Thursday, October 22, 2020
Shed the old version of yourself and create a new story, grounded in the truth and clarity of who you are — and who you’re meant to be.
As uncertainty continues to rule the day during these tumultuous times, it’s only natural that our fears have been quietly rising to the surface.
And many of us are more motivated than ever to seek out hope and inspiration to keep our lives moving forward...
We sense that now is the time to finally move beyond the fear and stories that have been holding us back, and to start leading a truly authentic life — but how?
The beautifully simple answer is to just start writing. You don’t have to be a good writer. You just have to be willing to tell yourself the truth.
Join us for a wholly unique new 7-week course with Mark Matousek, an award-winning memoirist and dynamic teacher, and learn how to use writing as an effective tool for deeper awakening and personal reckoning.
Using targeted, revelatory questions and practices, Mark will prompt you to explore your hidden narratives — to write honestly about your wounds, desires, and opportunities for growth. You’ll gain an authentic understanding that moves you toward a more liberated, truthful life.
As you’ll discover, expressing your emotional pain and confusion through writing can bring great relief and release. Tuning in to and recording your perspectives in such an intentional way brings clarity and offers perspective — while equipping you with courage and strength.
Scientific studies have shown that expressive writing offers remarkable physical, mental, and emotional benefits. The simple act of expressing your thoughts and feelings about challenging experiences on paper or the screen is proven to speed your recovery and improve your mental and physical health.
And you’ll continue to grow spiritually each time you learn something new about yourself and your inner life.
Students even report that writing can feel more helpful than talking when dealing with trauma.
It’s no wonder so many people turn to the written page as their sanctuary for insight and wisdom.
Throughout seven thought-provoking, soul-searching weeks, you’ll explore the critical questions and themes to unlock a bold, enlightened life.
Each of us has a personal myth constructed from the beliefs, perceptions, and experiences of our lives. Too often, though, we believe that we ARE our story. We identify so strongly with the tales we tell ourselves that we cling to them for our very existence — even when they don’t quite fit.
When you explore the gap between truth and story, you’ll find a doorway to personal freedom. Writing is an unsurpassed tool for illuminating the places where you’re stuck, and helping you move through them.
Mark has already helped thousands of people who had little or no writing experience reach their creative and spiritual goals.
As he often says, when you tell the truth, your story changes — and when your story changes, your life is transformed.
In this new live video course, you’ll:
- Explore your core truths — the primary stories that shape your life
- Connect to your intuitive wisdom through writing
- Learn to overcome fear, resistance, shame, and other emotions that can block you from admitting what you want
- Practice self-tuning — and listen to the wisdom mind, which knows infinitely more than your conscious mind
- Clarify what matters most to you in this precious life
- Let go of harmful perspectives that drag you down, cloud your judgment, and prevent you from pursuing what you really want
- Explore deep questions that enhance your capacity for adaptation and change
- Discover how seeing your thoughts and feelings on the page or screen — and exploring them with your witness awareness — prompts insight, emotional balance, and freedom
- Untangle the pain that comes from the stories you create about yourself
- Express deep truths about yourself, and meet who you really are
- Develop a seeker’s spirit and the courage to look within and see your shadows
- Reignite your imagination and get creative about creating your future
What You’ll Discover in These 7 Weeks
In this 7-week transformational intensive, Mark will guide you through the skills you’ll need to find your authentic voice and reveal a clear vision for your future.
The Power of Live Streaming Video
You’ll connect with Mark and experience his teachings through live streaming video. This connection will be easy to use and will enhance the impact of Mark’s guidance. Or you can easily connect just via audio if you choose — through your phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop.
(Can’t make it live? No worries! After each class, the video and audio recordings will be available for you to download or stream in high-quality format at your convenience.)
Course Sessions Thursdays at 1:00pm Pacific.
This course will feature LIVE teachings, interactive training sessions, and experiential practices with Mark. Each session will build harmoniously upon the previous ones, so you’ll develop a complete holistic understanding of the practices, tools, and principles you’ll need to awaken through writing.
Module 1: Exploring Your Core Truths (October 22)
What does it really mean to be authentic? In this opening week, you’ll explore your core truths — the primary stories that shape your life.
