A woman with dark brown hair turned to the side, the wind washing hair over her face. She wears a red bow in her hair. There's an indistinct image of a bridge behind her.  She wears a blue and white blouse with white flowers.

Heart Writing™

Do you have a story that demands to be told? Would you like to discover the story that's inside you? Each of us has within us a story or stories that lay dormant beneath the public stories we tell others and ourselves about who we are. Oftentimes we aren't even aware that we're following stories that keep us small when in reality the story of our life is much bigger, containing many more layers and intricacies of beauty.

In order to align our minds with our bodies, our ancestors used stories to guide them as they went through various life stages. Myths told us how to live in accordance with nature and showed us the beauty of our world. Today, most of us aren't in touch with the myths of our ancestors and of other cultures around the world. 

Yet stories are still the glue that binds us, that gives our lives richness and helps us to stay rooted to the earth and to our soul's yearning.  

I would love to work with you to tap into the truth of who you are through story. My one-on-one sessions draw on somatic, heart-based techniques that use the senses and the body as starting points for writing.

The term “somatic” in this context refers to expressing yourself by way of the body instead of solely through the head. When applied to writing it means allowing the body to lead your writing process and trusting that process as you feel into your emotions, intuition, and physical sensations. Heart Writing™ gives you a way of being in the world that strives for wholeness and presence, bringing immediacy and liveliness to your writing and your life.

Here are some elements we may touch on in our sessions:

  • Journaling
  • Mind/Body story
  • Visualizations and mantras
  • Meditation techniques
  • Inner Voices
  • Personal mythmaking
  • Animal archetypes
  • Nature connection
  • Dreamwork
  • Hero/Heroine's Journey
  • Lifework
  • Story making
  • Carl Jung's "Shadow" concept

 

An image of a woman's face with a leaf over her. She lays on a ground of dead leaves.
Connect to the story inside you. Feel into what your body and heart wish to express.
This photo shows a woman from the knees down, her arms loosely wrapped around her legs. She wears a long red dress or skirt and is seated barefoot on a parquet floor with toenails painted blue. Her laptop computer, smart phone, teapot, a half-eaten apple, teacup, notebook, muffins on a plate and black high-heeled shoes surround her on the floor. She sits by her coffee table that is mostly hidden from view. The table is low, sits on a tan shag rug and is made of rustic wood painted white.
Spend time writing and go inward to discover the story that wants to be told.
A woman's hand with red nail polish picks up a wet, black stone on a beach.
Rediscover your sensual, curious self. Allow your body and heart to direct you.
This image is of a woman in a city square in the winter. She wears a black ski jacket, large black sunglasses and a pink-red knitted hat with a pom-pom. She smiles and looks at two pigeons that perch on her outstretched arm. One of the pigeons is crouched down eating from her hand. She has a round silver ring on her ring finger, is wearing wine-coloured nail polish and two tattoos; one of a fleur de lis on her middle finger and another tattoo on the side of her hand that read “B.K. love.”
Engage with nature or/and your surroundings, and rediscover your place in the world.
Pink and yellow flowers rest on an open notebook with a white pen resting on it.
Find your voice through writing exercises. Discover your story and witness its unfolding.
A woman's hands write in a blank notebook. She has floral pants.
Trust the process and allow your body, your heart, and senses to guide you.

Each week you'll begin to trust the all-knowing body a little more as you allow your writing to sidestep your mind.

Heart Writing™ is a unique way to access places inside you that are hidden. It requires you to be open, go inward, and explore different parts of yourself.

Our life experiences are embedded in our bodies, and some studies suggest that even our parents' and grandparents' experiences can influence us in some way. Communicating with our body through Heart Writing™ allows you to connect deeply to your story or stories and to bring them to life. Waking up to the stories buried within us can help us to expand our creativity and live more consciously as we begin to understand ourselves better.

