Arla is more than an art teacher. She is a facilitator of the process of finding our own way in our creations. By using rituals and working with processing sessions, she make “art” into a deeper, more personal and profound experience which is not always accessible to the “lay” artist.
Incredibly affirming. Never have I been able to feel as good about my body as I could today. Everyone was empowered, And we learned to trust each other and be gentle with one another.
Making the casting was a way to reacquaint myself with my new body, It forced me to reconnect with myself. It was like being outside your own body and being able to look at it. It was a profound experience. We took something that was horrible and made it into something beautiful. The workshop helped me accept that my body is different and that I am different, but that’s ok. Not only did I come to terms with it, I am able to see myself as beautiful again.
This was absolutely phenomenal. Arla us is so loving and has such a clear vision in leading the group. This project felt so affirming for my womanhood.
A part of me is missing, but I am feeling whole again. It’s like shedding off and old depression and putting on a new experience. When I start feeling down, I go look at the breastplate and say, ‘Hey, look what you’ve got. You’re blessed.’
I am astounded at the safety and sacred space that Arla facilitated. This creative, revealing experience has allowed me to shed old descriptions of who I am and RENEW MYSELF in an extremely powerful and validating way. I am grateful for Arla.
Arla is a marvel...a creative midwife brining into the world a trust in myself and my own creative potential.
You familiar manner and ability to talk about yourself as one of us with all the same universal struggles, made it easier to trust the process than it might have otherwise been. It was a great experience.
I found the workshop and your leadership to be inspiring and enlightened as we found the spirit in ourselves and others.
Participating in Arla Patch’s Breastplate making workshop and retreat was one of the most valuable and memorable experiences of my lifetime. I turned forty this year and as I make the transit into the second half of my life, I have found, with this experience, that the moment is marked by a vivid act of self expression and self nurture on my part, guided, encouraged, believed in and facilitated by an angel named Arla. I have come away from this experience not only with a product that I cherish but also a delicious, lingering, awakened sense of trust in myself and my whole life, past, present and future.I believe the retreat worked so well and benefited those who participated so wholly because of Arla’s faith in the healing powers of art-making (beauty) and her incredible capacity to plan, organize and deliver this endeavor with such grace and order. Her faith and inspiration awakened those qualities in all of us. Together we created an atmosphere of trust and responsibility which enables us to bravely express and give form to our inner most ideas and feelings.
It brought me through so many mental and emotional reactions and has significantly deepened my experience of my self/Self.”One month later: ”This breastplate creation/process continues to effect my psyche and bring changes into my life and those I touch. It certainly has helped me honor and reclaim my feminine self more. And it has made me more impatient with being taken for granted with my spouse. I have also seen how it has enhanced my practice as an energy-body healing facilitator. I am more sensitized to how people are carrying shame about their bodies.
This experience was very meaningful, worthwhile and deeply moving for me. I had met you Arla, at the Women’s Retreat earlier this year, so I knew from that interaction that you are a very inspirational and special person. Your enthusiasm and gentle spirit just exude confidence and sincerity, so although I didn’t know what to expect at the workshop, I had much faith in your ability to make the experience a very rewarding and meaningful event in my life. You presented the concept in a very non-threatening way and your wealth of ideas helped to build my confidence and make me brave enough to just trust in the inspirations and ideas that would come as I explored each step of the process.Your description of the process, our pairing off in eight partnerships, our messy plaster work Friday night, and then all day artwork, culminating in the sharing on Saturday evening, interspersed with music, dancing, laughing, and crying, seemed to make a quilt or an unbroken stream of deep personal work in a safe and nurturing environment.