Soul Songs: Your SoulCollage NewsletterSoul Songs
Your SoulCollage® Newsletter

Enabling us to sing the songs
we were born to sing
through the practice
of SoulCollage®
Issue #89  November 2012 Theme: Forgiveness

Greetings, and welcome to Soul Songs, the official KaleidoSoul Newsletter, and the only monthly newsletter that focuses exclusively on SoulCollage® ideas, resources and artists.

Our intention is to fill each issue (and your life) with inspiration, soul-solace and delight. Whether you are new to SoulCollage®, or already immersed in the creation of your deck, Soul Songs is for you.

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to any friends, colleagues, or family members who will enjoy it.

View this newsletter as a web page with complete color and graphics.

If someone forwarded this newsletter to you, please subscribe here.

Read back issues of Soul Songs on this KaleidoSoul page.

Soul Singing with Anne Marie
Anne Marie, the creator of
Hi! I'm Anne Marie, the creator of, and a SoulCollage® facilitator in Massachusetts. If you're just starting to sing your song with SoulCollage®, this column is especially for you.

Forgiveness as a Path to Joy
When I first began practicing SoulCollage® in 2005, I was reading a book by Teri Johnson called A Map for Joy.  In this lovely book, Teri wrote about 16 practical ways to bring more joy into one’s life. I spent a lot of time with this book, and decided to create one SoulCollage® card for each of these joy-bringers. Some of the themes discussed were: emotional well-being, self-acceptance, embracing abundance, fostering friendships, laughter/play, expressing gratitude, honoring my values. I found it simple to create cards for those pathways to joy.

However, Lesson #3 was called “Hold No Grievances,” and the message there was that of forgiveness. I’d had some experience with forgiveness, back in the early 80’s when the school system I worked for in Virginia had done a major grievance to a dear friend of mine. And I worked on forgiveness again in the late 80’s when I let go of an alcoholic relationship and then did a lot of inner work forgiving my mother for the abusive way she had treated me when I was a pre-adolescent.

All of that diving deep within from a place of love, allowed me to see that to forgive someone for hurting me (or for hurting someone I loved) had nothing to do with forgetting the hurt (at least not right away), and nothing to do with whether or not the other person deserved forgiveness, or whether I thought that what they had done was okay. In fact, I learned in a huge way that the forgiveness was for really only for ME.

The Aramaic word for forgiveness literally means “to untie.” Forgiveness is what frees us from the ties that bind us to our pain and suffering. Forgiveness is what truly heals our heart and mends our broken wings so that our spirit can once again soar. ----Tieraona Low Dog, M.D.,

Now, with SoulCollage® in my life, I challenged myself to make a card for Forgiveness, and you can see the result, above. It was an interesting journey, making that card. The images that I put together seemed to speak to me of the spaciousness and calm that I felt inside of me after I was able to forgive and let go of the past to the extent that I could claim my own soul more fully.

Letting Go of the Past

Lily Tomlin was once known to say Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past. And while that may be funny, it is also very true. When I forgave the people who ran the school system where I worked, when I was able to truly let go of the alcoholic who caused me so much inner pain and sadness, when I opened up my closed heart and released the ways my mother had wounded me…. I was indeed changing the way I thought and felt about my past. I was releasing the past; I was letting it go, and in doing that, I was able to remain more fully in the present, which is where all joy resides.

After I made this Forgiveness card for my SoulCollage® deck, it occurred to me that I still had forgiveness work to do. At that time, two of my stepchildren were still living at home with us even though they were grown adults. “Stuff” from the past was continually flashing before my eyes in relation to one of them in particular. And my husband’s ex-wife… while she lived many miles away from us and we never saw her, she was still “in the way,” so to speak.

Once again, I had to come to a choice- either to forgive the stepdaughter whose rejections still made my heart ache OR to guarantee myself a continuing lifetime of grasping onto what I could not have. And another choice- to forgive my stepchildrens’ mother or to allow her life choices to continue to hinder my light forever. I chose to forgive. It was definitely a choice, and it took a while for my inner feelings to catch up with that conscious commitment to forgiveness.

And along the way, there was also a deep effort on my part towards self-forgiveness: for the way I hadn’t taken care of myself during that alcoholic relationship, for never confronting my mother about the short-term abuse, for not being a perfect stepmother…etc.

Making It Real

Here are some verbal affirmations (thanks to Teri Johnson) that you can use to bring forgiveness out of the “big picture” and into the practical reality of everyday life:

A while back, I acted in a way that was hurtful to another (or to myself). I acknowledge their (my) pain and ask for forgiveness. I forgive myself for imperfect choices and I now release this incident from myself and let it dissolve, as it serves no purpose to remember that pain any more.

