Stories Within is a rich and engaging creative process that weaves a love of books, story and the expressive arts.
By blending the power of art and story, we can travel alongside those tales and adventures already written, explore unfamiliar terrain, and learn the language of the soul. We can pick up breadcrumbs along the way that illuminate connections to our own life story. And when portals and doorways to sense- and meaning-making magically appear, we can seize the opportunity and create possibilities for transformation, healing and re-storying to occur.
Our personal stories are enmeshed with a greater story of which we are all part…and it is still moving.
Since the beginning of time, story-telling has been a way to teach, learn, and transform self and others by way of the lessons and wisdom gained through personal experience and the world around us.
Everything has a story to tell: exploring them reveals themes and feelings we can all relate to – love, hope, uncertainty, fear, obstacles, triumphs and more. The hero’s journey – a story pattern explored and written about by Joseph Campbell in The Hero With A Thousand Faces, is a familiar theme in the stories we read, hear and watch. It’s also our own story – unique to each of us – but in the telling helps us recognize and connect to our shared journey through life.
During this 8-week workshop, you will be invited to connect to your untold stories, your inner knowing, your creativity, and to others through the readings and stories within a selected book.
This process has created magic and healing for many, and I’m excited to witness how it will unfold for you. My hope is it will inspire you to find, create, and re-create your own stories!
Sound interesting? Then I invite you to join us on a creative journey through the chapters and stories of the chosen book – discovering, listening, and giving voice to your own deep wisdom – then gathering all the pieces to create a visual story and keepsake book of your own.
"I could hand you a braid of sweetgrass, as thick and shining as the plait that hung down my grandmother's back. But it is not mine to give, nor yours to take. Wiingaashk belongs to herself. So I offer, in its place, a braid of stories meant to heal our relationship with the world. This braid is woven from three strands: indigenous ways of knowing, scientific knowledge, and the story of an Anishinabekwe scientist trying to bring them together in service to what matters most. It is an intertwining of science, spirit, and story - old stories and new ones that can be medicine for our broken relationship with earth, a pharmacopeia of healing stories that allow us to imagine a different relationship, in which people and land are good medicine for each other."
Please note that although the books and content discussed can be an opportunity for deep inner work, this is not therapy. Rather, it's a supportive environment that offers space for participants to listen, create, and witness to others. It is the responsibility of each participant to seek out therapy should issues arise during this course.
~ Philip Pullman
Q: Most book groups read an entire book in a month – why is this so long?
A: Stories Within isn’t so much a reading or book group as it is a creative process. We read, discuss and make art with the kind of books that contain so much juicy content that we may only cover several chapters each week. This slower pace allows us to really dive into the story, explore its connection to our lives, and create an expressive response based on the content we uncover.
Q: Aside from the weekly online gathering, how much time do I need to give this?
A: That depends on the page range (usually no more than 60 pages per week) and how quickly you read. I suggest giving yourself an uninterrupted block of time to read and then respond to the prompts in the workbook; these will be helpful when we discuss the chapters, and assist in the art making you’ll be invited to do.
Q: When there’s an afternoon or evening workshop option, can I attend both or do I need to stay with the one I signed up for?
A: Part of this process includes building community and space for courageous sharing of your art, your writing & your story. Once we begin, it’s best to remain in the same group.
Q: What kind of art supplies will I need to purchase?
A: A detailed list of art materials will be provided prior to the start date. You can also check my favourite art supplies to see what you might already have on hand. It’s surprising how much you can do with just a few items!
Q: I don’t see myself as artistic or creative – exactly what kind of art will we be doing?
A: Visual arts (painting, sculpture, collage, etc) will be our main tool, but a variety of expressive art modalities will be incorporated as well – writing, movement, photography, music, and more. You’ll be guided through specific exercises – no previous art background or skills are required. There are no rules or analysis in this process, just opportunities for creative play!
Q: Why don’t you offer this as a self-paced course?
A: I’ve witnessed the great things that can happen when women gather – creativity, community, and connection unfolds in a most wondrous way. Telling our stories helps us to process what has happened in our lives, and through our shared experiences, we have opportunities to heal. Though some people love the flexibility of a self-paced class, my experience (and I’m not alone in this) is that many want and need the tangible energy and company of kindred hearts to keep them committed and engaged, and to fill their longing to be seen and heard.
Q: I notice the cost is in CAD – what is that in my currency?
A: Yes, I’m Canadian, so my prices are in Canadian currency. PayPal lets you know what the cost will be in your currency before making the purchase. You can also check here to get an approximate idea of what the cost is in your currency.
Please email me if you have a specific question that hasn’t been answered – thank you!
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