wRites of Passage Workshops
Moments of intense change, conflict or transition are essential to being human. From birth to death, there are many milestones along the way that push us to step into the next phase of our lives. Culturally, old traditions are dying out and new ones are still forming.
In this pivotal moment in the history of humankind, it is time we re-envision the way we view and live through transitions such as birth, death, marriage, divorce, adolescence, adulthood, aging.
This series of memoir-based, interactive writing workshops is designed to use writing as a tool for transformation. In our weekly sessions, we focus on the writing process, not product, as you learn to use writing as means of transformation and creative living. Some of the techniques we will use are described below.
Externalizing Inner Dialogues
A fun and playful way to explore our inner voices and the different “characters” or parts that make up who we are. We all wear different “hats” and have different roles to play in our daily lives. By writing monologues and dialogs we give voice to the inner parts of us. Then we get to sit back and watch them acted out (with optional props) before you as we read each other’s inner dialogues aloud. A unique experience that can be quite funny, heartwarming and even transformative.
Dialogue between The Creative & The Critic
Not everyone can just sit down, pick up pen or paintbrush, and create a work of art from start to finish on a regular basis. In fact, most of us can’t. What are some of the things that go on in our minds and hearts in these moments of hesitation or resistance? Have you ever finished a piece only to hide it away, never to be seen or experienced by another? What holds you back? What moves you forward? What is your relationship to your inner Critic? Your inner Creative? Explore and transform this relationship so these two parts of you can work together seamlessly.
Unraveling Old Tapes
Do you ever feel like a broken record? Saying the same things to yourself over and over again or making the same excuses about why you didn’t follow through with something? What are the old tapes that have followed you through life, but may not serve you anymore? We often pick up messages in our youth that run like background noise through our lives. Maybe these voices aren’t even yours! A critical teacher or relative, a judgmental friend even, may have told us things that stayed with us, eventually becoming our own negative self-talk. Through writing exercises, you will literally unravel these tapes. Once unraveled (if anyone remembers the old cassettes) they are completely unusable! And you are ready to re-record new, affirming narratives that will bring you to the next level on this journey of life.
Re-Writing Your Narrative
In recent years much research has come to light on the power of the narrative story. And not just the ones we write! (Or watch, read, etc.) The stories we are told about ourselves, our family, our culture and even our ancestors are deeply and invisibly related to the lives we are living. Research shows that these stories have an epigenetic effect on our genes! Meaning, they can actually affect the expression or suppression of certain genes in our bodies! This is the power of the narrative story..it can literally transform us physically. With this in mind, the importance of consciously creating the narratives we live by is clear and there is not a moment to waste. Using creative writing techniques, you will literally write and then go on to live a new story.
Letters to Loved Ones Here and Gone
There is always something left unsaid. Something that we thought, but didn’t share; something we felt or feel but haven’t found the courage to express in person. Maybe the person lives with us, maybe across the street, or in another country. Maybe they are no longer with us on Earth. No matter. It is never too late to reveal your heart. Maybe our words are angry and we don’t want to hurt anyone; maybe they are filled with love or longing, gratitude, remorse. The cathartic experience of letter writing to loved ones, whether they are sent or not, has real-life transformational affects and often leads to a deeper sense of peace and completion: it can open new doors, and close old ones.
Unmasking The Demon and The Divine
Do you have a dark side? One you would rather nobody see or even know about? These darker sides of us often get covered up or hidden away. Masked and unacknowledged, we may be at its mercy, but with courage and tools, we can face this Demon and see what’s beneath its mask! And just as we have dark sides, we have light. Within all of us lives the Divine. Unmask it and feel its radiance! Find the power that has been hiding in you all along. This is a creative “get-your-hands dirty” workshop that combines creative writing with mask-making.
For writers and non-writers.