The Healing Power of Storytelling
1187 Coast Village Road, Suite 262
Santa Barbara, California 93108
A Gift of Peace
The year is 2020 and we are in this invisible war together, you and I.
After we have faced the reality of the challenges, protected others and ourselves from harm as best we can, we have choices regarding our own mental health.
The Gift of Peace is a twelve minute meditation with music and story that can help you re-set your emotions. I made it years ago, presenting it at a conference in Berlin just before the wall came down. I gave it to the Dalai Lama at his home in Dharamshala. I offer it now to you.
You may find that this meditation helps you find solace in the midst of chaos. There is never a charge for The Gift of Peace. You have my permission to share it.
I would love to hear from you.
is the title of a new workshop I’ll be teaching at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference in June 2020. If you’re a writer or want to be, this is a conference that can make an enormous difference in your career. READ MORE
Sometimes you make a choice and that choice can change your life forever.
I’m thinking professionally now. You have a career and it goes in one direction, then something happens and you find yourself on a path that leads you to places you never dreamed you could go. READ MORE
Where The Good Stories Hide SBWC June 14-19, 2020
Every fiction writer wants to create a strong story with fascinating characters.
Sometimes that story is hiding in plain sight.
Have you considered writing about an actual event in your own life, and then turning your true story into fascinating fiction?
You can use your own experience and by twisting the facts, places and names, you can create a short story, a novel or a screenplay. You can combine the power of your emotional truth with your fictional plot and watch the story unfold.
How do you choose among a lifetime of personal stories?
In my workshop, you learn how to use a combination of mental techniques that let the story come to you. When you let your characters create a raw draft, you may be astonished by the results. Some of the techniques are revealed in interviews I did with Ray Bradbury and Charles Schulz, Stevie Wonder and other intuitive writers and artists. Some are inspired by actors like Meryl Streep, Al Pacino and Leonardo DiCaprio, then adapted for writers of memoir or fiction.
Every writer knows that the Muse has her own way of keeping us humble. Some days it seems like she hangs a “Closed” sign on her mythical door. That’s when you need to trust the wisdom of your subconscious mind to let the story and the characters find their way to you.
Where do the good stories hide? In a chamber within your mind, behind the door where your Muse lives. She’s not on vacation; she’s just waiting for you to open the door. Keys to her dwelling are in my workshop. I’m just the tour guide. If you bring an adventurous spirit, an open mind and writing tools, I’ll lead you on a wild, productive journey.
I hope to see you at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference, June 14-19, 2020.
“I began reading Between Fires last night and the writing is simply amazing!
communicates with such sincerity and depth, humor and honesty, as though she's your trusted best friend. Do yourself a huge favor and read
Between Fires, your heart and
soul will thank you.”
TINA L. FRONTADO, MPA, Hospice of Santa Barbara
“Zdenek's memoir is both heartbreaking and compelling. Beautifully written, she cuts a vein in the narrator's voice, giving the reader full access to her thoughts, fears, emotions. A truly wonderful read.”
COLETTE FREEDMAN, playwright and novelist
“...a powerful memoir.
A woman's triumphant tale of her struggle to rebuild herself after loss.”
This is my story. This is who I am at eighty. These memories are the hands that shape the woman I will become in this next decade. And maybe the one after that.
There can be a sense of empowerment in embracing the
life that used to be, in honoring the hard times and the good times for both are the building blocks that create the present and the future.
I’ve looked in the rear-view mirror of my life, and learned from the memories. When did I laugh the hardest, dance the wildest, risk everything for love? How did the memories of heartaches and healings help me create an abundant life now, when everything has changed?
I embrace the unknown that tomorrow holds and
whisper my gratitude for all that remains.
Life is good. Actually, it’s quite fascinating. Writing my story helped me heal and I hope that reading it will help others who face the challenges of loss. Hospice of Santa Barbara is the beneficiary of the sales of Between Fires.
“Written in the best story-telling fashion, this is the kind of memoir that reads like a favorite novel. An engaging story of a wise woman and how she maneuvers through both the wonderful and the tragic. I laughed and cried, and at the end, I felt that I had
learned some profound
life lessons as well.”
TRACY SHAWN, author of award-winning novel,
The Grace of Crows.
“I enjoyed Between Fires so much. Such an incredible book! I laughed out loud, I tagged pages I loved and highlighted sections that moved me. It’s one of those rare books that when you finish it you find you want to read it all over again.
