The Autumn Sessions: CLOSED
The Autumn Sessions: CLOSED
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Nature is my teacher every time.
The shock of red leaves sends a thrill of excitement through my veins. It’s here, I think. We can see it happening. The unapologetic boldness of this seasonal transition. Maybe because there are so many transitions in life that aren’t visible. They happen within.
Like those moments we realize we’re attracted to a particularly shiny person. Or the way we learn, that moment of something clicking, of two pieces fitting together, a room opening inside our hearts that we never could have imagined. Or the moment we realize we’re done with something. It pronounces itself internally first. A kind of ungluing.
Recently, a friend reminded me that Fall can also be a planting time, a time to put new shrubs into the ground, knowing they’ll set their roots into the ground before hibernating for winter. It’s a time to focus on inner growth. And the trees remind us of courage and honesty, the way they bare their branches openly, hiding nothing.
So, it’s just the right time to launch The Autumn Sessions: A flexible, 10-week online creative container for those advancing or wanting to advance creative work: writing projects of all kinds as well as crafts and visual art.
We’ll meet from October 4th-December 11th, online.
After a year of piloting beautiful online spaces for creative process, I'm integrating feedback:
To have more time online to create together in community, more time to share in small groups, more (and earlier) times in the day to connect and more opportunities to connect 1:1 with me as a coach.
The Autumn Sessions bundle includes:
Access to ANY or ALL of the four-times-weekly creative spaces. You bring your hot drink of choice, I'll bring a prompt to ground and inspire us and then be 'open creative time'.
All times are in EST but I hope the variety of times will make it accessible for those in other time zones.
Wednesday Mornings: 8:30-9:30am
Thursday Evenings: 8:30-9:30pm
Friday Lunch: 12-1pm
Sunday Evenings: 8:30-9:30pm
Regular feedback and space to share. You will be part of a small group of 3-4 creators that aligns with your schedule which will share creative work and progress with one another on a rotating basis.
Two 1:1 sessions with me throughout the duration of the 10 weeks. These are special sessions where we can review your work together, problem-solve and reflect on next steps. I’m also available to respond to emailed questions and challenges throughout the sessions.
You will leave each week with goals you’ve set for yourself. These could range from committing to waking up at a certain time every day this week to completing a chapter of that book you’re writing, to being gentle with yourself as you recover from a big project. I will offer resources, readings and additional suggestions to deepen your work along the way. The practice is about showing up for your own goals and returning the next week to reflect.
You are welcome to come into The Autumn Sessions with a pre-defined creative project you’d like to advance, or simply a desire to engage and experiment with creative process through action, in community.
This is a good fit for you, if you:
- Feel like life is all work and no play!
- Don’t consider yourself an artist but want to listen more deeply to the call to create.
- Are a working artist or creative who needs space to better hear your inner voice.
- Have one or more creative projects beckoning you but everything else takes priority.
- Are burned out, grieving or at a turning point and looking for creative nourishment.
- Know you’ll benefit from a stronger sense of community as you face the challenges of engaging with the creative process.
If you’re on the fence, I get it. It can be hard to dive into something like this when we already feel our plate is full, and when we are already generously giving our time and energy in many other directions. We can also expect ourselves to be able to manage this alone. This creative stuff. When we want to excel at something and overcome barriers, we need support. This is how human beings work. Anyone who becomes excellent in any area has benefited from hours of accompaniment in various forms. There are many reasons we don’t make the time and space to create, I know them well too. Don’t sit this one out if there’s a little voice beckoning you to take a tentative step. We’ll look at these challenges and openings together.
What I bring:
- Fifteen years of experience creating, guiding and facilitating creative processes and circles with youth, women and seniors from diverse populations and backgrounds.
- Fifteen years of experience carrying projects from that initial spark, through the messy middles into the vulnerability and triumph of sharing work in the world.
- Five years of partnership with teachers throughout the Toronto District School Board, three years of teaching at George Brown College and developing e-learning courses for international clients.
- Experience accompanying creatives to develop their own passion projects, from documentary and narrative film to children's books. Developing programs alongside communities that have been marginalized, with the support of the Toronto Arts Council, Artreach Toronto, the Indigenous Screen Office and the Canada Council for the Arts.
- Some legit formal education: I hold a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance (Concordia) and a Master of Arts in Education (OISE/UofT)
- My own creative practice of daily writing and drawing, and the challenge of carving out time amidst work and motherhood. This practice is informed by both my professional training as an actor and writer, as well as by my staunch belief that everyone is here to create in some form. My work is informed by the cyclical nature of the seasons and the female body, my role as a mother, my insatiable curiosity for all things spiritual, the nobility of young people, the potential for collective community creation and the role of intergenerational trauma and healing.
Your participation is confirmed when you sign up here.
The Autumn Sessions are offered on a sliding scale to allow for accessibility, with a limited number of ‘accessible’ spots. The scale invites each of us to consider our financial resources and look at our circumstances and level of privilege. It is a way to challenge the limitations of the capitalist society we live in and work towards economic justice. While you take these factors into consideration, please don’t stress about it. Pay what feels right for you, and feel free to reach out to consult with me about paying in installments.
Accessible Tier: 300$ (consider paying this if you are a student, are supporting children or other dependents, have significant debts, unstable housing or receive government assistance) *If this feels out of reach, please feel free to reach out to me directly.
Regular Tier: 500$ (consider paying this if you have stable employment, are meeting your basic needs, own the home you live in, have access to some savings and/or family support and spend little time worrying about basic needs)
If you sign up for the regular tier, I'll also mail you a notebook of your choice featuring one of my original designs or a pack of 4 original greeting cards.
What People are Saying:
“My sessions with Esther were solid, present but also electrifying. And very honest.” -Amir Sam Nakhjavani
“I constantly appreciate these "windows" that you continue to share to get the writer to go deeper.” -Andrea McLean
“I LOVED all the exercises we did! Feeling refreshed and more excited to move ahead.” -Elaheh Bos
“It gave me a space for myself, to connect within, to connect to the different parts of me, to recognize my capacity for creating. I learned to set simple goals for daily practice, to be open to even the most minute moments of inspiration.” -Alina Jadurroy
“The revelation, during the breakout—how hard it is to feel like I inconvenience others to do my creative work—is something I can wrangle with immediately.” -Lorna Tureski
“Esther always brings her experience, wisdom, open heart, and listening ears. She deeply values the principle of learning in community.” -Kyle Schmalenberg
"This was a transformative experience for me. Esther held space for us to process and reflect together, to explore our creativity, our blocks, and what is beckoning us forward." -Hayley Miloff