While most writing workshops tell us to write about what we know, it turns out that in spiritual memoir, or autobiography, we can find ourselves writing ourselves into unfamiliar territory, with the writing process itself becoming a path towards greater and more profound understanding. In our time together, we will work collectively and individually to begin to uncover what is sacred in our lives, following the thread of how and when it became so. Elizabeth Andrew’s words can encourage us along this path, in acknowledging that, “The effort of translating experience into story seems to satisfy a spiritual need” (Writing the Sacred Journey, p. 5).
In this supportive online environment we’ll engage in both writing and reading spiritual autobiography. By writing, sharing, and at times rewriting, our own short pieces we’ll learn to follow the words themselves to take us to our core. Reading and discussing published essays with the lens of spiritual memoir, will allow us to explore other ways of writing autobiography, demonstrating what might be effective and moving. Or not! Reading in this way can be a key to writing and to personal unfolding.
First and foremost, this four week-long workshop is about becoming courageous and taking those first steps into the mystery of the self – one that we simultaneously know well but also fear to encounter.
Judy Pratt (BA, English; MEd Counselling Psychology, University of Massachusetts) has been on a lifelong journey, exploring the spiritual life in her chosen roles of educator, counselor, and group catalyst.
Across these milieux, Judy’s work is based in a trust of people’s impulse towards their unique path. She believes that writing as a spiritual practice can lead to transformation, growth, and action based on a deepening understanding of the significance and value of our lives.
Enjoying semi-retirement after serving as faculty with several Lesley University experiential programs, she offers workshops and individual support in the exploration and crafting of spiritual autobiographies. Through reading, reflection, and writing her workshops help guide participants in finding and articulating the threads of meaning woven throughout their life experiences, working from the inside out.