Anne Marie Bennett, 53, is a freelance writer, self-taught collage artist, website inner-preneur, SoulCollage® facilitator and seven-year breast cancer survivor. Early on her breast cancer journey, she vowed to herself that breast cancer would be “just one more interesting thing” about her, and she has proven this to be true.
There was no history of breast cancer in Anne Marie’s family, so her diagnosis in December 2001 was a shock to everyone. Her immediate response was fear and depression, but she called upon a treasure trove of resources, both inner and outer, to keep her on the “bright side” during two lumpectomies, a lymph node dissection, three months of chemotherapy, and forty-two radiation treatments.
Anne Marie graduated in 1978 from Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, and went on to teach second grade for six years in Virginia. Her career then led her to a position as consultant for an educational software company in New England, followed by a role as District Trainer for the same company. During this time she wrote and published a children’s novel, My Other Dad (under her maiden name Anne Pacheco).
After taking a break from her educational career to focus on her new husband and three stepchildren, Anne Marie’s journey led her back to her first love of writing and art. She dabbled in mixed media collage and began working on several writing projects. In the midst of this creative work came the interruption of breast cancer which slowed her down, but only just a little bit!
The breast cancer diagnosis helped Anne Marie to clarify her purpose in life, and she has focused on her writing and art ever since. She is now a facilitator of SoulCollage®, an intuitive art process that helps deepen inner wisdom and self-esteem. She leads SoulCollage® workshops and retreats in the Northeast. She has used SoulCollage® as a tool to assist her in healing from the emotional impact that breast cancer had on her life. Her website, KaleidoSoul.com, has had a major influence on the burgeoning interest in SoulCollage® worldwide.
Anne Marie lives in Beverly, Massachusetts with her middle-aged husband (also a cancer survivor), two elderly cats and one playful dog who keeps all of them young. She is happiest when she is reading, writing, breathing salt air, dancing, and hugging her beautiful grandchildren.