Seasons of a Woman – October Body Map
OCTOBER – Transfiguration
by Natasha S
My Body Map Story
Transfiguration |ˌtransfɪgəˈreɪʃ(ə)n,ˌtrɑːns-,-gjʊr-,-nz-| noun
A complete change of form or appearance into a more beautiful or spiritual state: ‘in this light the junk undergoes a transfiguration; it shines.’
I began my body map process a few days before my 38th birthday and I returned nine months later to complete it. My life was in a significant period of change, grief and loss.
My father had recently passed away and I was in the early stages of separation from my husband of 15 years. I was also attempting to create new work for myself, one that would support my life with my three daughters as I had just lost my job, too.
Despite the ‘future dread’ thinking that plagued me I strangely knew, even though I felt scared, I was not afraid. In fact, I felt more awake amongst the pain of all the uncertainty than I had felt in a long time. At least more honest. I wanted to explore this sense in myself further.
I found refuge in the workshop that first weekend. It was a sacred space for us all. Connecting with the other women helped me reflect on the many stages of life unique to the feminine experience we go through. I felt challenged to be true to myself. I noticed my own silent ways of self-betrayal and people pleasing habits. This led me to explore a more authentic place of self worth, with curiosity of who I am and, more importantly, how I would like to show up for myself now.
The process of working with our bodies, our themes, and the materials increased my flow of creative energy. I felt a fluid connection between my thoughts feelings and actions whilst creating my body map. All the stories of my body, just seemed to unfold and it became a very precious conversation for me.
Every fingerprint of paint became a new discovery of who I am, as did every colour, every texture and every curve. My hair felt like a mane of power untamed, released and free. I could feel my energy moving, shifting around, even dancing around inside my body. I felt vibrant within and I understood why I wasn’t afraid. I was, in fact, excited. My life was changing shape but so was I.
I began with the word ‘Transition’ to describe my current life. At the end of the workshop a new and unfamiliar word came to me: ‘Transfiguration’. I later discover its meaning (see title).
In the following nine months, my life continued to change and I welcomed the experience even when I felt scared and challenged.
When I returned to my body map during a second workshop I was drawn to the outer space and my map took on another layer of meaning. Most intriguing and life affirming for me was the golden shadow that literally appeared in the process. She is my reminder I am not alone on this journey, even when I think I am. At completion, I understood I was ready to move forward:
Ready to be in the world, and ready to leap and live fully as I am.