You’ll also uncover what you need most — emotionally, socially, spiritually — to thrive in this transformational time.
This introductory session is a chance to take stock of where you are today, and to familiarize yourself with how your new writing practice will unfold.
In this module, you’ll discover:
- Why you must learn to reveal the truth — including to yourself
- The power of exploring your losses, strengths, wounds, and potential
- The many ways you may be censoring yourself, and how it holds you back on your journey
- New insights into your core stories and beliefs
- How to increase authenticity and truthfulness in your life and writing
Module 2: Identifying Your Core Desires (October 29)
What makes the engine go? Desire, desire, desire.
— Stanley Kunitz
Desire is the fuel that moves you forward on the path to your destiny.
This week, you’ll focus on identifying your core desires.
You’ll also discover methods to help you overcome fear, resistance, shame, and other emotions that can block you from admitting what you want.
Writing helps you overcome the vulnerability of exposing your deepest longings; in turn, this enables you to untangle the knots that prevent you from being fully yourself.
In this module, you’ll explore:
- The paradox that connects fear and desire in the human psyche
- Ways to identify your methods of resisting change
- How to accept your true desires
- Moving past shame and fear
Module 3: Listening to Your Wisdom Mind (November 5)
What do you know intuitively that your rational self doesn’t want to hear?
Writing for self-inquiry reveals the still, small voice within — the whisper of your own intuition.
This innate knowing is your birthright... and the witness awareness you use when writing turns up the volume of this intuitive voice.
In this module, you’ll practice self-tuning and listening to the wisdom mind, which knows infinitely more than your conscious mind.
This primal intelligence carries subtle messages that get ignored in the tumult of life — messages that often contradict reason, logic, and practicality.
This week, you’ll explore:
- How your life will change when you trust your intuitive knowledge
- How the Writing to Awaken process teaches you to follow the deeper rhythms of your unique existence
- Ways to connect to intuitive wisdom through writing
- How you can come to rely on your innate knowing and direction
Module 4: Exploring Where Your Personal “Why” Comes From (November 12)
He who has a “why” to live for can bear almost any “how.”
— Friedrich Nietzsche
Crisis forces you to question your values, reconsider your options — and break outdated patterns that no longer serve you.
This week Mark will share how, when things fall apart, you’re free to view your life with fresh eyes — and clarify what matters to you in this precious life.
You’ll explore how a strong sense of meaning is necessary for you to thrive.
In this module, you’ll:
- Grasp your unique purpose
- Examine where your personal “why” comes from
- Discover how your raison d’etre (reason for existence) can inspire you
- Understand how your values have changed
- Identify what truly matters to you
Module 5: Letting Go of the Past (November 19)
It’s impossible to create a new story without letting go of the past.
This week, you’ll explore the attachments, grievances, fears, and losses — as well as outdated dreams and commitments — that need to be released in order for you to evolve.
What beliefs are holding you back? Are you attached to narratives that sabotage your growth (from victim stories to beliefs about your own limitations)?
Mark will share how to unhook from harmful perspectives that drag you down, cloud your judgment, and prevent you from pursuing new horizons.
- How to move on from your past without discarding your history
- Why creative living requires you to be fully present, drop what you think you know, and step into the unknown
- How letting go of the past releases enormous energy, imagination, and spirit
- Ways to cultivate the courage to move on from unnecessary elements of your inner life
- How you can discard obsolete stories and beliefs
Module 6: Connecting With the Life-Saving Power of Resilience (December 3)
Why do some people thrive in adversity while others don’t?
This week, Mark will guide you to explore deep questions that enhance your capacity for adaptation and change.
First, you’ll question what strength really means, and shift from an aggressive approach to flexibility, cooperation, humility, and humor.
As you’ll discover, authentic strength comes from the awareness of a force greater than personal will, the “green force” known as viriditas that courses through the veins of creation.
And when you align yourself with this spiritual power, resilience increases naturally.
In this module, you’ll:
- Discover how aligning yourself with spiritual power strengthens your seeker’s spirit and connects you more consciously to the Divine
- Increase your resilience and courage
- Understand the true meaning of strength
- Connect to the spiritual power that renews and rejuvenates your spirit through adversity
Module 7: Writing Your Future Story (December 10)
Writing helps you focus your intention, which leads to manifestation...
