But if you travel far enough, one day you will recognize yourself coming down the road to meet yourself. And you will say – Yes.
— Marion Woodman
About Anne Marie Bennett
I thought long and hard before writing this bio for my website. Spent many moments wondering what you, the reader, would want to know about me. Pondered where I’ve been on my life’s journey (so far), what I’ve learned and what experience I bring to this brave adventure that is KaleidoSoul.com.
This is the place where web experts suggest I insert important information about my education, skills and knowledge base, including essential background details that will prove to you why I am qualified to create and own and direct this online business.
You’ll find some of that here, but that doesn’t wholly define who I really am. So let me begin.
I am a woman, a wife, a writer, an artist, a sister, a stepmother, a grandmother (they call me Bella), a friend, a spiritual seeker, a lover of nature, a fan of autumn leaves and winter hibernation. I am a creator, a builder, a connector of souls. I feel closest to Spirit when I am near the ocean, and when I am writing, creating art, teaching, and sharing the gift of SoulCollage® with others through small groups and workshops.
I am also a freelance writer and have written articles for the local newspaper and magazines. My latest books are based on my experiences with the SoulCollage process:
Through the Eyes of SoulCollage®
Into the Heart of SoulCollage®.
Each book contains 87 essays that have to do with some aspect of the SoulCollage experience: the suits, journaling, seasons, readings, and lots more. (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)
Other passions that I celebrate: empty notebooks, self-expression, travel, bookstores, chocolate, theatre, dance, photography, long walks, Native American culture, dragonflies, creative movement, and rainbows. And my bio here would not be complete if I forgot to mention the sweetness I feel when caring for and being loved by our pets: Sasha, Scooter, Minnie, and Suzy.
My passion for collage began in childhood when I spent many carefree hours pasting cut-out pictures and words into handmade booklets for family and friends. This passion moved with me through adolescence and into adulthood, although I never called myself an artist until recently.
I now love experimenting with mixed-media collage, rubber stamp art, beading, and watercolor.
My passion for soul work also began when I was a child and continues to this day. My spiritual journey has taken me from the Catholic Church to the Episcopal Church (and a few more Pentecostal varieties in between), to 12 Step groups, to individual and group retreats at various centers in the Northeast, to small meditation and yoga groups.
My life journey has taken me down several career paths, including: second grade teacher, program creator for a gifted/talented program, bookseller, educational consultant/district trainer for Jostens Learning Corporation, and Box Office Assistant Manager at the North Shore Music Theatre. During my time with Jostens, I led motivational workshops for teachers/administrators, and spoke at various regional conferences on creativity, humor and self-esteem.
For me, SoulCollage® is all about meeting each and every part of myself: bright and shadowy, whole and broken, clear and murky. It is my fervent wish that you too will travel far enough down this SoulCollage® path so that you will learn to recognize yourself, meet yourself, and say yes to who you really are.
I discovered Seena Frost’s SoulCollage® book in December 2004, took a full-day workshop in February 2005 with Noelle Remington in Oregon, and it was love at first card! I felt an immediate connection to this amazing process and an incredible yearning to bring SoulCollage® to the Northeast. So I left my part time customer service job at a local music theatre and jumped right in!
KaleidoSoul.com was created in the spring and summer of 2005 because I wanted a special place online for my workshop participants to go to after they left a workshop. I chose the name KaleidoSoul because of this quote in Seena’s book:
It will be as if you took a kaleidoscope full of all the bits and pieces of your life and held it up to the light and there, even as you look, falling into place are the unique patterns and the amazing beauties of your Story. (p. 58, 1st edition)
That description was a perfect telling of my own individual experience with SoulCollage®, plus I loved the bright, vivid imagery of the kaleidoscope. And so KaleidoSoul was born.
I attended the California SoulCollage® Facilitator Training with Seena Frost, Kylea Taylor and Mariabruna Sirabella in September 2005, and began leading workshops immediately upon arrival back in New England. That, along with building this website, was an extraordinary experience of creativity, vision, and community. And through it all, I continued to make my own SoulCollage® cards, building my deck, and uncovering layer upon layer of my own inner wisdom.
As the months went by though, I noticed an interesting thing about the website. People from around the world were finding it through search engine key word searches. I was getting grateful, friendly emails from people in Australia, Ireland, and other parts of the U.S. It was amazing!
Although I was leading SoulCollage® workshops here in eastern New England, it wasn’t my workshop participants who were frequenting my website, it was people all around the world who were becoming passionate about SoulCollage® but didn’t live near a facilitator. With this in mind, I continued to nurture KaleidoSoul and to grow it into new directions in order to support these people on their own SoulCollage® journeys.
KaleidoSoul has seen amazing growth in its first five years. In 2006 I added a Membership component, KaleidoSoul Kindred Spirits, which served a dual purpose: to inspire SoulCollagers around the world on a weekly basis, and to provide the business with the funds to continue its mission. In 2008 I hired Mary Hicks as our KaleidoSoul Virtual Assistant, and Kimee Doherty as our Soul Songs and Soul Treasures Newsletter Editor. You can read more about them below. In 2009 I hired Trisha Cupra to create an official logo for us, and in 2010 I worked with her for several months to create a WordPress integrated platform for the website. Mary has since moved on to other endeavors, and Kate joined KaleidoSoul in 2010.
Now it’s time to move into the future… with a beautiful new “look” and a zillion possibilities!
About Our Staff
Kata Ritenburg, KaleidoSoul Assistant
KaleidoSoul Assistant Responsibilities:
Kata processes all Kindred Spirit Memberships, keeps track of our Member database, answers email questions, assembles and ships all products in our KaleidoSoul Shop, and assists Anne Marie with many other KaleidoSoul odds and ends of tasks.
Kimee Doherty, Newsletter Editor
I came to SoulCollage® after meeting SARK, an inspiring, creative artist and author. She said “You must do SoulCollage®. It will change your life.” Boy, she was not kidding! I went to a workshop soon after, and I have to admit, I didn’t understand it. I was being too logical about it, analyzing it too much, wanting to get it “right.” I left the workshop wondering what the big deal was. A few months later, I looked at the two cards I made and guess what? They would not stop talking. It was then that I realized the power of SoulCollage® and wanted to tell the world.
Newsletter Editor Responsibilities:
Kimee takes all of the articles and images that Anne Marie gives her and turns them into gorgeous newsletters. She does this on a weekly basis with our Members’ Newsletter Soul Treasures, and on a monthly basis with our free newsletter Soul Songs: Your SoulCollage® Newsletter.
About Our Mission
Our mission here at KaleidoSoul is:
- To make SoulCollage® easy and accessible to people all over the world
- To bring continual, bright inspiration and community to SoulCollagers around the world, regardless of their level of experience
- To assist our community members in living lives that are grounded in authenticity and self-acceptance
- To create connections between and among SoulCollagers from all different races, creeds, cultures and religions.