November 17, 2017—November 19, 2017
Mark Matousek and Maria Sirois: Writing To Awaken
Limited number of scholarships available for healthcare workers and educators from the Angell Foundation.
Exploring Loneliness, Sadness, Self-Reliance, and the Riddle of Intimate Relationship
Every life is a mixture of shadow and light, loneliness and belonging, disconnection and communion with self and others. To belong is to feel at home in the world, grounded, at ease in our own skin, where loneliness may bring feelings of loss and discomfort over who we are and where we find ourselves. Yet both experiences—loneliness and belonging—can be wonderful teachers, elevating wisdom and compassion, even as they bring unique challenges. But how can we weather difficult moments while holding onto what is good within us and around us? How can we maintain a sense of well-being while experiencing loneliness, exile, feelings of abandonment, even while in an intimate relationship?
In this writing workshop, we’ll explore what is gained (and potentially lost) in the ebb and flow of these twin experiences, and the lessons we can learn from each. How can loneliness lead to compassion and insight? How can belonging (and feeling like part of an in-group) cause tension with people who aren’t like us? Exploring these potent questions together, using personal writing, group work, and instructor input, you’ll gain tools to help you flow between feelings of loneliness and belonging with more clarity, calm, curiosity, and humor. You’ll come to see as well how the act of writing itself can ameliorate suffering and enable you to remember, in the words of F. Scott Fitzgerald, that “your longings are universal longings,” and integral to personal awakening.
Dr. Maria Sirois is a psychologist, author, and seminar leader who teaches internationally in the intersection of resilience and flourishing. Known for her wisdom, authenticity, and rampant humor, she brings invigorating practices and perspectives from the studies of positive psychology and mind/body medicine. Sirois is the author of two books: A Short Course in Happiness After Loss (And Other Dark, Difficult Times) and Every Day Counts: Lessons in Love, Faith and Resilience from Children Facing Illness, both of which have become teaching resources at hospitals, hospices, and wellness centers across the country. A master teacher, Sirois has been called an orator of great power and beauty. With world thought leader Tal Ben-Shahar, she co-leads a year-long certificate program in positive psychology for executives, educators, entrepreneurs, counselors, and the general public. www.mariasirois.com
Mark Matousek is a bestselling author, teacher, and speaker whose work focuses on personal awakening and creative excellence through transformational writing and self-inquiry. He is the author of two award-winning memoirs, Sex Death, Enlightenment: A True Story and The Boy He Left Behind: A Man’s Search For His Lost Father, as well as When You’re Falling, Dive: Lessons in the Art of Living and Ethical Wisdom: The Search for a Moral Life. A popular lecturer and writing teacher, Mark is on the faculty of the New York Open Center, The Omega Institute, Esalen, and Hollyhock, and is the Creative Director of V-Men (with Eve Ensler), an organization devoted to ending violence against women and girls. He brings over three decades of experience as a memoirist, editor, interviewer, survivor, activist, and spiritual seeker to his penetrating and thought provoking work with students, and has inspired thousands of people around the world to reach their artistic and personal goals. The essence of Mark’s philosophy is that “When you tell the truth, your story changes. When your story changes, your life is transformed.” Only by dispelling life myths and revealing your authentic truth can transformation begin. www.markmatousek.com
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