within is founded in the rock-solid minerals of the earth created through the fiery explosion and union of Spirit and humankind.

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