Workshops for the General Public

It’s All in Your Mind! How to Keep Your Brain Fit and Strong

Do you have the feeling that you’re not as sharp as you used to be? Do you think that aging means having a slower, less efficient brain and having to accept that fact? Are you worried that someday you will develop Alzheimer’s disease or other form of dementia?

These are real concerns for many older adults, but there is something you can do to keep your brain as fit as possible in the years to come. Just like physical exercise, mental exercise can improve your general well-being and your day-to-day ability to function.

In this workshop, you’ll learn surprising, good-news facts about the aging brain and how to care for it. In a fun atmosphere, you’ll play games, solve puzzles, and learn lifestyle tips based on the latest medical and psychological research. You’ll engage your imagination and creativity — and have a great time in the process!

 

The Caregiver’s Way: Preparing for Caring

If you are 30 or older with a partner/spouse, and/or one or more close relatives/friends, the chances are very good that you will find yourself in the role of a caregiver within the next decade. Will you be up to the task? What issues will you face? How can you prepare yourself for the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual challenges that lie ahead?

If you’ve ever thought about any of these questions — or even if you haven’t — this workshop will offer you a time to begin considering some answers. People often become caregivers without notice, when illness suddenly strikes a loved one, no matter what age they may be. But you needn’t feel unprepared for such a situation.

In this workshop, you’ll meet and share ideas and strategies with others. In a safe, affirming setting, you’ll learn various creative techniques that will help you explore your personal issues relating to caregiving and that will better equip you to handle its stresses. The activities and informative handouts will help you gain confidence in your ability to provide a good quality of life for those you love.

 

The Caregiver’s Way: Caring for the Caregiver

If you are a part-time or full-time caregiver, no one has to tell you how challenging it is. In addition to trying to provide a good quality of life for your loved one, you may also be struggling to keep a job, provide for the rest of your family, maintain your own energy level and social life, and do all this while dealing with health-care providers, insurance companies, and other financial concerns.

Because of a lack of organized overall support from society, caregiving can be an isolating and often alienating task. Caregivers are left to search for information and come up with coping strategies on their own. But this need not be the case.

This workshop will give you the opportunity to meet and share ideas, feelings, and strategies with other caregivers. In a safe, affirming setting, you’ll learn various creative techniques that will help you explore your personal issues relating to caregiving and that will better equip you to continue to handle its stresses. The discussions will explore the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual challenges of caregiving, and the activities and informative handouts will help you gain confidence in your ability to provide a good quality of life for those you love.

 

From Memory to Memoir: Sharing Your Stories
as a Legacy for Others

When you think about the many experiences you’ve had in your life, what memories are the most powerful? Can you see how they have helped to form who you are as a person? Do you detect patterns in the choices you’ve made? Do you see valuable lessons you’ve learned that you can pass on to others?

In this workshop, we’ll explore many fascinating writing techniques that can help you discover the greater meaning of your life and new ways to share that discovery with others as a legacy to them in the form of a memoir.

In a safe learning atmosphere, you will gain confidence in your ability to write about those things that are important to you. It doesn’t matter if you have never written before; the activities we’ll do are simple and lots of fun. Our discussions will focus on the experience and value of each exercise.

 

Mapping the Interior: Journaling for Personal Growth

Have you ever kept a journal? Have you never kept a journal? This workshop for beginning and experienced journal writers will provide fascinating, effective journal-writing techniques for self-exploration and discovery. You’ll also learn ways to overcome the fear, boredom, and self-consciousness that can be obstacles to journaling.

In a fun, supportive group setting, you will do exercises designed to expand your concept of what journal-writing is and how it can help you develop as a person. Discussions will focus on the experience of doing each exercise, not on the content of what you produce. Sharing from your writing is optional, not required.

 

Journaling Your Journey: Recording Your Life’s Path
as a Gift to Yourself and Others

When you think about the many experiences you’ve had in your life, can you see how they have helped to form who you are as a person? Do you detect patterns in the choices you’ve made? Do you see valuable lessons you’ve learned that you can pass on to others?

In this workshop, we’ll explore many fascinating journaling techniques — with and without words — that can help you discover the greater meaning of your life and new ways to share that discovery with others as a legacy to them. It doesn’t matter if you have never kept a journal; the activities we’ll do are simple and lots of fun.

In a safe learning atmosphere, you will gain confidence in your ability to write about those things that are important to you. You will not be required to share aloud what you have written. Instead, our discussions will focus on the experience and value of each exercise.

 

Healing Words: Writing Your Way to Less Stress and Greater Health

Living with stress, whether it be due to work, an illness, a financial situation, or a relationship, can be challenging as you try to cope with the demands placed on your body, mind, and spirit. But rather than see this time as a debilitating one, you can reframe your experience and see it as a time to take stock of where you’ve been, where you are, and where you want to go on your path toward greater relaxation, peace of mind, and overall wellness.

In this workshop, you’ll learn a few basic, effective writing techniques that can transform your perceptions to help you reduce and manage your stress and promote self-healing.

In a safe, fun, and affirming setting, you’ll explore your beliefs, values, talents, and goals. Discussion will focus on the experience and value of doing each exercise, not on the content of what you produce. Sharing of your writing is optional, not required.

 

Words to Live By: Creating an Ethical Will

In the course of your life, what valuable lessons have you learned? What goals and aspirations do you feel are important in anyone’s personal journey? Everyone knows the benefits of having a financial will and a living will, but have you considered creating an “ethical will” that expresses those values you wish to hand down to your children, grandchildren, and all others whom you love?

In this introductory workshop, we’ll explore many fascinating writing techniques — with and without words — that can help you convey to others the principles that have guided you and that you want to share with future generations. It doesn’t matter if you have never considered yourself a “writer”; the activities we’ll do are simple and lots of fun.

In a safe learning atmosphere, you will gain confidence in your ability to write about those things that are important to you. You will not be required to share aloud what you have written. Instead, our discussions will focus on the experience and value of each exercise.

 

Roots, Shoots, and Fruits: Deepening Your Spiritual Life

Do you regularly ask yourself where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going on your spiritual journey? Do you wish you could feel a greater spiritual connection in your life? This introductory workshop will offer some fascinating exercises that can help you explore your thoughts and feelings in a safe, affirming, and fun setting.

You’ll begin to experience four paths of spiritual development: autobiographical (memory), hypothetical (speculation), emotional (feelings), and mystical (intuition). Using the techniques of journaling, art, meditation, guided imagery, and active imagination, you’ll learn new ways to connect more deeply with your beliefs and discover more about the creative dimensions of your spirit.

Whether or not you consider yourself a writer, artist, or otherwise intuitive or creative (I’ll show you that you are!), I encourage you to participate in this workshop. You will not be required to share what you have produced. Instead, our discussions will focus on the experience and value of each exercise.

 

Spinning Your Story: Writing Your Personal Myth

No matter what culture you come from, you probably grew up hearing stories, myths, fables, and fairy tales that have become part of the fabric of your personal identity. But have you considered recasting these stories — or writing a completely new one of your own — in order to explore and better express who you are and where you would like to be going in your life?

Through discussions and writing exercises in this workshop, you will become familiar with the basics of personal mythmaking. In a fun, supportive group setting, you’ll be introduced to engaging techniques that will help you weave your own “once upon a time” stories — past, present, or future — that can empower you as you continue on your personal path.