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Your Story Matters

Your Story Matters: Writing Your Authentic Life Story from the Inside Out

A Writing Retreat with Emily Rapp Black and Brad Wetzler

Meditation and Breathwork with Madeleine Tilin

Boulder, Colorado,
January 19 - 21

Who would you be if you didn’t believe this pervasive cultural story that something was wrong with you? How would you live your life if you feel that nothing about you, your life, or your body needs to be fixed and improved? 

We’ve created Your Story Matters: Writing Your Authentic Life Story from the Inside Out because we know how life-changing reclaiming and loving one’s life story can be. 

What is this retreat about:
Your Story Matters is a two-and-a-half-day writing retreat held January 19 thru January 21 in the intimate setting of a beautiful, luxurious home in scenic Boulder, Colorado. The emphasis will be on reclaiming, reframing, and owning your story from the inside out.

Who is this retreat for?
This retreat is for anyone who already loves to write and anybody who is curious about learning about writing. Beginners are absolutely welcome. Emily and Brad are both memoirists, so the emphasis will be on writing about our lives–doing so with authenticity and self-compassion.

More about this retreat:
Emily and Brad believe writing about our lives transforms us when we write from our deepest, authentic, embodied self. And this happens when one accepts–perhaps even LOVES–oneself and one’s life, when one is both intimate and kind to oneself.

Boulder, Co. Writing Retreat - January 19-21

We firmly believe that storytelling is a powerful path to self-acceptance. When we tell our honest, beautiful, messy, true story, we activate this inner knowing—that we are fine, just as we are—and we unlock more self-love and creative flow.

When you see how perfect you and your story already are, you will see your unique path to more joy, meaning, and purpose. And when you share that story in a community with like-minded souls in a safe retreat setting, you make friends that last a lifetime.

So, please join writers Emily Rapp Black and Brad Wetzler and yoga and meditation instructor Madeleine Tilin for 2.5 unforgettable days in Boulder, Colorado.

You’ll participate in heart-opening writing exercises, explore soul-searching journal prompts, and engage in candid, open-hearted sharing in a supportive community of people who believe that the stories we tell ourselves and others matter and that there’s no need to wait, improve, or aspire to be perfect. We can write them now: from the inside out.

This is an opportunity for all bodies to let go of the sense of falling short and instead find creative pathways to live in alignment with who you already are.

Meals: We will have delicious hors d’oevres on Friday evening and healthy, tasty farm-to-table lunches on Saturday and Sunday.
Accommodations: Accommodations are not included in the price of the retreat, and rooms are not available at the “retreat house.”  But thankfully Boulder has many comfortable hotels only minutes away from the site of the retreat. Options include the luxurious St. Julien Hotel & Spa, the historical Boulderado Hotel, and many moderately priced hotels, including Hyatt Place and Holiday Inn Express.
Emily Rapp Black:
Emily Rapp Black is the author of Poster Child: A Memoir (BloomsburyUSA), The Still Point of the Turning World (Penguin Press), a New York Times bestseller and an Editor’s Pick, Sanctuary, and Frida Kahlo and My Left Leg. A former Fulbright scholar, she was educated at Harvard University, Trinity College-Dublin, Saint Olaf College, and the University of Texas-Austin, where she was a James A. Michener Fellow. A Guggenheim Fellow, she has received awards and fellowships from the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the Jentel Arts Foundation, the Corporation of Yaddo, the Fine Arts Work Center, Fundacion Valparaiso, and Bucknell University. She lives in Redlands, California.
Brad Wetzler:
Brad Wetzler is the author of Into the Soul of the World: My Journey to Healing (Hachette, 2023) and Real Mosquitoes Don’t Eat Meat: The Best of Outside’s “Wildfile.” (W.W. Norton, 2005). A former senior editor at Outside and former contributing editor at OutsideNational Geographic Adventure, and George, he was educated at Northwestern University, the University of Kansas, and Kings College (London). His travel nonfiction has been anthologized in Best American Travel Writing series and Outside 25: The Best of Outside Magazine’s First 25 Years. He has written for the New York TimesNewsweekGQWiredTravel + Leisure, Men’s JournalOutside, among others. He lives in Austin, Texas.
Madeleine Tamayo Tilin:
Madeleine Tamayo Tilin is an seasoned yoga and meditation teacher with 30-plus years of experience as a student and teacher of various yoga traditions, including Kundalini and Hatha yoga. She is a visual storyteller, photographer and studied journalism at the University of Texas, Austin. She is the mother of two children, Isaac (23) and Leila (21). She lives and teaches in Austin, Texas.

Weekend Schedule


5 – 7 PM: Opening Circle & Intention Setting
7 – 8:30: Wine, Non-Alcoholic options, & Hors d’ouevres


9 – 9:45 AM: Gentle Movement & Breathwork to support creative flow and focus, with Madeleine (optional)

9:45 – 10: Break

10 – 11:00: Embodied Writing with Emily

11 – 12: Heart-Centered Storytelling with Brad

12 – 1:15: Catered Lunch

1:15 – 2:15: Self-Compassion Journaling with Emily and Brad

2:30 – 4: Community Sharing

4 – 5: Gentle Movement and Breathwork for grounding and integration, with Madeleine


9 – 9:45 AM: Gentle Movement & Breathwork to support creative flow and focus Part 2, with Madeleine (optional)
9:45 – 10: Break
10 – 11: Embodied Writing, Part 2 with Emily
11-12: Heart-centered Storytelling, Part 2 with Brad
12 – 1:15: Catered lunch
1:15 – 2:15: Self-Compassion Journaling with Emily and Brad
2:30 – 4: Community Sharing
4 – 5: Closing Meditation and Ceremony

Brad Wetzler is an author and memoir writing coach. Make this the year you complete your memoir. Download the free "How to Tell a Great Story" e-book and schedule a free 30-minute consultation today.

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