It happens almost every time I hang out with friends. We begin to tell stories about “the time when….” and some of us tell stories more often than others.
Our stories begin taking different shapes and textures depending upon who is gathered in the story telling circle. More often than not, you wouldn’t tell the same story to a circle of your Mom’s bridge club as you would the old friends gathered at your tenth high school reunion.
There was a time when stories focused on words like “Codependence” when books bearing such words ruled the best seller lists. People thrived on telling “Woe is me victim stories” which luckily became old after a while, but unfortunately in the swinging pendulum of life, all of a sudden it was somehow wrong to tell stories of pain. That same group who loved the experience of connecting over sadness due to sibling rivalry or mean girl elementary school behavior found the “If you say anything that makes you feel sadness, you will only bring more sadness into your life, so fake it and pretend and sweet talk yourself into ‘happy talk’” which wasn’t all that great, either.
Someplace other than these extremes is the place where we allow ourselves to be (choose the word that fits for you) authentic or transparent or honest or willing to be raw, pure, just-as-we-are rather than “who we think we are supposed to be in the first place”.
It is a unique energy which arrives when we step up and share our stories from this different space: all of a sudden our world opens up in a new way.
When we peel away the “can you believe what so-and-so did to me?” and replace it with, “This happened and that happened and as a result, I felt this and did that and… oh, you felt that too?” connections are found and forged and understanding and compassion have room to roam.
In the Vday Writing Workshop taking place tomorrow, Saturday afternoon, February 27, in Bakersfield, we will be exploring this new, empowering place to write and live. This isn’t a conventional writing workshop, it is more like a human experience workshop where we use writing as a tool, an instrument, a method of understanding ourselves and these stories we have told or have heard or that have become the context for every choice we have made in our lives thus far.
If you are a fiction writer, you will gain insights into yourself and characters.
If you are a poet, you will create word images to put into poetry.
If you are a journal writer or blogger, you will find different directions to explore.
If you are a student, you will learn to engage with words differently – and perhaps find your way to better writing grades as a result.
You will go home with new tools, techniques and ideas.
You will go home with more confidence, some new friends, and a renewed sense of purpose.
You will be supporting an International Movement to End Violence against women and girls as well as the Alliance Against Family Violence.
Julie Jordan Scott has been leading writing workshops for students across North America, Europe and Australia since 1999. A Recipient of the Coach of the Year Award for the Life on Purpose Institute in 2004, Julie’s writing has appeared in magazines, newspapers and greeting cards worldwide as well as in poetry anthologies and Chicken Soup for the Soul of America. She has been publishing Daily Passion Activator since 2001 and somehow manages to be active in the Bakersfield Arts Community while raising three children. She is best known in Bakersfield for her work in Theater and Poetry.