Monday, June 7, 2010

A Healing Story for the Gulf, its Wildlife, and its People

June 8, 2017. One of the principles of my story practice is that there is a point of intersection between our own lives and the larger one playing out on our planet. As we heal and make whole ourselves, we heal and make whole the energy flowing through our world.

Today, as we enter the deeper waters of the Sea of Chaos in America, I am reminded of this blog post and healing workshop I offered during the Gulf disaster. I'm beginning to think of how to bring healing story practice to Trump's unraveling.

The background music on Morning Joe this morning is Paul Simon singing, "These are the days of miracles and wonder..." 


Ancient healers understood very well the power of words, images, dance, music, and especially the dynamic conflicts and characters in stories to heal and comfort suffering people. They often diagnosed illness by observing what parts of a story most resonated with their patient and then told a special curative story to mobilize the sick person's inherent healing capacities.

Contemporary healers, artists, and creative people can do the same for our planet and all its creatures. Through the metaphors of artistic expression, we can imagine into being a better story than the one that is playing out now. This month, I’m inviting New Yorkers to attend a healing story workshop to call forth the energies of restoration and resilience for the Gulf of Mexico, its wildlife, and people.

What exactly is a healing story, you may ask. Healing stories are metaphors for the universal human struggle to create meaning and growth out of misfortune. They're as old as humanity itself and are often called hero's journeys; they're expressions of our natural resilience -- of hope, transformation, and redemption. In this kind of story, a personal or collective disaster inspires someone to leave their ordinary life and go on a difficult quest for the solution to the problem. After many trials and defeats, overcoming dangerous obstacles and adversaries, they succeed in claiming the healing knowledge, elixir, or object, and bring it back home for the good of all. These times call for heroes.

Adventurous minds, released through imagination, can create innovation, leaps of genius, and inspired solutions. What if millions of people across the country let their imaginations loose to create healing stories for the Gulf? What unimaginable possibilities might arise? Mobilization of millions of citizens for the greatest environmental clean-up in the history of the world? A new and more profound commitment to taking care of our environment? What’s your wildest dream for our land and its waters?


Monday, August 2
Force and Flow Integrated Bodywork
1100 Dean Street, #5
Brooklyn (between Franklin & Bedford Aves.)


Space is very limited and you must register to attend.

We all feel helpless and sickened about what's happening in the Gulf. Once the oil leak is stopped, it will take years, even decades, for the ecology, wildlife, and people of that region to recover. But we're not helpless to create unexpected and amazing change through storytelling. The purpose of this workshop is to activate collective energy for restored health to the waters, wildlife, and people of the Gulf.

In this session, you'll:
- Learn how to write and tell a transformational story;
- Hear a healing story inspired by Salman Rushdie's novel, "Haroun and the Sea of Stories," a highly popular fable written for his son during the fatwa against him, which touches upon similar issues to the Gulf disaster;
- Experience private writing time and communal sharing time (when the transformational magic happens).

This workshop is not about writing a wishful but inauthentic vision of what you'd like to see happen in the Gulf. It's about finding that place in yourself that intersects with that larger story, and writing whatever your soul and spirit send up from that place. That's how real healing happens, both personally and for society.

In Chaos Theory there is a term called the butterfly effect. This means that small actions in one part of a giant system can affect the whole system. So a butterfly flapping its wings in New York over time could create a fresh wind over the Gulf of Mexico.

Many minds moving with the same intention can create miracles. Think back to the grassroots momentum that put President Obama in the White House, against all odds. It began with hundreds of tiny Camp Obamas, where people were asked to tell a better story for our country and for their own lives. The sharing that happened at those storytelling camps galvanized a movement. Together, possibly we can change this awful story too.

Train info:


Comments from Participants on Evaluation Sheets at this Workshop

"Magical and wonderful!"

"Made the tragedy more meaningful to me in a personal concrete way."

"Amazingly creative."

"Facilitation was subtle and anything but heavy-handed. Bravo!"

"Stories you shared were beautiful and inspirational. I felt a strong sense of healing."

"Lots of sharing and feedback, lots of compassion, especially from leader."

"Peaceful and comforting."

"You are such a wonderful storyteller, soft and tender voice with just the right vocal expression. At your dance workshop I learned that the story I shared would be heard and understood. At this one, I learned that it could be expanded to the community in way that would impact each member. It was so powerful to share with each other about our feelings about the gulf! As if we were little drops of water getting together."

"Learning about the hero's journey healing story was beautiful and helped me understand the big picture and the how I can use it in different ways."

"Bathing in collective creative process was like swimming in cool fresh water."


  1. Juliet: Thanks for doing all the hard work creating this piece. Once again, you demonstrate that we are not totally powerless in the face of these monstrosities that threaten our very existance. We are the tale and truth tellers. One of my hopes is that we may be forced to begin the long journey to the kind of cultural/economic/life chnages necessary to move us away from a petroleum/coal based economy. If so, storytellers will be the guides through the darkness.
    Les Schaffer - Richmond, VA

  2. Thank you, Les. I agree with you that people who hold the gifts of many of the old wisdom stories in their hearts and minds can play an important role as guides, mentors, and threshold facilitators in these times of loss, chaos, and darkness.