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Recently: Healing from the inside/out

LaddBy Valarie Schwartz

The power of a group of women can hardly be described to someone who has not felt it.

Monday afternoon, I spent some time talking to Stephanie Ladd about the workshops and women’s groups she hopes to get started soon, and the healing power that comes from a group of women meeting regularly. A few hours later I sat amid 22 other women on the screened porch of a neighbor as we discussed expanding our neighborhood book club to form a second group. The fact that these women, upon invitation, would venture out of their cocoons to seek closer community spoke loudly of our innate need to form bonds.

Sometimes the one we need to know better is the one gazing back in the mirror. Through her workshops, Ladd hopes to lead women to a deeper connection with their souls.

“I want to work with people who really want to do the work themselves,” Ladd said. “Individuals who want to be a partner in the process, who are open and motivated.”

Ladd offers two sources for gaining insight: Soul Collage Workshops, where women will create a beautiful deck of personal cards through guidance within; and a women’s group/workshop where she will help women alter their lives by leading them to a new path that includes DOing less while BEing more.

Ladd and her husband, Rob Ladd, moved here in late July from Southern California, where they had made their home for decades.

She’s a Kansas native, but Rob grew up here and they returned in May for the reunion and benefit concert of the Pressure Boys. Rob started drumming with the Pressure Boys in high school and after the successful band broke up, found steady drum work in Los Angeles before deciding to go back to school and earn a degree in computer science.

“When we were here in May, I looked around and said, ‘I could live here,’” Ladd said. A man they know who owns a millhouse in Carrboro said he and his family were taking a year’s sabbatical in Europe and that the Ladds could live in their house. Rob used his new degree to apply for a job with a local music-software company and got it.

“I was a marriage and family therapist,” Ladd said, adding that after 15 years she felt depleted by the work. “I was working from the outside/in rather than the inside/out.”

The move gave her the chance to create a new model from which to use her knowledge to help people in a different way.

“I’ve been doing some in-depth exploration and inner growth myself,” she said, mentioning Jungian work and women’s groups, as well as learning how to lead Soul Collage workshops. “This is really what I love; it’s an expression of ME.”

After years of helping women heal through talk therapy, she wants to provide creative tools — art, collage, journaling, active imagination — “ways to explore ourselves beyond the everyday.”

Her experience helps her guide women to look at their pain (or numbness) and innermost desires with a new eye, to visualize it, label it and work it.

“It’s fun, the unknown,” Ladd said. “When you look at life that way and start to embrace it . . . it’s healing from the inside out.”

Women using their power to heal themselves: Awesome.

Learn more at www.saladd.com or call 967-1245.

Contact Valarie Schwartz at 923-3746 or valariekays at mac dot com.

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