The Chrysalis Project

With the arrival of spring, I’m announcing my biggest undertaking yet---The Chrysalis Project.

For those who have not yet heard about the Chrysalis Project, it is my Baby, two years in the making, and it’s about to burst forth onto Athens! The Chrysalis Project is a unique combination of creativity, coaching and portraiture, intended to help women connect with themselves and each other, while remembering their own authentic beauty.

As I approached my fiftieth birthday, I wanted to plan something special for myself to commemorate it. Believe me, I had plenty of wild ideas! But the more I pondered, the more seriously I considered a woman’s feelings as she approached mid-life. Aging has never frightened me; I didn’t dread turning fifty, but I know that many women do.  I finally decided that I had to have my husband (photographer extraordinaire Timothy Schildknecht of Fringe Collective Artistic Studios and Classic City Sessions) photograph me just as I am---extra weight, wrinkles, stretch marks, the lipoma on my shoulder, hiding nothing. I wanted a portrait of my authentic self.
Almost as soon as I expressed the thought, another followed on its heels. “ALL women, of any age, ethnic persuasion or sexual orientation, are beautiful creatures. How is it that they forget?? How can I remind them?”

The Chrysalis Project was born in that moment.

I first created a photography program called Chrysalis---Taking Flight, wherein women receive coaching focusing on self-esteem and body image issues, after which they engage in creating portraits of their true, authentic selves. I’m actively involved in the photo shoot itself, as both “art director” and coach. Before and during the sharing of their finished portraits with them, I continue the coaching. The end result is a woman who is able to look at her own image without flinching and see the beauty therein.

I would never dream of asking anyone to do anything that I’m not willing to do myself, especially something this big, so I went through the Chrysalis program. When I went through the process myself, I was shocked at how the dynamic changed. Tim was no longer my husband; he became a consummate professional. I was no longer his wife; I was an emotional, nervous, upset client. I was naked, and I didn't like what I saw in the studio mirrors. He coached me through it, helped me find my confidence, just like I've witnessed in working with other Chrysalis clients

I think my own session was a little more difficult (than for clients) as I had to process my own photos! The transformation in my feelings, however, was amazing! I went from crying in front of the studio mirror, to “hey, I don’t look so bad for 50” to “Hey I look damn good for 50 and 5 babies!”  Even the tumor on my shoulder became a beautiful part of my body's landscape! My self-esteem soared; my courage grew! And the funny thing was, it wasn't just in relation to my body-image; it spilled over into all areas of my life.

I could not wait to share this process with other women! Women of ALL ages! I wanted them all to realize just how beautiful they are, especially when they strip away all their issues and see who they truly are!

Naturally, bringing healing creativity into this program wasn’t far behind. It was no time before I was setting up a community for continuing support and healing.
Chrysalis—Awakening provides monthly support through a variety of creative projects, movement, meditation and discussion amongst a group of like-minded real women.

For those who would like to learn more about the Chrysalis Project, Over the Moon Creative Possibilities is hosting a ladies-only reception Friday March 15th at 7 pm. Past Chrysalis participants will be on hand to speak about their experiences with the program and answer any questions, and Chrysalis portraits will be on display.
I can’t begin to convey the depth of these gorgeous sisters’ feelings and their transformation. Come and hear it in their own words. You WILL be inspired.

"'s helped me find appreciation for me, my bravery
and for who I am. Though I can still find fault, it is easier now to 
also name the positives that off-set them, and that my friends,
is where BALANCE is found."
                                                                  Beth ~ Chrysalis participant

The Chrysalis Project Mission Statement

The Chrysalis Project was created to help women discover and embrace their true nature, 
beauty and power, 
and understand that they already have within themselves 
the solutions to all of their life challenges….
to move women from feelings of fear and victimization 
to fearlessness and self-confidence, 
authenticity, empowerment and abundance.

Chrysalis photo sessions are intended to help women overcome self-imposed limitations and fears, 
and to invite them to see more clearly their own beauty, dignity and grace.

Chrysalis Awakening workshops teach and reinforce the mission, 
while building community among women by giving them helpful information, 
an opportunity to develop their innate creativity, 
and a safe forum in which to express themselves. 

"The Chrysalis process has been a powerful, healing, 
life-changing experience for my personal growth 
and the evolving growth of my self-esteem. 
Through the process I have learned to express various parts
of my personality, to love myself more and to explore my creativity.
I recommend this wonderful process for any woman!"  
          Heather~Chrysalis Project participant          

We as women have forgotten who we are, our connection--- to each other and to ourselves.
We've forgotten our natural creativity, our wild nature, while imagining all manner of self-imposed limitations.
It's as if we've been asleep, unaware of our true selves. We are waiting to be awakened, to be healed, to come forth and shine.

Everything we will ever need is already inside us, lying dormant, while a profound transformation is taking place...
Something new is about to emerge....
to burst forth....

Chrysalis, the Awakening

Chrysalis is a unique blend of creativity, life-coaching and portraiture, encouraging us to explore our authentic self, let her out to play and invite her to stay

Through this healing, creative community we will
  • recognize the depth of our own inner strength
  • realize that we are all creative beings
  • discover our innate beauty and grace
  • learn to live each day with courage, despite our fears
  • remember that love is the answer, no matter what the question
  • find that we are not alone on our path

"I love how Jennifer sees me and reflects me back to myself in ways that surprise me. 
I always feel better about myself and who I am after a heartfelt discussion. 
Sharing myself with her helps me open up more to who I am. 
I look forward to creating with her in a workshop one day soon."
Beth ~ Chrysalis Project participant

A few of the authentic Taking Flight portraits from The Chrysalis Project

 "I have loved working with Jennifer and Tim. They each embrace
their light and dark, finding a way to love through it all. 
There is courage in this."
                                                                   Beth ~ Chrysalis participant

I still have issues with my current body shape but ... I could actually look at the photographs and admit they were pretty and not want to hide in a hole.  
This was honestly the best experience and results I have ever had with a photographer.  
                                                                                     Christina ~ Chrysalis participant
---official opening reception---
Friday March 15th at 7 pm
at Over the Moon Creative Possibilities
159 N Jackson St, Suite 31 in Athens, GA

See Chrysalis portraiture
learn about the community Chrysalis--The Awakening
Hear from previous Chrysalis participants

More information coming very soon!

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