In this closing session, you’ll focus on your vision for the future, synthesizing your insights that have emerged in this course — especially the ones that surprised you.
Seeing your thoughts and feelings on the page or screen — and exploring them with your witness awareness — prompts insight, emotional balance, and freedom.
With your imagination activated, your world will only get bigger from here.
In this final module, you’ll:
- Take this practice forward into your life as an ongoing spiritual journey
- Understand how writing serves as your guide, trusted companion, and witness
- Possess a clear, more imaginative vision for your future
- Move forward with your ongoing writing practice
The Awaken Through Writing Bonus Collection
In addition to Mark’s transformative 7-week virtual course, you’ll receive these powerful training sessions with leading visionaries and teachers. These bonus sessions complement the course and promise to take your understanding and practice to an even deeper level.
The Spirit of Creativity
Audio Dialogue With Mark Matousek and Mark Nepo
What’s the connection between the creative process and spiritual life? Mark talks to the poet-philosopher Mark Nepo, New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Awakening, about why it’s so important to listen to your inner voice of genius.
Excerpt From Writing to Awaken: A Journey of Truth, Transformation & Self-Discovery
PDF Introduction to Mark Matousek’s Book
This overview of Mark’s teaching method illuminates his investigation of the self through expressive writing — and how the self guides you along the path of awakening through radical truth-telling and self-inquiry. You’ll discover how to use self-inquiry as a path to creative and spiritual freedom — and writing as a tool for awakening.
Sex Death Enlightenment: A True Story
Audiobook Read by Mark Matousek
Join Mark on his insightful, rollicking search for answers to life’s deepest questions in this landmark bestselling memoir. Mark reads his 1996 breakout memoir about leaving a fast-track publishing life (working for pop artist Andy Warhol at Interview magazine) and hitting the dharma trail in search of a meaningful life and spiritual wisdom.
Writing, Spirit & Telling the Truth
Audio Dialogue With Mark Matousek and Eve Ensler
In this intimate dialogue, Mark talks with his friend and renowned playwright, Eve Ensler, Tony Award-winning playwright, performer, and activist, and the author of The Vagina Monologues, about the challenges and joys of writing about your life, their different approaches to spiritual practice, and the transformative power of telling the truth.
What Graduates of Mark’s Courses Are Saying...
— Gill Bolt: “It’s Like Being Reborn”
— Toby Needleman: “I Feel So Much Lighter”
— Emma Jarrett: “An Unending Source of Wisdom and Exploration”
— Cathy McBride: “Not Just a Way to Heal, But a Way to Transform”
— Krystal Dyan: “You Feel That You're Held With Such Compassion and Such Beauty”
— Cathy Roberts: “The Writing Seemed to Be Flowing Through Me”
“Studying with Mark is truly a life-altering experience... “
Studying with Mark is truly a life-altering experience, with tangible, enduring impact, along with an infinite potential for continued awakening, deepening, and integration. Mark truly is an awakened teacher, and a master at inquiry that really lasers in on what needs revealing, in order for transformation and healing to occur and take root.
— Krystal Dyan Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
“... I have started to get a better sense of where to direct my ship...”
This course was a blessing to me as I navigated some stormy waters in life. After relocating to a new city and being without work, I was able to use this course to pull my life stories apart and get a good glimpse at where I’ve been. With that insight, I have started to get a better sense of where to direct my ship for the next course of this life adventure... Thank you, Mark, for your guidance and enthusiasm in sharing this practice!
— Eric van Leeuwen, Portland, Oregon
“... I accessed parts of myself that I had never known before.”
Mark Matousek is a compassionate, wise, and transformational teacher. Through the class and his guided questioning, I accessed parts of myself that I had never known before. Although I’m a clinical social worker, I’ve never taken a course with such personal and professional growth in such a short time! I would highly recommend it to anyone who desires to break through old patterns of behavior, ideas, and beliefs through developing a daily writing practice.
— Mary Agnes R., Orlando, Florida
“... amazingly deep reframing of goals and commitments...”
