December 15, 2016
Amirrorself.com Interviews Kylea Taylor, President, SoulCollage® Inc.
AMS.com: Welcome! Tell us Kylea, as President of SoulCollage® Inc., what does a typical morning at the office look like?
Kylea: It is always interesting to see what is in my inbox. I have requests to help from Facilitators, customer service with regard to our courses, correspondence with SoulCollage® Trainers and email and video supervision of our many Virtual Assistants who publish our newsletters and Blog, manage the Regional SoulCollage® Facilitator Groups, coordinate our social media outreach, and do other administrative tasks.
Sometimes there are wonderful transformational stories of how SoulCollage® has made a big difference in someone’s life or how a Facilitator is taking SoulCollage® pro bono to a prison or battered women’s shelter, or drug treatment program, and those stories are what keep Jim and me attending to the international support structure for SoulCollage® so SoulCollage® Facilitators can keep reaching more and more folks.
AMS.com: While reading Shaun Mc Niff’s book, Imagination in Action, I came across this passage where he describes the act of creativity, and how he enters this space: “I might begin with an intention, an idea, a sense of where I have to go, but the creation takes shape through physical acts. The outcome is always a surprise that cannot be known before I begin.”
Kylea, how does Mc Niff’s description of the creative act compare to the process of doing SoulCollage® and what a person may experience? For you, is it the element of surprise that captivates and excites or the delight of discovering you’re able to do it?
Kylea: From my first workshop at Seena’s house I have felt a sense of whole soul satisfaction with the cards I make. I love making them intuitively, love being surprised by synchronicity and insight. I think everyone is creative and needs some way to express that creativity to be happy. I have done that in various ways in my life — a binge of knitting, periods of drawing with ink or pastels, and writing — but SoulCollage® card making has continued to be something my whole self can return to at any time and express and enrich itself.
AMS.com: Do you prefer making a card intentionally with a theme in mind, or making a card intuitively? How do you decide? What’s the difference? Are the outcomes similar?
Kylea: I prefer intuitive card making, but, especially with Community cards, I often intentionally use photographs of the person or place and add images and symbols that feel right to image my perspective of that Community Neter.
AMS.com: Coming late to the practice, I missed out on having any personal contact with Seena Frost. What was she like at a conference? Can you describe how she approached a reading, the kind of environment she set, how you felt in her company, the manner in which she helped and held your interest throughout the years?
Kylea: Seena was known for donning the costume of Ms. Anne Thrope (her clown persona) and breaking into the proceedings of the Conference to do her comedy act, asking the group about “Soul College” in a way that brought down the house. In the SoulCollage® Facilitator Trainings, she lightly established an atmosphere of permission for creativity and each person’s unique expression of it. She welcomed all, saying at the beginning of each Training, “Whether you know it now or not, you all belong here. You belong to the collage of life we are making in these few days together. You all have something to contribute. By the end of the weekend, you will have a better idea of how you fit in this collage.” Her teaching was well-laced with humour. She was much loved by all Facilitators.
AMS.com: It appears Seena was quite spontaneous and witty. Is there a gem of wisdom she imparted during one of your sessions together that you can share?
Kylea: Seena and I co-developed the SoulCollage® Facilitator Training. Over the many years of co-training with her, I learned a lot from her respectful answers to trainees’ questions. Her relationship with poetry was wonderful and she memorized poems to speak to the group. She had a special relationship with the archetype of The Fool (She had two Fool cards, that I know of!) There were many gems, but the one that has stuck with me most indelibly was, “Cherish your interruptions!” In other words, “Be alert to the Fool thwarting your expectations and look for the gift in that interruption when that happens.”
AMS.com: I tend to accept SoulCollage® as a visual autobiography of living images. Gazing at the images on my cards, I find them soul restoring, energizing, life affirming. Coupled with journaling, I find the writing helps me focus on issues that might otherwise go unnoticed. Kylea, how specific should a question be? What approach do you use to open yourself up to exploring what a card has to say? Ever receive a message you didn’t like or didn’t heed? How did that work out for you?
Kylea: I like that definition, “living visual autobiography.” Everything in us and around us is always moving and interweaving. We are not separate, static entities. Our cards and our journaling and readings reflect this. That is why Seena suggested not putting words in a SoulCollage® card. Words tend to fix the flow of life, like putting a pin in it. When a question arises for me, at this point, sometimes it is not even in words. I have found, though, that synchronicity seems to respond to an urgent invocation, whether it is in words or more amorphous. That is, the more important the question is, the more help I seem to be able to get from the cards I draw. I wrote a blog entitled “The Solidarity of Values in a Changing World” recently after the US elections in November 2016 about a reading I did then.
AMS.com: Personally, I enjoy the physicality involved in cutting, pasting, feeling the texture of paper beneath my fingertips as I position an image on a background glued to a board. I like the tactile-ness of the search, of tracking down an image and it discovering me. Turning the pages of a magazine, digging through stacks of images to find the one that catches my eye, part of the journey. Do you think that something gets lost in translation when we use Photoshop or any kind of photo manipulation to crop and cut, paste and download an image we have no physical contact with? Do you think this detracts from the SoulCollage® experience, how and why?
Kylea: I too like the physical contact in making cards and the surprise of looking through magazines to find an image that resonates with me at that very time. I haven’t used Photoshop or computer manipulation myself in my card-making. Three of the Principles of SoulCollage® address our wish to respect copyright. Respecting copyright includes not resizing, altering or copying copyrighted images. Copyright-free images, on the other hand, can be downloaded from the internet and copied and manipulated in PhotoShop and then used in SoulCollage® cards if people want to make cards in that way. I know someone who has a number of specific hard-to-find symbols that are important to him, so he downloads, sizes, and uses them on cards for personal use only. Of course he doesn’t post these on the internet.
AMS.com: To conclude, I’d like you to choose a card from your SoulCollage® deck. Describe the card. Tell us its name. Using: I Am The One Who… Fill in the blanks Kylea, tell us what it says.
This card is very present with me right now and I talked about it in my blog. It is called The Watcher Crow. “I Am One Who is vigilant on behalf of my community. If I can be of service, I will be ready.”
Thank you, Kylea Taylor for this interview.