2012 Essential Scholarship Program

The Iconic Self is in production, and I'm sitting at my little table in the kitchen with a pink, red and blue quilt draped over it like a table cloth trying to wrap my mind around it--the culmination of years and years of work, the completion of The Essential Journey Collection. The bulk of all I've written and taught and lived these last years finally having a physical existence in the world, a way to pass with a blessing from my hands and heart to yours.

To celebrate the completion of The Essential Journey Collection, I'm hosting the 2012 Essential Scholarship program. Open to all my beloved readers and friends, the opportunity to receive a $50 scholarship toward the tuition of any of the Essential Journey Courses (Finding Your Voice, Telling Your Story, The Iconic Self) is just a super simple application away. You have until February 12, 2012 to submit via email or postal mail and recipients will be notified on Valentine's Day.

If this work is calling you, if this scholarship would bring it into reach, please download the application and apply. We want to support your journey.

Download the 2012 Essential Scholarship Application

A Story of Love and Friendship

Phyllis in her Colorado home this summer.

The story of my work is always, at its core, a story of love and friendship.

I met Phyllis Mathis when I was 22 years old. I had been married for less than a year, and out of college even less than that. I still remember every detail of our meeting--the metal folding chairs we shook hands across, that curious banter you do with strangers, the way she stood with shoulders back, head high, her face radiating warmth and welcome. It's as if some part of my memory-making mind woke up and said, Pay attention. This moment is important.

Not long afterward I attended a retreat Phyllis led and as she spoke one morning I was overcome by this strong sense of kindredness which I wish I could say happens to me more often than the rare times it actually does. I thought, Something about the way her mind works and the way my mind works feels the same. Our journeys have been entwined ever since.

Years later, when the first thread gave the first tug that began the unraveling of my life as I then knew it, Phyllis was the first person I called. She sat across from me and watched in real time as all the pieces I had so carefully crafted and constructed fell to the floor and shattered.

She later said it was one of the most beautiful things she's ever seen.

There is not a secret in me that she has not held. Not a single place she has been unwilling to journey with me, no matter how dark or embarrased or unfit for public consumption I become before it's all over. Her friendship has been a safety net that has caught me and reassured me and given me courage time and time and time again.

Cover photography and design by Liz Kalloch, lizkallochdesigns.comThis week we're sending our collaborative project into production, and today as we do the finishing touches, I'm so present to the depth and richness of the wisdom and stories we've mined in over a decade of friendship, the ways we've helped one another weave in and understand even the stories which began long before. It's the most epic piece of work I've undertaken yet, and I am just humbled beyond belief to be able to share it with you soon.

I'm a big bundle of feelings in the meantime: excited, a little nervous, very tender, but most of all deeply grateful for this woman and this friendship which have shaped and comforted and guided me all along the way.

The Iconic Self (available now for pre-order) releases January 24, 2012.

 

The "Telling Your Story Sound Studio" Arrives!

I've been crazy sick this week--the kind that makes you stumble down the street when you're not laid out flat in bed--but even in this compromised state I managed some serious excitement yesterday when the Telling Your Story Sound Studio CDs arrived.

The three disc set, featuring extensive interviews with Peter Aguero and Ophira Eisenberg, is packaged in a beautiful 8-panel digipak designed by the amazing Liz Kalloch. To be able to hold these exquisite objects in your hands helps the possibilities they hold seem even more tangible and real. It's not just in your head or on your computer, it's in your car and your kitchen and on the little stand next to your bed--always reminding you of the path and all the possibilities it holds. Giving you permission to be a new way in the world--you own it. Your stories are just as worthy of being told as any of ours, and these physical manifestations of so many powerful truths will not let you forget it.

The Telling Your Story course starts shipping tomorrow. Be bold and audacious--be one of the first in the world to hold these treasures in your hands.

The other thing I was so thrilled to receive yesterday was our first, full-color four-page Jen Lee Productions catalog, which will go out with every order this winter. It's so amazing to see all that we're up to, all together. There is so much to celebrate with you.

What ARE these new resources, exactly, and when is your next retreat?

