“Dancing to a New Rhythm,” forum for divorced and widowed women

April 21, 2008 at 9:00 pm | Posted in Authentic Life Events | 2 Comments
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“Dancing to a New Rhythm” will be the next event in the Women in Transition (WIT) forum series . . . it’s designed especially for women who are adjusting to the multiple life changes caused by divorce or the death of their spouse.

Date/Time: Thursday, May 29, 2008/7-9pm

Location: Franciscan Renewal Center, 5802 E. Lincoln Drive, Scottsdale

Registration: $25 per person

Click here to learn more about and register for the May 29 forum.

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Embracing your whole life story

April 17, 2008 at 5:15 pm | Posted in Storytelling | 1 Comment
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“Through transforming our negative, painful, or chaotic experiences into stories, we take responsibility for them, and we bring them to bear more constructively on our lives.” (Jack Maguire, The Power of Personal Storytelling)

What’s your life story like?

If it’s anything like mine your story has chapters during which relationships were rich, you felt cared for, and you acted with integrity and selflessness.

There also are passages of great fear and wounding when relationships failed, dreams were lost, and you acted against yourself or others with intolerance and rage.

Many of us seem to want to ignore or even deny those aspects of our story marked by painful experiences or our dysfunctional behavior. Yet, we are our whole life story, not just the pleasant parts. When we refuse to recognize hurtful episodes, we shut off major elements of our identity as well as opportunities to learn about ourselves.

Until we’re able to accept our full story — without shame or guilt — we cannot grow into our authentic selves. As David Benner writes in The Gift of Being Yourself, “You can never be other than who you are until you are willing to embrace the reality of who you are. Only then can you truly become who you are most deeply called to be.”

I hope you have an emotionally safe relationship or environment in which to share and explore the nuances of your distinctive story . . . a place where others you trust listen closely to you and honor you for all that you are and all that you’re becoming.

The Storytellers process that I facilitate for small groups can be such an environment. Please contact me if you’d like to learn more about Storytellers.

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Go outside and play!

April 8, 2008 at 8:55 pm | Posted in Play | 4 Comments
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“My dream is . . . “
“The thing I’m afraid to discover about my dream is . . . “
“If I actualize my dream, it will mean . . . “

These are the opening questions on one of the tools I generally ask my clients to complete in the first couple months of the Authentic Life process. For various reasons it’s not unusual for many people to feel unprepared to answer . . . but I think there’s one element that may make these questions seem especially challenging —

We’ve forgotten how to play. Or, perhaps, we never had a chance to learn.

A recent National Public Radio story by Alix Spiegel (“Old-Fashioned Play Builds Serious Skills”) reports on the negative effects on today’s children of limited or non-existent time for imaginative play. The kind of activity where kids have the freedom to create make-believe worlds, where they regulate their own play and make up their own rules.

You may have grown up being generously encouraged to play. Or you may have had little time to simply goof off because you were needed to work around the house, the yard, the family business, your church, or to care for family members. Much of your childhood may have been spent performing in sports or academic or beauty contests or, perhaps, you were busy with homework and lots of special classes and lessons.

Take a look at the pace of your adult life today. If you feel you’re always on the go without a moment to “play” (or relax or reflect or dream about what comes next in your life), ask yourself if your current choices are a continuation of choices that were made a long time ago.

As Spiegel notes, imaginative play fosters “concentration, effort, problem-solving, and task success” for children. Doesn’t it make sense that the same would be true for adults?

Good. Now go outside and play!

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