with the TMI Project's Eva Tenuto and Hayley Downs
I had the deep joy of chatting with my friends Eva Tenuto and Hayley Downs to discuss the transformative power of sharing your story. I’m honored to share this episode with you.
You may recall Eva, co-founder of the TMI Project, was a guest on our Where Storytelling Meets Activism episode on season one. I connect deeply with TMI Project's mission of “changing the world…one story at a time,” so much so, that I moonlight as a TMI Project workshop facilitator.
Since 2012, twice a year, TMI Project has offered 10-week memoir writing and true storytelling workshops specially tailored to meet the needs of the Mental Health Association in Ulster County, Inc.. A documentary about this partnership, entitled Vicarious Resilience, will be released on May 29, 2018 at The Rosendale Theatre in NY. This short documentary highlights the experience of three participants, Morris Bassik, Barbara Stemke and, our guest, Hayley Downs as they went through the workshop, from the first session to the final storytelling performance before an audience of over 100, and a final follow-up session where they voiced the ways in which they experienced positive transformation.
Eva, Hayley and I discuss what makes a good TMI story, and why divulging the parts of our stories that we usually leave out — the parts we are usually too ashamed or embarrassed to share — and the parts others most want to hear, helps participants turn their pasts into testimonials of survival, dispelling old shame and inspiring others. As Eva says, “we can’t heal what we don’t talk about.”
Our culture’s perception around mental illness is shifting. The #VicariousResilience initiative is hoping to facilitate a deeper shift in compassion and understanding, to eradicate stigma and raise awareness about the ways so many suffer, and suffer in silence, for too long. Discover how the ancient art of storytelling can help eradicate stigma, improve mental health and create a truly inclusive community. This is Vicarious Resilience.
Quoted in the Episode:
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