My next live event is in March at Teahouse Studio in Berkeley, CA. I'm bringing a whole bunch of my friends--amazing, inspiring women are gonna be in the house--and I hope you can come join us. I'm looking forward to the workshop format, which is more affordable for locals and still convenient for us out-of-towners to come in and stay at the hotel across the street, or in town with friends. The conversation we'll create about The Art of Creative Wellness is one I am living and breathing over here--one that makes us or breaks us. Read more and claim your spot here.

As for the next retreat, I'm really not sure. I'm doing a limited number of live events right now. In terms of presence and community, it's an ideal way to be together and interact with these powerful conversations. But in terms of tuition and the limited spots available for attendees, it's not so ideal. That's why I'm in the midst of a long season of producing resources that make the content of 12-week workshops or 5-day retreats available, for a fraction of the cost, to anyone in the world. No plane ticket required.

If you've been looking for opportunities to work with me, or suspecting that our paths are running in kindred directions, these courses are for you. I have so much to share (with more coming very soon)--this is the best way to make these conversations available to the most people, in a form so personal and intimate that it's the next best thing to being together live.

These practices, insights and conversations have changed my life, and they can change yours, too. Join me: find your voice. Tell your story. Share this work with those friends who are looking for Just This.

"The story you are writing with your life is the most important thing about you."

Who are you? Where have you come from and where are you going? The story you are writing with your life is the most important thing about you, but most of us go along in life without bringing our awareness to the narratives that formed us, that influence our present and shape our futures. Until your stories are told, they have a way of owning you, whether you realize it or not. When you tell a story, you own it.

Telling Your Story was created as a one-of-a-kind companion and guide for story excavation and a bold introduction to the art and craft of storytelling. Discover your formative stories and bring them into the spotlight. Rock them. Bring the house down.

It's your story. Tell it.Telling Your Story includes:

  • 3-CD set in an 8-panel digipak: Telling Your Story Sound Studio featuring Jen Lee's full audio workshop, along with extensive interviews professionally recorded with story pioneers and mentors Peter Aguero and Ophira Eisenberg.
  • 125-page interactive, 3-ring bound home study curriculum with black and white photography and line drawings by artist Liz Kalloch throughout.
  • Content equivalent of a 12-week workshop
  • 8 entryways into discovering your own formative or forgotten stories
  • 60 pages of exercises to walk you step-by-step through the journey
  • 24 composition pages to insert wherever you need them

Special Introductory Price: 200 USD

Quantities are limited. Only one per person. Ships free world-wide, starting 11.11.11.

The Jen Lee Guarantee: We are commited to Telling Your Story playing an essential role in your journey. If you are not completely delighted with your purchase, simply return your materials for a full refund.

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Whether we are entreprenuers, activists or artists, we are learning more and more the importance of employing a story-based approach when communicating about our work to the world. And yet, most of us don't know where to begin, how to select the stories that really matter and pull it all together into powerful presentations. Telling Your Story was created to guide participants from all walks of life step-by-step through this essential process.

Inside the Telling Your Story Sound Studio

Session One: Become a story excavator as Jen Lee guides you in the hunt for your own story treasures, and learn the secret ingredients that will transform even a quiet story into an epic tale.

Session Two: Join the bold and audacious Peter Aguero for a heart-to-heart conversation about truth, courage, and the stories that change us forever.

Session Three: Ophira Eisenberg will make you laugh and move you deeply as she takes on essential topics like vulnerability, self discovery and the connection that makes sharing our stories worth everything it costs, and more.

About the Instructors

Jen Lee is a voice recovery specialist, independent media producer and a beloved performer in New York City’s storytelling scene, including The Peabody Award-winning Moth Radio Hour and The Moth Mainstage. Jen is a sought-after mentor and guide for workshops and retreats unleashing creative expression. She is also the creator of Finding Your Voice, a cutting-edge personal breakthrough course,
and a contributing author of Women Writing on Family: Tips on Writing, Teaching and Publishing.

Peter Aguero is a New York City-based storyteller and performer. Peter is a Moth GrandSLAM Champion, a popular Moth StorySLAM host, and an instructor for the MothSHOP community outreach program. He is also the lead singer of The BTK Band, New York’s only improvised storytelling rock band.

