Episode 69: Vicarious Resilience through Storytelling

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. 

Resources: 

TMI Project

Vicarious Resilience Film

  Vicarious Resilience  was shot by  North Guild Films , watch the trailer  here .

Vicarious Resilience was shot by North Guild Films, watch the trailer here.

 

Quoted in the Episode:

 “I wrote the story feeling all the pain of being ten years old, almost like a tragic monologue, but then people started  laughing . It was empowering.” –Hayley Downs

“I wrote the story feeling all the pain of being ten years old, almost like a tragic monologue, but then people started laughing. It was empowering.” –Hayley Downs

 “The happiness from sharing the story and making people laugh has completely replaced the negative impact of that memory.”-Hayley Downs

“The happiness from sharing the story and making people laugh has completely replaced the negative impact of that memory.”-Hayley Downs

 “I want to use true storytelling to reduce the stigma around mental illness.” –Eva Tenuto

“I want to use true storytelling to reduce the stigma around mental illness.” –Eva Tenuto

 We can't heal what we don't talk about. - Eva Tenuto

We can't heal what we don't talk about. - Eva Tenuto

 Make space for people to share their truth. Truth-telling repairs relationships. – Rebecca Wong

Make space for people to share their truth. Truth-telling repairs relationships. – Rebecca Wong

 When we look back at our own experience we only see what was hard. We focus on those lines and take ownership of their strengths and say those words on stage. They own a power that they didn't necessarily have full connection with prior. - Eva Tenuto

When we look back at our own experience we only see what was hard. We focus on those lines and take ownership of their strengths and say those words on stage. They own a power that they didn't necessarily have full connection with prior. - Eva Tenuto

 

Working With Rebecca:

Rebecca’s integrative mastermind for therapists is now forming. It’s designed to help release blockages, cultivate your vision and tend to yourself and the relationships that support you. Our foci is on integrating your professional and personal parts in full support of you thriving in all aspects of your life, relationships and livelihood. All of these layers of you play together to either elevate you to the next level or hold you stuck in a loop of overwhelm and inaction. 

We’re still accepting enrollment in our Wild Woman Discussion Groups that meet online the last Thursday of the month through September 2018. We’re journeying together in remembering who we are, what we are made of, and why we are here.  

Learn more about working with Rebecca's 1-on-1 integration coaching at: practiceofbeingseen.com/integration-coaching

Learn more about Rebecca’s relationship therapy practice and intensive couples retreat in NY go to connectfulness.com

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