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Friday, March 15, 2019

SoulCollage®: How to become your own oracle


Have you ever gone to a reading by a clairvoyant, or picked up an oracle deck of cards to find out the answer to a question that has been bothering you, or has gone unanswered? Have you ever wanted to get more in touch with your own intuition and find the answers to your own questions?



SoulCollage® is a unique way to explore your Self, all the parts of you, your light and your shadow, your talents and gifts, your allies and challengers. Using only images, intuition and imagination, you create a deck of 5 x 8 cards that becomes a visual journal of your journey, one that evolves as you evolve.

With this deck, created using images and symbols that call to you, you hold a symbolic reflection of your one and many-faceted Self in your hands. This process was designed by Seena Frost, MS, MA in Div., a psychotherapy clinician and supervisor in California for over thirty years. The international community now includes more than 3,700 Facilitators in 45 countries, and a team of SoulCollage®  trainers who offer training programs all over the world.  


Caretaker Card

What I’ve learned from this process is that the body uses metaphor and images to send us signals. Sometimes working with images is a more direct path to seeing our own truth than working with words. We all have our own personal totems, images, symbolic animals, and SoulCollage® helps us feed the feedback loop between psyche, body and mind. It’s a creative process that is very light on the surface, as we cut and paste images, but leads us to deep truths that resist interpretation by the linear mind. We learn to trust our intuition, the bridge that connects what we feel and what we know sometimes in a flash: mental logic and heart wisdom come together and communicate.

“When the soul wants to experience something,
she throws out an image in front of her and
steps into it.” Meister Eckhart

The voice of our embodied soul, or wisdom, is our intuition. It sends messages in symbolic form and metaphor from deep inside us – thoughts, guesses, hunches seemingly come out of nowhere. When we are in touch with our inner guidance, and feeling connected to our own truth, we can heal a relationship with ourselves that has been aching to be known. Images are one of intuition’s most powerful voices, and have been called the food of the soul.

SoulCollage(R) card: Woman Dances with Wolves

Ultimately, it is the voice of the soul... When you take the time to draw on your listening-imagination, you will begin to hear this gentle voice at the heart of your life. It is deeper and surer than all the other voices of disappointment, unease, self-criticism and bleakness. All holiness is about learning to hear the voice of your own soul. Your soul is your true source and a new energy and passion awakens in you.” ~John O’Donohue, Beauty, The Invisible Embrace
I invite you to come and learn more about SoulCollage® in a safe and friendly environment, at an all-day introductory workshop Sunday April 7, with a small group of people (maximum is 10). 

We will spend time making cards, playing with images, and witnessing how our intuition guides us to exactly the right image for the card it wants to make. You are a unique being, and your soul essence is waiting to reveal some of the pieces of your puzzle to you, so you can begin to gather the whole.

As Seena Frost, SoulCollage® founder puts it, “Every soul essence has a special imprint or pattern within it; some have said it’s like our mission. This pattern is a blueprint for your deepest self, the self beneath the persona we all must develop to live in the world. Its imprint is recognized by the archetypes who gather and who act like magnets drawing you into manifesting your pattern; remember, it’s not a goal, it’s more of a map, a map of your potential, uniquely yours.” 
If you are feeling stuck or overwhelmed, or just curious about all the parts of you, this creative, fun process can help move you along to a deeper understanding.
Come join me, Sunday, April 7, Ermitage Ste-Croix, from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, with lunch included, for $60. If you invite a friend, I will gift you with a package of cards/frame/pen and glue so you can get started with SoulCollage® and discover your own inner wisdom. Register at: 



NOTE ON FACILITATOR TRAINING-   If you already love SoulCollage® and would like to train as a facilitator, read this:
The Facilitator Training is different from a SoulCollage® retreat or workshop, even though in both settings a participant may experience deep personal process.  We expect that you are interested in taking the Training because SoulCollage® has been meaningful to you in your own process, and you are eager to share SoulCollage®, even if you are not clear just how you will be doing that. Many people become clear about how they will use SoulCollage® during or even after Training.
SoulCollage® has also proven to be a valuable therapeutic tool when used by therapists and professionals as a part of their practice.
See https://www.soulcollage.com/facilitator-training  for more information on what is required before you sign up. 
I am holding a training in the Montreal area from July 3-July 7, 2019. See my website www.jenniferboire.com for details and costs.


