Its All Ok
Listen to Dar's podcast by clicking on any of these platforms
It would have made a great sitcom plot. But for Dar, it was her real life and it required a sense of humour and resiliency. Gunfire in the courtyard, friends pulling punches and characters straight out of crime novels set the stage for an adrenaline-fuelled story that culminated, in some ways, with the tragic end of the life of the man she loved. That’s not the whole story though.
Find out why Dar believes you can always change the plot by creating a future that pulls your forward.
Its All Ok
Each workshop produces a creative participant reflection – a personal take away from the story they just heard – that is voluntarily shared with the wider community.
We believe that personal narratives have the power to connect individuals across socioeconomic boundaries, and that the rich creative ability of our community is the most effective tool we can wield against the stigma that prevents necessary social change.
Its All Ok
Its All Ok
"I am a student currently taking the Creative Writing program at Camosun College. In January of this year, I moved from Vancouver to further pursue my dreams of writing. I have been working as a magazine Editor for the last four years, which is where I discovered the burning desire I had for storytelling. Ever since I was a young girl, I have always been fascinated by stories, I think they are the most interesting thing about us. I believe the most remarkable discoveries can be found when we can find the courage to open up about our experiences. Inspiration is lying deep within all of us, just patiently waiting to be told.
This past week I heard the story of Dar. Dar is an empty nester, business woman, and human warrior. She shared with us her heart-wrenching story of growing up with copious losses, and then finally, losing her husband to suicide when she had two young children. Dar’s story was not focused on tragedy, though. She went through each traumatic experience of her life, explaining it as it was, but then, she turned the focus around and shared with us the profound resilience she wore. I personally related to this story very strongly. Having gone through huge loss and trauma myself, I found so much strength in Dar’s story. To be able to hear from someone, who’s gone through more than most people, be able to speak from a place of such courage and optimism was truly an inspiration.
I learned a lot from this workshop— in the 2 hours I was there, I really felt an authentic connection, that left me feeling very inspired and understood. What resonated with me the most from Dar’s story, was when she was explaining how she see’s her life in two-fold; the story from her past, that was filled with pain and suffering, and the story of her life now, and for all the days to come. She chooses to focus on the new story, allowing what happened to her in the past to stay exactly there— in the past. I found huge inspiration from that, having my own internal breakthrough realizing that the “story” I thought owned me, really didn’t. And that I have the power to chose my new story, every day, and that story can be written with as much joy and happiness as I desire."
The Stories Between US
"I am a teaching professor at UVic and a member of the Anawim board of directors.
Darlene was the story teller at the workshop I attended. The key theme that I heard was that we are the creators of our own lives even though we often do not have any control over the losses we experience. This theme is an important one in the context of my work with Anawim, because so many people who come to Anawim are looking to recover from incredible losses and struggles in their lives, but it also touched me personally, because the theme of Darlene’s story applies to everyone. We all experience losses thoughout our lives, and some of those losses have a lasting impact. But we also have the opportunity to learn from our losses and to find meaning in life in spite of those challenges.
Darlene’s story didn’t really need a solution, but it provided a valuable opportunity for those of us who listened and responded to it to consider our own similar experiences and to see the common ground we share. This was my first experience with the Existence Project, but I felt that both Darlene’s story and the discussion and responses that followed were incredibly enriching and helped all of us there feel a little more positive about our own struggles and strengths. A very powerful experience! Thank you!"