As an author, spiritual director and teacher, Diane Millis knows how challenging it can be to discern how to tell life-giving stories about life-disrupting events. In her recent book, Re-Creating a Life, she introduces writing practices and a small group contemplative conversation process designed to help readers mine the meaning in their life story.
While on retreat, we will work with the rich material found within Diane’s work. This silent retreat will be devoted to periods of prayerful introspection, personal writing, and deep storylistening in small groups.
Words from our teacher…
A redemptive story has nothing to do with a happily ever after story. The book challenges readers to first and foremost embrace the commitment to the act of telling the story of their lives. It is through the telling of a story that we discover the redemptive meaning within. I’m not asking people to find the silver lining of their lives; I’m asking them to discover the full truth about their lives, and that truth is almost always a pathway to generativity. (from an interview with Susan Sink)
Diane offers the following framework for storylistening:
The Four R’s of Deep Listening
Respect the sacredness within us, between us and beyond us.
Refrain from offering interpretations.
Remain curious and adopt a not-knowing position.
Remind one another that our stories are never complete or finished.
Diane M. Millis, Ph D is a professor and a retreat presenter who focuses on the art of listening. She is the author of three books:Re-Creating a Life, Conversation—The Sacred Art, and Deepening Engagement. She currently teaches Narrative Leadership at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.