The benefit I experienced from this course is a clearer understanding of mental roadblocks by great probing questions and shared experiences of insights gained from being “real” about them. This resulted in amazingly deep reframing of goals and commitments in life that really led to completing and realizing my own freedom and happiness and, hopefully, helping others do the same.
— Mary Stone, Kalaheo, Hawaii
“... I discovered a portal to a brighter, more enlightened future.”
I took this course to jumpstart my writing process and am beyond pleased. Mark Matousek is part life coach, part meditation master, and part writing teacher. The course was well organized and with Mark at the helm, the murky waters of my past became more of a clear-running stream than a dank, stagnant swamp. The community page was also a great way to connect and share with others. I really loved this course and the camaraderie, compassion, and confidence it generated. I feel like I discovered a portal to a brighter, more enlightened future.
— Lisa Miller, Los Angeles, California
“... supportive and perceptive guidance...”
It was everything I had hoped it would be and more. Mark’s extensive experience, compassion, and wisdom shone through the course content and his live presentation. His exposition in each module was clear and comprehensive, always illustrating what he said with case studies or examples. I was particularly moved and impressed with the way Mark responded to participants’ questions in the Q&A sections of each module: his acuity and sensitivity to the participants and the supportive and perceptive guidance he gave in response to the issues they raised.
— Gisela, Sydney, Australia
“... forgiving the universe and moving towards my true destiny.”
We need to wake up to save the world. First we need to wake up to ourselves, all parts of ourselves; best and worst. Mark’s course helped awaken me. During the course of this lovely course, I was aided into forgiving the universe and moving towards my true destiny.
— Steve Minion , Manitoba, Canada
“... I now know what I want to do...”
I’ve experienced many surprising benefits from taking this course. I’ve learned that writing can be a wonderful truth-telling tool. I now realize how important it is that I consciously create my future... with meaning, joy, and creativity at the top of the list. Thanks to Mark’s perceptive insights, I now know what I want to do, how I want to live, and what direction to go in. I experienced Mark as perceptive, nonjudgmental, and constructive. He created an atmosphere of safety and respect that allowed me to explore much deeper territory and move beyond the obstacles I had thrown in my way.
“... gave me a new way of looking at the story of my life...”
Writing to Awaken gave me a new way of looking at the story of my life in a supportive and structured way. It allowed disconnected parts out into the openness of the page... It’s not an “easy” course. It’s up to the participant to do what’s suggested to get the benefit. Every participant will have taken away something different for their own journey and I am appreciative for this next step.
— Nerida, Phillip Island, Australia
“... a powerful experience in opening up new pathways...”
I found that Mark’s compassionate and insightful interactions, his discourses on the week’s topic, and the writing exercises created for me a powerful experience in opening up new pathways into myself.
— Derek, New Zealand
“It was the feeling of freedom that had eluded me for the past 35 years. ”
Mark created and held space for us that was soulful and liberating. He gave us the permission to bring our best and the group thrived. At the end of our time Mark said that I looked different, and I can tell you that I felt different. It was the feeling of freedom that had eluded me for the past 35 years. I 100% recommend Mark’s course for everyone — you’ll be surprised! I was.
— Toby, U.S.
Join the Global Community
Awaken Through Writing offers some of the most advanced online teachings available, within a thriving, global community of learning and practice.
Join fellow students and practitioners to support and inspire each other as you integrate the teachings and practices Mark Matousek will share in this powerful training.
You’ll be part of an international community that’s on the leading edge of a global movement of people manifesting a world grounded in principles of cooperation, harmony, and reverence for all of life.
Here’s What You’ll Receive
Seven 90-Minute Class Sessions With Mark Matousek
Experience a unique opportunity to be mentored by and learn from author, teacher, and speaker Mark Matousek — from the comfort of your own home. Each class session includes a live streaming video option and guides you to discover specific skills and abilities to shed the old version of yourself and create a new story, grounded in the truth and clarity of who you are — and who you’re meant to be. Course sessions are on Thursdays at 1:00pm Pacific.
Seven Video Recordings of Class Sessions
After each class, the digital video will be available for you to download or stream in high-quality format. You will not receive anything in the mail. You’ll never have to worry about missing a session, and you can watch anytime and anywhere at your convenience.
