Motherland: Healing Our Mother Stories
6 Weeks of Transformative, Heart-Opening Soulwork
Through Creativity, Connected Community & Deep Sharing
May 20 ~ July 2, 2019
Why we need to tell our mother stories
What does the word “mother” mean to you? A person? A feeling? An obligation? A goal? A wound?
I can’t think of a time in my life when the impact of “mother” was absent. In every way that I can envision my life or remember the moments, my mother or my own mothering was somehow present.
The mother story is the core story for each of us. We are born from our mothers and how we were carried in the nine months before our births, how we were tended to or not upon arrival, how we were seen in the years following—all of that impacts who we are and how we are in the world.
How we see ourselves.
How we see others.
How we function.
How we nurture ourselves and how we nurture others.
This one relationship in our lives ripples out from before our birth until the last days of our lives. And beyond as well.
Throughout the many years of my art journaling journey I have returned again and again to the topic of motherhood. Whether telling my own story as a mother or going deeper into the stories of my mother and me--and even my mother's own stories--my journaling practice has prompted profound revelations and been an instrument of transformation for me. My relationships with my mom and my children have been forever changed--in a very positive way--by the self-discovery that I have experienced in this process.
For this reason, I believe that there is a kind of soulful power that comes with the work we do in our journals. Through the process of peeling back the layers of our mother stories we can touch deeper understanding, deeper compassion, and an imperative for truth-telling. Our mother stories are a part of the fabric of our own beings. They are part of our histories, our present and our futures. I could talk for days about my mother stories and never tire of the retelling, reimagining, and revealing.
It is the revealing and transformative nature of what happens when I art journal that continues to amaze me. And it’s the transformativeness that draws me to keep doing this...to keep wanting to keep doing this."
~ Susan Wheeler
Please join me online for 6 weeks, beginning in May unraveling our mother stories.
Prompts for creativity, journaling, expressive movement, and more.
Weekly live Zoom video calls.
A private Facebook group.
Deep listening, witnessing and connecting with others longing to explore this potent topic in an intimate, creative community.
Support from yours truly, a grounded, empathic, and experienced guide…Midwife to Your Creative Spirit.
Rest assured that Susie has built her programs with your well-being and safety in mind. The environment is non-judgmental and open. You can explore ANYthing and EVERYthing!
~ Jennifer Martin
What better way to honor yourself, your mother, your Creative Spirit?
Below, some of my mother story excavations from my art journals over the years.
How do we parse out who we are separate from our mothers? And how do our children do the same? To find yourself as separate from your mother is to embark on your own journey of self. To feel where she ends and you begin is to know yourself or at least to begin to know yourself in a way that is unlike any other separation of identity.
For me, the creative process is the way to do this work. Over the years I have turned to expressive arts as a way to work through the stories, feelings, and images that arise around my relationship with my mother and my mothering. This intuitive processing is a transformative act of excavation and creation. Often the purpose is solely to bring the story out into the light. Sometimes the goal is to change the dynamic or open my mind to a new perspective. Either way, transformation happens.
Our course will cover:
Week 1: Exploring My Feelings Around My Mother Stories
Week 2: My Mother’s Stories
Week 3: My Story
Week 4: Bridges & Boundaries
Week 5: Recipes & Legacies
Week 6: Loose Ends
This is rich soil.
Are you feeling the pull?
I am sooo very grateful for your amazing guidance, leadership, personal and professional example, creative ideas and sharing. You are a soothing and gentle, powerful and empowering, caring and nurturing voice.
~ Lavender Smith
Who Am I?
I’m Susie Stonefield Miller, midwife to your creative spirit. I’m an artist, a person-centered expressive arts guide, a teacher. I’m passionate about TRANSFORMATION THROUGH CREATIVITY.
introducing you to the shy inner artist who’s lived inside you your whole life, longing to come out
guiding you on a journey to self-love and transformation through creative expression
creating loving and supportive circles of women and other tender-hearted folk through clear and gentle boundaries and expectations
teaching online and in person
I’m all about the Deep Dive. To me, creative expression is the best way to transformation and we don’t get there by floating on the surface making pretty pictures. I mean that. This is not about your Instagram feed. This is about digging into your TRUTH with creativity. This is what I’m passionate about.
And being person-centered means I am not the one with all the information about what you need. It means I trust you to know what’s best for your journey. I’ll be honest and clear and supportive. I will walk alongside you as you go, but I’m not the one who can tell you, “Go here. Do this. Do that.” I’m not your boss. But, if you need a really grounded guide, I’m totally your girl.
And I’ll hold your hand all the way.
I have never felt more accepted, more encouraged, and more peaceful than I did doing the work of this class. I am grateful beyond words for Susie and her work.
Susie has a really special gift. Her presence is almost more powerful than anything. She let’s you be vulnerable and prompts you with some encouraging words to calm your inner critic.
~ Rochelle Porzio
Who is this online course for?
This is for you if…
• You’re ready to transform your relationship with your mother stories.
• You’re ready to let go of all the crap we’ve been handed from our families, our society, our religions, and time immemorial about being a GOOD mother.
• You’re ready to approach motherhood from a totally new perspective.
• You’re ready to grieve and let go of the feelings of loss, longing, anger, and disappointment that relate to your mother story.
• You’re longing for a creative outlet for all the stuff that’s bubbling under the surface.
