“A Heartbreaking Choice” workshop

Ending a wanted pregnancy is one of the most gut-wrenching decisions a parent could make. And yet, there is judgment and name-calling … and now, a significant increase in the amount of legislation seeking to control if and how a woman is allowed to make this choice.

Our lives, our wombs, our decisions have been turned into a political football. It’s time to turn it back into a human story, a human decision.

And so I’ve created this workshop for you – the woman who is ready to tell her story. The woman who is ready to be heard. The woman who is ready to make a difference for those who will come after her.

Is this workshop for me?

This workshop is for you if you have had to make the heartbreaking choice to end a wanted pregnancy. This workshop is for you if you’re ready to tell your story in the company of sisters, and then share it with the world – because one story is strong, and a chorus of stories can change the world.

What will we do in the workshop?

registerWe’ll meet via video conference for 2 hours, once a week, for five weeks. I’m offering the group at two times each week, so you can choose the one that fits your schedule. The total group is limited to 10 people so it will be a very safe and intimate space.

The five weeks of meetings are all about YOU. We’ll spend time writing, sharing, and supporting each other. You’ll do all of the writing while we’re on the call, so there’s no “homework.” We’ll have a private Facebook group so you can continue sharing and supporting each other between calls.

When we complete the five weeks of writing, I’ll create a “script” out of everyone’s best pieces of writing. Then I will work with you to video yourself (using your webcam) reading your story. I will edit together everyone’s pieces and publish them to YouTube.

How much does it cost?

Zip. Nada. Nothing.

Yes, really. This is my way of standing in peaceful resistance to the chaos and insanity that has taken over our country.

I do have some costs, so if you get something of value out of our time together, you are welcome to make a donation to support future workshops.

Why should I entrust my story to you?

I’m so glad you asked…because trust is something that’s hard to come by these days, isn’t it?

The first thing I want to tell you is that I’ve never had to make this choice – in fact, I’ve never been pregnant. So I enter this conversation as a facilitator and an anthropologist. But this isn’t the first time I’ve done this!

I developed this writing-and-sharing workshop model 13 years ago and have used it with groups on a variety of topics: surviving breast cancer, aging, body image issues, etc.

The responses from the very first group of breast cancer survivors in 2004 were astounding – they reported having less fear about follow-up mammograms, less anger about the diagnosis, and a stronger sense of community and support. Here are a few of the things they said:

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This was a fantastic workshop, and a truly memorable life experience. I will treasure it in my heart forever, and the lessons I’ve learned – about sharing, about speaking, about telling the truth – will carry me ever upward.

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You’ve created a safe environment for me to bring the fear, hurt, and anger from the depths of my soul out into the light, where I could take a look from a different perspective. You accepted me as I am. I constantly felt your unconditional love – how rare, and how wonderful! Thank you.

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Leah taught us to give ourselves permission to tackle something we were unsure of having the ability to do. We realized it is important to be heard and we all have stories to tell.

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Working with you has been a healing experience that boggles my mind when I think about it – the process has been so quick. We’ve unwrapped layers and layers of stifling emotional bandages, and now I feel so free.

Then the community responded – we were invited to do staged readings of their work in theatres and medical facilities around a tri-state area.

registerThen the academic medical community came calling – I was invited to write an article for the American and European Journal of Cancer Education about our process and the results (to be clear, this is basically unheard of – people fight to get published in medical journals, it’s rarely an invitation; and as a non-doctor, to be invited is just CRAZY!)  I was later invited to write another column for the same journal about the process of educating through entertainment.  You can read both articles here and here.

I’ve also been published in a variety of other regional and national publications on the topic of sharing your story for healing (technically known as “expressive disclosure.”)

In addition to scads of complimentary words from workshop participants, I’ve been honored to be endorsed by top names in a variety of fields.

Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult

“Leah Carey is a very talented visionary. [Working with her] was the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.”

Iyanla Vanzant

Iyanla Vanzant

“Leah Carey is a bright light in the field of self-empowerment and writing as a healing art.”

Dr. C. Everett Koop

Dr. C. Everett Koop

“There is nothing trivial here, but rather deep soul-searching confessions … it can help you with any challenge of great significance.”

THE BIG QUESTIONS

What if I have writers’ block?

The process I have developed over the last 13 years is particularly effective at combating writers block. I will lead you through every step of the process and you will never be staring at a blank page, wondering where to start.

What if my stories aren’t as good as other peoples?

registerThis is the MOST COMMON thing I hear from workshop participants, and ironically the people who say it are usually the ones who share the most compelling stories! I saw a great quote on Facebook that said, “Don’t compare your behind the scenes footage with other people’s highlight reel.” I GUARANTEE that you have compelling stories to tell. I also GUARANTEE that no one else can tell those stories the way you can. Don’t talk yourself out of doing this because you’re afraid you won’t be good enough – be brave. Make a new choice. We need your voice.

I want to share my stories in the group, but I’m not sure if I want to include them on YouTube.

I want you to feel comfortable with sharing everything you need to share within the confines of the group. We can edit out very personal details before making the video.

Will I get paid for my contributions?

No.  This is not a money-making project.  I will ask you to sign a release allowing me to use your words, however you will retain copyright.

I’m in! What do I need to participate?

* A web cam and high speed internet connection
* A quiet place to be during the 2-hour video conferences
* A commitment to show up to at least one session each week to share and support your sisters
* A box of Kleenex 😉
* A desire to share your story for your own healing, and the healing of others!!!

Workshop times are:

Mondays at 6:30 p.m. – Jan. 16, 23, 30, Feb. 6, 13
Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. – Jan. 17, 24, 31, Feb. 7, 14
Sundays at 8 p.m. – Jan. 22, 29, Feb. 5, 12, 19
All times are Eastern Standard

register