Fall in love with yourself one SoulCollage® Card at a time!


Body Image and SoulCollage®

SoulCollage® has made a huge difference in how I see my body and how I approach eating.  I have been struggling with body image all of my life, and the only thing that helped me release the struggle is to recognize and name the inner voices that were getting in my way, and those that were supportive and en-light-ening.

I began consciously collecting images that reflected to me some of their voices:

  • The Heavy One
  • The Slender One
  • The Inner Critic
  • She Who Devours
  • She Who Pauses at the Refrigerator
  • She Who Practices Self-Nourishment

I chose to honor these voices, even the darker ones, because I really believe that the process of SoulCollage® only works when we accept the shadowy sides of ourselves along with the bright.

Here are the six SoulCollage® cards I made to honor these parts of myself, and the I am the one who… exercise that I did for each one:

The Heavy One

The Heavy One

I am the heavy one, the one who shuns lightness, who fears losing weight.

I am the one who badgers you into eating when you don’t want to eat, who feels uncomfortable in my own skin, who smiles on the outside but is mad as hell on the inside.

I am the one living a small life in a big body, who doesn’t like anything about my body.

I am the one who has used food for comfort and companionship for so long that I don’t know how to do without it.

I am the one who is all wrapped up inside, who is hiding, covering up, closed in, can’t see why people love me when I’m so heavy on the outside, heavy all over.

I am the one who has been heavy for so long, I’ve forgotten what my authentic body feels like.

It is my voice that urges you to have that candy to help you sleep, to get the popcorn at the movies even though you’re still full from lunch.

I am the one caging you into this heaviness with steel bars of guilt and unworthiness.

I am the one who gains comfort from eating sugar and fat, and would rather do that than sit still with my sadness or fear or anger.

What do you have to give me?

I give you protection from disappointment, protection from failure.

She Who Devours

Never Enough

I am the one who shoves food in automatically without paying attention. I am the one with the big jaw, the big mouth, who opens wide, who cannot get enough.

There is not enough food in the world to satisfy me because it’s not my stomach that’s empty… it’s my heart, my soul, my life.

I am the one who hoards food so I won’t ever run out.

I am the one who is afraid of not having enough.

I am the one who sneaks food when no one is looking. When you’re not looking.

I am the one who eats for distraction because I don’t want to/cannot look at what’s happening on the inside.

I am the one who acts from a place of emptiness, of scarcity.

I am the one who never gets enough, who never has enough, who never is enough.

What do you want from me?

I want more. More words, more color, more walks in the woods, more playing with children, more sitting and watching the ocean waves. More spirit. More truth.

I only give myself too much food because I want more of these other things.

What do you have to give me?

I am the dark side of abundance.

I give you the belief that you can have more. More is what you deserve. More words, more color, more time doing what you love, more joy.

The Inner Critic

My Inner Critic, Ethel

I am the one who criticizes everything you do, who keeps you awake at night questioning everything you’ve done during the day, who scowls up at you and stops you from doing whatever brings you the most joy.

I am the one who thinks you are fat and ugly, who questions why people should cherish you so much.

I am the one who pops up from the septic sewer of your mind and offers nothing but sludge to slow you down.

I am the one who says no you can’t, no you shouldn’t, why bother, what will everyone think?

I am the one who draws big X’s in the shadowy dirt of your mind.

You can have what you want, you know. Your dreams are yours for the taking, but not as long as you give me this much power.

What do you have to give me?

Well, sometimes I do have good suggestions. Like when I tell you it’s time to get a haircut, that chapter 6 is too long, or to use this word in that paragraph instead of that one.

What do you want from me?

I want you to stop giving me so much power. I want you to pay attention and notice when I am out of control.

I want you to decide when I’m being helpful and when I’m hurting you.

The Slender One

Slender Me

Who are you?
I am the one who is slim, slender, the portrait of you at your natural weight.

I am the one whose clothes fit comfortably, who feels light and healthy and free of heaviness.

I am the one who eats only what she needs.

I am the one who listens within before I eat.

I am the one who comforts myself with soul-filling pleasures like scented baths and foot massages and lit candles and good books and walks in nature.

I am the one who is strong in body, mind, and spirit.

I have been in hiding until now because The Heavy One and The Critic have been given too much power. The Heavy One (and all her fears) has been “driving the bus” for way too long and you have only just begun to notice this. I am still here, though.

I have patiently been waiting for a reversal of power and I believe that that time is now because you have called me forward, invited me to speak, given me image and voice.

I am the one who is truly your best, healthiest, most vibrant self.

I am the one who names and honors all of my hungers, who takes pleasure in eating, in walking and dancing and swimming and working out.

I am the one who loves my body and who finds pleasure in moving my body.

What do you have to give me?

I give you a newer, lighter, freer body.

I give you a deeper, more truth-filled sense of yourself.

I give you your dream.

What do you want from me?

I want you to slow down, to take your time with everything, including food.

I want you to pause, to listen, to take time.

I want you to go within and listen to your body.

I want you to ask your body what it truly needs and wants, right now, in this moment.

I want you to trust your body and to give it what it is asking for in any given moment.

Self-Nourishment

Self-Nourishment

Who are you?
I am the one who knows how to nourish myself.

I am the one who drinks deeply from the bowl of life and never worries about the bowl being empty.

I am the one who takes care of my body with good food, and cares for my mind and my spirit with rainbows, light, and whatever makes my soul sing.

I am the one who easily and loudly says, “I’ve had enough” and “No thank you, I’m full.”

I am the one who is grateful for what I have, who isn’t frantic about having more. There is no desperation in my voice, only peace, wellness, grace and contentment.

I am the one who puts good, beautiful, whole things into my body, my mind, and my spirit.

I am the one who delights in taking care of myself.

What do you have to give me?
I give you the gift of taking care of yourself.

I am the Slender One’s sister. We walk hand in hand. She does not exist without me, and vice versa.

What do you want from me?
I want you to be willing to give your body what it truly needs.

I want you to open your body, your soul, your mind, to all means of nourishment.

I want you to make self-nourishment a daily practice.

She Who Pauses at the Fridge

Pausing at the Fridge

Who are you?
I am the one who pauses in front of the refrigerator instead of mindlessly pulling something out and eating it.

I am the one who isn’t upset when the fridge is empty because I know I will always be able to feed myself exactly what I want and need.

I am the one who is content to sip a cool drink and think about what I really want instead of making myself want what is already in front of me.

What do you have to give me?
I give you moments of pausing before you feed yourself.

I give you the knowledge that you can always provide yourself what you need, what you want.

I give you the question, “What do I really want and need, right now?”

What do you want from me?
I want you to slow down.

I want you to take time before you eat, to allow space between the hunger and the satisfying of that hunger.

I want you to know that nothing bad will happen if you wait a few minutes before you eat a meal or a snack.

I want you to pay attention to what your body needs.

Article by Karen Mann

Weight Loss and Body Image: A SoulCollage® Reading

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