To fully discover who you are and what you want in life, you must first find your inner person. An extremely powerful technique to self-discovery is collage. Collage is used in trauma treatment because it helps access inner emotions that cannot be easily expressed verbally. It is equally effective when used to find the self within.
Why is collage so powerful? Visualization allows us to access the subconscious nonverbally. As the old saying goes, a thousand words are expressed in a single picture. Similarly, we can both reveal and express countless aspects of our inner self through visualization. During the process of creating art, our minds, emotions, and heart become strongly interconnected, and often we create something unexpected that has been buried deep inside. Collage adds unlimited diversity to the process. With collage, you gather bits and pieces from a variety of media – pictures, articles/words, artwork, comics, and bits of cloth, images – to create a beautiful whole. There are endless possibilities. Collage can be built on any theme to convey a multitude of thoughts and emotions.
Soul collage involves creating an individual deck of cards around themes that describe different dimensions of our soul. They are organized in five suits, but there are many variants:
1. Committee – The psychological dimension, personality and the roles we play, both positive and negative.
2. Companion – The body’s center of energy, depicted in native cultures as the animal totem. Relates to the animal companion we feel most closely linked to.
3. Council – Our guides, the source of our strength and passion, within the collective unconscious or perceived in a concept of god.
4. Community – Family, friends, mentors, pets: external elements or persons in our environment.
5. Transpersonal/Source – Expression of your sacred center, who you are, the internal voice.
The process of creating soul collage cards opens the pathway to inner wisdom and reveals the source of self-expression. Once created, they serve as reminders and guides.
The technique of vision boards is another way to use collage for visualization. Vision boards involve creating a large poster board filled with images that represent who you are and who you want to become. Tangibles such as your desired job, where you want to live, and your ideal vacation all form part of the picture. While many people create these manually, you can also build a high-tech version on your computer using audio visual representations, pictures, music and word clouds. Once you have created your vision board, you can refer to it for inspiration and goal reinforcement as required.
Regardless of which visualization format you prefer, the power comes from both the actual creation process, in which you learn about what things drive you and why, and in regular usage for inspiration and reinforcement. Just as we humans grow and change, your collage/vision board is a living thing that will evolve with you over time as you gain new insights and achieve desired goals. Best of all, anyone can visualize with collage, using materials you probably already have. Get started today on your voyage of self-discovery through collage!