Writing our stories, whether they originate from our lives or our imagination is a sacred act that heals and transforms us. When we write we remember who we are. We reconnect with parts of ourself that have gone into hiding and thereby practice the art of reclaiming our wholeness. We connect with the voice beneath the voice.
Writing in community is soul work. It takes us down to the blessed dark where our stories of loss and grief, transformation and becoming await. We gather the ash and the truth of the coal from these stories and through our writing build a new fire to live by.
Writing in community renews us. Through our writing we envision. We imagine. We pull ourselves back to the light on the wings of our natural creative genius. We transcend. We soar.
When we commit ourselves to a regular writing practice we learn to listen to the great intelligence of the heart and our writer's voice becomes strong and sure. In the company of other women we are inspired, encouraged and forever changed.
We invite you to "Come as you Are" to this Wednesday afternoon Women's Writing Circle. This is a time to come together and write, sparked by compelling prompts, in the welcoming environment of a circle of women. The writing group structure is based on the Amherst Writer's and Artist's Method. (Find out more about the AWA Method at the bottom of this page.)
No writing experience is needed. All you need is a notebook, a pen, and openness to step into the writing flow.
“Whether your purpose for writing is artistic expression, communication with friends and family, the healing of the inner life, or achieving public recognition for your art - the foundation is the same: the claiming of yourself as an artist/writer and the strengthening of your writing voice through practice." - Pat Schneider (creator of the AWA method), from Writing Alone and with Others
*A special thank you to Portland Women Writers for sharing the beautiful description of this writing practice.
Resurrect the Wild Within - Integrate the power and wisdom of the stories from Women Who Run With the Wolves
March 31, 2020 | 6:30-8:00pm | Opening to Life Studio on SE Hawthorne and 40th | $25
Let's face it. We've been tamed. But we are waking up.
Each one of us was born with wildness inside. It's still there.
Gather, resurrect and unleash...these are the themes of the first story in Women Who Run With the Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D., called "The Howl: Resurrecting the Wild Woman." It's time to gather the bones of the indestructible wild within and breath life over them.
In the sacred space created by drumming to the 4 directions, Sarah will tell this story orally, and guide you in integrating its power and wisdom for yourself. Story is a highly effective way to access your own wisdom. It bypasses the habits of thought, reaching instead into your unconscious mind, where your knowing lives within you...the knowing that can guide you through the issues in life you are dealing with now.
You are invited to join this evening of sacred drumming, soul listening, writing, and dancing to music that helps us shake our bones, release, and celebrate.
Our intention is that you access your own personal power and wisdom, connecting to the deep knowing in your bones; that you find the instinctual place where the very thing you need is right there waiting for you.
"No matter where we are, the shadow that trots behind us is definitely 4-footed." -Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D.
New Year Vision Retreat - Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
New Year Vision Retreat | January 23-30, 2021 | Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica - Postponed to 2022 Launch the new year with vision – a clear intention about who you are and what matters most to you.
Join us for a week of clarity, creativity and connection at nature’s edge, on the Osa peninsula in Costa Rica. In this uniquely vibrant place, we will blend the practices of yoga, free writing, play and communion with nature to create your personal Life Brief, a living document that captures what matters most to YOU. This is an invaluable tool for making decisions and taking action in your relationships, your work and for yourself.
Your discoveries will be captured into language that you will take home with you in the form of The Life Brief – along with a clear set of actions, and a fire in your belly. This is your north star, your deepest wisdom, and the starting place for all that you create for yourself and the world over the next 10 years.
With the New Year Vision Retreat, you will enter your next chapter with courage, clarity and creativity.
Who: An intimate gathering of 20 people from across the globe
We hold the following 5 essential affirmations in our writing groups:
1. Everyone has a strong, unique voice. 2. Everyone is born with creative genius. 3. Writing as an art form belongs to all people, regardless of economic class or educational level. 4. The teaching of craft can be done without damage to a writer's original voice or self-esteem. 5. A writer is someone who writes.
“Whether your purpose for writing is artistic expression, communication with friends and family, the healing of the inner life, or achieving public recognition for your art - the foundation is the same: the claiming of yourself as an artist/writer and the strengthening of your writing voice through practice, study, and helpful response from other writers.” - Pat Schneider, from Writing Alone and With Others
The Amherst Writers & Artists' philosophy is a simple one: every person is a writer, and every writer deserves a safe environment in which to experiment, learn, and develop craft. The AWA method, which is fully described in founder Pat Schneider's book Writing Alone and With Others (Oxford University Press, 2003, and available at www.patschneider.com), provides just such an environment.
Peter Elbow, author of Writing Without Teachers, brought the writing process movement into classrooms across the U.S. In his the introduction to Writing Alone and With Others, he called Pat Schneider “the best teacher of writing I know.” The practices outlined in the book have proven effective in graduate school classrooms and in work with the homeless, in children’s schoolrooms, with nursing students, in bereavement groups and in living rooms among friends.
Unique to the AWA method, at the time of the publication of the book, are these two revolutionary practices:
Everything in the writing workshop is treated as fiction, to keep the focus on the writing rather than the personal and to minimize the vulnerability of the writer. The teacher or leader writes with the participants, and reads aloud along with the other writers. These practices, along with keeping all writing confidential, responding to just-written work with positive attention on what is strong in the writing, create an environment that is non-hierarchical, honest, and safe. Accomplished and beginning writers learn from one another in a generous atmosphere that works seriously to develop craft and holds personal respect for the value of every voice.
The AWA method has been used successfully with experienced writers as well as beginners, writers who have confidence as well as those who are uncertain. It has been equally effective in helping those whose voices have traditionally been silenced by poverty, discrimination, illness, age or other obstacles to achieving the powerful combination of language and confidence needed to overcome social barriers. While the AWA method is not therapy, it has great healing potential for writers from all backgrounds. Writers who have used the AWA method have published major works and taken top prizes and awards in the U.S. and Ireland, and over a thousand have completed the AWA training program in workshop leadership.