What Would I Love to Contribute in My Workshops?
Set aside at least a half-hour, and set a timer for no less than 5 minutes per each of the following questions. Don’t let your pen, or your fingers on the keyboard, stop until the timer goes off! If you need more time just reset your timer.
1. What are the needs you see that you believe you can help fulfill?
What dissatisfaction or pain can you help alleviate? Understand that there are people out there waiting for your unique presence, knowledge, skills, and experience to help them. Those are the only people you want to help. The rest you can leave to others!
2. Be unflinchingly honest with yourself.
What have you practiced that has changed how you see life and helped you heal? What regular disciplines have you committed to? What has changed your HABITS such that you now have a new character that actually makes different, better choices than you did in the past? Be wary here. Sometimes we take a workshop and have insights that, however uplifting or inspiring, did NOT change our habits and choices. Don’t mistake inspiration for actual character transformation, and don’t settle for giving your students temporary “highs” that then begin to fade quickly.
3. Explore your unique contribution.
What do you have to offer that no one else can in the same way? In light of questions 1 and 2, what are the unique ways you can fulfill needs and alleviate dissatisfaction, fear, and suffering? How have you done it in your own life?
4. What teachers and workshops have inspired you?
How have they changed your life for the better? Chances are you wouldn’t want to be creating a workshop if you hadn’t experienced some that have made your life better. What did they give you? How did they change you? What has stuck with you and why? By focusing on your most impactful experiences as a student, you will get a better sense of what you want to offer as a teacher. It puts you in your highest, most expansive place.
5. What didn’t work in workshops you’ve attended?
How were you NOT contributed to? When I studied writing in college I was encouraged to also read bad writing. Exactly what made it bad? What fell flat? What felt dishonest or gimmicky? What “bad” things were the authors doing that I was also doing? (Some of which I had thought was quite “clever” on my part!) Reflect on your less-than-stellar workshop experiences. What didn’t work about the teacher’s presentation, content, and personal presence?
Once you have explored the above, hopefully in writing, you will have a much more grounded and powerful foundation of creation!
Finally, go back to parts One and Two of my Dream See Do blogs on creating transformational workshops, for tips on other aspects of course creation: Creating a Transformational Workshop: Basic Set up and Context and Turning Your Ideas into Transformational Course Content.
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