Thursday, March 07, 2019

What is SoulCollage(R)?

This easy, fun, creative process allows you to explore your inner parts of self  by making a visual journal of cards that you create. It is deeply transformative and helps us answer the age-old question, Who am I and what am I doing here?

Watch this short video to see and hear more:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4NlG9JW4Go


I am keenly interested in helping women find creative tools that feed and tend the soul, that make us feel nurtured and protected in what are turbulent and confusing times. I believe we are beings filled with light, yet we often live in fear of shadow.

We are limitless and courageous in facing our challenges with persistence. 
Yet we doubt ourselves.
We are women with heart, connected to all living things. 
And we thrive in community.

Come join me and learn more at:

One Day Introductory SoulCollage® Workshop: 

Gathering the Pieces,  Finding Wholeness, from 9:30 - 4:30 pm 

on Sunday April 7, at the Ermitage Ste-Croix 
21269 boul. Gouin, Pierrefonds  (near Montreal)

Cost $60
pre-pay by e-transer or paypal 

Registration on my website or by email info@jenniferboire.com 

xxxx
Jennifer
www.jenniferboire.com


Monday, February 04, 2019

Cultivating your Inner Spark in Winter



Recently I was looking at a photo of mine taken this summer for my website; and, oh how she glowed! Yes there was make-up and a hairdresser involved, plus sunshine and a little perspiration making my skin particularly shiny. I remember it was a very hot day for a photo shoot. So it’s unfair to compare it to my face mid-winter, pale skin, and bags under the eyes.

But I do find that on these dark gloomy days that I am missing some radiance, and need to find that sparkle in the eyes. How do I do that, I wondered, when it’s -20C outside and even my dog doesn’t want to walk very far....going down south is not an option for another month. What to do?
My resolve this year has been to muddle on through winter, especially January, when my body just wanted to curl up and sleep. I decided to do just that yesterday,  nap on the couch with a book instead of berating myself for not having any energy. It’s that time of year when you think you should be planning ahead, at least for this self-employed workshop leader, it’s a good time to plan my year. However, my creative mojo was way down in the basement, and pulling up my socks was not helping.

SoulCollage(R) card: Seeking words


I realized my energy needed more pumping up or plumping up, like a duvet cushion that needs a good shake and thump. So I decided to attend yoga class more often – bump it up to twice a week and also hired a personal trainer to get me started with some cardio and stretching.  I vowed to stick to my small daily practices that I know work.

For me this means sitting down to meditate every morning, first thing, while it’s still dark. Breathing into the silent mantra of breath: rest, silence, breathing. Such a sweet (and sometimes challenging) practice that fills me up from the inside.  The benefit is immediate, and leads me to appreciate and be grateful instead of listening to the overactive whiney, critical voice. This morning in my restorative yoga class the teacher had us do a few heart opening poses, and hip openers, lying back on a bolster, breathing pranayama style, 4 counts in, 4 counts out. I looked at myself in the mirror once I got home, and I am feeling calm, less frazzled than yesterday.


SoulCollage(R) card Tasting the New

Beauty flows from energetic presence, the Yoga Journal article I’m reading says. And I believe. All of a sudden I have patience. I can give attention to my work, to my dog, to my friends in need. I have energy to share. Last week, I was a muddled mess of confusion. But after sleeping in, napping and eating lots of home-made chicken soup and slow simmered stews, pampering myself with good vibes and yoga, I am slowly coming out of that swamp of emptiness into a pool of fullness again. Soothing oils in a diffuser  like frankincense, lavender and rose also help me feel good and keep the cold bugs away....

It is true that building energy with quiet, calming practices like Creative Flow helps fill the well too. When I am really unable to work, plan or think, I head to my collage table where all my supplies are laid out: images, glue, cardboard. It helps that in an on-line class we had a vision board project to make, and that deadline got me moving. But before the vision could come, I needed to plump up the heart energy with some rest.  

What do you do to find your inner spark?



Tuesday, January 29, 2019

SoulCollage(R) Facilitator Training in Canada


Jenn facilitator card

This is a new year, and with it comes a new role for me – to train people interested in becoming facilitators of SoulCollage(R) workshops.

