navigating our stories

narrative therapy, community care, collective action

Mug, books, and journal

Our stories, ourselves.

What is the story of your life, and of yourself within your life?

What are your skills, values, and insider knowledges?

How have you stayed connected to your own strong stories?

Our stories shape how we see ourselves and the world around us, and can connect us to our own actions and choices in responding to the problems in our lives.

Narrative therapy is all about our stories – the ones we tell ourselves, and the ones we’ve been told; the ones we tell about other people, and the ones they tell about us. It’s about understanding where those stories come from, who they serve, and deciding whether we still want to give those stories weight in our lives. And it’s about reauthoring our stories, and strengthening our connections to legacies and histories of responding to hardship with skill and resilience.

A narrative conversation, either in a group setting or individually, can help us tell our stories in ways that honour our skills, values, knowledges and actions. For many marginalized communities, these skills, values, insider knowledges, and actions have been devalued and dismissed.

You already are the protagonist and the narrator of your own story, the expert in your own experience – nobody can give you that power, and nobody can take it away. But sometimes we lose connection to our deep self-storying abilities, and narrative therapy can help us get back in touch with that knowledge.

Narrative Therapy

Coaching

In 2018, I completed the Master of Narrative Therapy and Community Work degree at the Dulwich Centre and the University of Melbourne, and I am excited to offer narrative therapy to people in Calgary and online. We can work together one-on-one, or in a group setting. My facilitation style is collaborative and flexible – we can co-create a plan that will help you navigate, understand, and re-author your story in a way that feels right for you.

Self-Care Resources

Are you looking for immediate and accessible help? You’ll find resources here. This category will be growing over the next year as I complete projects. These free resources are made possible by my patrons on Patreon and I appreciate it so much.

Writing in the Margins Workshops

Writing in the Margins has been on hiatus while I completed my Master of Narrative Therapy and Community Work degree at the Dulwich Centre and the University of Melbourne. Now that I’ve completed this degree, watch this space for a new writing group launching in September, 2019!

Editing

Have you written something amazing? I can edit your fiction, creative non-fiction, academic paper, dissertation, or book. I bring a gentle and insightful editing voice, and a keen eye for detail. I read for grammar and style, of course, but what I’m best at is reading for intersectionality, accessibility, and queer and feminist politics.

Sostar Self Care on Facebook

Sostar Self Care on Facebook

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

19 hours ago

Tiffany Sostar

Hello, friends.

Just a quick check in.

Do you need to breathe? When you take a breath, where does it go? Does it sit in your shoulders, up near your clavicle? Does it expand your rib cage? When you try to bring the breath down into your diaphragm, what do you feel? No judgement, no urging you to take a deep breath, just curiosity about what your breathing is like right now.

And speaking of breath... would it help ease your tension to floss or brush your teeth, or have a glass of water?

Would it help to lay on the floor for a while? (If you have a scoliosis, like me, maybe aim for carpeted floor, or at least a yoga mat!)

Everything is very hard right now.

Things are very scary.

There are a lot of posts about how we should be handling this. There are a lot of hot takes flying around. And a lot of bad news.

What do you need right now?

Can you meet any small piece of that need?
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Comment on Facebook

Shallow breaths that I just made deeper. Will try to focus on those for a few minutes before bed. Thank you for posting this ❤

I need people like you in my feed.

thank u. decided to take that bath finally because of this.

3 days ago

Tiffany Sostar

The deadline to submit to this zine is April 10, and I am working on formatting the submissions I've already received this morning. It's going to be beautiful!!

(Would you like a sneak peek at some of what will be included? Check out Hugh and Nicole's gorgeous crowdfunded comic on covid19 and community response, which will also be included in the zine - adastracomix.com/2020/04/04/take-care-covid-19-and-community-response/)Call for contributors!

Submissions due April 10, 2020!

After writing an update to my patreon supporters and wondering whether we could do some kind of small collective document or zine, I decided that, yes, I do want to do a little zine about how we are handling covid19. I haven't made a zine in a little while, and this is a pretty big issue that has lots of us worried and in our feelings. In my experience, writing and co-creating something can help us alchemize those big and overwhelming feelings into something that feels possible, into paths forward.

I love the comic about how we are basically houseplants with complicated feelings, and it got me thinking about how isolation means we need to be succulents, and how fear does the same thing, and scarcity, too.

So I thought we could use that metaphor, and make a little zine about what gets us through, and how we get each other through.

If you'd like to write something about how you're feeling about the news, the health guidelines, the government response, your own experiences of isolation as a result of disability or illness that were not accommodated and how this has given you insider insight into what gets you through... let me know!

I won't be hosting an in-person narrative conversation about this (because social distancing is what we're supposed to do!) but I was thinking that maybe we could host an online narrative chat about it, and turn that into part of this collective document.

Let me know if you would be interested in that, too.

Send your submissions to sostarselfcare@gmail.com.
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The deadline to submit to this zine is April 10, and I am working on formatting the submissions Ive already received this morning. Its going to be beautiful!! 

(Would you like a sneak peek at some of what will be included? Check out Hugh and Nicoles gorgeous crowdfunded comic on covid19 and community response, which will also be included in the zine - https://adastracomix.com/2020/04/04/take-care-covid-19-and-community-response/)

1 week ago

Tiffany Sostar

Today was the last day of the first session of An Unexpected Light.

I just sent out an email to participants. Tomorrow, I'll send out the welcome email to participants in the spring session!

Because everything is... well... *gestures around*, I am going to keep enrollment for the spring session open until the end of April.

The course content is shared weekly, and starting 'late' isn't a problem.

I'm extending enrollment partly because enrollment has been so low, and partly because I really do believe that this course has a lot to offer us right now, in the middle of this pandemic and all the fear we have about the future.

It feels like an impossible time.

The future feels impossible. What is beyond covid19? What comes after all of this?

The very first piece we read in the course is Avery Alder's essay, "We've Been Stranger Things."

In the essay, Alder writes:

"It's important to sincerely imagine impossible things, to develop empathy towards impossible creatures, to practice being impossible.

When we learn to see ourselves in the fantastical, the impossible, the absurd - when we construct new lenses by which to understand our own power and identities - we also put forward a challenge to the world around us.

We challenge the reigning paradigms about what is possible, about what power looks like and who is entitled to claim it. We challenge the notion that difference is shameful. We challenge the notion that our bodies, our lives, or our hearts are shameful...

To imagine our power coming from outside capitalism, from outside patriarchy, we also need to imagine it coming from outside of what currently seems possible."

The future seems impossible.

Let's go there, to that impossible future.

It's better.

(If you want to enroll but need sliding scale pricing, please get in touch.)
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Know your stories, know yourself.