Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Liana Laverentz: Create a Collage.....Zen Moments.

A couple of weeks ago I was flipping through some old Oprah magazines, looking for pictures and quotes I wanted to use to make a collage of all the goodness I want to bring into my life. Oprah puts out a very positive magazine, so I like getting ideas from that one. I made a poster-size collage six years ago, as a creativity exercise with some writer friends, and didn’t think much of it, other than it was a fun thing to do. But I liked it enough that I framed it and put it up in my bedroom.

Then the oddest thing happened. Within a few years, everything that I had put into that collage, which was about the things that fed my soul, showed up in my life. Without even thinking of it, just having it on the wall, my subconscious mind went about creating the circumstances that would be needed to bring the things in that poster into my life.

Some might call it weird, but I know it happened. One day I looked up at this poster I hadn’t paid much attention to over the past couple of years, had barely looked at—you know how we tend to not see what is in front of us every day--and realized everything in it was now in my life. I was stunned. I’d read about this kind of thing happening, the power of intention and all that, but…

So over the holidays I created a new collage.

You might want to try one, too. All you have to do is go through magazines and clip or rip out pages that have something on them that appeals to you for some reason. A picture, a quote, a splash of color, even. Some of the stuff I ripped out made no sense. But it came together for me when I put the collage together. And you don’t have to use everything you clip out. I now have two files, one of pictures and one of quotes, to use for future collages. You can do them randomly, like free-association, or choose a theme.

It was a wonderful way to relax and have some “me” time in the midst of a very busy season. It’s also a great way to get rid of all those old magazines you have lying around and don’t know what to do with, too. If you don’t have time to do a full poster-size one, do a smaller one. There are no rules to this sort of thing. And if you're a writer, you can do one for your current work in progress, and post it near your desk as a motivational tool.

You’ll be amazed at how creative it makes you feel.

Liana Laverentz is the award-winning author of two deeply emotional contemporary romances from The Wild Rose Press, Thin Ice and Jake’s Return, both of which will take you on an emotional roller coaster ride you won’t soon forget. For those who love romantic suspense, her newest release, Ashton’s Secret, is a page turner of a murder mystery romance. Liana is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Washington Romance Writers, The Polka Dot Banner, and a past President of Pennwriters, Inc. In her spare time, she loves to watch movies, Law and Order, and concert DVDs. She also loves to make soup. Check out her blog, where she also discusses how to find balance in our lives, women’s health issues, and writes a weekly inspirational post. For more information, go to


Jane Richardson said...

I love this! I've used something similar for writing, just a sort of reference for images, but never used it for myself. Think I may have to try this....! Thanks, Liana, and lovely to see you here.

Jane x

Jane Richardson said...

me again, lol...I've been thinking more about this. I'm always busy and pulled in several directions at once, as I know you are, Liana. I was wondering if you found the collages helpful in re-assessing your priorities and re-focusing. The old 'not seeing the wood for the tress' syndrome, maybe...?

Jane x

Liana Laverentz said...

Thank you, Jane. It's lovely to be here :) Excellent idea about using the collages to re-assess my priorities and re-focus. Usually I just admire them fora while after they are done and marvel at what they reveal about my inner thought processes. Stuff comes out I didn't even know I was thinking/concerned about. I need to spend more time on actually meditating on them. Although they say you don't really need to do that. If you post it in your room or office, someplace visible, your subconscious will pick up the themes/messages within and will work to bring your wishes/ideas/hopes/plains/desires to fruition. That's probably why I rarely sit and look at it deliberately.

Jane Richardson said...

I must do this, then. I did a workshop a while back, 'finding your rainbow,' and it was a real surprise what came out at the top of my 'most important things' list. Things I wouldn't have put tops if I'd been using my sensible, concious mind. :) And what was most interesting was how things that I'd thought were so terribly important, things I spent an awful lot of mental energy on...weren't that important at all. I can see the collages supporting that process very well - plus they look like a lot of fun to do! Thanks for this, Liana - really fascinating, thought-provoking stuff!

Jane x

Unknown said...

Very interesting, Liana--and Jane! I'm not much of an arts/crafts person, but I do know the value of some sort of hands-on excercises. I have made collages, sometime, but can't remember when or why. I liked the idea of just cutting out words or phrases, a sort of free-association activity. Who knows? the answer to my problems might pop out. Now, you have me thinking about this. Thanks for "something different." Celia

Liana Laverentz said...

I'm not an arts and crafts person, either, Celia. Collages are the extent of my "craftiness". But I do love to free-associate and I am always surprised by what pops up when I do. Just cutting pictures and words out of magazines will do the same. You don't have to make the collage. Good luck in whatever you choose to do!

Savanna Kougar said...

Liana, that is coolness. I don't have an actual collage, per se. But I do have pics and images I love all over the wall I'm facing when I write. Actually, on the side walls too.
I love being surrounded by images I find beautiful and evocative and meaningful.
Actually, I've done a few collages way back when... and, would love to do more!
Thanks for all the insights, Liana and Jane.

Liana Laverentz said...

Thank you, Savanna. They're time consuming, but a great way to spend a rainy afternoon...with friends, even. I've done two with friends, and we pass the pictures back and forth. It's amazing the different collages you get. Then we get to do a show and tell about what our collage is all about. (Assuming we've figured it out by then....)

Lindsay Townsend said...

This sounds fantastic, Liana!

Thanks for sharing - I'm going to try it!

Keena Kincaid said...

I love this idea, and I think I'll try it. It'll be a perfect afternoon exercise. I'm in a bit of an open-ended place right now. I've left my day job (laid off, so benefits etc. are good) and I'm trying to decide what I want to do next, and all the thinking in the world doesn't seem to help me land on the elusive "something."

I'll let you know how it goes.

Maggie Toussaint said...

How cool, Liana. Sort of like, I collage therefore I am.

Liana Laverentz said...

Lindsey and Keena...thanks for stopping by and please do let me know how it turns out for you. The last one I did totally surprised me. (not the one pictured) I had no idea that was on my mind.

Writers can also do them for their characters, or stories.

Liana Laverentz said...

Ooops, that's Lindsay with an A, not an E. Sorry! And you're right, Maggie. I collage, therefore I am...I like that!

Stephanie Burkhart said...

How creative and it is a great way to get some "me" time and to get in touch with one's inner self. I think it's a great idea. I agree - it lets you think about priorities and refocus. Very inspirational! Thanks so much for bringing this here!


Mona Risk said...

Interesting post, Liana. I made a collage three years ago about who I am, as part of a workshop. Maybe I should get it out and see if I have changed. I used to think it was a waste of time. But it reveals so much about ourselves.

When I write I check pictures, mine or Internet pictures. It helps make my descriptions more real.

Liana Laverentz said...

Hey, Steph and Mona! Thanks for stopping by. And creating a collage is never a waste of time--any more so than reading a book is. You can have fun with it, have quiet time, just relax, spark your creativity, spend time with friends, and maybe even learn a little something about yourself :). I'd be interested to hear what you think after checking your collage from a few years ago, Mona.