Seven Audio Recordings of Class Sessions
After each class, the audio will be available for you to download in high-quality MP3 format. You’ll never have to worry about missing a session, and you can listen anytime and anywhere — on any connected device and at your convenience.
Seven PDF Transcripts of Class Sessions
In addition to the high-quality videos and MP3 audios, you’ll also receive the entire class transcription in PDF format after each session is completed. You can then review, print, and highlight the most important insights and practices you were given.
Seven 30-Minute Interactive Group Practice Sessions
With live class attendance, there will be a 30-minute optional interactive practice session directly following each class. You’ll be placed in an intimate group with several other participants on the conference call to interact, share, and do additional practices with, to help further integrate the weekly lessons. Practice sessions are available for live attendance only, not recorded for playback. If you're unable to attend the calls live, the Facebook online community group allows you to connect with each other and find alternative times to interact.
Interactive Exercises and Questions for Each Lesson
Between class sessions, you’ll have the option of completing related exercises, practicing new tools, and answering questions to accelerate your learning and integrate each week’s lesson.
Our exclusive Facebook online community is the perfect place to continue your discovery process after each class. Here, you can continue the discussion about your course materials and interact with your fellow students to take your exploration to an even deeper level.
The Awaken Through Writing Bonus Collection
- The Spirit of Creativity
Audio Dialogue With Mark Matousek and Mark Nepo
- Excerpt From Writing to Awaken: A Journey of Truth, Transformation & Self-Discovery
PDF Introduction to Mark Matousek’s Book
- Sex Death Enlightenment: A True Story
Audiobook Read by Mark Matousek
- Writing, Spirit & Telling the Truth
Audio Dialogue With Mark Matousek and Eve Ensler
An Unprecedented Opportunity to Join the Awaken Through Writing Online Training
We feel honored that Mark Matousek has chosen to partner with The Shift Network to offer this exclusive LIVE online training. This is a unique opportunity to interact directly with an author, teacher, and speaker whose powerful insights and pioneering work are helping us heal and awaken ourselves and our world.
If you’re serious about shedding the old version of yourself and creating a new story, then you owe it to yourself, your loved ones, and our world to take this one-of-a-kind training.
If you’re ready to take the next step in evolving yourself, click the register button below to reserve your space now.
More Praise for Mark Matousek...
“[Mark’s] wisdom teachings… will enable you to dissolve the coverings and open to life-changing truth.”
Mark is a masterful and loving guide: his wisdom teachings and brilliantly conceived questions will enable you to dissolve the coverings and open to life-changing truth. You don’t need skill in writing to partake; all that’s required is the longing to awaken your heart.
— Tara Brach, Author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge
“Mark Matousek’s reflections and life-changing insights [are] filled with timeless wisdom and practical advice.”
As a scientist and clinician, I find Mark Matousek’s reflections and life-changing insights to be filled with timeless wisdom and practical advice. Let Mark be your guide as you journey to the depths of your mind to nurture a new way of being with yourself and with others.
— Daniel J. Siegel, MD, clinical professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and New York Times bestselling author
“His classes will change the ways in which you examine your life...”
Mark Matousek’s writing instruction is transformative. His classes will change the ways in which you examine your life, and how you think about yourself as a writer. He approaches your work with a deep sense of empathy, allowing him to help you tell your story in your voice. No matter what stage of the process you are at, time spent with Mark will yield extraordinary results.
— Libuse Binder, Author of Ten Ways to Change the World in Your Twenties
“Mark Matousek is a truly gifted writing coach.”
Mark Matousek is a truly gifted writing coach. With an interviewer’s ear, he listens deeply and hears what people have to say. With the determination of a midwife, he helps them give birth to themselves through their words. As my “book whisperer,” he is showing me that writing is truly a spiritual path, leading not only to publication but personal transformation. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn from him!
— Gwenyth Jackaway, PhD, associate professor, Fordham University
“I’m deeply grateful for the experience.”
The writing course I took with Mark Matousek was an amazing journey into the soul of each who took it. We found we were able to trust each other, thanks in large part to Mark starting our first class with the words, “You’re all here for a reason, even though you may not know what that reason is.” Over the course of just a handful of short sessions, I’ve come to realize that not only was I there for a reason, but that this reason was more important to my wellbeing and self-understanding than I could have possibly fathomed when I first signed on for this class. I’m deeply grateful for the experience.
