Many years ago, on a crisp January 1st morning, I found myself at a “envisioning your new year” workshop. The how or why I got there escapes me but what I do remember is that we did an exercise in which we cut out pictures from a pile of old magazines and pasted together a new image, a collage representing all that we wanted to focus on in the year ahead.
Now I’ve always loved to collage. Even as a child it seemed a real thrill to take parts of one thing (the ever present National Geographic, say) and create out of it something new and wonderful with my own personal twist. I’m not a painter or a fine artist but I think over the years I’ve become a pretty darn good collage-ist.
Just this week a friend of mine put out an invitation to join together at her house for an evening of collage and reflection. Gathered there with a stack of magazines, scissors, and rubber cement, my friend spoke about collaging as a kind of spiritual activity. Setting an intention for your image (what you want it to be about), choosing pictures by allowing your unconscious mind to guide you (not over-thinking it), and using the finished product as a visual reminder of what your heart desires and your soul is drawn to. In this way we can create for ourselves a true (and literal) picture of our deepest aspirations.
I really enjoyed the evening and this was the picture I brought home with me of my own inner “armor of light”, or what keeps me protected and balanced in dark times.
So, waking up this morning from a New Year’s family sleepover with a house full of friends and kids and another fresh-slate January 1st in front of me, I pulled out my magazines and the one cruddy gluestick I could find. “What do you want this next year to include?” was the question we began our collage session with. “What to you want more of in your life? What do you want to draw towards you?”.
As always, the joy for me was in the process. Sitting at the table covered in images and tea cups, spending time with dear mama-friends and their children, listening to their dreams and goals and the click-click of busy scissors. Each completed collage was as unique and lovely as it’s creator and the intentions behind them, the wishes for this upcoming year, were inspiring and spot-on.
This is such an easy and rewarding exercise that I’d like to encourage all you out there to give it a try. Like a blank sheet of paper the new year stretches out before us. This is the precious time before our calendars and committments catch up to us when we can actively choose to imagine what we would like our year to look like, what we will fill that blank page up with.
Take this time to look within, dream your grandest dreams and then reach for those scissors. And remember this is yours to create, there is no right or wrong, you can always change it around. Rubber cement recommended!