Why join the ReStory 101 Workshop?

Many people have contacted us to hear more about the upcoming ReStory 101 Workshop. We took a moment to interview facilitators Terry Bohn & Lindy Pearson to hear more about why they believe this work matters:

What brought you to your own engagement of story?

Terry Bohn: Being part of an intentional small group community in a missional church in Charlotte was my most meaningful first step.

Lindy Pearson: Honestly, I think the innate hunger to be known was my first appetite and in moving towards others. In that hunger, I then learned that I come from a story that is particular and unique, and it took hearing others stories to recognize my lens is not the same as those around me. The desire to know others and be known has been the catalyst to give my life work to continuing this journey in myself as well as invite others to this brave work.

What have you learned from prior group experiences? How have you learned this?

Lindy: With every new group, I learn something more about myself. As I open myself to be vulnerable - it opens the vulnerable parts in others to heal those parts in myself.  

What are the benefits of participating in an intentional community to engage in narrative work?

Lindy: First, I came to the permission to explore my story, and then I came to recognize the importance of speaking it aloud and naming it. From there, I recognized that others had eyes, ears, and hearts to see in me places I had not yet been able to sit in. Their unique perspective lead me to understand and be more curious about who I am due to my narrative. I also felt the gift of offering myself to others in their story.

Terry: The opportunity to invite others into exploring my story, hearing from them what has felt important that I may have missed previously.  

Why do this personal kind of work in a group setting? Wouldn’t it be easier to do on my own or with a friend?

Terry: Having a genuine, first-hand experience of people speaking a graceful truth into my story and engaging me and my emotions. So many of us, myself included, have been hurt in our closest relationships. We truly only heal relational traumas in healthy relational settings: counseling, small-groups, spiritual formation, and support groups.

Lindy: Where we risk the most, we gain the most. We were created to bear witness to one another as a redemptive act.

What will I expect from participating in the story workshop?

Lindy: We are meant to bear the glory of our stories. In order to get there, we also must be able to engage where we have been wounded throughout our lives. As a result, we live out our stories in ways that impact our view of ourselves and the way we relate to others. In this workshop, we will create a safe environment where we can be free to name and grieve in a way that moves us toward the freedom of honoring where our stories have scars, but not having to live out of the trauma of those spaces.

What would you say to those individuals who are ready to go deeper?
Terry: Personally, nothing has been more powerful than my own curiosity in life overall. I am most grateful for honoring my desire to explore my life story - in my own counseling, meeting with my pastor, in various small groups, and workshops like this one. Every time I share my story with another person or in a group, I learn something new about myself, my relationships with those around me. I’ve been told, “bravery and courage are not the absence of fear but the willingness to step into the risk of knowing and being known”.

Lindy & Terry: We hope you will join us!

How Your Story May Be At Work This Holiday Season

By Beckie Stauffer, MA, RD, LPCC

In westernized American culture, you can hardly make mention of the holidays without talking about food. There’s Halloween candy, Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas cookies, and New Year’s champagne. Food is culture. It’s how we celebrate, commemorate, and elevate seasons, events, and life. Food brings sparkle, oomph, and pop.

And yet, food is not just culture. It’s health and weight and image. It’s one way that we measure vitality and discipline and worth. So, needless to say, the holidays are a very conflicting time of the year for our minds and our bodies. We experience both a sincere longing to engage in the festive fun, and a wildly shameful aftermath for “giving in.”

Most people land in this double bind at least once between October and January and from my work with clients, many people believe that their routine encounter with disappointment is reserved to just them and their experience. This, this moment, is where your story comes in, gets activated.

If you have never considered how food and your body and your story are interwoven, the invitation is to pause and do so now.

Anne Lamott writes, “If you have a body, you are entitled to the full range of feelings. It comes with the package.”

Here are a handful of scenarios that demonstrate how your deeper story may be at play this holiday season:

  1. You feel both elation and self-loathing when you have a second helping at Christmas dinner.

  2. You make vows like “no more carbs” or “more time on the treadmill” when your holiday party dress is snug.

  3. Your reason for eating another Christmas cookie is because, “I already had two”.  

  4. You can’t look at yourself in the mirror without having hurtful thoughts.

  5. You don’t like looking in the mirror, period.

  6. You feel highly anxious when you see the dinner buffet.

  7. You numb out and just keep eating.

  8. Or, your numb out and do not eat at all.

At Restoration Counseling, we believe that every part of your story matters and every piece of your narrative has the capacity to empower or imprison you.  We are aware that food is substance, culture, and nourishment- and it can also be the trigger to a trap.

Do you remember the first time you had that thought?

Can you recall how your childhood was shaped by food? 

Is there a moment in adolescence you felt shame around your body? Your femininity or masculinity?

As you circle around the potluck, the Christmas tree, or the gym track this Christmas, we invite you to pause, breath, and sink into your body. Let yourself feel what it is like to occupy your flesh, to connect with your matter, and to acknowledge the thoughts that come to your mind.

And then we invite you to be kind to yourself. To forgive yourself. To love yourself. And to begin to restory those narratives.

Happy Holidays!

3 Reasons Why a ReStory Intensive is Worth your Time and Financial Investment

By Tracy Johnson, Story Coach

“I can’t believe how much has happened over the past three days!” are words I often hear at the end of an intensive. When I think of the reasons to set aside the time and resources to take advantage of an intensive this would be something that quickly comes to mind.

In a weekly counseling setting we often engage what is happening in the here and now of your life, and while that includes considering your larger life story we simply do not have the time to always enter into that story deeply and linger there. We visit a scene and then often too quickly the hour is gone and the session is over until a week or two later when you return for another hour long session. Reason #1 for doing an intensive is that it creates the time to stay in your story longer, lingering to notice and name more fully the particularities of what has left imprints on your heart and soul.

And, you cannot change what you have not faced and named.

Preparing to come for an intensive setting includes taking the time to work through several assignments designed to stimulate the process of remembering where you have come from, and how you have come to be where you are in your life today. If you are feeling stuck, or numb or struggling to feel fully alive taking the time to remember is often key to experiencing positive changes. Reason #2 for saying yes to an intensive is that intentionality of the process connects you with places in your life and story that are often easily forgotten or passed by in daily life. And, in order to move forward with greater understanding, purpose and freedom we need to first consider where you have come from.

Leaving your daily life and responsibilities affords the space and luxury of staying in what begins to surface inside of you as you linger in the scenes and story longer. There are no children, no job, no outside responsibilities that require you to “pull yourself together” allowing you feel your feelings without having to manage them. Further, the hours spent staying focused on your internal well-being often break down the walls of resistance most of us rely on in our daily routines and relationships. This opens the space where real transformation can happen, as you are able to devote your time and energy to entering the stories and considering what the impact has been and how you would like to live differently. Reason #3 for choosing an intensive is that it creates the environment for deeper, lasting transformation to occur.

An intensive setting is a gift you give yourself, and those you are in relationship with. It’s a tangible way of saying, my life and my heart matter and are worth investing in.