SoulCollage(R) (www.soulcollage.com) is the single most interesting creative process for self-exploration that I have used in over twenty years of leading creative journaling classes and retreats for women.

Basically, it can described as an easy, image-based tool to delve into a dialogue with the self in a deep, but playful way. I find it more satisfying than journaling alone (although we do journal and write with the 5 x 8 cards we make). I find it calls on my inner artist without challenging my lack of art skills – anyone can cut and paste images onto cardboard cards. And exploring these images with my imagination, finding out where they come from and what they mean, allows my inner wisdom to pop up as I gain intuitive insights. Sharing this with others in community also provides hours of fun and creative flow.

Founder Seena Frost described it this way: "It is a tangible way to know yourself in your diversity and depth, and also to show yourself to others. Showing your deck of SoulCollage® cards to another person can be a profound experience. In like-spirited groups, you can share cards and work with them in many sacred ways. You can consult them intuitively and discover wisdom within yourself which will amaze you. Besides all this, creating them is just plain fun! You will love your deck -- a multi-card Mirror of your Self and your Soul -- whether it consists of three cards or a hundred."  

SoulCollage(R) has also proven to be a valuable therapeutic tool when used by therapists and professionals as a part of their practice. It has brought healing and guidance to individuals, groups and communities, such as cancer wellness centers, seniors homes, women in prison, conflict resolution, pastoral counseling, couples therapy and many more. Facilitators are sharing and teaching this unique process in many ways with diverse populations and in a wide range of environments.

Images, intuition and imagination

The collage process we use helps to reflect and give a voice to all our parts; sometimes images call to us and we don’t know why, it seems beyond words, until we dialogue with the card and discover who or what  it is. SoulCollage(R) is a great tool for awareness and personal growth, and making the cards is a pleasing process full of synchronicity and surprise. Some of the images you choose will symbolize inner parts of self, maybe your Inner organizer, your happy inner child, or your inner lonely one, or your Inner Nurturer. Others are larger energies, on a mythical level, like the Great Mother, or the hero archetype. These universal stories are woven into our own personal journeys and stories.  I see this process as a gathering of the whole, bringing all the pieces together, the unknown or invisible ones, the silent or ignored ones, and acknowledging them, reclaiming them.

Tapping into your own inner wisdom using images develops intuition as well. The more you play with it, the more you learn to trust the process. It’s a great life lesson. We can become our own wise oracle, consulting our cards and using our imagination to let the images speak with us.

In my own women’s circle, some of us get together every two weeks to make cards, dialogue with them, and then do card readings once a month. Consulting cards you have made to represent energies and archetypes, parts of self and members of your family and friends, is a very rich way of accessing inner wisdom, and to my mind a lot less mysterious or esoteric than consulting a deck of oracle cards devised by someone else with symbols I may or may not understand.

There is no wrong or right way to do SoulCollage(R). It is a gentle, intuitive self-care process that reaches deep into our inner pockets of knowing. Most of the people I have introduced to it find it immensely satisfying to both make cards and do readings.

Body Love card

In early July, I will be offering a 4 day SoulCollage(R) facilitator training. All information on registration, lodging and fees is on my website at www.jenniferboire.com.  

In the training, you will be given a comprehensive, step by step workbook (manual), and all supplies are provided; accommodation and meals are covered in the total fee. You will learn all about SoulCollage(R), how to use it, how to incorporate it in your workshops, including ethical care, and be invited to network with like-minded people. 

The only pre-requisite is that you have followed an Introductory course on SoulCollage(R), either in person or online, and begun making cards for yourself, so you see the benefit of it, before starting to share it with others as a facilitator.

Sample card:  Heart Focus for 2019 card

I made this card recently to represent an intention of mine for the coming year. It said to me: 

I am one who longs to feel my heart open. I am one who receives guidance from the universe. I am one who feels connected when she is around open-hearted, soulful creative people. I want to bring back more of that Heart Focus in my life this year.


Heart Focus card


Watch this video to hear from some people attending a facilitator training on how and why they love to work with SC.  And if you want to learn more about SoulCollage(R) or become a facilitator, just drop me a line.


