developmental Editing, 
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Story Support for 
writers and Healthcare practitioners 


Seed Full

October Alchemy Workshop 
October 20 at Lenoir-Rhyne University Asheville
Money Stories

"The way people spend money unmasks them," said Aaron Kipnis, a clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute. "As Warren Buffett said, 'When the tide goes out, you can see who's swimming naked.'"

--from "Soul Spending: That Hole in Your Budget by Linda Federico-O'Murchu 



We post photos of our healthy meals as we embark on new dietary adventures. We post photos of our feats at the gym and our progress in weight management. We post about our fallings of the various wagons of living well in favor of a night on the town or a divine lunch with friends. We post our blood pressure sometimes, even! 

We don't post about money. Although money is a key part of our overall well-being, we don't talk about it much at all. I think part of the reason is that for creative soulful people we dismiss this conversation as being cold and soulless. Perhaps we have faith in the universe that everything will work out (and that's a good faith to have!). Also, though, many of us witnessed the S&L collapse in 2008 and saw our relatives lose their entire retirement funds. Maybe our own got hit. That was a terrible shock. Blue chip stocks were selling for pennies a share after. Things that we thought would never plummet plummetted. Even if we weren't and aren't in the stock market, that was a sort of trauma, and like all traumas, it plays out in strange ways if left unaddressed.

To whom can we turn to talk about this? If we go to a bank we will feel the tentacles of a sales approach for some new loan creep around us. Or we think we will so we don't go at all. But how do we as creative, soulful people begin that conversation? What questions do we ask? What if they tell us we are screwed and are stupid with money? 

Many of us feel shame and anxiety when talking about money. Many of us don't even have a language for it. So, let's grow one out of our own stories. This two hour workshop offers a quiet, soulful space in which we can write about our relationship with money. This process will help draw our unconscious soul-spending and emotional spending into the foreground. Much as telling ourselves the truth of what we eat, telling ourselves the truth about our relationship to money is uncomfortable. Talking about this shadow of cash won't kill us though. We can face these truths and tell them. We can then begin building new truths and new stories about our relationships with money.

This is not a financial advising session. You will find what you want and need to do by looking first at what you do.

No one will judge you or mock you. We all share more of these stories than we know. You don't have to be alone.

Here is a good article to begin the conversation about soul-spending, something I believe we all have done and do.


 Laura Hope-Gill


Laura Hope-Gill founded the first Certificate in Narrative Healthcare program in North Carolina in 2013 at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Asheville after attending Narrative Medicine training at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. In 2014 she was invited to co-author the Narrative Playbook produced by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and now made available online to all practitioners. In 2013 she worked with Dr. Bruce Kelly at the Charles George V.A. in Asheville to pilot one of six programs in the nation in which World War II veterans’ stories are included in the patient “file” ahead of the vital statistics; this program is now being replicated nationwide.  In 2014, she assisted in launching the Poetic Medicine program at the Charles George V.A. which now presents an annual poetry reading by Vietnam Veterans. She has presented keynotes and workshops at Wake Forest School of Medicine, Appalachian State University Expressive Arts Annual Retreat, The National Association for Poetry Therapy Annual Conference, the Johnson City V.A.,  Lenoir-Rhyne and AHEC’s Future of Medicine Conference at Lenoir-Rhyne, Health Union, and forthcoming Grand Rounds at Eastern Carolina University School of Medicine. She is currently working with MAHEC and Western Carolina Medical Society to develop a Narrative Healthcare Symposium on Witness-Fatigue for October 2019.



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