I forgive _________ for their choices that caused me pain. I release them from guilt and hold the vision of their magnificent selves in my heart.

I wish for each of you the open-hearted joy that the effort of forgiveness brings, on a daily basis.
Anne Marie Bennett is a writer, self-taught artist, website goddess, cancer survivor, and SoulCollage® Facilitator / Trainer who was mentored directly by Seena Frost. In 2005, she fell in love with SoulCollage® and was inspired to use her professional experience along with Internet technology as a means to serve the world by putting SoulCollage® "out there" in a really big way with KaleidoSoul. Anne Marie lives in eastern Massachusetts with her middle-aged husband, two elderly cats and one youthful dog who keeps them all young. You can read more about her on her website SOS Cancer Journeys.

60 minute SoulCollage® tele-class
with SoulCollage® Facilitator
Susan Greene in California

Sunday, November 11 @ 5pm Eastern

Easily Accessible from Anywhere in the World!

Visit this page for more info now.
Guest Columnist: Cat Caracelo

I am Cat Caracelo,M.A., a SoulCollage® facilitator, life coach and transformative artist from Petaluma, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area. This column is for those of you who have already made some cards & are ready to discover more depth your SoulCollage® journey.

Forgiveness and Possiblity

The practice of forgiveness
is our most important contribution
to the healing of the world.
     – Marianne Williamson

Forgiveness is both a big universal energetic topic and a soft bruised place called personal truth. It is a thing of life, a state of being, a choice and a place, one that I know well and one that that invites me back into deep contemplation.

Forgiveness is the act or process of letting go of resentment, anger or blame, towards another person or one’s self. Rather than an instantaneous release or happening, forgiveness is offered and the perceived hurt or offense remains present, activated, and sometimes challenging.

Only over time and with deeper understanding, resentment begins to dissipate and forgiveness releases us from the place of pain. That dissipation of pain and releasing of resentment and blame makes room for the energy of love and the space for new possibility.

False Forgiveness

I remember a time when I was so wounded and my boundaries were so blurry that I could not face the pain of the situation. It seemed to be easier to forgive and move on. During that time long ago, forgiveness was more of an ego choice. In hindsight, it was not forgiveness at all but a gilded hammer of protection and a choice of “taking the higher ground” that made me feel like I was right. Rightness, righteousness, and forgiveness have little to do with one another but they often get mixed up, because forgiveness is often offered prematurely in the face of great pain, grief and sorrow. Our own perspective is altered in this state as we have not had a chance to catch our breath. Soothing ourselves with false-forgiveness can be a powerful blanket of protection when we need it most.

My false-forgiveness informed and taught me, because it created more challenges in my life. When the time came to begin again to feel my frailties and vulnerabilities, I was able to tell my truth through art making (as you all know, a powerful mirror). It was my own blanket of shame that needed to be explored and understood for me to finally release and allow forgiveness to flow in my life.

Unraveling my blanket of shame meant telling my stories, really knowing and understanding them…from different perspectives and in many ways and forms. In order to release my shame and allow forgiveness to become expressed, I needed to know where I had lost my own way, not because of others or circumstances, but because of my own choices, needs, thoughts, perceptions and assumptions.

Invite these prompts to reflect your life:

What place in my life is bruised and tender?

What is ready to be released?

How is forgiveness active in my life?

What place of pain is holding me captive?

How am I inviting forgiveness to flow?

Each of these questions is an invitation, a part of your story that is waiting to be heard…create with these ideas and see if you can find some new truths…move them into image and form and see where they guide you.

Forgiveness as Invitation

Forgiveness is an invitation. It must be offered regularly, it is a message sent like a winged seed, released into the wind and offered to the universe. It is a gift of love to yourself. Forgiveness is a practice, a be-coming, it seeds possibility, cultivates new growth, prepares for a birthing, creates the space for healing and for releasing the energy of love.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes shares that, “The important part of forgiveness is to begin and then to continue.” I have found that to be so, I begin (always again) and continue to explore and release…finding layers of self, new truths, old stories, fear, forgiveness, tolerance, choices, love...sending my seeds into the wind.

If I sense wounding happening nearby or if I feel scared or hurt, I sometimes rise up in indignation and make a judgment, expression harsh and uncompromising… I too can dish out a spoonful of shame. And yet, now, I know what it is that I do, even if I do it to me. I see the other perspectives that are always present, I walk myself through the various truths that live side by side, I find my way within the paradox of my messy human experience…I create art and work with what is active and true for me. I know that it all counts.