Jennifer




Friday, January 04, 2019

Finding Trust in Transition Times by looking back: A New Year Beckons


Well, here we are, on the cusp of another New Year. Coming out of a busy holiday time, full of laughter, wine, friends and family, a little bit of too muchness – having enjoyed too much of a good thing, and also in need of rest.

At the same time, I am prompted by my inner taskmaster to begin to plan ahead (some of you probably planned ahead already last fall for 2019!). But one thing I have learned over time is that winter is a quiet time for me, energy wise.

Yet still I have my lists of projects, unfinished, or not yet begun. I see other facilitators’ offerings for workshops and retreats lined up all the way to fall 2019, and wonder, will I offer something new this year? Or repeat a theme that was popular in 2018, with SoulCollage(R)?

By chance I opened a journal of mine from almost ten years ago, November 2009, before I trained to become a SoulCollage facilitator. I was still leading journaling classes. There was a list of things under the theme: What do I love? I am very intrigued, because it appears to me that I have lost sight once again of what I love. I feel a bit worn down, a little fatigued with the need to always come up with new ideas and themes. A guilty part of my soul just wants to do nothing, see no-one, lead no one.

In yoga this morning, I felt a deep need to feel my own serene presence.

I got flashes during  the relaxation part of images of my child self – in Grade 4, as a competitive student, wanting to raise her hand and be seen and heard, at the top of her class. I also saw her flirting with the boys at school. Even younger, I saw her being a good helper to her mom, playing with the siblings and little ones, changing diapers, holding bottles.  

The need to be good, to be the best at school, the need to be seen and heard is perhaps what lead me to service, satsang and meditation in an ashram for 8 years in my twenties. And then perhaps lead me back to school to study English Literature and Creative Writing and compete as a writer in a world of fiction and poetry.  Then after my kids were born, it brought me out of my little part-time writing room into the classroom to lead journaling workshops and then add SoulCollage(R). Now, at age 64, I feel that need winding down.

So the list of what I loved in 2009 was:

I love talking and being heard. I love meaningful conversations, connections with people.
I love being connected to me.
I love being and feeling grounded.
I love moving with grace.
I love eating calmly with awareness, good healthy food.
I love having someone else clean and cook for me.
I love massages, Reiki and being loved.
I love my sisters and brothers.
I love my kids, and friends and family.
I love reading poems in public.
I love singing on stage.
I love the spotlight.
I love stepping out of bounds.
I love to be stretched.
I love music: flute drum bass.
I love being quiet and alone, diving deep into yoga, feeling peace.

On the next page of my journal was written, What do I want to do right now?

“Right now in this moment, I want to allow the wisdom of my heart to bypass the strategist. I want the dreamer to awake and tell me her deepest cherished dream. I want to hold her hand and shush and rock her until she dares speak out loud her deepest wish – she has not shown herself for fear of being judged and she is hiding underneath the bed. She doesn’t like to compete; she hates hype, marketing, meetings and the pressure to create goals. She is anti-goal. She lives for feeling, under the surface of things. She is a shy fish and my outer voice is too loud, it frightens her. I courted her in the past, but gave up, buried her under convention, under Should-Must-Duty.

Right now I want to listen.
Right now I want to receive guidance about where my life’s interests are – a book? Classes? Healing? I want to be healed.”

What surprises me about this list is that I did actually write and publish The Tao of Turning Fifty a few years down the road in 2012. I did lead classes from my home until the end of 2017 and workshops till 2018. I did seek out healers, osteopaths, massage therapists and acupuncturists and I did receive healing. In hindsight, it all unfolded exactly according to this desire, expressed silently in my journal, to myself.

What surprises me about reading this now, is that I am back in the same place – wondering what I really want to do. I have danced and sung in the spotlight with a quartet,  done some musical theatre and sang in an acoustic band with my husband, (check!).  I have a women’s circle and a SoulCollage(R) circle where my needs for being seen and heard, and creative expression,  are fulfilled.

I feel as if I have come full circle -  it is time for me to listen in again and receive guidance. I am still anti-goals. That hasn’t changed. I may be competitive by nature, but I have zero desire to get out there and compete in the world of self-care gurus and authors. I think I am winding down that ‘outward’ energy phase of my life. Is that possible? Didn’t I just sign up to be the Inner Wisdom guide? Will I be content to just do yoga, meditate and write in my journal? Of course, the SoulCollage(R) facilitator trainer part is new, and will unfold over the next five months. I am content to hold space for that new learning and to attend a conference of facilitators in Italy in June.

