Cut, paste, enlighten


Have you ever been unsure of exactly what it is that you like? That sounds like a dumb question, I know. But think about it. Do you know what your style really is? If you're not sure - or even if you think you are - I've got a little project for you. Collage.
Sarah Ban Breathnach, author of Simple Abundance, discusses collage as a tool for uncovering "your authentic self." Now let me just say that I unabashedly love Simple Abundance - it is a wonderful, wonderful book and I encourage you to read it and every other of Sarah Ban Breathnach's books. I have learned so much from her work and am a huge fan. In Simple Abundance and the companion Illustrated Discovery Journal, she walks you through the process of creating different collages to get at what you really feel. She can explain it much better than I can (and I can't encourage you enough to seek out her books for reference) but the general gist is this: Get some old magazines (and other materials if you like) and start tearing and cutting out photos that speak to you on whatever topic you're working on - your home, how you dress, your dreams, whatever. Pick out what speaks to you WITHOUT putting too much conscious thought into it. Pull images one day, then work on the collage the next. There is no right or wrong way to put the images together - do whatever feels right. Afterward, look at the collage and then look at the reality of what the collage is about - in other words, if you did a collage on decorating your living room, compare the collage to what your living room actually looks like.
Are the two similar? If not, why? What can you do to make your reality reflect what you truly love?
If you think this sounds silly, I assure you trying it a few times (and reading Sarah's work) will make you a believer. Would you believe that when I did the collage above about how I'd decorate my home that I lived with dark green/blue/red plaid furniture, dark green carpet and what can only be described as wildlife art? It's no wonder I walked into my home and felt like I didn't belong. It also explained my penchant at one time to wear florals (which I thankfully got over). I realized I was trying to compensate for what was missing in my home environment. When I made a collage focusing on wardrobe, it looked nothing like the clothes in my closet.
If you do a collage and are unsure what it is telling you, send me a photo and I'll be happy to interpret. I took a class from the master herself at Simple Abundance online to learn more. (I have a certificate and everything!)
And, I am happy to say that, over time, I have been able to revamp my home (and wardrobe) to reflect ME. And for that, I will always be grateful to Sarah Ban Breathnach. 
So, go get some magazines and try this out. Better yet, get Sarah's books and read them, too. 
After all, how can you embrace beauty if your mind and soul aren't working together to tell you exactly what beauty you need in your life?

Comments

  1. I see this was posted awhile ago, but isn't the subject matter timeless? My daughters and I love to read from Breathnach. It's easy to make a connection with her, and yourself as well. I really relate to what you are saying here about making collage pages. You are very likely to be familiar with Pintrest. I started posting pictures/boards there. It was so easy to see my own fashion and style that way. If you like something there you just pin it to your board....not much thinking. Then who you are and what you like just magically appears.
    I love your posts and colorful pages. It will do me good to visit you often. See you again soon. Thank you for your good advice.

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