A Workshop on Spiritual Autobiography

Tomorrow I will lead a workshop on spiritual autobiography at my church. The time will be limited to four hours, so we won’t be able to do a lot of writing. Here is the plan:

1. Begin with meditation.

2. Using examples from this book, Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs, we will break the ice by trying to describe our lives in six words.

3. We will then do three timed-writing life story exercises:

a. My life as a story of empowerment

b. My life as a story of tragedy, failure, victimhood

c. My life as a story of grace

4. We will conclude with gratitude for the pied beauty of our lives and for the opportunity to learn together.

The basic structure of this one-afternoon event came from Marilyn Chandler McEntyre who wrote an essay called “Growing in Grace” in Weavings: A Journal of the Christian Spiritual Life. Marilyn has taught courses on spiritual autobiography to both undergraduates and adults for many years. “I have nothing to give that was not a gift to me,” she says.

When we recognize our indebtedness to others and to God, we fill up with abundant wisdom and grace to give, keeping the cycle of growth alive.

Shirley Showalter

6 Comments

  1. Treasures By Brenda on August 25, 2008 at 4:56 am

    Great idea for your workshop! This book and the concept has definitely taken the world by storm. To read more information about the book and to add your own six-word memoir, you can read more at http://www.squidoo.com/yourlifesentenceinsixwords.Brenda

  2. Susan Allstetter Neufeldt on August 26, 2008 at 6:41 am

    This sounds wonderful! I wish I could be there both for the experience and to see you as the workshop leader. The three timed-writing parts make perfect sense. I am finally back online, though I have not figured out how to blog on my site yet–I wrote your kind son who will no doubt tell me how to proceed. Your book recommendations are terrific. I look forward to reading some of them. And I look forward to learning how to do all the things you have done on your site.Take care and keep reading and writing!

  3. shirleyhs on August 27, 2008 at 4:09 am

    Brenda, thanks for this comment–and for introducing me to Squidoo. You seem to have found some creative things to do online. Here's my own six-word memoir: Farmer's daughter. No toss in hay. Now I will go add this one to your long blog post. Great idea!

  4. shirleyhs on August 27, 2008 at 11:09 am

    Brenda, thanks for this comment–and for introducing me to Squidoo. You seem to have found some creative things to do online. Here's my own six-word memoir: Farmer's daughter. No toss in hay. Now I will go add this one to your long blog post. Great idea!

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