— Brian Carr, President, Solid Threads
About Mark Matousek
Mark Matousek is the author of two acclaimed memoirs, Sex Death Enlightenment: A True Story (an international bestseller) and The Boy He Left Behind: A Man’s Search For His Lost Father, as well as When You’re Falling, Dive: Lessons in the Art of Living... Ethical Wisdom: The Search for a Moral Life... Mother of the Unseen World: The Mystery of Mother Meera... and Writing to Awaken: A Journey of Truth, Transformation & Self-Discovery.
A former editor at Interview magazine, he is a featured blogger for PsychologyToday.com and HuffPost, and has contributed to numerous publications, including The New Yorker, O: The Oprah Magazine (contributing editor), Harper’s Bazaar, Yoga Journal, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, and The Saturday Evening Post. His essays have appeared in many anthologies, including Voice of the New Millenium, Wrestling With the Angel, and A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer, among others.
A popular speaker and teacher, Mark offers courses in creativity and spiritual growth in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Europe, based on his book, Writing to Awaken. He's on the faculty of the Esalen Institute, 1440 Multiversity, the New York Open Center, The Garrison Institute, Omega, Kripalu, Mindvalley, and other institutions of higher learning. He's the founder of The Seekers Forum, a global online community focused on nonsectarian dialogue and exploration, and the president of Mark Matousek Media, a digital publishing company that promotes creative and spiritual excellence through online learning.
As a founding member of V-Men (with Eve Ensler), an organization devoted to ending violence against women and girls, he curates the V-Men essay series, an ongoing anthology featuring personal writing by men on the subject of violence against women.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What’s a virtual course?
A: It’s a great way to engage live and pre-recorded teachings and each other from the comfort of your home! All you need is a computer, mobile device, or telephone. If there’s more than one person in your household taking the course, you’ll each need your own connection. We use Zoom video conferencing to make it just like an in-person event, where you can ask questions and deepen your exploration of the course themes.
There’s no additional charge for connecting to Zoom with your computer or mobile device. Please note that dialing Zoom from your telephone is a toll call; your telephone service provider will charge you according to your existing long-distance calling plan. International access numbers are available.
“I’ve never seen a course so well put together ever...”
I had never participated before in an online course. The packaging, presentation, inclusion, and Facebook postings created a wonderful, safe cocoon within which to participate. I’ve never seen a course so well put together ever — not in all the years of taking college classes — and I had my doubts about doing an online course. The wealth of organization and ease of learning materials and support made this fun as well.
— Claudia F., Medford, Massachusetts
Q: Can I get benefit from the course if I miss the live classes?
A: Absolutely! You can download the recordings and transcripts of all course sessions from our online media archive, so you never need to worry about missing live calls. You can also engage the full community and leaders on our private online community group.
Q: Can you tell me about the private online community group?
A: We’ll have a private online community group for all course participants on Facebook that will support you in making connections with others, sharing insights, engaging in discussions, and completing homework assignments that can supplement your transformational journey. You’ll have the ability to share your experiences, projects, and growth throughout the course.
Q: Are there scholarships available for this training?
A: Yes, we always make a certain percentage of spaces available for partial scholarships, giving preference to those in developing countries or doing important but underpaid work to which they can apply the training material immediately. If you’d like to apply for a scholarship, please review our guidelines, which include a link to our online application form.
Q: What’s your refund policy?
A: Your satisfaction with The Shift Network and this course is our highest priority! We offer a satisfaction guarantee so that you can sample the course risk-free. The deadline to receive a full refund is November 5, 2020. To request a refund, please click on this refund request form and submit your request. Qualifying refunds will be processed within five business days and an email confirming the refund will be sent. However, we’d love to have a chance to address and resolve your concerns first. If there’s something we can assist you with, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to help! (No refund requests accepted after the above date or with scholarship awards.)
Q: How can I reach Customer Support?
A: Please visit our Customer Support Center, where you should be able to find the answer to your question or the solution to your problem. And if you can’t, you can submit an online request form and we’ll get right back to you.