The online series began in May 2020. Here are some testimonials:
I recommend this experience to anyone looking to bring into their daily life more loving space. I was with a session with three other women and Maria, which met six times over 12 weeks. Under the skillful and caring guidance of Maria Ramos-Chertok, the experience allowed me to ‘refuel’. It would be hard to say what aspect I liked best because that would be like choosing one ingredient as a favorite in a delicious dish in which it is the combination that is powerful. If pressed, I would say the exercises which Maria took us through which created space and focus for needed introspection were valuable to me. I don’t have other spaces/places for that. The various exercise prompts felt resonate and caused consideration at my end. That I could do this in the company of other women was very helpful — I appreciated hearing their reflections about many of the exercises to which I felt connection and resonance. Maria’s manner with us was always welcomed and warmed me at the start of each session. Life is rough, so very good to be in a place where – for a few minutes anyway — it’s all about rest and guided care. This care introduced me to more of myself. Thank you, Maria!
Butterfly Series writing workshops are the perfect brain boost when my life requires more and my body says no way! I actually feel like I’m evolving from start to finish. The time flies by and I get lost in the magic of the wings. Thank you, Maria, and to those who have been in these workshops. Now I can go off and work on my app again from a grounded nurturing place of healing and holding.
Dr. Cio Hernandez, Marriage & Family Therapist www.reachyourgoalnow.com (2020)
Maria has a gift for creating magical circles of women that are empowering and revealing. So grateful to have the opportunity to participate in this blessed work.
I came to today’s session carrying some unrecognized stress in my body. I left having acknowledged and released that tension. A refreshing experience.
The 90-minute workshop was so much fun that I didn’t want it to end. I knew we were going to write, but I had no idea Maria would break up the exercises into bite size confections, with variety, and with fantastic women to listen to. It was a welcome blend of writing, community, encouragement and inspiration, on a foundation of kindness and self-compassion.
Adela Pedroza, MBA, Moderator, corereef.com (2020)
Testimonials from in-person workshops 2015 – 2019
The Butterfly Series was a beautiful journey. Maria has lovingly crafted a rich, interesting, supportive experience that helped me interrupt my regular patterns, remember myself as a creative being, see myself in the reflections of other women, and listen to my inner wisdom. I am so grateful for the whispers and cries that have guided me on this journey.
Dara G. (2019)
The Butterfly Series came to me during a time when I was feeling lost and bewildered. The writing exercises and creative arts expression allowed me to find clarity. I feel unconditionally supported. A beautiful way to create the rituals of sisterhood.
Jo Ann Prompongsatorn (2019)
The Butterfly Series offers a unique and creative opportunity to explore those parts of life that need to shift. Maria is a master at leading the group — her choice of art projects, writing prompts, and other activities reflect years of work with groups and individuals. Her guidance and warmth helped to create a safe, non-judgemental space for self-exploration. I would highly recommend this workshop!
Laura T. (2019)
The Butterfly Series is a lovely escape to spend time with other women in a space of art, writing, and delicious food. It operates subtly to help safeport each other through a major transition in life
Diane Taylor (2019)
I learned so much from Maria through The Butterfly Series: that intention matters, that I actually am a creative person, that answers aren’t always arrived at through logic alone. Maria is a gifted leader who created the conditions for me to access my own wisdom and insight into my journey — and for our whole group to love, support and enjoy each other along the way.
The Butterfly Series has changed the way I interact with myself and with the world. I am so grateful for this experience and excited for the journey ahead.
Janine M. (2018)
I loved participating in the Butterfly Series. Over the course of the series, I began to understand that transitions are happening all the time, though some periods of life may have more upheaval and drama than others. It felt like a gift to myself to be in a room with other wonderful women, and with one of the best leaders/teachers ever, Maria Ramos-Chertok, to focus more intention (and intentionality) on my life’s journey.
Stephanie Roth (2018)
Maria is adept at creating a nurturing environment which allows each participant space, time and tools to be reflective and curious without judgment. Meeting like this in a peaceful and encouraging environment enabled something wonderful to emerge for each of us. That is precious.
Melinda K. (2018)
Maria’s warmth and wisdom created a safe environment to reflect and work on my journey at a point in my life where the path was uncertain. Thank you, Maria. The Butterfly Series that you created is a special gift.
Jennifer T. (2018)
As a new mother, it was challenging to find moments for myself, let alone time to engage my creativity and envision my dreams for the future. The Butterfly Series offered the perfect opportunity to rediscover me. Committing to an organized group helped me protect the time and the mornings in Maria’s home were both inspiring and restorative, shaped always by her wisdom and humor and warmth.
The Butterfly Series allowed me to hear and see my inner noticings with compassion and firm urgency as a queer woman of color. It helped me find language through mixed media and writing around challenging parts of my path in transition at work, in life and amongst our current administration and in group dynamics that would otherwise oppress and stall my growth toward joy and change. I am grateful for the space, the teachings and the guidance to look at my transitions in life with tenderness and patience.
Amanda Rodriguez, Operations Manager (2017)
I was fortunate to hear about The Butterfly Series and was inquisitive about it. Monthly meetings for six months gave me time in between sessions to think about my life and make good healthy changes. I am very grateful for the insight Maria was able to provide me through her creativity and expertise.
