Forming the Life You Want: Sustainability from the Inside-Out

Clinton, Washington
Friday, June 22, 2012

Forming the Life You Want:
Sustainability from the Inside-Out
With Mitch Saunders & Maryliz Smith
June 22 – 24, 2012

Most discussions about sustainability focus on the responsible use and stewardship of natural resources. This workshop will focus on how we steward and sustain ourselves as individuals who are in relationship with others and with our work. In particular, we will explore the critical tasks of forming and evolving important relationships.  We will also practice ways to improve the presence or clarity we bring to choices with the potential to alter the course of our future.

The Threshold Arts approach is to meet participants at the frontiers of their life journeys and to do so with the belief that one's path is more true and viable when approached with artistry and improvisation rather than conforming one's choices to a limiting belief system or a preconceived ideal. 

Specific choices we make can be critical in determining the trajectory of our lives and work.  For example:
  • Discerning whether or how to enter into a partnership,
  • Deciding how to respond to a loss or a setback,
  • Determining what is "yours to do" in your family or at work, and 
  • Discerning the next best step to take when you arrive at the end of the road in your career or in a crucial relationship.

The vision for this program is to equip you with the capabilities to respond to such circumstances in a way that gives you agency in actively shaping your life and future. 

To cultivate this capacity for self-renewal throughout the weekend, we will employ a unique blend of individual practices for tapping the wisdom of your body, use of the group to develop and test new moves for difficult situations, and improvisational arts to anchor and ground the answers which emerge in dialogue with one another. 

What To Expect:

  • Learn a reliable way to quickly shift a self-defeating interior state so you can operate at your best.
  • Practice a proven way to assess the "fit" of a prospective partnership.
  • Learn how to surface and renegotiate "hidden contracts" as a lever for realistic change in personal and professional relationships.
  • Clarify what's needed next to be more intentional about forming the next phase of your life.

This program will be useful for anyone facing a major threshold, or wishing to improve the ability to navigate defining moments.  Leaders and change agents in organizational settings, and those in the healing professions will find numerous applications. There will be time for individual work and reflection on the approaches used. For more information see:  

What Others Say:  

"There are certain things about relationships that always plagued me - I was able to recognize what happened once they went wrong, but didn't know exactly why.  The beauty of working with ThresholdArts is that they illuminate what's beneath the surface so you can understand what's really going on and take steps to improve a relationship. I'm also amazed by how little time it takes Mitch and Maryliz to have the great impact that they do."  Alex G.

"Mitch and Maryliz invite us to take a deeper dive than we're   accustomed to. I discovered a hidden pact I had made with myself about where I "knew" I had to fit in the work world. This rocked a key assumption I had painfully taken on. With that insight, everything changed. They also supported me to locate the place where I freeze or flee and showed me how to use my body's wisdom to find a more satisfying way that is already ready to emerge. Their multiple skills blended beautifully for an unforgettable experience. I highly recommend their work!"   Marcia R.

The Program Guides 

Mitch Saunders is a pioneer in the areas of leadership, innovation and organization change. He is the founder of SGRPartners, and creator of The CEO Studio, a program sponsored by Silicon Valley Bank for early stage entrepreneurs. He helps people reinvent themselves and the ways they create value when it's time for a change. 

Maryliz Smith is an international performance artist and guide for people facing important thresholds. She is co-founder of the Callanish Society, an organization that supports people living with cancer.  She has an extraordinary ability to use sounds she creates on the piano in the moment, to guide and accompany individuals and organizations through pivotal transitions.

$245 (early registration $195 before May 24)

Friday 6pm – 9pm
Saturday 9am – 5pm, (with special evening program from 7pm – 9pm)
Sunday 9am – 1pm

Download Full Program Outline


Shared Room $100 + tax
Single Room (as available) $120 + tax
Early Arrival $65 + tax
Extended Stay $50 + tax

Lodging at the Whidbey Institute is mostly in shared rooms in our two homes, Farmhouse and Granny's; bathrooms are shared.  You will have the opportunity to indicate particular needs or requests when registering. We will contact three days prior to the gathering with your room assignment.


Beginning with dinner Friday evening and ending with lunch on Sunday

All Meals $110 + tax
Dinners & Lunches Only $86 + tax

Christyn Johnson, our extraordinary chef, is committed to providing delicious, nourishing meals from locally sourced ingredients. The shared meals are wonderful part of the Institute experience. Comments from other Whidbey Institute events: 

"The food is beyond fabulous"  
"Christyn's food was so good I'm still thinking about it." 
"I've never tasted love before - every meal was infused with it."

Meals can be purchased on a per-meal basis when registering, or all at once for a total of $150 + tax. You are also welcome to bring your own meals. 

Cancellation & Refund Policy 

Balance payments are due no later than two weeks before the program begins.

If, after paying the full course fee you find it necessary to cancel, a full refund minus $50 will be given if notice is received at least one month prior to the event. If notice of cancellation is received between one week and one month prior, a 50% refund will be given. For cancellations received less than a week prior to the event, no refund can be given. Contact

Registration and meal passes are fully transferable; please communicate changes as soon as is possible to

Contact Information

  • Heather Johnson
    Whidbey Institute 
    Program Director

Payment Instructions

  • You may complete your registration with a $100 deposit. 

    Balances are due two weeks before the start of the program; you can complete your balance payment through any of the following methods:
    • Log back into your registration and process the balance payment.
    • Email with a request to charge the balance of your tuition.
    • Mail check payment with the balance to the address below.
    The Whidbey Institute
    Attn: Registration
    PO Box 57
    Clinton, WA  98236

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