CREATIVITY WORKSHOPS : CREATE A NEW STORY,
CREATE A NEW YOU!
human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and
valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something
that no one else has--or ever will have--something inside that is
unique to all time. It's our job to encourage each other to discover
that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression."
- Mister Rogers
The Creativity Workshops
are based on the premise that
each of us has limitless potential to be creative, often hidden as a
light within, waiting to be sparked. As Michelangelo said, the
sculptor's job is to chip away the excess stone so that the
sculpture already existing within the rock can be revealed. You are that
sculpture, and you are also the sculptor! By accessing love as
the sculpting force, creativity can be expressed through the
combination of one's personal story, unique purpose, innate gifts,
and learned skills.
Participants are encouraged to use our workshops as an incubation
space to invent something - an enterprise, a work of art, a new way
of doing something (anything!), and ultimately, themselves. So, they
are required to choose a real creative project, which becomes the
"construction site" or "playground" for a connection with and
re-creation of themselves, and for practicing the approaches and
principles being explored. Although creative writing is used as a
primary medium of expression, there are many other techniques and
mediums at play. The collective creative energy of the group has a
profound impact on the participants and their projects, and final
outcomes are also showcased to an invited audience.
Read on for more on WORKSHOP ELEMENTS,
WORKSHOP FORMATS and
WORKSHOP ON MAY 11,
2013, 10am - 2pm at
Tasveer's 8th Aaina Festival
See details below under
Workshop Formats. Register
now by prepaying (Deadline April 27th; Max class size 25)
SIX WEEK WORKSHOP SERIES, JUNE 2 - JULY 7, 2013 (Greater
See details below under
Workshop Formats. Register
now by prepaying and emailing
WHAT'S YOUR STORY?
The connection with your personal story
foundation of the creativity workshop series.
Everyone has a story! And
we're always telling stories, whether we're interacting with others
or wrestling with the voices in our heads. Creative writing based in
personal narrative reveals your unique story, which is powerful because
it represents who you are today, provides the basis for agency in
the world, and touches, moves and inspires others.
A higher (and rarely leveraged)
opportunity in such storytelling is the choice to
consciously change your story, once it has been revealed. Deeper,
truer power lies in transcending the past story so that a new one
can be created in the present - to effect new
futures! Learn how to
create a blank slate. Through experiential exercises on your
creative project that involve inverting time, shifting perspective,
switching lenses, changing mediums, stretching the canvas...use your
imaginations to explore and map unlimited possibilities.
FEAR AND LOVE
Through experiential exercises on your project, experience
how storytelling based in the past profoundly affects our beliefs
about ourselves, and how these beliefs create our present
circumstances. Learn how to move from unconsciously allowing fear to
create "what we don't want" to consciously using love and
imagination to create "what we do want."
Learn how to choose a new story from among all possibilities, based
on love, vision and purpose.
THE SHORT STORY
Through experiential exercises on your project, learn to chisel your
chosen story down to its shortest, clearest, most unequivocal,
authentic, purposeful, potent, generative and actionable form.
Practice always telling the shorter, more creative story in your
everyday conversations, whether regarding yourself or your
endeavors, whether in formal or informal settings!
Through practicing with
specific visualization tools (such as creating a three-act
structure, mock-ups and dreamlines) on your project learn how to
convert your story into physical action and implementation.
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SIX-WEEK WORKSHOP SERIES
The creative principles described above
are practiced through real creative projects and experiential
exercises in a group format. (Summer 2013 Series scheduled for June
2nd to July 7th. Time: Sundays, 2pm-5pm. Cost: $555 per
participant; reference materials included. Group size: 6-8. Register
by prepaying above and emailing
YOUNG CREATIVES SERIES
This series focuses on developing creative writing skills
and connection with personal story as part of self growth and
awareness, specially developed for children or youth.
This is a full-day or 2-day intensive workshop for out-of-town (non
Seattle-based) locations, covering all of the elements of the six-week series, with the
creative project development occurring outside the workshop time.
(Next Weekend Workshop to be held in Hyderabad, India for school
teachers of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan;
Dates and Cost TBD. Group size is 5-15.)
workshop, get a taste of (re)creating your story and your creative
possibilities! Also receive a copy of Shahana's
book on Creativity, on which the workshop is modeled. (Next Intro Workshop
will be held at
Tasveer's Spring Festival Aaina
on May 11th 2013. Register by prepaying
IN-CLASS WORKSHOP: INVENTING POSSIBILITY
short module that can be integrated into an existing curriculum, we
lead the group through an experiential exercise in inventing possibility. (Last
session held on February 29th 2012 as part of a Critical Thinking class for youth
with learning disabilities in the Occupational and Life Skills
program, affiliated with Bellevue College.)
