Catherine Ann Jones
(Award-winning Playwright, Screenwriter, Author, and Global Teacher)
Acting and writing has been, for me, the greatest therapy I know. I wrote an episode for Touched by an Angel about a young girl who saw and heard angels though no one would believe her. It helped me to revisit my nine-year misunderstood self and transform it into art. Decades ago, a well-known psychic in New York told me by acting in so many plays, I have lived lives I would not have to return to live again. Later as a playwright, television and screenwriter, I have again felt that I was engaged in many lives my soul could leave behind once and for all. Whether it’s literally true or not, I cannot say, but it felt true on some level.
There is a Native American parable about a grandfather who says to his grandson, “I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is vengeful and angry; the other is loving and compassionate.” When his grandson asks him which wolf will win the fight in his heart, the old man replies, “The one I feed.”
How do we learn to “feed” the stories that heal? How do we put together the pieces of our past? How can we re-vision our life story so that pain becomes meaningful and actually promotes growth and transformation?
Stories that heal serve as a basic survival safeguard and add to global health and provide healing for grief and trauma in today’s world as well as providing a means for deeper self-inquiry. In this way, global healing takes place one individual, one tribe at a time.
Once in Africa, Bill Moyer commented that he understood the meaning of community. Community is sitting around a campfire and sharing one’s story.
Expressing and listening to one’s own life story is an ancient mode of healing. Telling stories about our past through this approach can help change our perspectives, enabling both healing and empowerment. In this way, we are able to make meaning out of memory and put the past where it belongs — behind us.
Our lives may be determined less by past events than by the way we remember them. How do we learn to listen more to the stories that heal? How do we put together the pieces of our past? How can we rewrite our life story so that pain becomes meaningful and actually promotes growth and transformation? Heal Your Self with Writing offers a step-by-step journey of discovery and re-visioning through focused journaling, a practice that can enable healing and empowerment. In this way, each reader is able to make meaning out of memory and put the past where it belongs — behind them.
Stories that heal may serve as a catalyst to return home, an invitation to the muse, a bridge back to your creativity and Self.
Catherine Ann Jones has played major roles in over fifty productions on and off-Broadway, as well as television (Great Performances, etc.) and film. Disappointed by the lack of good roles for women, she wrote a play about Virginia Woolf (On the Edge) which won a National Endowment for the Arts Award. Ten of her plays, including Calamity Jane (both play and musical) and The Women of Cedar Creek, have won several awards and are produced both in and out of New York. Her films include The Christmas Wife (Jason Robards & Julie Harris), Unlikely Angel (Dolly Parton), and also the popular TV series, Touched by an Angel. A Fulbright Scholar to India studying shamanism, she has taught writing at The New School University, University of Southern California, Pacifica Graduate Institute, and the Esalen and Omega Institutes. Ms. Jones is often invited as a keynote speaker to various conferences as Women, Wealth, & Wisdom Conference at UCLA. Ms. Jones lives in Ojai, California, leads The Way of Story and Heal Yourself with Writing workshops throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Her book The Way of Story: Heal Your Self with Writing (Aug 2013) the craft & soul of writing is used by many schools, including NYU writing programs. For her workshop schedule, online courses, blog, and story/script consultant service please visit www.wayofstory.com .
““We’ve become lopsided living only in our heads. Writing, in order to serve the soul, must integrate outer craft with the inner world of intuition and feeling.” – Catherine Ann Jones, quoted in New York Times