Anne Marie Bennett is a freelance writer and collage artist who enjoys playing with color, words, images, light, paper, scissors, paints and glue. She was trained as a SoulCollage® facilitator by Seena Frost, author of the book (and creator of the process) SoulCollage. Her passion for the process of SoulCollage has taken her into elementary school classrooms, adult workshops, women's weekend retreats, and Individual Soul-to-Soul Coaching sessions. Anne Marie lives, laughs, writes, sings (and makes her own SoulCollage® cards!) in Beverly, MA. To learn more about SoulCollage, and to find out how to fall in love with yourself by creating your own deck, please visit www.KaleidoSoul.com.
In addition, Anne Marie created a website dedicated to helping women with any kind of cancer stay connected to Self, Others, and Spirit at AnneMarieBennett.com.
Walking a Cancer Journey with Scissors, Glue, and Lots of Hope. (Sample SoulCollage® Cards.)
This series focuses on those little voices in our minds that have something to say about everything we do. (Sample SoulCollage® Cards.)
Learn about SoulCollage® and how to make your first card.
Learn more about Anne Marie's work as a SoulCollage® facilitator and the card-making process in this inspiring Creative Careers in the Arts interview.
Creativity Success Story
By Anne Marie Bennett
The word blissness came to me as a result of a challenge issued to me by my creativity coach. She was praising me on the progress I'd made in my fledgling business. I actually shuddered when she said the word business, as it conjured up images of women in austere dark suits clutching heavy briefcases, sitting in endless boring meetings and never having time to do what they really wanted to do.
My coach suggested that if I didn't like the word business, to think of a different word to call it. I accepted the challenge. A few weeks later, the word blissness blossomed in my mind and I gleefully chose it for my own. I know that teaching SoulCollage® workshops and building my website KaleidoSoul, is a business, but I choose to call it my blissness because it is giving me something that I never had before: an opportunity to share my passion for SoulCollage® with the world in a way that creates money and spreads joy at the same time.
SoulCollage® is a personal growth tool (created by Seena Frost) that is a mystical, magical blend of self-discovery and the fun of collage. Each participant creates his/her own deck of collaged cards using magazine images that speak to the subconscious mind. A SoulCollage® deck has four suits that represent our personality parts, persons who have influenced our lives, animal energies that assist us as allies, and archetypes who resonate with and inform our life's direction and purpose. Inner surprises abound as we interpret our cards and do soul readings with our decks.
I knew immediately on making my first SoulCollage® card that I wanted to create a business revolving around it, but I had no idea what this would involve. However, I was so passionate about SoulCollage® that I dove right in. I had no business plan, and my only goal was to share the wonders of SoulCollage® with as many people as possible.
The key to creating a blissness as opposed to a business springs directly from one's passion (heart) and intuition (soul). There's no way to create work that sings to you unless you are living that work from your own heart and soul. And in order to allow the flow of universal abundance, you need to be in touch with your own inner wisdom (intuition).
I began by avidly continuing work on my own SoulCollage® deck. The deeper I went with the process, the more excited I became about sharing it with others. I set up a few local workshops in Eastern Massachusetts, and began teaching.
It soon became clear to me that I needed a website, so I did a lot of research and found SiteSell's Site Build It (SBI), which not only has helped me build KaleidoSoul.com, but is helping me to market it as well. Getting KaleidoSoul up and running was a crash course in web design, internet marketing, keywords selection, and the basics of HTML, but I thrilled to the challenge.
After that, each step I've taken has come from following my intuition. This has been a real lesson for me in being open, aware, and listening at all times. As I have continued on this path, I have found myself led to take the next step, and the next
I trust my inner hunches and follow where they lead. In this fashion I have created a monthly ezine called Soul Songs, found other websites interested in helping me promote KaleidoSoul, developed an active community of SoulCollagers on the Yahoo Groups board, written e-courses about SoulCollage, and am now getting ready for our first KaleidoSoul Community Conference Call as well as our first annual SoulCollage® Weekend Retreat this August.
There are plenty of things about this blissness that are tedious, of course photocopying flyers for my workshops, writing press releases and website updates, to name a few. Yet when I remind myself that this is all a part of my blissness, I am reminded of why I began it in the first place to live in rhythm with my heart and soul. And then the monotonous tasks carry me forward to the next creative step.
I wish for each of you blissness in the daily rhythms of your life and work.
©2006 Anne Marie Bennett. All rights reserved.