Peace making -- Community Building
Each of our lives is a page in a sacred text
That only exists because each of us adds a page
Community is created from stories and the storytelling function is hardwired in human beings. In giving form and voice to our stories, we transmit personal and collective history. It started with myth: the creation myth, the birth of the world. In our lives it starts with the story of own births -- the birth of our world and our place in the larger scheme of things and extends into the birth of our community and then the birth of our nation -- The fourth of July is a celebration of the story of how we came to be. Inside each story are values and expected behaviors. within our stories are the subliminal messages or caution -- what we are to be afraid of, identity – personal, family, tribe and clan -- and they reduce or eliminate the damage of toxic stress. Telling our stories is an act of healing and above all, sharing our stories creates community and belonging. We learn that each of our personal stories is basically another human story -- what separates and makes us individuals is our narrative and it is our narrative that also creates community, the larger story.
Community Building -- Working for Peace -- Transforming Trauma into Art
By exchanging stories, and being fully present to other people’s stories, our community building, peacemaking workshop creates for attendees a rich and textured tapestry that belongs to the community they have become. Isolation is bridged. When people share stories across difference, they feel their story is finally heard not only by others but by themselves as well. We discovered that many people, move across the surface of their stories without really allowing themselves to sink into the emotional realities that live there. It is often in the reading or telling aloud that the impact is there. So, we practice Mindful Listening, paying total attention to the story of the other person as it is read or preformed. Listening as though there is nothing in the world more important in that moment than this story. As deep listening unfolds, the listeners realize that everyone has the same basic desires and needs -- though the story that contains them and the challenges may vary.
We provide one or two day workshops, writing retreats, training and team building for corporate and medical staff.
As a participant you will learn to:
•access the creative source from which Story emerges.
•write your story with ease that interests and entertains as well.
•process stories of trauma to healing resolution.
•build a performance piece that integrates the stories gathered at the workshop
– yours alone or as part of a group.
•listen to stories as the means to bridge difference,
•work through conflict
•create a diverse community in which all stories have a place to live.
•create a structure through which the story writing/telling process continues beyond the workshop.
The public offering of story: Attendees sometimes bring their final performance – Word Jazz Theater -- to a public venue, an event that continues to be deeply moving, healing and powerful to participants and audience alike.
People remember these performances – we know, we have been doing this for 30 years.