• VSP Wendy

What's the difference? The Storytelling Workshop vs. the Workshop Series on Self-Care.

Made For You expressive arts workshop participants gather around a wreath so each may tie a ribbon representing their presence and participation in the program.
Storytelling Workshop participants at JBER, Alaska

Since the inception of the project and the establishment of The Veteran’s Spouse Project (VSP) as an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, we have run three mini expressive arts workshops with readings of our play I Will Wait, and a day-long Storytelling Expressive Arts Workshop as a complement to a full theatrical production this past May. Under the direction of our Expressive Arts Director, Wendy Caldwell, we are growing this part of the project to include a workshop series focusing on self-care. These sessions will be the first offerings to introduce the community to our standalone workshops and we are piloting them this November on Joint Base Elmendorf- Richardson this November. November’s theme is “What Fills Your Cup?” Additional questions will be posed as monthly themes as we begin the workshop series in 2019 to address self-care and personal development. Wendy will guide participants in exploring these questions through a sequence of mindfulness and creative expression activities while getting familiar with the five dimensions of self-care: emotional, social, intellectual, physical, and spiritual. This work is meaningful and meant to foster reflection and connection so each session will be limited to 20 participants. Our hope is to run monthly sessions this January through April. Additionally, we are exploring adding an online component to allow for continued connection, deeper self-exploration and a wider reach to interested participants through mindfulness and creativity.

What’s the difference between the Made For You Storytelling Workshop and the Workshop Series on Self-Care you ask?

Gallery view of Made For You workshop participants' artwork on display at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Workshop participants' art on display at UAA.

While the event weekend workshop focuses on veteran's spouses getting in touch with their stories in relation to military lifestyle, deployments, and wartime service, the standalone workshops will focus on self-care to build residency and foster emotional well-being through creative expression and building community. It takes a lot of awareness, connection, insight, and purpose to weather the changes and challenges we endure as veteran's spouses. VSP recognizes that our foundations for dealing with deployments and separations come long before our service members leave. And the importance of self-care is ever present in our daily lives during AND long after military service. Expressive arts foster nurturing in all of the self-care dimensions while making it fun and meaningful!

For more on expressive arts please see our Made For You project page. To register for an upcoming session please visit our tickets and registration page. All veteran’s spouses of active duty, retirees, and prior service are welcome. If you are an interested community member who would like to refer spouses to our program, or be included on a list of available resources please contact Wendy Caldwell at wendycaldwell@iwillwaitvsp.com.

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