But the burning desire to share everything I learn and know has left me. Or at least died down for the moment. I feel afraid it may never return. I wonder who my persona will be without that fearless leader persona leading me.

With gratitude, I come back to the list of what I love.

I think it’s time to let go of performing and being “good”. And it's time to lose the attitude of provitude, the always striving and pushing myself to be 'better than'. High time to be releasing and letting go of the fear of the future.

I welcome my own serene presence, dive into the sacred moment, and the next moment. Trusting it will all unfold for me in 2019, as it did in 2009.

“Que Sera Sera, whatever will be will be. The future’s not ours to see, Que Sera Sera.”

Perhaps that little shy fish, la petite fille qui chantait aux fleurs, will surface and whisper in my ear, what she really loves to do.

I'm listening....

SoulCollage(R) card: Hearing the call 


Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Body Love Workshop Sat Nov 24, 2018



Do you find yourself feeling crushed with the weight of all the bad news? Or low-spirited with the seasonal change and a lack of sunlight? Are you wishing you could relax and enjoy, instead of feeling stressed, just for one day?

The workshops I offer are full of soul-tending practices, to help you garner your deep inner wisdom through journaling and SoulCollage(R). 

SoulCollage(R) works with images, intuition and imagination to access what your subconscious already knows. Through a simple creative process, we enter flow and change the way we feel about ourselves. More lovingkindness, self-compassion and joy are the rewards we reap.


Your divinely feminine form and body are a wonderful instrument. Instead of judging and hating our bodies, let’s create a sacred space to listen in and let our body teach us about self-love.

Join me for a one-day workshop Body Love in a Dangerous Time, Saturday, November 24, from 10 am to 5 pm, at L’Ermitage Ste-Croix, in Pierrefonds, a beautiful retreat center on the water.

Lunch is included in the Registration fee $80 by paypal or e-transfer to jenco1@sympatico.ca



Friday, November 02, 2018

Mid-Life Lessons

SoulCollage(R) card: Ready to Blow!

Some people associate mid-life with their forties, but menopause doesn't hit some women until their mid-fifties, and that is one of the great disruptors, along with divorce, illness, death of a loved one, end of a career, and empty nest.

Sometimes the G-force of mid-life changes flattens you back up against your seat like on a Roller coaster. You lose a friend to breast cancer, a parent dies, your children turn into strangers in their teens, and you begin to feel as fragile as a one-winged butterfly blown in the wind. You, who were the strong one, the stable influence, the core and heartbeat of the family, the one who held it all together, begin to feel like you are falling part.

As I wrote in my book The Tao of Turning Fifty, the greatest lessons I learned (and am still learning at age 64), are these:

  • you cannot do it all alone - ask for help and release the Superwoman Syndrome
  • you are allowed to rest, take naps, take a break to breathe, Pause often and do Nothing
  • surrender, stop fighting the current
  • stillness and solitude are great allies - book some time to Get Away!
  • girlfriends who can listen to your rants and angst are a great Boost, cherish them
  • tell your husband and your family that this temporary insanity will end and to be extra patient with you, as you swing high and low. Get them to help out and expect them to pitch in!
I know for me, my shoulders were carrying the burden of taking care of everyone and doing it all myself. As the eldest in a family of eight, I had been brought up to be the One in Charge, responsible and dutiful. It was very hard for me to soften the reins, loosen my grip, and ask for help when I needed it. Sore aching shoulders, (calcific bursitis) lead me to get some TLC and extra massages, which was a real boon. I was so used to Soldiering On, despite the pain, but I was forced to give in and get help.

That is why I am writing this message for you, mid-life women, today. You don't have to do it all alone. Grant yourself a prescription for loving kindness, small little ways to reduce the load and love yourself at the same time.

Namaste!

Jennifer
ps see my website for information on the upcoming one-day workshop Body Love In a Dangerous Time, with SoulCollage(R), and journaling exercises to help you love your body and soul!



SoulCollage(R) card: Angel Blesses my Belly
My Body is not a Danger zone