For the last several months, we have been embarking on an exciting creative project and collaboration. It started with choosing 12 dancing monks to be a part of the original Dancing Monk Icon series painted by Marcy Hall. These icons were meant to depict some beloved monks and mystics in a joyful and colorful way, reminding us of our call to dance through this life.
We had the inspiration to feature a dancing monk for each week of our Advent/Christmas and Epiphany/New Year's online retreats. My wonderful teaching partner Kayce Hughlett, is a trained SoulCollage® facilitator and will be offering this gift as a part of our creative experience and shares below about what this process means for her.
If you would like to join us for these online retreats you can find the registration info here:
- Birthing the Holy: Advent & Christmas Online Retreat with Monks, Mystics, and Archetypes
- Illuminating the Way: Epiphany & New Year's Online Retreat with Monks, Mystics, and Archetypes
From Kayce: Opening into the threshold of this new day and season, I awaken for the second or possibly third time from a restless and jet-lagged sleep. In this moment, the sun is making lace-like patterns on the shades of my bedroom window. Aslan, my golden muse, is draped across my side, his feline paw gently touching my face. It is morning. Time to arise.
Today I’ve set aside time to write and be creative. I feel dry as a bone. I can’t even imagine writing this piece I’ve promised to Abbey of the Arts. Edging toward frustration, I close my eyes and listen to the sounds around me. A foghorn echoes in the distance. Aslan rolls off my lap. The clock clicks over to 8:00 a.m. Something inside me shifts as I sink into the images floating through my mind.
My memory turns to the rugged west coast of Ireland from where I’ve recently returned. Together with other pilgrims, I stood on sacred ground in the world of ancestors and saints. In my mind, I see our Inismor guide, Dara Malloy, speaking of saints and signs, dreams and symbols. He mentions Carl Jung and I smile as I recall the magic of SoulCollage®. I think about Advent and the upcoming journey with Hildegard, Brigid, Mary, and more. I am honored that I have the privilege of sharing this journey and the SoulCollage® creative process with seekers around the world.
SoulCollage® is a process for accessing intuition and creating incredible cards with deep personal meaning that help the creators explore life's questions and transitions. Images speak to us in ways that words cannot. By dropping into image, we step through a portal in the mind. We find new ways of seeing and finding meaning for topics and areas of our life we may be pondering. In the Abbey’s upcoming online classes, we will be exploring Advent and the New Year through monks, mystics, and archetypes.
I didn’t grow up with monks, liturgical seasons, or even much creativity. My journey with the mystics and saints is being pieced together like images in a collage. Perhaps yours is too. This makes SoulCollage® a perfect companion for our journey. I’m looking forward to seeing what we create together.
During the Advent and Christmas retreat as well as the New Year journey, SoulCollage® will help us listen and learn in creative ways. The invitation will be for each of us to step intuitively into what we need to hear, see, and learn. There is no right or wrong way to create collaged cards, but following the simple guidelines I’ll provide will help give shape to your own intuitive process.
Each week I’ll provide a brief commentary on our featured monk, mystic, and archetype followed by an invitation to create your own SoulCollage® card. We will begin with basic guidelines and information on creating cards then move into ways of exploring more deeply what you’ve created. Finally, we can share and talk about our creations on the class forum. It’s going to be great!
If you haven’t already signed up for the retreat(s), I hope you will today. Start gathering magazines, catalogues, and photographs. Get your glue sticks and scissors ready. You’ll also want 5” x 8” cardboard bases for your collaged cards. Cut your own, have your local frame shop do it for you, or order pre-cut cards from www.soulcollage.com.
Kayce Stevens Hughlett, MA LMHC is a soulful and spirited woman. In her roles as ponderer extraordinaire, spiritual director, life muse, author, creative coach, and speaker, she invites us to playfully and fearlessly cross the thresholds toward authentic living. A strong proponent of compassionate care in the world, Kayce's live and online work focuses on the principle that we must live it to give it.