Use the Secret Power
of Scary Times
to Write Your Life Story
in 6 Weeks
Access Module 1 when you register.
The remaining modules will be available one module at a time beginning the weekend before the first live workshop.
Live workshop begins Wednesday
June 10, 2020
3:00 p.m. to 5:00 pm. Pacific Time
“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back.”~Paulo Coelho
Yes, we are in scary times.
We've never felt so confused, and helpless.
Wearing masks, social distancing, quarantines, many forced to work from home, and the endless news cycle have disrupted our lives and we don't know when it will end.
Up to now, you have only read about history. Now you are a participant, an eyewitness living history in full color.
Some people don't want to talk about the Corona Virus. Other people can't stop talking about it.
Talk about it or not, it is transforming your life daily.
History has handed us a challenge to change, grow and transform.
We will not be going back to the old normal.
The choices you make now will determine the new normal for you, your family and our global commmunity.
Your daily experiences during these changes are vivid now, but will quickly fade once you feel safe and enjoying a new comfort zone.
What's wrong with that, you ask?
Why write your life story now?
Writing about your life helps you organize your thoughts and vent your emotions, as you search for understanding and meaning.
Photos and other memorabilia help retain memories too. But your written account captures not just what is happening in the outside world, but within you as well.
Reporters observe and write about what they see, but it's the everyday people like you and me who give us the closeups, the first-hand accounts. It's your sharing the details of your fears, feelings and experiences that give us a rich birdseye view of historic events.
Best of all, writing about your life now will put you in control of your mind and build your resilience.
Your story will be saved and savored every time it’s read by your loved ones and may someday become a treasured heirloom that adds depth to family history.
What will I receive inside this course?
Designed for those who want to capture their life stories to leave behind for their families or do a life review for themselves.
You write from the heart on carefully-selected themes.
Share your story in a small group of six like-minded classmates.
In-class discussions and activities help stimulate your memory and prepare you for writing your stories each week.
You will be encouraged, supported, and empowered to treasure and appreciate your life. You will quickly bond with your class too.
Based on Guided Autobiography, the class is a semi-structured process developed by Professor Emeritus James E. “Jim” Birren, the founding dean of the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology and an aging-research pioneer considered by many to be the father of modern gerontology.
This is not a typical creative writing class. Your writing will improve as we go, but prior writing experience is not required. We focus on sharing your memories in a safe space and getting to the heart of what matters most to you.
Dr. Flora Brown is a Certified Guided Autobiography Facilitator and Trainer and part of the Birren Center for Autobiographical Studies. She received a B.A. in English, a Masters in Education and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Southern California.
Drawing from 40 years of teaching junior high through university levels, as well as writing 13 books, she shares her love of stories and belief in their power to enrich lives through writing, sharing and preserving life stories and life experiences.
CONVENIENCE & COMMUNITY
We meet online once a week for six weeks. Each class is two hours. During the first hour we engage in stimulating exercises to spark creativity and self-learning. In the second hour you read aloud in your small group the two-page story (about 1,000 words) you wrote at home on the chosen theme.
Post your questions 24/7 in the private discussion group, where the teacher and fellow classmates may respond.
This course is not designed to help you publish your life story for retail sales,
but to give to your family and loved ones as part of your legacy.
Participate in all 6 sessions, complete all assignments and post feedback about your class experiences and receive a BONUS WEBINAR after the workshop ends. In this 90-minute webinar, you will learn ways to publish your book for your family.
By the end of this course you will have:
Increased self-acceptance and awareness
A legacy to leave with your family now and for generations to come
Better understanding and pride in the choices and meaning you've made in your life
Appreciation of your past
Increased satisfaction when you realize how much you’ve grown in resilience and self-confidence
Module 1: Introduction to the Life Story process
- Discuss the origin of Guided Autobiography and the importance of confidentiality and trust.
- Get an overview of the activities such as self-reflection, memory priming and mindfulness that bolster self-awareness and confidence.
- Learn how before-class work, homework and in-class work tie together.
- Begin memory-stimulation activities
- Prime memory for writing your 2-page branching point story before next session
Module 2: Branching Points
- Discuss your experience in writing your branching point story.
- Share your branching point story with your small group.
- Discover how the chaos, uncertainty, fear, and rapid change of the pandemic give you power to write stories that a year ago you could not have imagined you would ever write.
- Improve brainstorming techniques
- Prepare for writing your two-page family story for next session
Module 3: Family
- Discuss your experience in writing your family story and whether or not you incorporated present concerns in it.
- Share your family story with your small group.
- Discuss metaphor and creativity
- Prepare for writing two stories for next session: on the role of money in your life and your work/career.
Module 4: The Role of Money in Your Life and Your Work/Career
- Discuss your experience in writing your money and work/career stories. Did you include concerns about current changes in it?
- Share your money and life/career stories with your small group.
- Discuss self-image/self-identity
- Prepare for writing your health/body image story
Module 5: Health and Body Image
- Discuss your experience in writing your health/body image story. Did you include concerns about current changes in it?
- Share your health/body image story with your small group.
- Discuss self-image/self-identity
- Prepare for writing your spiritual life and values story
Module 6: Your Spiritual Life and Values
- Discuss your experience in writing your spiritual life and values story. Have concerns about recent changes altered your views?
- Share your spiritual life and values story with your small group.
- Discuss ways your stories can be shared with family and friends
- Recap and evaluate your experiences in the class
- Look ahead to bonus webinar
I greatly appreciate your teaching style: interesting, fun and comfortable. It has been very beneficial for me to get started on this project that has been postponed for one reason or another. I will always remember you and the wonderful ladies who attended this workshop. We learned and cherished our life stories from one another.
I’ve really enjoyed this workshop experience. You’ve made it interesting and comfortable to be a participant. Although I love to read and I enjoy writing, I have little discipline in doing either so having a specific subject to address and a need to be concise was an excellent learning experience...
Thank you, Dr. Brown, for sharing your time and knowledge with us so patiently and with such good humor.
I’ve appreciated it very much.
Thank you for the workshop. I appreciated your kind, compassionate approach. Coupled with your sense of humor, you created a very relaxed atmosphere.