• You’re ready to heal your relationship with your mother and your self.
• You’re looking for other women to connect with so that you don't feel so alone swimming in these treacherous waters.
• You’re a Susie Miller groupie and want more.
• You’re new to art journaling but still interested in being creative. ✶
• You’re an experienced art journaler and you want to go deeper.
You’re ready to enter Motherland!
✶ If you’d like to learn more about art journaling I recommend that you take my intro course, Start Art Journaling!, while you wait for this course to begin, or simultaneously. That way you'll get lots of great technique ideas as well as superb guidance on how to approach the page, journaling techniques and more foundational pieces.
And if you register for Motherland by May 1st, you get Start Art Journaling! for FREE!
Q: When will we get the lessons and pdfs?
A: Beginning Monday, May 20th, you’ll receive weekly emails with links to the course website. Every week the website will update with the latest content, prompts, and videos.
Q: How long can I access the course materials?
A: You can download and save all the pdfs as soon as they're available (and there will be a pdf ebook of all prompts available at the end of the course). The online course classroom is available to you until the next time I run Motherland (at which time you are welcome to participate for free).
Q: How is the course set up?
A: The course is set up in six weekly lessons.
Each Wednesday you'll receive an email with a link to the course private website and the newest available lesson. Within each week's lesson there'll be a recorded video from me, written content, 2-3 art journaling prompts and worksheets, AND a live Zoom conference call link for you to connect with others in the community, talk about the week's theme and what came up in your art making, and more.
Each Monday/Tuesday we’ll have our Zoom calls.
All week our private Facebook group will be open 24/7 for you to share your pages, ask questions, and converse.
Q: When will the Zoom calls take place?
A: There will be two Zoom calls per week to account for schedules and time zone differences.
Calls are two hours in length.
Call 1 will be held on Mondays from 11:00am-1:00pm PST.
Call 2 will be held on Tuesdays at 6:30-8:30pm PST.
Time Zone: All calls are Pacific Standard Time.
RSVP: You’ll need to RSVP for one call per week at the beginning of the course.
Q: What if I can't make a Zoom call?
A: All Zoom calls will be recorded and then posted to the group on Facebook and on our website. You'll be able to access the recording within 24 hours of the call.
Q: How much time should I allot for each lesson?
A: That is completely up to you as an individual. You'll want to spend time watching the weekly videos (which will vary in length from 5-30 minutes), reading the material, and then responding to the prompts through art journaling. Plus...2 hours weekly for our Zoom calls. You don't have to do all the prompts, but you can! And as for how much time you spend on an art journal page, well, there are no rules! Many students told me they loved the spaciousness of time during the week to think about, digest and work on the themes.
Q: Is there a specific time-frame in which I should do the work?
A: I recommend blocking some time off weekly if you want to do this as part of the live community. However, since you will be able to access the information any time that works for you even after the course ends, you can do the work as it works for you.
Q: Why is there a Facebook group?
A: Inside the Facebook group is where we'll be able to connect on a daily basis, talking about the prompts, the videos, and sharing our work. Each week’s theme will have an "easel" we will be able to post photos of our pages and where others can comment. It's a great way to build and feel part of a community, which is an intrinsic part of this course! Connection, being seen, and sharing our stories!
Q: Do I have to have a Facebook account?
A: I recommend it, but it's not required. If you don't want to be on Facebook proper, you can sign in just to our group and not wander the rest of the site. Or, you can skip the Facebook community, but that is where a lot of conversation, sharing and connection will happen, so again, I recommend it.
Q: What do I need to do to get the most out of the course?
A: A computer and internet access, a Zoom account, a Facebook account, and art supplies.
Q: I've never art journaled before but this really speaks to me. Can I do this?
A: ABSOLULTELY! You truly do NOT have to be an artist or know how to art journal to do this. This course is NOT about making pretty pages and it’s not even about using cool supplies. It’s literally about using paint and collage and your art journal as the tools for your transformation. This is about tapping into your deep stories and feelings about your life. You are welcome to explore the possibilities of art journaling with my intro course, Start Art Journaling!, but it’s not required.
Q: I don't own any art supplies. Can I do this?
A: You don’t need much to do this work. A sketchbook, some paints, brushes, (or pastels or markers) scissors, glue, pens, and a pile of old magazines are what I recommend as the basics. As part of this program you'll receive a full list of supplies that can easily be purchased either online or in your local arts and crafts store. Even better, many of the supplies you'll need are found at home.
Q: What if I get stuck in the middle of making a page?
A: You can always send me an email. I respond very quickly! And the Facebook group is a great place to post images and ask for guidance. It's not uncommon to feel stuck. It's all part of the creative process!
Q: Can I share the course website and login information with my friends?
A: No. I have worked very hard to give you a beautiful and inspiring course full of content. I would love to have your friends join us the proper way by registering. Thank you for honoring this request. I also promise to respect you by honoring the time and money you have spent for the course by giving you a beautiful finished product.
Q: What if I'm not happy with the course? Can I get a refund?
A: Because of the digital nature of this course, once it has begun there will be no refunds. You may cancel up to the day before the course starts for a 50% refund of your fees or 100% credit towards another course or offering.
Other online courses that I’ve taken have been 2 dimensional. You make your course come to life as if we were in your studio with you. And, I felt safe and supported in my creative process; I always knew I could call on you if needed.
~ Aimee Levine Dickman