By Meenakshi Iyer
Hindustan Times, New Delhi.
We have over 500 friends on Facebook, yet that feeling of being alone in this big, bad world tends to creep in. Sometimes, the need is for connecting with your own self. There’s a story waiting to be told in each one of us, and these stories may not be pleasant enough for our status updates. How, then, does one let go?
The answer might lie in writer and art curator Anupa Mehta’s day-long storytelling workshop, Telling Tales: The Transformational Power of Stories.
“All of us carry stories within us and that can become our undoing,” says Mehta, who trained with Jungian writer and world-renowned storyteller, Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes last year. In 2014, Mehta attended Estes’s workshop in Denver, where 100 women from various fields such as arts, science, music and filmmaking were present. “It transformed the way I looked at life. We are always in a mode of repression, looking at life from a place of fear,” says Mehta of the life-changing experience.
Taking inspiration from her time there, Mehta has devised a storytelling workshop that builds on the healing power of sharing stories. These stories could be about your personal journeys, dealing with trauma or events that defined you. Though the workshop has a formal structure — starting with a session on oral traditions in different cultures — it allows for fluidity, with sessions on developing an original voice. “We are often responding to other people’s perceptions of our lives. The small workshop setting will give people the space to say what they want,” adds Mehta.
Anupa Mehta has devised a storytelling workshop that builds on the healing power of sharing stories.
Trained in counselling psychology, Mehta also runs the The Loft at Lower Parel, an art residency-cum-art space. The idea for the workshop also stems from her last book, Unseasonal Rain (2014), a series of short stories. “The stories in the book are about loss and how it punctuates everyone’s life. But what do you do with that loss? Do you take it to another level and let it change you? The workshop helps you find answers to these questions,” she says.