“You are a living, breathing story. What you make of your story makes you.”
—Barbara Stahura, CJF

“Story is the mother of us all.”
—Christina Baldwin

“We live not by things, but by the meanings of things.”
—Antoine de St.-Exupery

“The story of your life is the tale that you repeatedly tell yourself about who you are, what you want, and what you can and cannot do.”
—Carol S. Pearson, PhD.

“Everything is story, including our identities, our selves, our meanings and purposes, our theories about the world.”
—Dr. Lewis Mehl-Madrona

“We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are.”
—The Talmud

“The words you speak become the house you live in.”

“Change the story and you change perceptions; change perception and you change the world.”
—Jean Houston

“Story. Story is my medicine.”
—Deena Metzger

You are a living, breathing story: What you make of your story makes you.

A major part of your story is navigating change and transition.

If you’re alive, you’re experiencing change. Some changes you sail through; others knock you flat. Some you willingly choose, while others are imposed upon you. Some leave you dancing with joy, and others send you spinning into grief. Some are even “non-event transitions,” as when a cherished dream does not happen.

Yet change—the event itself—is only part of the picture. The larger part is transition, or how you react to the event, using the story you tell yourself about it.

Just as an author creates her characters’ realities with the words she commits to the page, you shape your own transitions by what you think about them. The wonderful thing is, you can explore your transitions at any time to discover how best to navigate them and empower yourself.

These are only a few of the life changes requiring transition (yes, even happy ones!):

  • Promotion; no promotion; retirement; job loss; moving for a job—yours or a spouse/partner’s.
  • New baby; infertility; kids leave the nest; adult children return to live at home.
  • Marriage; being unable to find a partner; divorce or break-up; death of a spouse or partner.
  • Becoming a caregiver for a loved one; caregiving ends after a long time.
  • Ill health; returning to health after long illness.

You can certainly add many others to this list. But there is one things all life transitions have in common: They follow a pattern you can learn to navigate at your own pace with courage, confidence, and wisdom, to create a happier, more meaningful life.

As a certified journal facilitator and transitions writing specialist, I will support you through transition using a proven framework and, if you choose, tested writing strategies that open you to more insight, support, and understanding. As Alice Walker says, “Writing is a sturdy ladder out of a deep pit.” (Not a “good” writer? No journaling experience? No worries! Journaling has no rules, so you can write however you choose and keep it private.)

• A Living, Breathing Story •
Journaling Programs

What you make of your Story makes you.

In all the life- and soul-energizing programs I offer, you will experience yourself as a Living, Breathing Story always capable of a more positive, joyous, and empowered life, and see how, in a literal sense,  your Story–who and what you believe yourself to be–creates your experience of reality.

The gentle tools for this journey include proven journaling techniques for self-discovery; basic neuroscience tips that will enhance your life; how body and mind work together to create who and what you believe yourself to be; and how you make your Story true by living it (plus ways to reshape it!).

•  Transitions Mentoring for Individuals  •

Coming Soon!

• Upcoming Journaling Programs •

Story is Your Medicine

June 21 – July 18

Experience the ways in which journaling can help us envision and birth our new story by exploring what story really is, some basic neuroscience, obstacles to change, and creating a new story. (Offered online through the Therapeutic Writing Institute)

(See more)

I’m Not There — Yet:

Writing Through Life’s Transitions

Coming again this summer and fall.

(See more)

Journal to the Self

John C. Campbell Folk School

June 7-9, 2019

(Yes, next year!I’m so excited I couldn’t wait to share the news with you!)

The Journal to the Self workshop transforms the traditional diary into a genuine, unique method that offers cost-effective, holistic self-discovery and becomes an ongoing companion and guide.

(See more)

Free Journaling Booklet: Explore Your Story with Journaling

Let’s keep in touch!  Join my email community and receive my free journaling booklet, “Explore Your Story with Journaling.” You’ll also be kept up-to-date with new blog posts, programs, events, and more.





Barbara has a subtle yet powerful way of merging her scientific knowledge with the emotional aspects of how our word choices can literally change patterns within our minds and ultimately our life story.  From the first day of her program I caught myself implementing the changes we learned through journaling and discussion reaping the benefits of more positivity in my daily interactions with others as well as with myself.  Thank you, Barbara.

Michele G.

It was 6 months after the death of my daughter and granddaughter, my heart was still full of pain, confusion and sadness but the content of the class lifted me above this huge mess…Barbara really led us on a deep and beautiful journey. Being able to move from the harsh reality of the events to “what I am going to do with what happened in my life” was extremely empowering.

Each exercise was well crafted and all her responses were full of knowledge. Following one of my posts, she wrote: “Anne, when I read your posts, I am always blessed by the beauty of your writing as well as by the depth of what you express. That you have decided to ‘not walk as a victim’ is a huge victory. Brava!” Barbara has a great ability to connect to her students!

Two years later, I am still digging in the pool of resources that she left us by the end of the class.

Anne K.

I have known Barbara for more than 20 years, working with her in a number of ways. As a writer, she is clear, concise, and explores her topics to provide thought-provoking reading. As a journal and retreat facilitator, Barbara prompts us to touch upon the dimensions of ourselves that reside deep within. I have learned from Barbara that there is always more to discover about oneself, and journaling with her has a way of slowly opening the petals of those inner qualities. The space she holds during her sessions allows for trust, vulnerability, and respect for the entire process.

Cecile M.

I started in one of Barb’s journaling groups a few years after my head injury. Before being invited to Barb’s journaling group, by my in/outpatient speech therapist, I was in an outpatient program to learn, or should I say relearn, how to read, write and perform math functions/calculations again. I recall feeling the burn of frustration inside for not having the ability to express my ideas fully. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be invited to Barb’s journaling group. I feel it is with her journaling group and her prompts that helped improve my brain function, help realign my cross-wired neurons, improve my thought processes and improve my communication level. I still feel my inputting processing speed and outputting processing speed is delayed as compared to those whom have not had a head injury of sorts. But with Barb’s journal group and coaching I learned that that is ok, and to continue to write to push to achieve to heal.

Thank you, Barb.

Todd P.
Copyright ©2017-2018 Barbara Stahura. All rights reserved.