The Life Writing Project (Complete sessions in chronological order)
Whether we love ourselves; whether we easily love others; & whether we find joy in life & work are all tied to our earliest experiences of love. Almost 70% of us in the US grew up in less than warm & loving households. Facing your love story (Life Writing) is the way forward.
(Your choice to proceed signifies your agreement to accept full responsibility in the unlikely event of harm arising out of or in connection with these guided Life Writing sessions. This liability release extends to and covers all known and unknown or unforeseen injuries, damages, or losses.)
Here is where I tell you my a bit of my story and how all this came to be. This episode also provides an overview of this 10 week writing series so you have a thorough idea of what to expect.
"This felt really different. I wrote out my stories with a beginning, middle, and end and found that monologuing to myself about my past and about who I was and what I was thinking was harder than I imagined. It felt different than participating in a dialogue with someone. It forced me to really look at myself and connect with what I was putting down on the page in a way I've never felt before with other forms of self expression and communication." ~Emma, NY
In this episode, you begin the slow process of turning inwards to attend to your own thoughts and feelings about things important to you. This session carries no risk, but simple begins to orient you toward the focus of this work -- your inner self.
"This has brought me an interesting feeling of relief and gives my heart such tremendous satisfaction. I've noticed through my writing that the things I thought were affecting me, were not really important. Through my writing I found moments that had a huge impact on me and I had no idea the intensity of their worth. I compare life writing to cleaning out from underneath your bed. Things fall down there, things get tucked away, you may even intentionally hide things down there. Life Writing allows you to go through these things that are hidden down underneath and determine their worth to you. Things that are not meaningful-you throw out; pictures or memories that have sentimental value, you store neatly in their proper places. Once you've finished, you have decluttered your space and can breathe a sigh of relief. No more mess. No more baggage." ~ Daaiyah, GA
The best friendship is a very special relationship that provides an excellent opportunity to discover how one (you) detects value in relationships. You will learn this here, not just in your head, but in your whole self.
"I'm amazed. I've done a lot of work on myself already and I'm surprised at how this seems to tap important things. I'm fascinated by it. Wow." I find your work very complimentary to other courses I’m taking and am deeply grateful for how it found me. We live in challenging times but, having said that I also see so much good going on—your workshop being one!" ~ Siobhan, NY
Your story of best friendship touched close to the heart. This session begins to move to the heart's center when it comes to this work. This is where the real work begins. Already though, you know how powerful this can be and that you are up to the task. Do reach out for help if you need it, but for the vast majority of us, our strength increases at each step. Change is gorgeous at the end.
The most important thing to keep in mind here is that this session is about you - the little girl or boy or person you were - and not about your mother. Train your attention to the voice of the little person -- his, her, their thoughts and feelings during important experiences with your mother and never seek to interpret or make sense of your mother. Make sense of your interpretations of things, what they meant to the little one. This is the most important thing to keep in mind here.
"I participated in Life Writing during my sophomore year in college. I did not know exactly what to expect from this program; I figured that Life Writing would just be one extended journal writing exercise, but it did so much more for me than basic journal writing could ever do. Life Writing really dug deep and helped me put what I want for my future into perspective. Aihi taught me a way through which to understand my past, come to terms with it, and move on. Life Writing is an invaluable tool that I will take with me from Cornell University and use for the rest of my life." ~ Ashemsa, NY
Again, the most important thing to keep in mind here is that this session is about you - the little girl or boy or person you were - and not about your father. Train your attention to the voice of the little person -- his, her, their thoughts and feelings during important experiences with your father and never seek to interpret or make sense of your father. Make sense of your interpretations of things, what they meant to the little one. This is the most important thing to keep in mind here.
"I participated in Life Writing during my sophomore year in college. I did not know exactly what to expect from this program; I figured that Life Writing would just be one extended journal writing exercise, but it did so much more for me than basic journal writing could ever do. Life Writing really dug deep and helped me put what I want for my future into perspective. Aihi taught me a way through which to understand my past, come to terms with it, and move on. Life Writing is an invaluable tool that I will take with me from Cornell University and use for the rest of my life."
~ Ashemsa, NY
These events are not necessarily from early childhood and may not involve immediate or extended family members. These are events that you know changed you forever. For example, the significant event I share in this episode occurred during my teenage years while hanging out with “friends”. To this day, my parents don’t know anything about it, but I will never forget it. Hang in there, you are almost done with the hard part of this work.
"This was very powerful. One of the exercises surprised me. It clarified a key thing I needed to have change. Thank you for the work you do! Aihi, I was very touched by tonight's session. I have been told several times in my life that I do not let people get to know me, that I am superficially friendly but then people hit a wall of my self-protectiveness. It was very moving for me to feel seen by people and that I allowed myself to be seen. Thank you for that gift." ~ Sharon, NY
This session gives you a chance to revisit any of what you have written so far. Just go back through your writing and elaborate wherever you feel the need to elaborate. Take your time and give yourself the sense that you are done with the Life Writing task.
"This helped clear the clutter from my mind, heart, and soul, leaving a safe space for creativity, love, and growth. People for whom I previously had little respect, I now understand better and am more able to forgive." ~ Christa, NY
Wow. You did it. I am so very proud of you, you must know this to be true whether you can see me or not. If you ever want to discuss your experience, simply join the online dialogue in the online course. Otherwise, find a kind-hearted, non-judgmental person with whom to share your story. All you need is one, just one person who can affirm the beauty living just beneath the stories you just wrote about. If you need that person to be me, just let me know in the online course at the website.
In today’s writing session, you will grapple with the new you! Not really new, the you that has always been there, just covered over by sorrow. Enjoy this session. It only gets better from here. I am so very proud of you.
"I wish to let you know how greatly your work and studies have affected my life. I’ve been meaning to put down in words how grateful I am for the work we did in the lifewriting sessions. Looking back on the past two years since I completed the lifewriting workshops, many great things have happened in my life. It was just recently that I made the connection between the great and mighty changes in my life to the reflections and concentrated efforts of writing through my life’s experiences." ~ Daaiyah, GA
Warm hug to you, and welcome to family of Life Writing alums. People who I can safely say are likely to be more emotionally mature and more emotionally intelligent. You will find lots of good concluding concepts here and a deeply celebratory tone, because I. am. So. Proud. Of. You. The new email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, so reach out and stay in touch.
"This is very powerful, because when it's just you and the paper, there are no defenses from the truth, as felt by your heart. ~ Joanna, NY