 

Ophira Eisenberg is a comic, writer and storyteller living in New York City. Ophira was named a “Top Ten Comic” by New York Magazine, has appeared on Comedy Central and is a long-time host at The Moth, of both StorySLAMs and Mainstage shows. Her memoir, Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy, will be available through Perseus Books in Spring of 2012.

 

 What People are Saying about "Telling Your Story":

    "For me, as a peace and conflict researcher specializing in the transformational power of language, narratives and discourse for conflicts, Telling Your Story is one piece in the bigger picture. In every conflict, regardless whether it is personal, social or international, narratives and stories become more and more exclusive, to the point of deliberately ignoring the "other's" narrative altogether. I am convinced that learning about our stories, learning that all of us actually have stories worth telling, and learning how to listen to and sit with our's and other's stories, however uncomfortable, is one key to peace. 

    "The stories in Telling Your Story are heart-warming, soulful, and hilarious. They illustrate that we all, regardless what we are or do, are utterly human. Realizing our humanity and the vulnerability connected to it is one step in the direction of forgiveness, and without forgiveness, there is no peace."

    --Dr. Christiane J. Fröhlich, Peace and Conflict researcher, Hamburg, Germany

     "I feel you pulling for us, supporting and nudging in all the right ways, and also providing the room to anchor our investigation. It feels very much like you're sitting at this table with me, in the next chair over, witnessing as I sift through and explore the material of my life. I feel your enthusiasm, your engagement, and your glee as I make my little discoveries, see you clasping your hands in delight, hear you whisper - as I move through the work and land on the heart of my own narrative - 'Yes, yes, yes.' The generosity of the material here is profound."

     --Maya Stein,  Feral Writing, Tour de Word, Enough Water

    "Jen Lee's Telling Your Story is a poignant, powerful, and honest guide to excavating, forming, and polishing your stories. Jen offers her own stories to illustrate her points and in doing so walks the talk while taking us on a journey deep into our own souls. Simply reading the chapters and corresponding prompts inspires. Imagine the impact from doing all her brilliant exercises? She has mined from the greatest jewels in the storytelling scene in New York City for this guide and is herself a gem - an expert in this genre whose work has impressed and changed individuals across the world. Take this course - you are worth it!"

    --Allison Downey, Storyteller, Singer-songwriter, Associate Professor of Creative Arts Education

"Jen Lee's Telling Your Story curriculum is an amazing resource for storytellers and writers alike. Filled with Jen's soulful wisdom, this interactive workbook guides you through the storytelling process from beginning to end. Inside its pages you will find exercises to help you uncover your best story ideas and the encouragement and inspiration necessary to craft your story into a finished piece. As a writer, I feel lucky to have Jen as my guide as I seek to uncover my own stories. Telling Your Story is not to be missed!"

--Shari Altman, this joy+ride

"I've always told stories. But it wasn't until I spent the day with Jen Lee that I became a storyteller. Sitting in front of a roaring fire, she shared hard-won insights, helpful hints, and many stories of her own. She answered questions I didn't even know I had, from the general (how to choose a theme) to the specific (how to know which detail would make my story come to life). Hundreds of miles and several weeks later, I turn again to my copy of Telling Your Story, and it all comes back: Jen's quiet encouragement, her sincere attention, and the feeling that she's right here, cheering me on, as I put pen to paper."

--Austen Gilliland, Canadian Living

Telling Your Story includes:

3-CD set in an 8-panel digipak: Telling Your Story Sound Studio featuring Jen Lee's full audio workshop, along with extensive interviews professionally recorded with story pioneers and mentors Peter Aguero and Ophira Eisenberg.

125-page interactive, 3-ring bound home study curriculum with black and white photography and line art by artist Liz Kalloch throughout.

Content equivalent of a 12-week workshop, with 8 entryways into discovering your own formative or forgotten stories

60 pages of exercises to walk you step-by-step through the journey and 24 composition pages to insert wherever you need them

Special Introductory Price: 200 USD

Quantities are limited. Only one per person. Ships free world-wide, starting 11.11.11.

The Jen Lee Guarantee: We are commited to Telling Your Story playing an essential role in your journey. If you are not completely delighted with your purchase, simply return your materials for a full refund.

Click here for more information about The Essential Journey Collection.

"It's Your Story. Tell It." shirts are available here.

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