Stories Within is a deeply 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 appear, we can seize the opportunity to create possibilities for transformation, healing and re-storying to occur.
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 pattern explored by Joseph Campbell in The Hero With A Thousand Faces, is a familiar theme in the stories we read and watch in movies and TV. A modern revision that represents women in mythology and storytelling can be found in Maria Tatar’s book, The Heroine with 1,001 Faces.
It’s also our own story, and in the telling helps us recognize our shared stories and understanding of life.
I invite you to step IN to story…
The Inner Work of Age is the book we read as our Winter 2023 selection.
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 the readings or discussion bring up unresolved issues.
~ Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth
Q: Every book group I’ve participated in reads a book a month – why is this different?
A: Stories Within isn’t just a reading/book group; it’s a story-based creative process that invites you to dive into the realm of story. 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 immerse ourselves in the story, explore its connection to our lives, and create an expressive response based on what we uncover.
Q: How do you choose the book we’re going to read?
A: Over time, I’ve discovered that just the ‘right’ book arrives as a teacher and guide – I go with that.
Q: Aside from our weekly zoom gathering, how much time do I need to give this?
A: That depends on the length of the book we’re reading and how quickly you read.
Q: What kind of art supplies will I need to purchase?
A: Feel free to use what you have. If specific materials are needed, I’ll let you know in advance.
Q: I don’t see myself as artistic or creative – exactly what kind of art will we be doing?
A: Writing and visual arts will be our main creative tool, but you’ll be invited to express yourself through various other art modalities too, such as movement, poetry, photography, music, and more.
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.
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