Pforzheimer teaches SoulCollage
Wiltonian Zelie Pforzheimer is offering classes in SoulCollage, a method of self-discovery through the creation and interpretation of cards.
“It is a very easy, nonthreatening way to get in touch with your unconscious,” Pforzheimer told The Bulletin last week. The classes are held in the yoga room at Café Ruche, 101 Ridgefield Road.
The SoulCollage process begins with image selection. Pforzheimer spreads a diverse assortment of pictures and graphics cut from magazines and other reading material onto a table, and her students are instructed to choose the ones they find meaningful.
The images are pasted together on cardboard cards to form collages that the students then analyze through journaling.
This part of the process is called the “I am one who” exercise. The card’s creator dialogues with the card and journals things from the point of view of the card itself, which is ultimately supposed to reflect that person and offer insight into that person’s own self.
“I want you to step into this image and ask this image to tell you, ‘I am one who …,’” Pforzheimer explains to her students.
For instance, if a student created a card with a glowing, in-shape jogger as the foreground entity, he or she might say, “I am one who is healthy.”
Then they would ask it questions, such as What do you have to tell me? What gift do you bring? What do you want from me?
“You imagine that the entity in the collage is answering the questions. The image speaks to you, and you journal about that,” said Pforzheimer.
Pforzheimer gave an example of a student who said she was surprised to learn something about herself she was not previously aware of.
“There were all different images on the table, and the image she picked up, that really spoke to her, was of a small gold box,” said Pforzheimer. “The background she chose was a desert. So she dialogued, and what she said was, ‘I am one who is hard, and closed, and beautiful and shiny. I am in a barren place; I am hot; I am impenetrable. What she said afterward was, ‘I feel like I maybe need to loosen up a little bit. I might need to not be so concerned with my appearances and what I’m doing and how people see me, and maybe I need to get in touch with my softer side.”
The eventual goal of the SoulCollage method is to form a deck of cards to draw from for daily journaling and meditation.
“Once you get your deck, it is a pretty good snapshot of where you are, what you want to change and what you are lacking,” Pforzheimer said. “If every card you make is all about talking and being out there and partying and material things, I think you pretty quickly see that to balance your life, you need to have contemplation, and the natural world, and perhaps books, and art is a whole other way to get to that part of yourself that is not being nurtured.”
There are four suits to a deck: the Committee Suit, the Community Suit, the Council Suit, and the Companion Suit. Cards in the Committee Suit correspond with personality parts, while cards in the Community suit represent significant persons or places in the life of the card’s creator. The Council Suit is comprised of cards that feature archetypal entities, such as “The Warrior” or “The Judge,” and the Companion Suit is made up of spirit animals found through meditation that align with the seven chakras, or important points of energy within the body, in yogic thought.
Classes in the Individual Suits Series may be taken for $25 each if registering for two or more at one time. Upcoming classes for this series are the Committee Suit on Thursday, Oct. 29, at 7:30 p.m., the Community Suit on Thursday Nov. 5, at 7:30 p.m., the Council Suit on Thursday, Nov. 12, at 7:30 p.m., and the Companion Suit on Thursday, Nov. 19, at 7:30 p.m.
“Living a mindful life, and meditation, and finding a process like SoulCollage can enhance your life so much, and it allows an outlet for you that is so much more valuable than sitting down in front of a computer or a television or a screen of any kind,” said Pforzheimer, who was president of Wilton Playshop for more than seven years. “It is sitting down with other human beings in a space and meditatively addressing what is going on for you in your life, and isn’t that so much more important than catching up with the latest television show or Facebook post or political imbroglio that’s going on?”
Pforzheimer is looking to schedule more classes, and is in the preliminary stages of planning a three-day SoulCollage weekend retreat for February.