The relationship between mindfulness and creative writing is bi-directional; writing exercises can cultivate mindfulness and presence, and mindfulness techniques can be used to support a writing practice by developing helpful mental habits, overcoming writers’ block, encouraging creativity, and facilitating fruitful self-discovery. In this workshop, we will learn some writing practices that can be used to bring ourselves into calmer, more centered, more mindful states of being. We will also experiment with different mindfulness practices that can increase creativity, focus, and flow, and we'll discover how courageously befriending ourselves and cultivating a state of present-moment awareness can transform our relationship to the writing process and to our own creative nature.
Melissa Jean is an Assistant Professor in the Mindfulness Studies masters’ program at Lesley University. She teaches courses in academic writing, creative writing, research methods, and mindfulness and the environment. She received an MFA in Fiction Writing from Lesley, and a PhD in Human Dimensions of Ecosystem Science and Management from Utah State University. Her writing has appeared in The Colorado Review and a variety of online journals, including most recently Junoesq, The Hopper, Waxing and Waning, and Causeway Lit. Melissa is a Forest Therapy Guide, certified through the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy. She has also participated in the Tennessee Naturalist Program.
“Melissa is a wonderful teacher. She uses a variety of interesting materials to make connections, and I felt the class was structured in a thoughtful manner.”
"Melissa combined her experience and expertise as an educator, writer, and mindfulness guide to create a safe, comfortable, and grounded space for connecting with ourselves, our consciousness, and our written expression. Her work as a nature and forest therapist came through as she encouraged us to use our senses to experience the present moment with awareness and bring a more embodied and non-judgmental approach to our creative writing."
“I’ve loved all of the Porch classes I’ve taken so far. Y’all do an excellent job designing and delivering content. I’m always surprised by how much I grow as a writer, as a human, after taking a class. Melissa was a wonderful facilitator. Wise, grounded, compassionate. I felt very comfortable speaking my mind and my heart. Having taken this class, I’ve developed a more mindful approach to writing and observing Nature. And, to my surprise and delight, I’ve discovered a deep desire to learn more about fungus. Melissa’s instruction was a real gift. Thank you!”