Benedictine Spirituality · Creativity · SoulCollage

Pictures are worth a thousand words.

butterfly red3

It’s true. It’s not just a cliche. Images are powerful. They conjure up feelings, memories, ideas. They tell stories. They stand for something. A brandmark or logo expresses the identity of a business that is easily recognized without using words. And businesses spend a ton of money developing their brand identity. Not that we need the business world’s affirmation of the power of images. We already know it. We know it in our soul.

“The soul never thinks without a picture.” If Aristotle said it, it must be true. We use not just our brains, but our souls, to make connections with the world around us. The image I’ve used to represent SoulFully You, a SoulCollage® card, tells a story about me, what I’m into and why I started SoulFully You. I didn’t start out making a personal brandmark (actually I was designing a new laptop skin and started playing around with some of my favorite images), but it ended up coming together to be a visual representation of my spiritual journey.

A dozen years ago, I listened to the little voice inside that said I needed SILENCE and I went away for a long, silent weekend retreat. The central image in the card, St. Benedict Center, is the retreat center in Schuyler, Nebraska that gave me an oasis of peace in a busy life. It is my favorite place in the whole world, playing an important role in healing old wounds and in my spiritual formation. Butterflies, according to many cultural myths, symbolize transformation, rebirth and growth, joy and the realm of the soul. For me this means becoming more of who I was created to be, living an authentic life and sharing my passion for creativity and spirituality. When our light is ignited, represented by the candle, it cannot NOT be shared.

One of the finishing touches I placed on the card is the illuminated labyrinth. I love labyrinths…such a beautiful symbol of an inward journey. When walking a labyrinth one often feels they are lost, never making progress getting to the center, but eventually one does succeed. Pleased with my new laptop skin/SoulCollage® card, I posted it on my Facebook page. A German friend recognized the labyrinth from the motherhouse of Christ the King monastery and St. Benedict Center–Münsterschwarzach Abbey in Germany. The serendipitous selection of this specific labyrinth, that I had unknowingly placed, was a grace-filled moment for me.

I will be visiting the Abbey on pilgrimage this summer and will definitely walk this labyrinth–as affirmation of listening to my soul and in joyful celebration of a continued spiritual journey. And I might just skip through the labyrinth on one foot like the joy-filled girl on the card!

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