‘Capturing Your Creativity With Haiku’ Workshops (Live/Zoom)

Susan J. Farese, SJF Communications

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Haiku is an ancient form of Japanese Poetry (17th century), typically consisting of 3 lines, written with 17 syllables (5-7-5) and often on the subject of seasons and/or nature

Join Susan J. Farese, SJF Communications for her 90 minute virtual/ or 2 hour in-person engaging, interactive and fun workshop Capturing Your Creativity with Haiku. Susan will present a PowerPoint presentation, share several of her photography prompts (from nature/seasons) and give you ample time for reflection to kick-start/review, enhance and celebrate your Haiku writing journey! Teens and up! All levels! Class size – Minimum: 3 – Maximum: 10 attendees.

Online Workshops Sponsored by SJF Communications

What’s in store for our SJF Communications ‘Capturing Your Creativity With Haiku’ Workshop with Susan J. Farese?

First, an #icebreaker then a #PowerPoint presentation plus #naturephotography images as prompts to jumpstart/enhance participant Haikus. After that, sharing of Haiku (optional but fun and worth it)!

Join us via ZOOM – email for more info: sjfcommunications@gmail.com


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Other Workshops Sponsored by Libraries/Organizations

(Dates/Times are Subject to Change)

Palm Desert Library (Virtual) Tuesday, April 13, 2021 – 10 am – 11:30 am (Completed)!

Girls Nite Live – (Virtual) Monday, July 19, 2021 – 4 pm EST. (Completed)!

Poway Branch Library – Saturday, January 18, 2020 – 10 am – 12 pm. Address: 13137 Poway Rd. Poway, CA 92064. Call to reserve a space (858) 513-2900 or register in person. Free. COMPLETED!

Borrego Springs Library – Saturday, March 14, 2020 – 2 – 4 pm. Address: 2580 Country Club Road, Borrego Springs, CA 92004. Call to reserve a space (760) 767-5761 or register in person. Free. POSTPONED – NEW DATE TBA!

San Diego Writers, Ink -Sunday, April 5, 2020 – 10 am – 12 pm. Address:  2730 Historic Decatur Rd., Unit 202, San Diego, CA 92106 Price $30 (members); $36 (non-members) Reserve a spot: http://www.sandiegowriters.org/2020-04-05-capturing-your-creativity-with-haiku-with-susan-j-farese/ COMPLETED!

San Bernardino Public Library – Saturday, April 18, 2020 – 2 – 4 pm. Address: 555 W 6th St, San Bernardino, CA 92410. Call to reserve a space 909-381-8201 or register in person. Free. POSTPONED – NEW DATE TBA!

Valley Center Library – Wednesday, April 29, 2020 – 3:30 pm -5:30 pm. Address: 29200 Cole Grade Rd., Valley Center, CA 92082. Call to reserve a space (760) 749-1305 or register in person. Free. POSTPONED – NEW DATE TBA

Haiku Workshop Testimonials:

Transitions: This week, we had Susan Farese present her Haiku workshop. After reading her bio, I had been looking forward to her presentation all semester long. I was most interested in her career transitions from nursing to photography and starting her PR company. Inspired by Susan’s courage to change her career path multiple times in her life, I am in a similar transition state. Her willingness to adapt and leave her comfort zone because she saw a need for change deeply impacted me and renewed my spirit during a challenging time due to the global pandemic. The article by Restubog et al. says, “Now more than ever, it is important for individuals to become adaptable and agile with their careers. In order to do so, however, individuals need to draw on both their cognitive abilities and emotional skills to effectively adjust and respond to career challenges and events.” Participating in Susan’s Haiku workshop helped me stop and reflect on my nursing career’s challenges and consider a new profession’s possibilities in a post-pandemic world. With much appreciation, having the opportunity to ask her about her career transition out of nursing helped to minimize my distress and uncertainty about leaving nursing myself. I am genuinely moved and aim to take up Susan’s offer of mentorship.

-SDSU Communications Student

Haikus for Healing: Guest speaker Susan Farese brought a new energy to class that we haven’t seen yet and it was rather refreshing for the last week of class. She has accomplished enough for several lifetimes and I found it truly impressive of how she continues to shoot for the stars. It is inspiring to see so many professionals through this class drop their current stable lives to go out and pursue their passions. Due to COVID and recent stay at home orders, it has been tough for me to find a job but I have also begun to pursue “side hustles”. I started selling my clothes I no longer want on various secondhand shopping apps, I’ve started embroidery which I plan to also sell in forms of crafts like patches, magnets, etc. “Aside from these career and financial impacts, the widespread labor market uncertainty is also associated with many deleterious psychological outcomes (Cauchemez et al., 2009), including increased anxiety and fear about one’s future career options and op- opportunities. Decades of research has demonstrated that involuntary unemployment is associated with poor psychological and physical health (Paul & Moser, 2009; Wanberg, 2012). Similarly, employed workers may also experience increased anxiety because of the uncertainty they face about the future of their jobs” (Rothstein & Talbott, 2007; Shoss, 2017). Susan had some great advice that was simple yet effective to another student in class. She told her that whatever she wanted to do was to not hesitate and just go out and make it happen. The way Susan was able to achieve so many accomplishments was through believing in herself and making it happen. This was my main takeaway for the lecture.

