"I have personally witnessed the effect of self-awareness training on the incarcerated. I KNOW in my heart this is the only path for all of us, as a collective society that wants a better future for all involved."
— Susan Olesek, Enneagram Teacher, EPP Founder
A contribution of $500 or more to EPP makes it possible for one incarcerated man or woman to participate in an 8-week intensive Introduction to the Enneagram, the first of a series of programs that are taught by EPP in county jails and statewide prisons.
To honor and thank you for having sponsored one inmate through their first training, EPP would like to give you a one-of-a-kind piece, "The Key To Freedom," a sterling silver key, sculpted by hand in wax, pounded to its own perfect imperfection, and corded with two strands of rugged leather. This piece is our gift to remind you of your place in the EPP village we value so deeply.
The "Key to Freedom" Story
Sixteen years ago – passionate and purposeful, wounded and searching, my closest friend, Lauren, and I began to learn that we were much more than the collection of habits we knew then only as “my personality.” We each found ourselves on the Enneagram “map” like two cousins – Lauren a Type 4 and me a Type 1.
Over the next two growth-filled decades, we shared the gamut of awakening that comes through parenting and partnering. We evolved together as women, mothers, and spiritual seekers. Increasingly, we drew on the wisdom of the Enneagram system, the deep care we have for one another and, very gradually, the love we found deeper and richer within ourselves.Organically we both found “our thing,” that emerging passion that would carry us through the second half of our lives. Ever our types, Lauren blossomed into a bonifide artisan, teaching herself the craft of handmade jewelry and starting her own business with now-business partner Gracia Mahan. And I certified to teach the Enneagram and brought it to prison. Of course, the Type 4 would bring beauty to our world, and the Type 1 would be of the mind to “reform” it. It was only a matter of time before our deep connection and appreciation for one another’s gifts would manifest through our work.
Today, Lauren and Gracia Jewelry is wildly successful, offered in 40 stores around the country and in prestigious catalogs such as 32 Bar Blues, the men’s line from Bruce Willard (former owner and CEO of Territory Ahead and Sundance Catalog). Their handcrafted jewelry celebrates "perfect imperfection," using the earth’s elements with a raw and rustic use of leather and silver.
With a profound appreciation of the Enneagram Prison Project’s vision, Lauren and Gracia Jewelry has designed – exclusively for EPP contributors, "The Key To Freedom," a sterling silver key, sculpted by hand in wax, pounded to its own perfect imperfection, and corded with two strands of rugged leather. This piece is weathered and worn in all the right places, like all of us who weather the journey on the way out of the “prisons of our own making.”
Working together we can make a much needed difference.