I have learned about release and forgiveness by peeling back the layers of my self and winding my way back, and forward in time to tell my truths. I live life on purpose, activating healing from the inside out. My SoulCollage® cards and art serve me as reflection of these layers, they are layers of life that shift and change in the light of each new day, releasing me to fly.

Cat Caracelo, M.A. is a Life Coach, SoulCollage® Facilitator and Artist leading individuals and groups in transformative process. Cat has been working with SoulCollage® since 2007, offering regular workshops in her Gypsyheart Studio, global tele-classes and individual coaching. Mythos Journey workshops using SoulCollage® and transformative process to explore personal myth, life-stories and life-stage transitions are offered throughout the year. For more information about Cat please visit her website and blog Finding Gypsy, learn more about exciting coaching offers, ebooks, classes and retreats.

The Calendars Are Coming!
The Calendars Are Coming!

What’s bright and colorful and wise all over?
Our 2013 Soul Colors Desk Calendars!

With all new inspiring images, and all new quotations to inspire you all year long.

These little beauties (created by Anne Marie Bennett) make perfect holiday gifts that offer inspiration and insight all year long.

Save 20% this month!

Visit this page for more info now.

KaleidoSoul Creations
As promised, we are featuring SoulCollage® cards from our readers in each issue.

Each card below is a card that represents Forgiveness from one SoulCollager's Deck.

Council Suit

I am one who comes to Source seeking forgiveness As the waters of compassion wash over me, I am one who is filled with gratitude

Council Suit

I am the one who is at peace. Healed and transformed by the Elixir of Forgiveness. I am the Forgiving one. I am the Forgiven one.

The Compassionate One
Council Suit

I am the one who grows beauty from mistakes. I am the self-compassionate one embracing tears of pain. I am the one who looks deep inside finding beauty in fault.

Council Suit

I am one who continually works to forgive. I am one who knows forgiving is not forgetting. I am one who feels that it can be done, yet takes constant attention.

Heart Chakra
Companions Suit

I am one who recognizes the doorway to the heart is the doorway to forgiveness. I am one who is learning to let the light shine on pain and forgive.

Pema Chodron
Community Suit

I Am the One Who teaches and cultivates forgiveness as a gift of living in the present moment rather than staying stuck in the past where the hurt or injury occurred.

Please feel free to submit one of your cards for a future issue by sending a reply email to this newsletter.

Future themes include:

Community Suit: Authors
Elements: Fire

KaleidoSoul Notes
KaleidoSoul Notes

Noteworthy resources for anyone interested in SoulCollage®

Facilitator TrainingsFacilitator Trainings: Information about content and dates/locations of upcoming trainings of SoulCollage® Facilitators.

SoulCollage websiteSoulCollage website - Seena Frost created the process of SoulCollage®, and this is her website.

KaleidoSoul - Spinning the fragments of your world into wholeness and beauty through SoulCollage®.

Kindred Spirits Join our fast-growing worldwide membership of people who put the "soul" in SoulCollage®!
Using Astrology & SoulCollage®

Inspire your creativity and access
powerful Scorpion energy.
Astrology experience not required.
3 teleclasses.
Begins November 11th.
 Visit this page for more info.

SoulCollage® Council Suits

Facilitated by
Anne Marie Bennett

Click image above for more info.

Starts This Sunday Nov. 4!

E-Book + Audio.
Available November Only.

Give yourself a more joyful, soul-centered holiday season!

Visit this page for more info now.



Soul Songs Back Issuess - Read back issues of Soul Songs on this KaleidoSoul page.
Just look for whatever SoulCollage® topic you are interested in,
and read to your heart's content!

SoulCollage® is a trademarked process created by Seena B. Frost.
For more information about Seena and the origins of SoulCollage®, please visit her website.

SoulCollage® cards are made either from one's own art or from images found in materials which have been bought by or given to the SoulCollage® card maker. These collaged cards are used only for the cardmaker's own inner exploration. SoulCollage® cards are not sold, traded, bartered, or copied (except as a back-up for the cardmakers own use) as is stated in the "Principles of SoulCollage®." Where SoulCollage® cards are available to be seen by others, it is for the purposes either of demonstrating the SoulCollage® process or of sharing the cardmakers' inner process in the context of community. SoulCollage® is grateful to the artists and photographers who make this deep awakening process possible and in all ways SoulCollage® seeks to be respectful of their rights.

All articles in SOUL SONGS are copyrighted 2012,
by Anne Marie Bennett and
Cat Caracelo, Imelda Maguire,
Kat Kirby, or Catherine Anderson.
Articles may be reprinted by permission only.