If interested in any of the above workshops, please email us at
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(From Adult 6-week Series,
Fall 2012, Spring 2012 and Fall 2011)
the Creativity Workshops was one of my epic events in 2012. Shahana,
I want to take a moment to offer you my deepest gratitude for the
experience. I joined the Workshops with concrete expectations; they
were going to be the not-so subtle nudge that I needed to get my
healthedited.com, up and running. I already had the domain and
some content set up for the site, but for confounding reasons, did
not have the desire or the drive to take on the project full-on. I
learned about the lizard brain in our very first session. I learned
a thing or two about taming this slimy reptile and about focusing on
my goal by taking small but consistent steps. Not only have the
workshops helped me get unstuck and pour love into my chosen
project, but they also have helped me uncover some powerful
life-lessons that will continue to illuminate my path forever."
- A.S., entrepreneur, nutritionist, writer. Project:
"The Creativity workshops sent me on a path of transformative
journey to find myself and who I really want to be. Shahana took us
through a process of self discovery that left me more empowered and
encouraged than ever before."
- S.S., business and management consultant, mother,
self-discoverer. Project: Reimagining Self Gaming Kit
"I joined the creative writing workshop series on an impulse, with
no concrete expectations. What I had not envisioned was how
enriching the experience would turn out to be. Every Sunday, the
whole group was eager, engaged and genuinely interested in hearing
what each one of us had written for the intriguing and unexpected
prompts Shahana had given us the previous week. The power of hearing
someone else's creative dreams and projects woven into a story, a
letter, a poem or a song was immensely energizing and encouraging.
It allowed me to pour my unsaid thoughts into concrete words -
finally. The workshops made me realize that writing and sharing the
silent imagery of dreams and daydreams in
concrete words, are
powerful ways to make those dreams a reality. This was an experience
that I will relive the fun memories of, for a very long time."
- A.V., chef, entrepreneur, educator. Project: Food Business
"Thank you for an incredible Creativity Workshop session today (well
every Sunday actually). If you don't already know this Shahana, you
are an extraordinary person who is having an extraordinary impact
with your presence in the world. I am so very glad I met you!"
- K.J., artist, engineer, citizen.
"Through the mentorship and guidance provided not only
by Shahana but also by my fellow participants, the Sunday afternoon
Creativity workshops became a space of kinship and belonging where
all thoughts and ideas could be safely and creatively explored.
Though in some regards it was a physical space cultivated for a
specific length of time, the space it created in my own being, to
create as well as nurture other creative spirits, has endured."
- N.G., youth mentor, community advocate, performing artist.
Workshop happened to me, and I knew that it was going to change my
life. The biggest change for me has been in finding myself again
after 25 long years. I had forgotten being me. I am shedding the
layers and finding the courage to be vulnerable again. There is so
much I want to say, but two words that encompass all are love and
gratitude... Also, I am on a Courageous Creativity marathon...Every
story I read teaches me something and gives me hope..."
R.T., designer, artist, healer.
Project: Jewelry Line
"I cannot explain how much the 6 weeks of Creativity Workshops meant
to me. The Sundays, the writing, the discussions, the laughter and
the conversations... I was my happiest and best, just soaking in
everything the workshop offered. It was not easy coming out of my
shell, but I did. Your guidance, sometimes gentle, at times severe,
and at most times through silence, gave me so much strength and
learning. You might not realize how much difference you and the
workshop made but I thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming
into my life at the right time and helping me find myself. What the
workshop triggered continued over the next several months - getting
my job, performing dance, my poetry getting published, meditation,
and now learning Astrology and Carnatic music!"
D.V., HR Manager, poet, spiritualist. Project: Re-imagining
"'Just do it' - Sure, this is the tagline for Nike, but this was
also the philosophy in the Creativity workshops I took with
Shahana. And wow, did this philosophy work for me. The workshops
taught me about creating…just to create. And how consistency and
commitment can help creativity to flourish. I was amazed to see how
Shahana’s lessons permeated throughout all facets of my life and
continue to do so in transformative ways. Not only did we envision
dreams we had, we were able to create roadmaps to make them happen!
The whole experience was a gift."
- S.J., poet, musician, youth educator.
Project: Music CD
"The Creativity workshops allowed me to jump-start my
writing. More broadly, they gave me the opportunity to infuse
creativity through many aspects of my life by providing me with the
guidance and support to envision and commit to creative projects.
The workshops served as a trans-formative space to take me from
being an occasional and accidental creative to a joyfully deliberate
creative. Shahana's careful coaching and guidance was the basis for
this transformation and though the workshops have ended, I find
myself regularly reflecting on and applying the lessons to my life.
In addition to Shahana's coaching, the workshops were especially
powerful because of the presence and support of the other
participants. We served as inspiration and "mini-coaches" to each
other, learning and teaching as we each found our own creative
- S.N., political reformer,
writer, photographer. Project: The Water Storytelling
Shahana and Shirin,
Thank you for coming to OLS to speak to our writing class. Your
visit has taught us how to be a better writer and think outside the
box. We really enjoyed doing the [Inventing] Possibility
"Dear Shahana and Shirin,
I really liked how you explained about storytelling. Thank you."
"Dear Shahana and Shirin,
I really enjoyed the topic. I learned a lot. Thanks for taking the
time to spend with us."
- Student responses from session with
OLS, Bellevue College, Feb 29, 2012
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