Bonnie Walner (2017)
I needed this workshop. I felt disconnected and unsatisfied. I never believed I was a good writer, so I was hesitant to sign up. But after the workshops I am more confident, grounded by the connection with these dynamic women and happy that I didn’t let fear guide my choice. I am more comfortable expressing and forgiving myself. My perspective enjoyed this spiritual and artistic makeover!
Cometria Cooper (2016)
The Butterfly workshop series is simply fabulous. Through guided meditations, art and writing exercises, Maria helped me identify the things I need to create and inspired a fulfilling life. And, I couldn’t have done it without the guidance and support of Maria and the fabulous women I met through this workshop.
I appreciate the close-knit group that was developed through The Butterfly Series and know that I will stay connected with these women as we continue our journeys.
Claudine Nagamura, Choreographer (2016)
The Butterfly Series helped me create space in my life for reflection, creativity, and deepened self-knowledge.
Miranda Martin (2016)
Maria has created an oasis of calm and creativity. Upon signing up, I didn’t have a specific goal in mind other than to devote a block of time to check in with myself. I wanted to separate the important from the unimportant. I was able to achieve this. And I got to do so with support from incredibly smart, generous and gentle women on similar quests. For anyone feeling stuck or stymied, this workshop is for you.
Terri Chytrowski, Senior Director of Communications (2016)
The butterfly series came, magically, just at a time when I was taking some big risks in my life- including leaving an organization after 15 years. Maria, and the other butterflies, created a generative space to explore, play and witness the transition and what is emerging.
Co-founder, formerly of the Movement Strategy Center (2016)
Maria definitely got me out of my comfort zone. Especially for a person who rarely takes a minute for herself, holding a space and time to dig in and explore that in-between place of transition was quietly powerful.
The Butterfly Series helped me to really come home to myself. I learned that for my transition to occur, the path forward is inward. The series allowed me to be within the unknown in a supportive way and to access my creativity to be able to dream differently for my life. I am grateful to have had this opportunity and highly recommend this series to anyone in transition and wanting to come home to themselves.
Lucia Kimble (2016)
The Butterfly Series offered just what I needed as I start to think about what I want for my ‘third act’ – the next phase of my work and personal life. Maria created a space for us to get out of the analytical ‘pros and cons’ list approach to decisions and help us activate our creative minds to reveal what we are really feeling and what we really want. She also brought together an amazing group of women. It was fun, it was nurturing, creative, thoughtful and surprising to me how powerful it was. I left each session energized and grateful.
Paula Morris (2015)
I joined The Butterfly Series thinking that it would be a nice opportunity to be with other women in a creative space. I did not expect that it would be as life-changing and powerful as it was. Maria is a skilled facilitator who balances creative expression and pragmatism. She is intelligent and supportive and attracted a truly awe-inspiring group of women. I would recommend this to anyone and everyone.
Ami Ehrlich (2015)
I just finished Maria Ramos-Chertok’s creative arts workshop, The Butterflies Series. I highly recommend this life-changing experience. Maria provides a safe, nonjudgmental space for self-discovery through journal writing, meditation and creative projects. You will explore where you are and where you want to be. Her easy going nature creates a friendly environment in which participants support one another and work toward achieving their personal goals. I discovered that my fears were holding me back and was able to move forward toward achieving my goals. I hope you take the time to invest in yourself and join this 6-month journey.
Cris Jones (2015)
The Butterfly Series enabled me to get on the balcony of my own life and see what’s really been going on. I’m much clearer in my awareness of what matters most to me in my life. I’ve connected with the inner strength necessary to more fully live.
Masharika Maddison (2015)
The Butterfly Series is the greatest gift a female caterpillar can give herself. No one else can give it, she has to have the courage of readiness to take flight. Maria doesn’t only create butterflies, she nurtures and inspires wonderflies!
Dr. Cio Hernandez (2015)
The Butterfly Series turned out to be so much more than I expected! Maria was such a kind and generous workshop leader and hostess. She created a welcoming and non-judgmental space for my fellow Butterflies and me. Through writing, introspection, group activities, art, movement, and food, we grew together and individually. Never did I feel rushed to complete a free write or pushed to share if I didn’t feel comfortable, which helped me to be more open and enjoy the time I spent at the series.
Tiffany Evangelista (2015)
Maria graciously opened a space for us to safely explore who we are and who we might become. Through her gentle questions and activities we learned to trust the voice inside guiding us toward the lives we want to live.
Rebecca Bauen (2015)
Maria has a lovely presence – both energetic and calm that allowed me to be fully present myself. The Butterfly Series helped me transition into work that better reflects my values. I found space to reflect and to just “be” during the series, and also had a wonderful experience of being in community.
Julie Absey, Ph.D., Absey Consulting (2015)
Amazing facilitator, Amazing group of women.
Deborah Moss-West (2015)
I feel like I’ve gained insights by simply ‘playing’ with words, art and meditation. I let Maria ‘drive the bus’ and see what arises (and I am an over-thinker and over-planner).
Virada Chatikul, Program Manager (2015)