Flexing Your Creative Muscles: Using Storytelling to Stretch & Release - Rancho La Puerta
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Flexing Your Creative Muscles: Using Storytelling to Stretch & Release

Week of July 20, 2019

Join Jennifer Harris for a writing workout designed to stretch your imagination, move your creative spirit, and release your words!

“Flexing Your Creative Muscles: Using Storytelling to Stretch & Release” is a writing workshop inspired by Jennifer Harris’s diverse experience as a writer, educator, organizational storyteller, and fitness enthusiast! In an era where every day storytelling has been reduced to 280 characters or less and the general population has developed what Jennifer calls “twitter-span,” she sees a growing need to reframe the value of storytelling, of stretching our brains, of dreaming up stories and jotting them down. “There is a need to flex those muscles,” she says, “to awaken what may be dormant inside all of us, to release our creative spirit.”

Jennifer compares her workshop experience to a good workout. “It may seem hard to get into it at first, but if you surrender you can hit a stride, and you will feel empowered after.” She continues, “You will feel a good burn like you feel in your glutes after a boot camp or in your quads after a good run; you’ll start a fire that will stay with you and inspire you to put your tennis shoes on again (or in this case, pick up the pen).”

Drawing from esteemed writers and thinkers who have come before her, Jennifer uses tools to activate the primal need for all people to think, build, and create. She believes everyone is a storyteller, that we are in fact wired for story, and that writing is a wellness practice we can all access. By designing exercises that warm up the mind and root writers in their bodies, Jennifer takes participants inward in an effort to draw stories outward. Writing in this way fosters a collective, creative experience that feeds the mind, the body, and the soul. It’s a “writer’s workout” that encourages participants to round out their Ranch experience by flexing muscles that often go unused. And, importantly, it provides time devoted to creative thinking and doing, which naturally lends itself to mindfulness and meaning.

Like other group classes at the Ranch, this workshop transpires in a safe, communal space where participants are invited to stretch, move, and release. Guests will also have the opportunity to write outside of the workshop in dedicated journaling sessions, and all Ranch-goers will leave with exercises to take home to continue fueling the creative muscles.


Jennifer Harris began writing at the age of eight in a pink studded journal reflective of the time (it was the eighties, after all) and has ever since employed the craft in academia, in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, and through creative writing. A graduate of University of Chicago’s Master of the Arts Program in the Humanities and UC Davis’s undergraduate program in English and Creative Writing, Jennifer has built a career applying creative thinking and writing techniques to the fields of education, arts and culture, health sciences, and philanthropy. Today, she is thrilled to direct these talents in support of the integrative health & medicine movement, and is committed to and advocating for creativity as a wellness practice.   Thinking in “story” is a way of life for Jennifer. She spends her free-time writing and reading, exercising and hiking, and capturing “stories” in everything she sees along the way. She continues to grow her consulting business, JH Collective, Inc., that fuses her personal and professional ethos—an ethos centered on the power of stories; that stories can serve personal growth and healing, develop organizations and business, and preserve communities and histories. On the Web jhcollectiveinc.com