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Listening with Our Bodies: Writing Toward Resilience // with Tracie Nichols

  • 20 July 2022
  • (EDT)
  • 31 August 2022
  • (EDT)
  • Online
  • 15



"Of course, it is all in the noticing, which is different than looking. It requires a more active, searching attention. A generosity, I would even call it.”

~Caits Meissner

When you enter a new environment, what’s the first thing you notice? Sounds? Colors? Patterns of movement? Maybe a scent reminding you of something, or a taste that teases? We’re continually immersed in information our senses naturally gather, sort, and present to our conscious mind. When we pause to drink deeply from this information—to let it ripple through our bones—we are noticing deeply. 

Noticing connects us with inspiration so we are moved to create. It connects us with wounded places in ourselves and our culture so we are moved to engage and catalyze change. Noticing our internal state helps us accompany ourselves with truth and kindness, witness the internal effects of our work and recognize if our cup is full or emptying. 

In this six-session class, we will explore our own noticing patterns—the ways we notice and what we notice—through multi-sensory exercises and writing invitations. We will consider if we’d like to change established patterns or cultivate expanded noticing to deepen our well of resilience and engagement.

A few of the voices we’ll encounter: Joy Harjo, Margaret J. Wheatley, David Abram, Terry Tempest Williams, Yo-Yo Ma, May Sarton, Rick Hanson, Louise DeSalvo, Camille T. Dungy, David G. Haskell, Mary Oliver, Tarn Wilson, Heather Durham, Ross Gay, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Katie Holten, Henri Rousseau, Yayoi Kusama, Andrew Wyeth, Frida Kahlo, and Derrick Jensen.

Week by Week

Each week we will take our exploring, noticing selves on another adventure to discover more about what and how we notice and to cultivate a deeper connection to the seat of our noticing—our senses. 

Weekly classes will invite participants to engage in an interplay of action and reflection activities culminating in writing invitations to explore and integrate insights. Most weeks will include an embodiment practice, such as a mudra or breathing exercise. Other weekly actions could be reading essays or book excerpts, watching videos, experiencing a guided meditation, listening to music, engaging with visual arts, self-guided movement, engaging with the natural world, developing a ceremony or ritual. 

Class will be a hybrid of Wet Ink and weekly Zoom co-writing/Q&A meetings tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, July 26 at 7pm EDT (UTC -4); Sunday, August 14 at 3pm EDT (UTC -4); and Saturday, August 27 at 11am EDT (UTC -4).

Participants should expect to spend 2 - 3 hours per week on the class activities. 

Week 1 - Noticing Our Noticing

Week 2 - Connecting with Our Senses

Week 3 - Noticing Our Relationship to Words

Week 4 - Noticing Inward

Week 5 - Noticing Outward

Week 6 - Noticing What’s Emerging

Who Should Take This Class

Whether we’re working to make change in our communities, or if we’re simply stretched-thin by life people exploring personal growth (or both!) the more we understand about what and how we notice, the more we will understand its effects on our creativity, our resilience, and our ability to stay engaged so we are expending our creating, working, exploring energy successfully and sustainably. The more closely we are connected with and listening to our senses, the more we have to draw on to feed both our creativity and our resilience.

This class will benefit word artists of all kinds: facilitators, coaches, counselors, activists, educators, and explorers. It will serve anyone looking to connect more deeply with the source of their creativity and/or the source of their resilience. It will nourish people working to make change in their communities, who have been stretched thin by life, or who are at a crossroads in their personal growth explorations. 

Listening with Our Bodies: Writing Toward Resilience is designed to support people willing to be curious and spelunk around their inner workings, excavating with words to illuminate the caverns. 

(Sadly, class participants are limited to human beings, though only because we haven’t yet developed a way to video chat with trees or whales. Maybe next time?)


This is an online class, hosted on the online teaching platform, Wet Ink, as well as Zoom. The Wet Ink platform allows students to log in on their own time to post comments and critiques directly to authors’ works. You can also view deadlines, track revisions, and watch video or listen to audio. At the end of the class, each student will receive an email that contains an archive of all their content and interactions. 

The day before class begins, you’ll receive an invitation to join Wet Ink. There are no browser requirements, and Wet Ink is mobile-friendly. If you have any questions about the technical requirements, please email tlan.coordinator@gmail.com.

Students should expect to spend 2-3 hours per week perusing resources and readings, engaging in several writing/creation prompts, and briefly responding to peers’ work. From our interactions, we sustain a welcoming and inspiring community together.

About the Facilitator

Tracie Nichols, M.A. writes poetry and facilitates writing groups from her small desk under the wide reach of two very old and very loved Sycamore trees in southeastern Pennsylvania. She’s a Transformative Language Artist in process, and is fascinated by the potential of language to heal and transform people and communities. Putting her master’s degree in Transformative Learning and Change to good use over the past two decades, Tracie has designed and facilitated many virtual and in-person lifelong learning experiences on a truly wide range of topics for small groups. She’s just beginning her foray into submitting poetry for publication and has already accumulated a healthy pile of rejections rejections to her few joyfully celebrated acceptances. Learn more at tracienichols.com.

"The Transformative Language Arts Network" is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. P.O. Box 873 Lansdowne, PA 19050 USA

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