Healing Stories Project with Diane DeBella
Session One: Personal History



Session One Podcast

After you have listened to Podcast 1, consider revisiting letters, photos, scrapbooks, mementos – any pieces of the past that you feel comfortable and safe exploring. Record any reactions you have or memories that manifest in a journal to revisit as you move toward creating your healing story. If you are comfortable making journal entries, consider the following questions:

  • What are the things you wish you had received in your childhood and did not?
  • What did you receive in your childhood that you are grateful for?
  • What do you feel bound to, and why?
  • What can you let go of?
  • What can you embrace instead?

Session One Exercise: I Am From

Sit comfortably in a quiet place with your favorite writing utensil and journal. In your journal write the words I Am From.

And then just let your history flow. Enjoy exploring where you are from.

The I AM FROM Template

I am from _______ (specific ordinary item), from _______ (product name) and _______.

I am from the _______ (home description… adjective, adjective, sensory detail).

I am from the _______ (plant, flower, natural item), the _______ (plant, flower, natural detail)

I am from _______ (family tradition) and _______ (family trait), from _______ (name of family member) and _______ (another family name) and _______ (family name).

I am from the _______ (description of family tendency) and _______ (another one).

From _______ (something you were told as a child) and _______ (another).

I am from (representation of religion, or lack of it). Further description.

I’m from _______ (place of birth and family ancestry), _______ (two food items representing your family).

From the _______ (specific family story about a specific person and detail), the _______ (another detail, and the _______ (another detail about another family member).

I am from _______ (location of family pictures, mementos, archives and several more lines indicating their worth).

Session One Readings

Note: When you click on each selection below, the text will open as a PDF. If  you’re reading on-line and the text is vertical, just right-click on the file and select “rotate clockwise.” If you have a Mac computer, click here to learn how to right-click, if you don’t already know how to do so.

Gloria Steinem, “The Child Within”

Gloria Steinem, “Reparenting Ourselves”

Pam Houston, “Waltzing the Cat

Pam Houston, “In Pursuit of What I Don’t Do Well”

Pam Houston, “Epilogue”

Amy Tan, “The Most Hateful Words”

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