SoulCollage® Community Update
March 2019
Bringing SoulCollage® to Women in Prison: An Outpouring of Loving Kindness
 By JoAnn Flynn
 

Light in Darkness (Committee Suit)

I Am One Who feels the light within my darkness. I Am One Who travels a hard road but am not alone.

In our April 2013 Neter Letter, I wrote about bringing SoulCollage® to women in a New England prison. Each week, for eleven years now, I continue facilitating SoulCollage® groups at the prison.

Ever since that first article, I have received an outpouring of loving kindness from SoulCollage® Facilitators from all over the country, offering support for these vulnerable SoulCollagers. Scissors are not allowed in the prison, so Facilitators and their groups have been cutting images for the women and sending them to me. Facilitator Training groups now do this as pro bono work! I continue to be amazed by how the SoulCollage® community has maintained this extraordinary support over the past six years.

Marti Beddoe was the first Facilitator to reach out to me; she created this community "adoption" program and has worked hard to coordinate the efforts of SoulCollage® Facilitators wishing to help. The women in prison feel deeply held by the love of this community. One woman said, "Because they take their precious time to do this for us, it makes us feel like we actually matter."

Paying It Forward (Committee Suit) by Marti Beddoe

I Am One Who has learned that the very best way to thank all who showed me kindness when I was in dire straits -- my teachers, those who loved me, and those kind strangers -- is to pass on the riches of their wisdom, love and kindness. I Am One Who is eternally grateful to pay my blessings forward.

Marti's group members benefit too. One says, "My idea of who is in my community has expanded to include women in prison." Another writes, "The difficulty of finding, in print media, images of black and brown women that reflect the realities of their lives re-sensitized me to cultural racism. I tried to put myself in their place and felt a terrible loss and dread, and anger. Daily I look for ways to make small changes--a challenge in itself."

I read aloud to my groups the notes of love and encouragement Facilitators send, telling how they have prayed for the women while cutting these images, sharing their cards and how SoulCollage® has helped them. The women were so touched and saw the power of SoulCollage® transcending age, culture, and race.

Surrounded by the Light

Our Candle of Loving Ladies
photo by JoAnn Flynn
For each session, I place a battery-operated candle in the center of the table. I tell the women that no matter what happens in our lives, nothing can ever extinguish that Divine Light within all of us. One day when the women were filing into the room, two of them got into a physical fight; I called for a corrections officer to help. Thankfully, the women were OK, but furniture was upset and it was traumatic for all to witness.

After the two were removed, one woman, in dismay, brought me the pieces of our candle strewn on the floor. Miraculously, the light remained on! I used that to illustrate that no matter what happens, our light cannot be extinguished! I taped up the broken candle and, for the rest of the year with this group, used it to remind us all that even in our brokenness, we still carry the eternal light within us.

The next year, Marti's group sent us a cash donation and I bought a new candle. I taped around it a photo Marti had sent me of her SoulCollage® group, so the women in prison could see the women on the outside who love and support them, within the glow of light. One woman said, "When I see their sweet faces, I feel like they are right here with us." Another: "When I think about how kind they are to us, I want to cry." As we do our gallery walks at the end of our sessions, the women suggested we place what they named "Our Candle of Loving Ladies" in the center, so "they can be with us as we walk around our cards."

Paradigm Shift at the Prison

This fall, the prison developed a new rehabilitation program for women ages 18-25. Counseling, addiction services, and community support help the women develop skills for when they are released. I was asked to facilitate my SoulCollage® groups within this unit. At the first session, I was struck by how focused and eager the women were. When they made their very first cards and spoke their I Am One Who..., tears flowed. One woman's card showed a warm kitchen, with apple pie and a nurturing woman: " I Am One Who feels like home." Nothing is more rewarding than to see this deep spiritual work happening with the making of the first SoulCollage® card!

Just then, an older women entered the room and said, "Oh JoAnn, is that you?" It was Mary, a participant eleven years ago in one of my SoulCollage® groups for women with life sentences. Moments before, I had told this new group about Mary, a prolific SoulCollage® creator who had collaged images onto a commissary oatmeal box to hold her precious SoulCollage® cards!

Prayed for by Love (Committee Suit)

I Am One Who prays for release from the prison of my mind. I Am One Who feels prayed for by the love of others.
Hugging is not allowed, but Mary and I felt the love emanating from both of us and Mary said, "We are hugging... SoulCollage® has changed my life and I will never forget that. I am so happy you're providing this to the young women here." Proudly she showed me photos of her exhibit, "Images of Myself," at the Prison Arts Show, with her SoulCollage® cards on the wall over a mirror. I was so proud of her and thrilled that she is now a mentor in a new program. What a beautiful day of Spirit flowing through all of us in every direction!

Numinous Experiences of Connection

I am in awe of how the flow of divine intervention has facilitated my continuing at the prison: when a program was discontinued, another would form that employed me. The same is true of our groups' connection with the SoulCollage® community. Just when we run out of images, or when I feel discouraged, as if by magic, a Facilitator sends new images with a kind note encouraging me. My heart overflows with the deepest gratitude for all of you, with very special thanks to Kylea Taylor, Jim Schofield, and Anne Marie Bennett for donating all the SoulCollage® materials we need.


JoAnn Flynn, LPC, has been a SoulCollage ® Facilitator since 2009 and brings the healing power of SoulCollage® to all her clients. JoAnn is an expressive arts therapist, certified poetry therapist, registered play therapist, and MARI practitioner working in an agency and building a private practice in southern Connecticut. She is currently training as a Jungian Sandplay Practitioner.

