Journal keepers, memoirists, and autobiographers have long understood the healing power of personal writing. By shaping life experience on the page, we gain critical distance from self-created narratives that distort our lives. We learn to harness the healing power of self-investigation.
Studies confirm that expressing our stories is good for our health. As little fifteen minutes of personal writing a day can bring dramatic improvements to both physical and mental well-being. Writing about our thoughts and feelings strengthens the immune system, lowers stress levels, and decreases time spent in the hospital.
New mothers, arthritis sufferers, medical school students, maximum-security prisoners, rape victims, and nursing-home residents have all been shown to benefit remarkably from regular writing practice; also, people with life-threatening illness can dramatically improve their quality of life by examining their experience in writing, and considering their condition from different perspectives.
In this transformational nine-week online class, students will be guided in creating an ongoing writing practice for increased clarity, health, and well-being. As an awakening practice, writing can be as powerful as meditation, yoga, prayer, even psychotherapy. By allowing yourself to tell the truth as you know it, and commit those observations to paper, you learn to become your own healer by deconstructing obsolete myths, confronting the contents of your shadow (both negative and positive), overcoming shame, and recognizing – most of all – that you are not your stories. You are the storyteller not the tale, the witness rather than the fearful, anxious, stuck-in-its-groove character you show the world.
When you tell the truth, your story changes. When your story changes, your life is transformed.
In an atmosphere of safety and trust, students will be guided through a series of written lessons designed to heal the mind, expose the heart, and awaken profound insight. Using expressive writing to heal our wounds, we lay claim to our essential strengths, and learn to utilize our unique powers of self-renewal. Here are the topics we’ll be exploring:
How the online class work
Every Monday during the six-week session, you will receive an email with the week’s assignment. Students turn in their work by the following Saturday evening. Assignments should be no more than 1,000 words.
On Sunday, Mark responds to each student, commenting and giving notes on their writing and progress. Students will also be invited to correspond with him personally with questions on the theme, lessons, or the Writing to Awaken process.
In the week before the start of the class, you will receive an invitation to join the Google Group for the class where all assignments, individual work and my weekly comments will be posted. Using Google Groups allows the class to read, comment and support each other’s work in a positive and nurturing environment.
Two group teleconferences are held during the session to provide an opportunity for students to ask questions and talk together about the work we are doing. These will be scheduled once the class begins.