Hidden within your life experiences is a wellspring of hope, wisdom, truth, and connection. Painful memories reveal ultimate values; fragmented memories make way for unity; languageless memories find voice. Writing is one way to draw from this bottomless, life-giving source. By creating stories of your past, you can re-create your present and find agency for a meaningful future. If you want, your inner story can move the inner life of a reader, passing the gift of transformation forward.
Join Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew to explore the art and practice of spiritual memoir writing. Each session will give participants the opportunity to write, time for conversation, inspiration from model writers, and insights about craft, content, and practice. These monthly practice sessions are meant for writers of all levels, including absolute beginners. New participants are encouraged to take Elizabeth’s introduction to spiritual memoir workshop or read Writing the Sacred Journey. Because practice sessions are not consecutive, you can drop in as you’d like. Over three years, the curriculum covers the significant aspects of the craft of writing memoir, common themes, and the invitations to transformation inherent in the practice.
In Person: Monthly on fourth Fridays from 1:30-3:30 p.m. (1/27; 2/24; 3/24; 4/28; 5/26; 6/23)
4101 Harriet Avenue in Minneapolis
Online: Monthly on fourth Mondays from 6:00-8:00 p.m. CT (1/23; 2/27; 3/27; 4/24; 5/22; 6/26)
January: Everything Sacred
We’ll practice mining ordinary objects and activities for spiritual content, learn the difference between showing and telling, and discuss ways for getting started. Our attention calls forth holiness from within our experiences.
February: “God” (and Discovery) in the Details
The right details bring light and life to a story. We’ll practice finding details that work and look through our descriptions to the meaning they uncover.
March: The Brilliance of Childhood
Our sacred journeys find their source and direction in our youngest years, when our first experiences marked us. How can we explore early memories with compassion, curiosity, and humility?
April: Courage & Truth-telling
“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth,” Audre Lorde wrote, “and that is not speaking.” Writing memories is an exercise in truth-telling. We’ll learn techniques to facilitate courageous honesty on the page—and in life.
May: The World Boiled Down to a Drop
Zora Neale Hurston wrote of one character,“She was the world and the heavens boiled down to a drop.” We’ll explore the holographic nature of memoir: Our small stories contain big truths. How can we reconstitute memories on the page so they hold both the vast universe and our beloved particulars?
June: Holy Resistance
Resistance—to creativity, to spiritual practice—can be a sign that our small, limited self feels threatened by our essential Self. When we resist the process of writing or the material that arises, how can we open our hearts to transformation?