Over a period of several years, I’ve learned that stories live within me and that I'm a vehicle for their entry into the world. Many times I’ve wanted to write a particular story because it was smart or I thought people would applaud me for my intellect. Then I developed an autoimmune disorder and suffered extreme and constant pain in my abdominal area--the seat of creativity. 

Gradually, I discovered that my body was telling me to listen to it, that it was part of my story-making process. Instead of second-guessing myself by allowing my mind to have the upper hand, I began to listen to my body. This new way of approaching my creative practice took me on a journey of self-discovery and deepened my writing practice. Today I listen to my body to feel into a story rather than try to direct it. This new way of seeing and being makes for a richer experience of writing and a deeper, more satisfying outcome. It's also enabled me to learn about parts of myself that were previously out of reach.

Space

Dedicating a room or corner in your home as your space and using a special pen or notebook, are all part of carving out time for yourself and your stories.

Routine

Checking in with your body and connecting regularly to what's going on inside you can help you to be more open and aware of your emotions and desires. Having tools to do this such as a free-writing or meditation practice, will make it even easier to reach the depths of your psyche.

Empowerment

Becoming aware of the body's wisdom creates a sense of power over what you can accomplish as a creative being. Allowing your body wisdom to take the lead is inspiring, confidence building, and life-affirming. 

So, let's get started!

 

 

Let's imagine shall we...
You write from a place of deep knowing led by your heart.
The writing exercises help you connect with the body's wisdom.
You begin to feel more awake as you trust the story unfolding before you.
heart & body
Allow your body to guide you. This will free up more space for creative exploration and discovery.
access your creativity
Somatic and heart-based writing techniques let you access your creative self or selves in an organic and deeply conscious way.
book
write freely
Start with a pen and paper and no ideas of how your writing should look. This will help free your mind and create space for magic.

FAQ

Who will Heart Writing benefit?

Heart Writing™ is of benefit to those who are interested in exploring the whole self, their creativity, and becoming more conscious through writing.

Heart Writing™ can help you to enrich your creative path and access aspects of who you are through story. Some people approach Heart Writing™ as a way to unlock ideas for writing or another creative practice, to become more awake, and as a spiritual practice. Whatever the reason, this form of writing can open your eyes to the story or stories within you, enhance your creativity, and highlight different aspects of yourself.

Is this course only for writers?

I work with many people who aren't writers. Some of them are artists, however many of them hold a range of positions such as teacher, doctor, or mother.

No matter what your background or field of expertise, this practice can help you see the role the senses play in writing, and how heart writing can make your imagination and creative practice stronger as you come into greater alignment with the story of who you are. 

You'll learn more about yourself through Heart Writing, and this learning will inform your life and day-to-day.

Is this stuff I already know?

That depends on how much you've delved into your unconscious and allowed yourself the space to expand your awareness and deepen your self-knowledge.

There are many different ways to explore self and to come to an acceptance and understanding of who you are. Heart Writing™ touches on a few different contemplative practices and learning, such as meditation and depth psychology (e.g., dreams, archetypes) that you may already be aware of. Combining these together makes for a powerful way to approach story.

Some psychologists, most famously Carl Jung, have theorized that we're born with the memories and experiences of our ancestors imprinted on our DNA. This idea can serve as a transformative jumping-off point for self-discovery and story-making. 

 

How many sessions should I sign up for?

That depends on how deep you'd like to go and the purpose of doing the sessions. If you're curious about the story or stories inside you, then you may wish to do three sessions in order to locate the thread of your story and see a narrative developing. Or, perhaps you'd like to choose the monthly package that involves in-depth story mentoring to not only discover your story but to write and complete it. 

There are many ways to use the Heart Writing™ sessions to deepen your understanding of self, but also of what you wish to birth in terms of a writing project. Or not! Please remember that your journey with the sessions is entirely dependent on your heart's desire for what you'd like to explore. See packages for the sessions below.

 

Will you help me complete a writing project?

