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Thursdays, 9-11 am PST (noon-2 pm EST):
• May 6, 2021 — Session I
• May 13, 2021 — Session II
• May 20, 2021 — Session III
• May 27, 2021 — Session IV
• June 3, 2021 — Session V
John R. O’Neil, Lad Burgin, Kathryn Klein
Seminar Fee: $250
The Whole Enchilada Gratitude Seminar
Remembering the gifts, support, and guidance that helped you learn your way forward.
Who were the guides, teachers, mentors who came to you in each life stage?
What books, plays, and experiences shaped your world views and brought curiosity into action?
Why were the circumstances right for learning and action?
How did the proper questions and journeys get formed? (personal, professional, social)
Life Stages – Focus on the stages as you try to recall the events and people who provided what you needed for that time’s circumstances. Write down specific sources of gratitude.
Write up one example of timely support and guidance. In the book I selected two caretakers who taught me to be curious about everything around me: hugs, tastes and smells, physical growth and development, sound of music, how things work.
Recall details such as their clothing, stature and favorite sayings.
What were their interests and responsibilities?
Describe them in action (e.g., How did they move and get things done?)
Begin to block out a memoir in some detail.
What happened to you in each stage to the present day?
Work and school history
Spiritual and intellectual curiosity pursued
Where you worked and lived
Personal and family dynamics, joys and fears
How did circumstances shape your life? (e.g. war, economic conditions, personal achievements, struggles)
Getting stories on paper or poems and songs if they come up. (Try rap – listen to Hamilton for rapping stories.) Select examples of well-done writings that are memoir style, e.g:
Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindberg
Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Tom Sawyer by Samuel Clemens
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
One major advantage of writing about life’s special gifts is that it is a natural way to express (and feel) gratitude. Poets like Mary Oliver, Robert Frost, William Shakespeare, Rainer Maria Rilke were gifted at providing elegant language of gratitude. Quotes from them can be just right at certain places.
Shape and fit together disparate pieces into a coherent story focused on what and how you learned — and your gratitude.
Draft the first chapter as a foundation for a book
Keeping readers in mind as you begin to tell your story
Recall stories others told you that made sense at a developmental moment
Quote from sources that have inspired you: coming-of-age books, songs, plays, films that evoked feelings and raised relevant questions.
It is said that gratitude expressed is a healing for our spirits.
The Whole Enchilada Writing Seminar
The Whole Enchilada Writing Seminar is for those who have completed The Whole Enchilada Gratitude Seminar and want to continue to enjoy the healing experienced by expressing gratitude. Sessions will be designed to provide support for participants’ ongoing gratitude-focused writing projects: memoirs, poetry, short stories, letters, etc.