New Mommy Writers’ Workshop :: Birth Stories Participant Overview

Welcome :: Overview :: Membership :: Meet the Facilitator :: Birth Stories
Circle Gatherings :: Virtual Community :: Members Access :: Guests :: Support :: FAQs ::

Registration for Birth Stories 2.0 is open March 1-15.

Participant Overview

Birth Stories 2.0 explores three critical aspects of storytelling to support each participant in nurturing a holistic understanding and appreciation for her sacred birth journey.

  • Storybuilding :: Identifying all the parts of the story; discovering language and imagery that captures the fullness of the story; utilizing a range of creative mediums to illustrate the story; extracting honesty, vulnerability, and wisdom from the story
  • Story mapping :: Exploring the relationship between each part of the story to the whole; visually laying out the parts of the story; experimenting with the different ways that the story can be sequenced and pieced together; determining and/or reimagining chronologies for the story
  • Story sharing :: Using authentic communication practices to tell the story to another; writing the story down and sharing it with others; activating deep listening skills to hold space with others as they share their stories

Birth Stories 2.0 Preparation :: In the four weeks leading up to Birth Stories, all participants will receive a weekly writing prompt and birth/pregnancy reflection activity. Everyone is in a different space with her memories and relationship to her birth story, and each story we tell is rooted within us in its own way. These activities are intended to help each participant uncover those roots and “warm-up” the storytelling muscles so that when we gather everyone has had an opportunity to meaningfully tune into her journey. The activities are not homework and will not be collected. These gentle assignments are for each mother to do in a way that makes sense for her life.

Workshop :: “Birthing Whole: Constructing Authentic Narratives About My Birth Journey” :: This workshop focuses on storybuilding and story mapping. Participants will explore creative writing, visual arts, and theatre play activities to identify and craft authentic stories about their birth experiences. Participants will then continue to develop more nuanced understandings of their processes by bringing an evolving awareness of their stories to the Dinner Party program.

Dinner Party :: The Dinner Party focuses on story mapping and story sharing. The program begins with an interactive lecture about how we contextualize birth stories within the larger canon of mothering and womanhood stories. Participants will explore the diverse manifestations of “birth” through group story mapping exercises. Everyone will have multiple opportunities to share their birth/pregnancy story, with each story circle activity drawing on a specific communication practice and supporting the mother in illuminating another layer of her birth story. And of course, participants will also share a delicious meal together.

Extended Birth Story Support :: All participants of Birth Stories 2.0 are welcome to receive a discount on additional services from the Creative Wellness Lab and include a request for personalized creativity support from the Lab as part of their registration. The following services are for mothers who would like individualized creativity coaching as they continue to strengthen their story development process. Services delivered between March 15th and April 30th.

  • Customized Birth Story Writing Prompt :: The writing prompt will be specifically designed to help you identify the most empowering, healing, and honest narrative for your birth journey. The activities in the writing prompt offer tools for expanding your creative toolbox and encourage you in building more confidence with the use of authentic language.
  • 30-minute Creative Strategy + Writing Process Session :: This session (held via Skype or by phone) gives you an opportunity to dialogue about the particular parts of your story development process and receive critical feedback on ways to open up new areas of exploration when you return to the work of writing and storybuilding.
  • Creative Strategy Session + Writing Prompt :: Choose whether you want to do the one-on-one session first, and receive the writing prompt as continued support for your story development, or request the writing prompt first, and then use the creative strategy session to go over the material you have generated.

Birth Stories Revisited :: Explore this collection of essays that we hope inspires you to dig deeper into your process as a mother and encourages you to celebrate all the parts of your birth story!

Registration for Birth Stories 2.0 is open March 1-15. REGISTER NOW

Meal Contributions

If you are bringing a dish as part of your contribution, please prepare an entree or side dish that can serve 6-8 people. Foods we suggest include protein dishes (chicken/turkey/fish/vegetarian), vegetable dishes, and vegan dishes. Please, no pork!

Bringing Children to Birth Stories 2.0?

It is our policy that mothers are always welcome to be with their children if that’s what is best for them. That said, we ask everyone to take the following things into account when deciding whether or not they will bring their children:

  • The workshop space is intimate. There is no separate children’s area, and there will be no toys or special activities set up to entertain children.
  • While children are welcome to be in the space with their mothers, this is an adult program. Mature content will be discussed and we want all participants to feel free to share openly.
  • There is no onsite childcare. Each mother is responsible for her child/ren, and must assess what her desired level of participation is and how her child’s presence will affect that.
  • We ask all participants to be mindful that while you may choose to not bring your child, someone else might bring hers. While accommodating the needs of children can alter some dynamics of the gathering, it is our belief that children are not inherently oppositional to the work of accessing our creative spaces as mothers. We ask that in the event there are children present, that all participants be welcoming and understanding of any mother’s need to attend with her child/ren.

Registration for Birth Stories 2.0 is open March 1-15. REGISTER NOW

 

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