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

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3 weeks ago

Tiffany Sostar

Don't forget - you can come write with me and the Shiny! writers today! ... See MoreSee Less

1 month ago

Tiffany Sostar

I met a significant deadline yesterday, in the form of getting The Light Returning launched in a way that felt good. It was lovely. I am so looking forward to these days of storytelling and community. Sharing space with some folks who have participated in my end of year courses for years, and some folks who are brand new to this part of my work.

Some parts of my work feel like an endless gift, and the collective narrative pieces are like that. I love facilitating courses.

And yet.

Today?

Today my body is unbearably aching. Headache, muscle ache, every joint protesting every movement.

Part of me thinks, this is punishment. My own fault.

But I don't think that's it.

Not really.

I think sometimes I do work more than would be ideal in an average day, but blaming all this pain, in this chronic pain-enhanced body, on my own self? That just feels like internalized ableism. And it feels a little narrow in scope - I have a body with regular cycles into this kind of discomfort. And, too, the weather is changing, snow storm coming in. Even if I hadn't worked at all yesterday, I would probably feel a bit like this.

It is a hard time of year in a hard year. I have said this, or some variant of it, in almost every narrative session for the last few weeks. It is a hard time of year in a hard year.

Of course those of us with tender bodies are feeling tender.

Of course we are aching after effort.

Today's theme in the course is breath.

I am thinking about this quote from Alexis Pauline Gumbs’ book Undrowned - "I wonder what our sensitive edges have to teach us. What do our mortality and openness mean to the ecology we could surrender to together?"

And this, later from the same section - "Sometimes if I feel all my emotions in public I can't make myself speak. But sometimes I speak anyway. And my first marine mammal lesson was that if I breathe I can speak even while crying. I can breathe through salt water. I can live through this mess."

I will just breathe through today.

I can live through this mess.

The light is returning and we have each other.

Onward, onward.
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Comment on Facebook

The light IS re turning. And we have EACH OTHER.

1 month ago

Tiffany Sostar

A little logistical note!

I seem to be missing a whole bunch of emails that folks have sent over the last month. If you've contacted me and haven't heard back, could you re-send your email, or try sending me a message here?
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Comment on Facebook

Not sure the best email to reach you- but just got a reply so all is well. I was very touched and moved by the Light Returning- thank you so much for your work and brilliance on a very important and relevant project for so many-it contains numerous gems that allow people to access whatever feels best for them-and it couldn't come at a better (worse!) time-

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Know your stories, know yourself.