re-picturing RELEASE

What do you need to release in your life right now?

Is there something in your life that you are holding on to, perhaps clinging to? Something that you want to or need to let go?

Release is something that Celina Wyss, the writer and photographer of Altered Muse and our contributor to Re-Picturing Women Wednesday this week, knows a lot about.

I first met Celina through her blog and was immediately struck by her adventurous spirit – she is constantly trying new things and reinventing herself through her words and blog. And yet, she does so by remaining authentic and true to herself. She also contributed a revealing, honest, and vulnerable guest post and self-portrait to re-picturing women last spring. However, I was lucky enough to actually meet Celina in Manzanita, Oregon last June (Woot!). Although I knew that Celina was an amazing photographer, writer, and creator (check out her blog to receive 40% off her swoon-worthy jewelry), meeting her in person showed me another side of Celina. She has a quiet strength about her. She sees the truths in other people and is continuing to discover and uncover the truths in herself. If you were to meet her, you would want to sit down, have a cup of tea (or a wine cooler), and just spend some time savoring her spirit. I hope that like me, you can connect with Celina through her insightful truths that she shares in response to my questions below.

Post by Celina Wyss and Sarah Gervais

Tell us your story of your body? Have their been challenges or struggles? What about opportunities or victories? Who are the heroes in your story? Who are the villains? If you could, would you change anything about your story?

I feel like the story of my body is constantly being rewritten. I’m still trying to find out what serves it best and how to help myself through the illness I have been struggling through. I’m coming into my 2nd year of doctor visits after visit with no official diagnosis. Before that there were other chapters and many other struggles. I am my biggest villain when I should be my biggest hero. My body carries many scars and many stories. I’m tired all of the time and tired of being tired. I’m ready to leave this chapter behind. If I could change one part of my story it would be to be kinder to myself and the changes that my body has went through. I would have liked to work harder at finding real solutions to the root causes of everything I was experiencing instead of being so quick to put an end to symptoms.

What is going on with your body right now? In the context of your story, are you in the midst of the action? Are you closing a chapter of your story? Beginning of a new chapter? Brainstorming an entirely new book?

I would like to think I am beginning a whole new book. I want my body to tell a story of how I found my way back to a healthy life. How I was able to discover the root to my illness and move forward. One step at a time I am working towards a happier, healthier life. I do see a light at the end of the tunnel. I’m ready to wear my scars with pride as if to say: “I made it. I am whole again.”

Why did you choose to participate in the re-picturing women project? Why is the word and/or body part you chose significant to you?

I chose Release because I feel it is a prominent theme in my life right now. Releasing past hurts, expectations and illness. I’m ready to let it all go and move on. The hands were a symbolic place to write it as that is where we physically hang on to so much just as we hang to too much inside as well.

As a creative person (writer, photographer, artist) do you think your body is connected to your creativity (e.g., writing, photography, etc.). If so, how?

When I am fatigued in anyway I feel like my creativity shuts down. If I am not taking care of my own needs through self care and self love then creating no longer becomes a priority. On the other hand, when I am relaxed and happy I feel like I can adequately express myself through pictures and words.

If you could share one truth you’ve learned about your body with girls, other women, or even men, what would you want them to know?

One truth I am just now starting to understand is how much pain and negative emotions latch onto our bodies. They can manifest themselves in many ways and numerous sorts of illnesses. All the more reason to release that which we cannot control, breathe, and move forward. My new mission statement is: Release past expectations, embrace the present moment and connect wholeheartedly with kindred spirits.

What do you need to release in your life right now?


  1. Love the mission statement and thanks for the wise words, Celina! xoxo

  2. Thanks so much Sarah for giving me the chance share a part of my journey and for taking the beautiful photos.

    • valerie
    • September 29th, 2011

    such a beautiful message celina. thank you for sharing your wisdom.

  3. such wisdom you carry in that body of yours … thank you for sharing these pieces of you. xo

    • jojo
    • September 30th, 2011

    so much beauty and kindness in your words. thank you for sharing!

  4. What a beautiful piece. I like the comment about listening to what your body is telling you, rather than trying to end the symptoms. It’s funny how our bodies give us messages about when we need to stop, rest, recover. I’m guilty of ignoring mine and trying to paper over the problem. So I resonate with this idea of really addressing the root problem so that you can achieve that release. I love starting my day with words and images from two such inspiring women.

    • Jeffrey
    • October 3rd, 2011

    Sarah & Celina,
    Thank you for sharing. I believe your mission statement is applicable & appropriate for all.

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