That will depend in part on you and on how big your big project is. If you decide to go this route then I'll help you by providing workable steps to get it done, and to develop a habit of not only finishing your heart story, but also listening to your body in order to stay true to it.

Once you connect to the story, you may find that your passion around it will be bigger and more powerful than other experiences you've had with writing. Connecting to YOUR story has the magic effect of giving, giving, and giving some more. Some of my students have had their minds blown by just how electric they feel.

Whatever your story is and whatever your heart writing journey, I'll help you to stay the course. Oftentimes our inner voices wrestle with us, especially when we're getting closer to our authentic voice. Naming the voices and being aware of how they can derail us, are also part of the Heart Writing™ sessions.

Although it may be the case that you simply want to use the sessions or session as a tool to explore your inner knowing and to become acquainted with the story you carry around inside you. Whatever route you wish to take is up to you.

 

 

 

What do I get? What is the cost? When can I start?
  • Guided Discovery: A one-hour session to go inward and determine what's calling your attention. You'll receive a worksheet and some background materials to deepen the session's scope. (Cost: $115 US)

  • Story Making: Three one-hour sessions including Guided Discovery and two one-hour sessions where we'll go deep. This package includes visualizations, generative writing exercises, worksheets, and story-making that lead to key themes of your personal story. (Cost: $272 US)

 

  • Writing Your Heart Story: Five one-hour sessions over a two-month period. This package includes Guided Discovery, Story Making, and one-on-one mentoring to further shape and hone your story with feedback and direction on publishing opportunities. (Cost: $499 US)

I offer free 15-minute sessions to determine your focus and desires for the sessions. Please contact me to register or to ask about the various packages. 

 

The photo is of Lissa M. Cowan, Writer, Creator and Storyteller. She stands in an alleyway in front of a brick wall that is painted beige-pink. She smiles and gently clasping her hands. She has brown, shoulder length hair, dark eyes and eyebrows. She wears a metallic 20s style dress with a short-sleeved V-neck covered one third up by tan mesh. She wears long earrings that are geometrically shaped and with a black and white design.

About Lissa

I’m the Storyteller Mentor, Somatic Writer, and Big Sister behind Heart Writing, a personalized online course to help you discover the story and stories that live inside you. 

I tailor my one-on-one writing coaching and story mentoring sessions to individual needs, whether that's working on pieces of writing to completion, doing somatic-based writing exercises and meditations to clear blockages in the body, or honing in on a person's story that's waiting to be told, and helping them to develop that story.

With my courses, I help people awaken to themselves and live richer, truer lives based on their passions, their uniqueness, and their spirit's calling. Uncovering stories that live deep within us can produce a lightness of body and spirit, carrying us to a higher level of being, relationship to the world—and a greater joy.

For 15 years I've followed a daily meditation practice, and draw spiritual guidance from Tibetan Buddhism, primarily Vajrayāna practices and techniques. My intuitive guidance is informed by years of bodywork encompassing craniosacral therapy (CST), yoga, Radical Wholeness embodiment techniques; Jungian dreamwork and mythical/archetypal work; and my own journey living with chronic pain over 20 years and coming home to my body.

I'm the author of five books including Milk Fever, a historical fiction novel, and co-translator from French of a book of poetic prose. Publisher's Weekly, Elephant Journal, the Globe and Mail, and The Creator's Journey podcast (along with Jonathan Fields from The Good Life Project and Gretchin Rubin, author of The Happiness Project) have featured me or my writing.

I hold an MA in English Studies from l'Universite de Montreal and a post-graduate diploma in writing from the University of Victoria, Canada. My formal writing expertise is informed by over 20 years of working as a professional copywriter, publisher, and communications generalist, and as a published author of fiction, a poetry translation, and non-fiction.

 

I enjoyed not letting myself cross a word out or stop to think, I just kept my pen on the paper in continuous motion until I was done. It's interesting where my writing began and ended up. 

—Sam Sherman

 

In a world of overstimulation, deep listening is a breath of fresh air. 

—Sylvie Stevenson