The Power and Healing of Writing Your Memoirs
Ongoing Class starting August 7, 2017
Time: 6pm – 8pm, Mondays
Location: 111 E. Arrellaga St. Santa Barbara, CA
Contact: Cynthia Waring 805 798-2930
I took my first writing class in the fall of 1983. I was newly divorced from my second husband and my son had returned to his father after summer vacation. I was miserable.
I found my way to the home of Deena Metzger deep in the Santa Monica Mountains in Topanga Canyon. As the class began Deena talked of the importance of writing the truth about life from your own perspective. There was a hush in my heart. I could barely breathe. I felt I was getting instructions from a wise elder I had been looking for my whole life – some meaningful direction.
Deena asked the class to write on a subject for forty minutes then read what we had written. When I read my piece my paper shook in my trembling hands. My writing was horrible, trite, not truthful.
How I ever got myself to go back the following week I have no idea. But there was something in me that knew that I was meant to be a writer and that was more important than avoiding further humiliation.
Each week I returned, and one night, six months after my first class, I felt the thrill of connecting to my life with a story that held the chaos, confusion, pain and heartache of what it was like to be me. I felt my soul. Some deep, inner homecoming was taking place. I didn’t look away and try to be someone else who was funny, wealthy, or smarter. That night, that moment, I became me.
My book, Bodies Unbound, began in that class. It is a book I am proud of. Writing deeply about my story, I gained insight about what it is like to be a human being. I have emails from a woman who tells me she reads my book once a year to make sure her heart is open. People have quoted to me, by heart, passages from my book. Knowing it has been meaningful to others has made me realize that when we tell the truth about our selves, we move others to do the same. Writing brought me a spiritual path I could embrace with all my heart – a spiritual path all my own. This was my initiation.
Here in the West, we don’t have many wise elders who explain initiations like these – the uncovering and sharing of these sore, hidden places in the psyche as core aspects of who we are and what we are meant to do in this lifetime. Missing out on such initiations can mean remaining blind to one’s truest calling. As an elder, I seek to offer this to others as it was offered to me.
I began teaching thirty years ago. I have created a workshop designed to uncover the stories that have initiated you, and I am offering this workshop following my performances of my one-woman show, named after my book.
I can’t promise you will meet your soul, but you might.
“I have seen several of Cynthia’s performances and I am continually amazed how she’s able to mine the depths of human emotion through her life experiences. Her passion is contagious making us laugh and tear up from her sensitive take on the challenges of life.”Linda Powers
“The play brought me to experience every emotion. I was deeply touched by Cynthia’s work. At this time in my life, I enjoy embracing “the authentic”., and that is what I felt throughout the play. Another amazing example that when we use our profession to heal ourselves, comes a time when the healing turns to self-actualization and reward. It showed me once more that if we overcome our fears and adhere to “our true path”, life as it should manifests itself organically. Cynthia’s work demonstrates exactly that… An amazing woman with a beautiful story to tell!”