Hidden Warriors a NY-based 501(c)3 non profit that is pioneering a Warrior Makeover Workshop for women who have been faced with a cancer diagnosis. Half of the workshop focuses on a visual, outer transformation & half shares modalities that strengthen the mind and spirit with the aim of reducing anxiety and fear. We are committed to reconnecting these women with their inner WARRIOR strength!
The story behind the Hidden Warriors Project: A couple of years ago, as I was moving through a difficult time, I had access to a closet full of headdresses that belonged to my aunt. Not long after trying a few on, I noticed my posture, body language and attitude changed from hopeless to powerful.
Being framed in this context was unlike anything I'd experienced in my life. I felt unbelievably strong, powerful, beautiful, confident and unstoppable. It awakened a dormant energy in me that I was able to use as fuel to move forward. I now understand the importance of posture and what it does to our brain chemistry, how it literally does heal us, and how certain headdresses actually gently force us to hold these power postures, as studied by many social psychologists. This is just one of the simple but profound benefits of wearing these pieces. I was stunned at how beneficial and therapeutic this experience had been.
Fast forward to 2013 when my mother, the strongest and most incredible woman I have ever known, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Cancer became very real to me at that point. I felt compelled to come up with things she could use to help her get through her treatments and empower her in some way in hopes of strengthening her resolve to fight for her life. I love this woman more than anything or anyone in this world and would do anything for her. I came to understand that ANY positive experience, no matter how small, can be a healing and strengthening force for anyone who has been weakened by cancer or any other trial. And the Hidden Warriors Project was born...
The Goal: By using multiple therapeutic modalities, we aim to increase self-esteem in and empower women who have been affected by cancer. We will create an experiential and transformative adventure which will tap into the Hidden Warriors they already are.
With help from professional make-up artists, photographers, designers, yoga instructors, occupational therapists, headdress makers and other creatives, we will use various headdresses and face paint to tap into their Hidden Warrior powers. We will photograph and document the process of transforming their mood and body language. These photographs will then be presented at a series of gallery shows and published in book form and ultimately into a short documentary. We will be scaling the project to the New York City and tri-state areas, then nation-wide, and eventually worldwide. This therapy has the potential to benefit many groups of people, including victims of domestic violence, children in foster care, people suffering with low self-esteem, anxiety and/or depression, etc. It is limitless!
We want everyone involved in this project to WIN, from the "patient model" to the photographer, to the funders, to the costume creators- EVERYONE.
Our hope is that you will take the time to review and comment on the Hidden Warriors Project with an open mind and an open heart. We love to join forces with people who use their "superpowers" for good and who have a real desire to empower and heal.
LET'S DO THIS!
Marlene wearing her aunt's headress.
Mother and inspiration, Mayra