“The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed. The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.” - Kahlil Gibran

Art of Transformation

Small image of a figure walking amidst a garden of large flowers.Twelve women gathered in the garden in anticipation, as the sun crested over the trees, they were illuminated in the warmth of the afternoon. This spring’s Art of Transformation retreat provided women of all ages and walks of life, a chance to step out of their busy lives and enter into a space of reflection, creativity and community. The retreat, offered in collaboration with Portland Women Writers, was held at the Family Heirloom Arts Studio and garden.

In addition to bringing their journals and reproductions of personal photographs, they carried with them their intentions for the afternoon—focusing on a particular life milestone they wanted to explore through the creative writing and visual art process. Areas of focus covered the full spectrum of life milestones including; the loss of a loved one, becoming a parent, celebrating a significant birthday, coping with illness, moving, transitioning into retirement, and discovering a new sense of passion and purpose. In the context of the group, we had the opportunity to connect with the common aspects of our transformational journeys, exploring three main components that characterize most life transitions; the ending or letting go period, the neutral zone or liminal space and the time of new beginnings.

Spring, An Opportunity to Begin Again

Image of a woman and cocoon.As spring comes into full bloom here in the Pacific Northwest, the process of metamorphosis in nature illustrates the continuous cycle of rebirth and renewal that we experience throughout the periods of transformation in our own lives. We can recognize life transitions as the natural process of disorientation and reorientation that mark the turning points on our path of growth and discovery.

Are you at an important juncture in your life?

Have you recently gone through a rite of passage or are you preparing to usher in a time of change?

Here are a few questions to get you started exploring your own process of transformation:

  • In what ways did you have to find closure or go through a process of letting go, in order to enter into this process of transformation?
  • What characterized the neutral or liminal space in your experience? (This refers to the “cocoon” part of the experience, the space between who you once were and who you are becoming.)
  • What did this new beginning signify for you?

Life Milestone Services

Join our mailing list and we will keep you posted when we announce the date of our next Art of Transformation retreat coming up this fall. In addition to the bi-annual Art of Transformation retreats that we offer at the Family Heirloom Arts Studio, we also offer customized Art of Transformation workshops and retreats throughout the year for private groups and organizations, such as writing groups, community art centers, wellness centers, expectant parent groups, new mom groups, grief support groups, and caregiver support groups. Contact us to discuss details for bringing this program to your group. Family Heirloom Arts also provides a comprehensive set of services to help individuals and families create their own custom life milestone books.