I took Writing from the Self to Providence, RI during the Halloween weekend, to present at the national Internal Family Systems Conference. As I made my way through the huge hotel, I was surrounded by others with IFS nametags, people like me who are fascinated by this method and want to learn about its many applications. I was only able to attend two presentations besides my own; here are some of the workshops I wish I could have been a part of:
~ IFS and Bodywork
~ Part of Me Is Fat: Make Peace with Food Using the Power of Yoga, Mindful Eating, and Internal Family Systems
~ Coaching the Spiritual Journey with IFS
~ Our Parts and Race: Self-Leadership from Across the Black and White Divide
After a day and a half of IFS immersion with these pleasant folks, it was time for me to run my workshop. How exciting to speak to a group of enthusiasts from all over the country, and even from Europe. I provided an initial writing prompt that allowed everyone to get busy right away, and they wrote for a few minutes. The questions they worked from were:
- Who is the “writer part” of you?
- How old is s/he?
- What is the writer’s job?
- What does s/he want?
We then did introductions, incorporating the results of the prompt. Just this small exercise produced some deep insights. People were surprised to recall how early in their lives they’d wanted to write, and they were intrigued to consider what was the “job” of the writing part.
I told the workshop participants about how Writing from the Self came to be – a story to share here in another post. I explained the practice in detail, which includes the use of meditation, nature sounds, music and certain questions that focus the mind. We had a lively discussion about what kinds of music might be the most effective for writing. Then I guided them through the Writing from the Self method.
After the meditation and the timed writing session, a few people shared their pieces. Some seemed quite moved by this experience of “meeting” their parts and writing down the parts’ stories, then hearing these stories again when reading aloud. I felt honored to be involved in that process.
What a wonderful weekend. I look forward to the next time I take Writing from the Self on the road!