Perhaps it’s the Spring Equinox that has me thinking about Alchemy—Spring epitomizing the magic of transformation, when things that have seemed dead and inert all winter sudden rouse themselves and bloom.
For me, the practice of purposeful memoir is alchemical. Through writing about our past, we process what has happened in our lives, and turn the dross to gold in the form of a story that we can release into the world purposefully, as a gift to a world badly in need of wisdom.
In our youth-obsessed culture, the accumulated knowledge of lived experience is often under-valued. It’s not necessarily about publicly recognized achievements, although of course those are important. But the small, intimate understandings of everyday life, thoughtfully lived and relived through the memoir writing process, also have such pearls of wisdom to offer those coming along behind us on the trail of life.
Fiction writers are often admonished, “Write what you know.” For memoir writers, there is no other choice. We write what we know, sharing the truths we have lived. Memoir becomes purposeful when we share with loving intention, understanding that our stories can act as beacons, lighting the way for others.
Here’s the thing: stories have always had alchemical power. As writers of our own life stories, we have the power to transmute negative emotions like sadness and rage to positive emotions like acceptance, love and joy. And when we share such a story with others, our experience has the power to positively impact theirs.
In the coming year, I’m going to be focusing on the alchemical potential of purposeful memoir in a new series of workshops for women writers and online sessions for everyone. In each session, we’ll look back over the emotional highs and lows of our lived experience, always with the intention of seeking peace, acceptance, joy and inspiration in our present, and the wisdom to live more purposefully into a thriving future.
The Alchemy of Purposeful Memoir series offers thoughtful routes into exploring your life experience, with transformative potential for everyone, not only those who intend to write a memoir.
I’ll be offering an introductory session on the Summer Solstice in June, both in-person for women in western Massachusetts and online for everyone; and then we’ll take up the work in earnest with monthly sessions starting in September.
Here’s the outline of the journey, which will take place in person for women in the Berkshires, and online for everyone. Click on the session titles for registration information. Registration for the online sessions will be posted soon.
I hope you’ll join me on what promises to be a most magical journey!
June 21 Seeking joy: a look back at life’s high points, from elation to contentment.
Sept. 15 Seeking love: remembering the many faces of love in our lives.
Oct. 20 Seeking confidence: overcoming self-doubt and the inner critic.
Nov. 17 Seeking acceptance: Moving past guilt, disappointment, regret.
Dec. 8 Seeking community: From loneliness and isolation to community.
Jan. 26 Seeking peace: A closer look at fear, anxiety & worry.
Feb. 23 Seeking clarity: Moving beyond moments of stress, overwhelm and confusion.
March 29 Seeking passion: the uses of anger.
April 19 Seeking strength: The value of shocks and the power of vulnerability.
May 3 Seeking purpose: trusting our inner compass.
Sign up for the September-May series and get one session free! Discount pricing available here.