JUDY JACOBS COWELL
“Just wonderful. Poignant and uplifting. Marilee Zdenek’s memoir shifts back and forth through time with ease - like our thoughts. I will read this book again.”
“This one swept me away! Marilee Zdenek’s writing is so genuine. I felt her grief and despair in a profound way when tragedies struck, but also her gratitude and faith for many of life's blessings. She has a graceful way of making the reader feel as if she is right by your side, telling you her many experiences and emotions while navigating this precious thing we call Life.
And what a life she has had and continues to have!"
BRENDA L. MOHR
The Right-Brain Experience
An Intimate Program to Free the Powers of Your Imagination
You are invited to participate in an experiential program that will help you think more creatively and allow the wisdom of your sub-conscious mind to become a partner in your decisions.
I'll be your tour guide for this experience, leading you through a mental journey of self discover. Whether you get in touch with your inner wisdom by reading my books, listening to my audio programs or attending my workshops, the tools are provided to free your creativity and stimulate innovative thinking. The process is easy to learn. The results can be life changing.
"Marilee Zdenek provides a powerful structure for making dreams come true."
Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain
"I highly recommend this program to all people who are interested in developing their imaginations and gaining control of their lives."
BRUCE CHRISTIANSON, M.D., Psychiatrist
"Very nice, Marilee! It's time to bring in the poets to give the new views some right-hemisphere appeal. If we can help, let us know."
ROGER WOLCOTT SPERRY
Neuropsychologist, Neurobiologist and Nobel Laureate
"Tell me what you imagine and I will tell you who you are. Let me tell you what to imagine and I will tell you what, gradually, you will become. INVENTING THE FUTURE is a book with a great deal to give to those able to receive it."
Pulitzer Prize Winner,
God: A Biography
Inventing the Future
Advances in Imagery That Can Change Your Life
The moment you alter your perception of yourself and your future, both you and your future begin to change.
To explore the possibilities for enrichment, you must first release the assumptions you hold about your situation and allow the wisdom of your sub-conscious to be revealed.
What will you take from this program? The specific answer will be different for each reader. Right-brain techniques free the powers of your imagination. These mental exercises create a powerful tool you can use whenever difficult problems confront you. Perhaps, as you use the techniques in this program, you will find the answer to a challenging situation in your personal or professional life.
The following books were written early in my career and reflect my interest in spirituality, poetry, and photography: Splinters in My Pride, Someone Special, God is a Verb! and Catch the New Wind.
God is a Verb! and Catch the New Wind were written in collaboration with Marge Champion.
"Inventing the Future leads us to realize that we have greater power of choice in our lives than most of us dared to image."
GABRIELE L. RICO, Ph.D. Writing the Natural Way
The Gift of Peace
The Gift of Peace is a twelve-minute meditation for compassion and world peace.
You can download this imagery, which is always free, and I encourage you to pass it along to friends.
I have presented this meditation at the Kongresshalle in Berlin, Germany, at the White House Task Force for Innovative Learning, and to many universities and organizations.
I gave this meditation to the Dalai Lama at his home in Dharamshala, India.
It is my hope that this message of peace will encourage those who are committed to peace on earth.
"Marilee is a storyteller, but she is more than that. She is an understanding presence that can make immeasurable differences in our ability to bounce back after the stress of events we cannot control... the sound of her voice, as gentle and soothing as honey... Coming to us when our personal pack of trouble is weighing us down, through reality and imagination, she helps us to feel safe again."
JEAN SPENCER, Ventura County Star
Getting Through the Night
Four unique stories with relaxing music help you release stress, enjoy a blissful sleep, and have sweet dreams throughout the night.
The Healing Place
A Cabin in the Snow
To Dream with Dolphins (for children and playful adults)
By the Water's Edge
The script was written in collaboration with Mary F. Christianson, MD, psychiatrist. The imagery is helpful to children and adults who will benefit from the music and imagery that induce relaxation and blissful sleep.
The music was created by Rob Whitesides-Woo and Craig Saddler.
"I know from my own experience that Marilee Zdenek's' techniques of right-brain imaging are remarkably successful in stimulating memory and creativity, but also in
helping to cope with strong emotions. She has done a
great service in making Getting Through the Night available."
CHARLES CHAMPLIN, Los Angeles Times Arts Editor Emeritus