Unraveling the Mother Knot: Writing as a Pathway to Explore and Heal That Primal Bond
April 18–22, 2022
April 18–22, 2022
with Laura Davis
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The bond between mothers and their children — whether severed, fraught, intact, or cherished — is one of the most complex and significant relationships we have in life. Whether you’re a mother, a daughter, or a son, this transformative writing workshop will utilize creative exercises, guided meditation, and evocative writing prompts to lead you to a deeper understanding of this most primal of relationships. Shared story and deep listening will be our gateway to celebrate, grieve, and reconcile our relationships with our mothers — or our mothering.

In our days together, we’ll explore how bonds with our mothers and children change across the lifecycle, identify moments those relationships changed irrevocably, unravel the costs and benefits of caregiving, and learn how storytelling can evoke emotion, clarity, healing, and insight.

You’ll learn to “find the story beneath the story,” why writers need to “slow down where it hurts,” and the secret of crafting tales rooted in the immediacy of the moment. As we alternate periods of writing with listening to each other from a place of deep acceptance, you’ll benefit from the strength of a supportive writing circle, witness the healing power of language, and experience the transformation that occurs when we tell true stories and are deeply heard.

In this class we will use…

  • Evocative writing prompts will open the doorway to memory, story, and insight
  • Deep listening will build community and create a safe community for healing, growth and discovery
  • Shared storytelling will provide a gateway to celebrate, grieve and reconcile your relationship with your mother–or your mothering

Open to anyone willing to use words to explore the mother bond and their creativity in a safe, confidential community: mothers, daughters, mother-daughter pairs, and sons. Emerging and seasoned writers are welcome to attend.

We will be joined by guest faculty Evelyn Hall. Evelyn is a social worker, master hypnotherapist, and minister. For the past 35 years, Evelyn has been guiding individuals and leading groups, helping people find healing in body, mind, and spirit. Evelyn specializes in transformative healing practices including somatic awareness, movement, meditation, healing through nature, and leading sacred ceremonies.

Recommended reading: The Burning Light of Two Stars: A Mother-Daughter Story, by Laura Davis.

Laura Davis

Laura Davis

Laura Davis is the author of seven bestselling books, including The Courage to Heal and I Thought We‘d Never Speak Again. In addition to writing books that inspire, the work of Laura’s heart is to teach. For more than twenty years, she’s helped people find their voices, tell their stories, and hone their craft.

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Workshop Schedule

Mon 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Tue - Thu 9:30 am – 1:00 pm
Tue - Thu 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Fri 9:30 am – 12:00 pm

More activities can be found on our open class schedule.

See general schedule information including arrival, departure and meal times.

Accommodations & Tuition

Click Register Now to view availability of accommodations and all-inclusive, program-specific tuition. Please note that not all accommodation levels are available for every workshop and additional faculty fees may apply.

We offer scholarship funds for those with financial need. Learn more.

Accommodations & Tuition

For this workshop, you will register and pay for accommodations and tuition in two separate steps.

First, sign up and pay tuition directly to

Second, click Book Accommodations from this page and enter the password to complete your reservation to stay at Esalen.

Prices for accommodations include your lodging, meals, open classes, and use of the baths and other facilities. View partner program accommodations pricing.

COVID Update

In addition to proof of vaccination, all guests and faculty must provide proof of negative test results at time of check-in. Please read our current COVID safety guidelines for complete details prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Effective January 7, 2022 in response to the rapid spread of the new Omicron variant, all guests and faculty will provide proof of negative PCR, NAAT, or antigen test results at time of check-in. The test must be taken within 72 hours nd results must come from a laboratory or healthcare provider.Please read our updated COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Effective December 15 in accordance with new guidance from Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Health, all guests, students, staff, residents, and faculty are required to wear masks in all indoor public settings, irrespective of vaccine status, for the next four weeks (December 15, 2021 through January 15, 2022). Please read our updated COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Effective November 19, 2021, in accordance with new guidance from the Monterey County Board of Supervisors, all guests, students, staff, residents, and faculty are no longer required to wear masks indoors on campus. Please read our updated COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Starting November 5, 2021, due to substantial levels of COVID-19 transmission in Monterey County, a mask mandate established by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors will go into effect. Please read our COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

All guests will be required to provide proof of vaccination upon arrival starting September 3, 2021. Please read our COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Masks are no longer mandated indoors or outdoors, except during massage sessions. Guests are not required to provide testing or vaccination verification before arriving on campus. Please read our COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

All-inclusive Pricing