Peeing on our monsters.

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Wonderful piece from 1/1/2014 on NPR’s All Things Considered about editing your life stories — and the health benefits thereof.  You know which stories we’re talking about, the ones that run in our head and tell us who we are and how we should move through the world. Turns out we can edit the stories we tell ourselves — in effect,we can pee on our monsters.  A little crude (sorry, Mom) but what a simple and effective idea.

The radio interview is well worth listening to, and James Pennebaker’s writing prompts are worth trying. I’ve followed Pennebaker’s work at the University of Texas on healing through writing, and incorporate some of his ideas into my workshops and classes.

Improving our mental health with our life stories seems like a good thing to consider in this very cold early January. I’m looking forward to exploring this with my writing students this year.

Join us at The Blessing House on Saturday, January 11.

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Stephanie Friant has invited me to teach a writing workshop at the Blessing House in Victoria, Minnesota this coming Saturday, from 9 am to Noon. We’ll be talking about writing your own life story, or family stories, and we’ll do some fast and fun writing exercises together so everyone has a head start. The Blessing House is a peaceful and contemplative place to enjoy a winter day — and Saturday may even be sort of warm.

I met Stephanie last summer, and quickly discovered that we share an interest in spiritual writing, and in spirituality as a journey. She’s a thoughtful and humble writer – visit her blog when you’re looking for food for thought, and she’ll point you in all sorts of interesting directions.