I’m not good with words, but if I could paint LiT-uPP, it would be rainbows and millions of butterflies becoming free from a beautiful heart. ~Jackie
and lit up! ~Michelle
Being open to transformation brings enlightenment. ~Teri
Finding my voice gave healing inside. ~Jackie
A gateway to forgiveness and acceptance. ~Suyin
Journey to understanding, acceptance
and peace. ~Judith
Be brave. Relax into your tears. ~Candace
Finding me and becoming alive within. ~ Michelle J.
Tears aren’t weakness. They are strength and truth. ~Brandy
Portal to freedom from within. ~Julie
This little book and the practice of Gestalt along with the Enneagram allow me to explore the Real Me, Mia in her fullness!!! Hear me roar world… ~Mia
My awareness of myself has grown so much that
I hardly know where it has come from.
I feel my life has been rescued. ~Candace
Lioness has brought an opening to my spirit –an inner sense that I felt I had lost and would never get back… Her teaching has made me feel and know I am still human with a heart thriving and hopeful. I know this program can help so many. In the cage I live in, most of the lions have a shadow in their eyes. They need to be aware that there is still hope, whether it is here, or out of here… ~Trinia
What has ‘lit up’ for me throughout this workshop was the courage to slowly shed my identity coat, to begin to realize that this coat is but an outer shell, not who I truly am deep within. That person is a girl who is willing to look beyond the parameters of her own altered perception and to start to witness not only the beauty of life, but also the beauty of who I am and the woman I am becoming. It has awakened within me a deep sense of purpose that I am now hungry to fulfill. In discovering my inner Panther, it has brought a burning need to help other broken, hurting souls to find the path to their own healing and enlightenment. ~Teri
I was nearly twenty years into my prison term when LiT-uPP arrived at Central California Women’s Facility. My sentence: life without the possibility of parole. My hopes for the future: none. My attitude: with this sentence, why would I be interested in any transformational or self-help programs? However, for various different reasons, I tried it anyhow. What happened next: it changed my life.
A little background: I was in my early 60’s when Diane Pendola arrived at the prison with her powerful little book. I came from Michigan, was fortunate to have a solid educational background, and had a wonderful family. Being arrested changed all that and I found the legal system to be both unfair and destructive. While I was active in my prison community, mainly as an inmate advocate, I did not participate in any self-help programs.
I stayed and listened to what Diane had to say. I gave it a chance, learned about the Enneagram and Gestalt Awareness Practice, surrendered to the joy of meditation and allowed The Lioness Tale to move me in a profound and forever way. Upon graduation from the first group, I chose to go on to an advanced study and then to training to facilitate my own groups. LiT-uPP became my everything, my focus, my motivation to get through another day, another year. I was honored to have been able to facilitate so many circles and to reach all those wonderful women in such a meaningful way.
And then: a miracle parole — unexpected freedom. Now, from the outside, I know it is time to take this program to other prisons, maybe jails, or recovery facilities. I’m hoping to be part of spreading the joys of forgiveness and lovingkindness to others.
I kept remembering the Panther’s words, “You can wake up and choose your own path, even here.” This has been my touchstone, my transformational mantra, my key to surrender. Even here, even me, even now… I can find my way home. Because, as the great poet Rumi wrote, “What you seek is seeking you.” ~Judith
Click here to learn more about how to sponsor a woman in prison to participate in the Lioness Tale Prison Project.
|Light in the Dark by Clint Sharp/Flickr|