Collaging with Cancer: A SoulCollage® Journey
By Anne Marie Bennett | Posted 8/4/14 | Updated 9/10/20
If I learned only one valuable lesson on my recent journey with cancer, it was to stay out of the future, out of the past, and to rest in the present moment. After my diagnosis and during my recovery from surgery, I began to practice meditation and mindfulness with a bit more seriousness than I had in the past. In fact, I actually found it much easier to sit quietly with my breath for 30 minutes each morning, simply because I had much less energy than usual due to what I was going through. This continued throughout my recovery from surgery as well as during the time of my chemo treatments and following the second surgery right up through to today.
One of the things that inspired me to make this daily commitment to meditation and mindfulness was this card that I intuitively made when I was creating so many SoulCollage® cards right after my diagnosis. I was raised Catholic and after college joined the Episcopal church; then in my 40’s became more attracted to a more eclectic and all-inclusive faith and spirituality. I had no thought in my mind at all when I put this woman onto this feathered background. No thought, just a feeling of immediate peace and centering. The expression on her face and the posture of her body was something that I longed for, especially right then in the midst of visits to doctors and operating rooms and oncologists.
I kept this card propped up on my bureau for a long time and her message resounded through my body, mind and spirit, as I continued on the journey with (and then without) cancer:
Who are you?
I Am the One Who brings you peace and a quiet smile through the power of mindfulness. I Am the One Who encourages you to rest in the circle of this present moment only.
I Am the One Who lives a simple life of earth and breath and nature. I Am the One Who reminds you to do the same.
What do you have to give me?
I give you the gift of mindfulness as a practice. I give you the joy of breathing slowly and returning to your body as you return to each moment, one at a time.
I give you the gift of slow time.
What do you want from me?
I want you to listen to me, to heed my energy, to acknowledge my gifts.
I want you to open your arms, your mind, your heart, to RECEIVE my gifts.
I want you to know that all is well.
©2014 Anne Marie Bennett. All rights reserved.
Next: Chapter 10: Cancer and the Wounded Body
Anne Marie Bennett is a published author, self-taught artist, and SoulCollage® Facilitator. more
Goddess of Peace and Mindfulness
Learn more about the origins and techniques of SoulCollage® in the book Soulcollage: An Intuitive Collage Process for Individuals and Groups by Seena B. Frost