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Peter Hayes offers “The Word As Power” workshop Sunday

October 24, 2009

Peter Hayes

Peter Hayes

From 1-3 p.m. Sunday (Oct. 25), author Peter Hayes will host “The Word as Power: Writing a New Chapter in the Story of Our Life” at Story Slam! Charlotte, 1401 Central Ave.

Admission: $35 general; $10 students with ID.

Peter Hayes, CEO of New River, is a writer, musician, teacher and business consultant. Peter’s prize-winning short fiction has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, and he is author of The Feathered Serpent (Little, Brown) and The Supreme Adventure (Dell/Delta), a best-selling book on personal growth, along with numerous articles on subjects as varied as business planning, philanthropy, mythology and meditation.

Hayes was educated at Phillips Exeter Academy and at Harvard College, where he studied writing with the novelist and short story writer, Bernard Malamud. For several years , he lived in an ashram in India, studying eastern philosophy. Since then, he has given talks and workshops on writing and on spirituality in India, China, Japan, Europe, South America and the U.S.

Here’s how Hayes describes the workshop:

Who writes our life story? How is it done? The philosophy of yoga maintains the story of our lives is written word by word, line by line, by an inner author of whom we may or may not be aware. Syllables issuing from the depths of our being combine to form inner words, which, in turn, join to create phrases that give birth to mental images that become our thoughts and carve out feelings. Most of the time we accept what these words tell us almost without thinking. If they’re frightening, that’s how we feel. If they tell us, “Everything’s fine,” we relax. If they say we’re unlovable or clumsy, under-appreciated or untalented, that’s how we behave – whether or not it’s true.

Then there are those words that come from other people’s mouths. Isn’t it amazing how a few choice epithets can blaze in our brains for days and significantly alter our perception of ourselves? Thus, life is not so much about what happens to us, but about the words we use to describe what happens to us – and the meanings that we assign to those words. Change those words to truer ones and we change our life story: past, present and to come.

In this 2-hour introduction to The Word as Power, we’ll go to the source and meet the great authoress of the Book of Life, whose name in Sanskrit is Matrika, meaning “the unknown mother.”

She is “unknown” because few of us suspect she’s even there. She is called “mother” because she is the source of everyone’s experience, since no thoughts can exist apart from words.

Just as importantly, we’ll learn some simple techniques to step back and better hear the tale she is telling us and, if we don’t like it, to work with her to revise the script. These techniques are the same potent, ancient and classical ones used and given by the sages of yoga.

We have a choice. We can be a clueless character in the story of our life, often disappointed or surprised by where the script takes us; or, we can take a stronger hand in its composition and write an exciting next chapter with a plot that thrills, with characters we love and with an ending that’s worthy – even sublime.

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