If you would like to support JoAnn's work by providing pre-cut images or are interested in facilitating workshops in prisons, email newsletters@soulcollage.com for more information.


The FREE Remarkable Relationships! interview series continues! Subscribe prior to March 6th CLICK HERE and you will hear 21 experts share tools you can use immediately and over the long term to repair current relationships, start new, healthy ones, and enjoy every one of your relationships more than ever. Our friends, Kathryn Curtice and Kathy Kelly, professional energy healers and coaches, are on a mission to give people the tools they need to create and enjoy wonderful relationships! These 21 experts, including two of our very own Facilitator Trainers, Kylea Taylor and Mariabruna Sirabella, will share strategies for-and insights on-creating the communicative, trusting, loving relationships of your dreams! Kylea's interview is on Right Relationship! How to Communicate in Challenging and Profound Moments and Mariabruna's on SoulCollage® and the Golden Triangle of Love. Kylea recommends Steven Kessler's interview on The Secret to Understanding People, as being most helpful to our SoulCollage® Facilitators. Be sure to subscribe to the series by March 6th so you can listen to all the interviews, during the replay period. Grab your complimentary spot here, CLICK HERE.
 


It's so convenient to have your cards at the ready and on your phone or iPad. No matter where you are, you can pull cards, do readings and save your readings with notes for future reference.



A well-designed, perfectly-sized tote to safely carry what you really need. It beautifully identifies you as a proud SoulCollager. Perfect for use as a go-bag for work, babies, pets, or the beach. Great for short SoulCollage® trips to groups or workshops. Get a few!
Art therapist Kat Kirby shares her own discovery of SoulCollage® and how it changed her life and enhanced her profession.
 From the SCU Archives
In the June 2014 SoulCollage® Community Update, Facilitator Doreen Bonnet shares the challenges and rewards she experienced presenting SoulCollage® in an Arizona prison community. 
Want to take the Facilitator Training?

Purchase and download this recorded video course  - - Fundamentals of SoulCollage® with Kat Kirby - - to start your SoulCollage® deck or to prepare for the Facilitator's Training.

You will receive an overview of SoulCollage®: the Suits, Transpersonal Cards, history of the process, and examples and discussions. A 16-page handout to be used for your own SoulCollage® practice is included as well as two videos and two audio files of the interactive course. The Fundamentals of SoulCollage® course is a pre-requisite for the SoulCollage® Training.
if a Training is listed as " FULL", please connect with the Trainer to  be put on  
the waiting list for a particular Training or a mailing list for future Trainings.
  
March 14-17, 2019 - Catherine Anderson 
USA North Carolina   (Stoneville) in English - INFO & REGISTRATION. 
March 21-24, 2019 - Mirabai Kolari
March 21-24, 2019 - Mariabruna Sirabella, MFT
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March 26-29, 2019 - Mariabruna Sirabella, MFT
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March 30-April 2, 2019 - Lucy Schaaphok
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April 11-14, 2019 - Kat Kirby, M.Ed., ATR-BC
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THIS TRAINING IS FULL. 
April 11-14, 2019 - Amy Rogers, MFT, ATR-BC
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April 26-30, 2019 - Marcia Chadly
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May 1-5, 2019 - Mariabruna Sirabella, MFT
ITALY Montegrotto Terme  in Italiano -    CLICCA PER DETTAGLI e ISCRIZIONE
May 1-5, 2019 - Cristina Pinto Lopes & Fabiana Geraldi
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May 23-26, 2019 - Chantel Zimmerman
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June 11-14, 2019 - Kellie McComb
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July 3-7, 2019 - Jennifer Boire
CANADA  Montreal, Quebec Pierrefonds  (Villa St. Martin) in English 2KatStudios - EMAIL FOR INFO  
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*No degrees or certificates are required to attend the SoulCollage® Training. The purpose of the Training is to prepare people to share SoulCollage® with others. The pre-requisites for  the SoulCollage® Facilitator Training are your own active practice of SoulCollage® and your enthusiasm for sharing it with others, as well as taking at least one introductory SoulCollage® course, reading SoulCollage® Evolving by Seena B. Frost and listening to her CDs: Introduction to SoulCollage® and  Facilitating SoulCollage® in Groups.

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INFORMATION FOR THERAPISTS

CEs (up to 24) may be available
 for the SoulCollage® Facilitator Training 

Information on SoulCollage® as a therapeutic method:


Some SoulCollage® Facilitator Training events may be able to award CEs to LMFTs, MSWs, LPCs, nurses and psychologists  in many states (but if so, only by pre-arrangement with your SoulCollage® Trainer.) Please inquire about the availability of CEs for a particular Training or a particular license or a particular state by writing to your Trainer. Most Trainings offer them, but not all.
Before attending a Training, we want you to read SoulCollage® Evolving by Seena B. Frost, to have a SoulCollage® basic workshop experience with a trained SoulCollage® Facilitator or listen to a recorded class  Fundamentals of SoulCollage®, make some cards, do the exercise, " I Am One Who...", with your cards and do some SoulCollage® Readings, letting your cards answer at least one of your questions.
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Editor-in-Chief: Kylea Taylor
Executive Editor: LeAnne Nesbitt
Associate Editor: Katherine L. Ziegler
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The opinions expressed in the SoulCollage® Community Update are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent SoulCollage Inc. Authors retain the copyright to their individual articles. Please send feedback and questions to info@soulcollage.com.