What if you wrote a memoir?

October 8, 2008 at 7:30 pm | Posted in Storytelling | 4 Comments
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Memoirs are sizzling hot in the book world just now, and I’ve been devouring them! Real life stories often have the capacity to inspire, encourage, entertain, amaze, and move us even more dramatically than fiction. In the last few months I’ve read:

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou) – The first 11 calamitous years in the well-known poet/activist’s life.

The Glass Castle (Jeannette Walls) – A news journalist’s growing-up years in the midst of extreme poverty and neglect.

Left to Tell (Immaculee Ilibagiza) – A young Rwandan woman’s survival in the midst of the horrific 1994 genocide in her country.

Beautiful Boy (David Sheff) – A father’s perspective of his son’s battle with meth addiction.

Each of these stories is riveting in its own way . . . and each of us has similarly powerful stories to share. I’ve been musing about what aspect of my life I might address, were I to write a memoir — I think I’d explore my relationship with my father, who passed away 10 years ago.

How about you, what if you wrote a memoir? What season of your life would you describe . . . and/or . . . what memoir have you recently read and enjoyed?

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New Storytellers groups now forming

August 24, 2008 at 11:56 pm | Posted in Storytelling | 1 Comment
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Storytellers – Love your story, love yourself

If you’re a woman who wants to learn to love your whole self through the sharing of your life story, then Storytellers is for you. New groups are now forming. (See my 4/17/08 post for more info on the healing power of storytelling,)

The transformational storytelling process provides you with an opportunity to:

* better understand and communicate your needs
* practice genuine self-care
* recognize and express your strengths
* be known and valued by others
* develop true community . . . and more

Each Storytellers group is comprised of 2, 3, or 4 participants. Groups meet twice a month for approximately 6 months, depending on group consensus. Sessions run for about 2 hours and are held at the Authentic Life Consulting office near 12th Street and Missouri in Phoenix. Feel free to take part as an individual or with your friend(s).

Please call or email me for more info. I’m also glad to meet on a complimentary basis with you, or you and your friends, to answer your detailed questions about Storytellers.

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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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