– SDSU Communications Student

I was able to relate Susan’s talk to our week’s reading “Disease outbreaks not only disrupt basic life activities and impede economic growth (McKibbin & Fernando, 2020; Smith, KeoghBrown, & Barnett, 2011), they can also elicit both acute and long-term effects on individuals’ well-being (Restubog et al, 2020). We are currently living through a pandemic and it has taken a toll on our mental, emotional, and physical health. Susan Farese shared with us how “we can captivate one’s creativity with a Haiku”. A Haiku is a great way to funnel our creativity and distract ourselves from our current events. When it came time to get hands-on and attempt writing a Haiku while in class my brain defaulted to nature, flowers, and a sense of serenity.

– SDSU Communications Student

This week is overwhelming with a lot of final assignments due and the stress has gotten to me. The Haiku activity allowed me to shift my perspective in regards to the type of day I was having. I was able to set my worries aside and feel creative. Susan also talked about the difficult times we are facing through the pandemic. She made me think of different ways and methods I can use as escapism, as well as the importance of doing something you love. This had me thinking about the things I like to do in order to distract myself, it includes walking my dog, hiking, cooking, trying different recipes. I recently started getting into art and painting has been another great way of escapism. I like being able to forget about my worries and truly invest myself in an art piece.

– SDSU Communications Student

Proactive Coping: As an audience member to the presentation by Susan Farese, I enjoyed the information and the experience that was shared as well. I enjoyed learning about the work history and how it was that the love of poetry was discovered. The love for nature and words transpired through the screen so much, that for those moments, even I felt excited about it. Especially during this pandemic, it’s important to have coping mechanisms that bring joy to our life…I can connect with Susan in how much joy it brings to read poetry, and what can come into writing from my thoughts. Given the stressful times, and being inspired by Susan’s ability to be proactive about her poetry, I hope I can become more proactive about my own coping strategies, and start keeping my writing.

– SDSU Communications Student

Live in the Present: “This Tuesday, our amazing guest speaker, Susan Farese inspired me. She inspired me not only with the information that she shared but also by the way that she communicated with us. Just by spending that time in class, listening to her speak with the passion and joy that she did, I was able to see that she is an optimistic person. Susan reminded me of what we read this week. In one of the articles, they mentioned an optimistic person and said that, “they look forward to the future and often support and encourage others around them” (Walker & Harvey, 2019, p. 176). I could tell that this is one of the wonderful characteristics that Susan has. I really enjoyed learning the definition of a Haiku. I believe that the idea of it to “capture or to depict a certain moment”, is so beautiful. It kind of reminds me of a written photograph. The other ideas of a Haiku inspired me to read them. I am really trying to be more “mindful and in the present moment.” Another statement that Susan made at the end of the video was “just do it!” I think so many times, we tend to think that until we have reached a certain age or until we have reached a certain degree, then we can “do it.” We could end up pushing this off to the end of our lives, never fulfilling a dream and always living in the “one day I’ll do it..” mindset. This is something that I have found myself doing more often, especially in the busyness of life. I can no longer and will no longer live saying, “ one day” but I aspire to live a life where I am able to look back and say hey “I did it!” It may not have turned out the way I expected, but that is ok! I have wanted to tap into my creative side and start drawing and designing cards. I have been waiting, telling myself that I do not have time, that I am not ready, that I can do it later. But I am done waiting! Susan truly inspired me to no longer wait on my dreams that I left on the back burner for a rainy day, but to chase after them, no matter how small they may seem!”

– SDSU Communications Student

“I really enjoyed Susan J. Farese’s guest speaker presentation today. Susan seemed like an incredibly interesting lady who has had a lot of valuable life experiences to learn from. I was particularly impressed with the fact that she totally changed her career path at multiple points in her life. It must have taken some real courage to branch out and start her own company that provides a variety of communications services after going to school and working for years as a nurse. I think that says a lot about her character and her willingness to get out of her comfort zone and follow her heart. A point in her presentation that I found to be very relatable to our reading today is when Susan emphasized the importance of “being present.” This made me think of the article we read this week about taking control of our emotions during the pandemic. One of the most effective ways to cope with anxiety is being present and living in the moment instead of getting too deep in your thoughts all the time and I think that was great advice from Susan. Something else that Susan said that I could relate to personally was when she talked about the importance of “being mindful of others.” There was a point in my life where I feel that I was more self-absorbed and not very empathetic but once I dealt with my own experiences of depression and anxiety I realized that it is an intense experience that many people deal with. This inspired me to ensure that I am especially kind to others and empathetic to everyone’s situation because you never know what people are going through.”

– SDSU Communications Student

Dealing With Stress During a Pandemic: “In today’s guest speaker presentation, we were introduced to a very unique way of writing poetry, the Japanese Haiku. Susan Farese an expert on this style of poem writing decided to leave her life of military and nursing to peruse something she believed to be fulfilling, with the capabilities of helping others. The most memorable part of the presentation today was definitely when she spoke about leaving everything behind to peruse her dream of helping others.” | “Like Mrs. Farese and her use of Haiku to help others deal with the everyday stressors of life, these practices of well-being are curtail now more than ever with the times that we live in. This idea of doing something that we deeply enjoy or love is nothing foreign to all of us, but the importance of it is now more than ever greater. The world we currently live in seems to be upside-down and all over the place with headlines that impact all of us coming in each day. It is more important now to find what you love doing and do it! For your own well-being and psychological health. For me this activity that helps me stay grounded and deal with stressors is working out, staying active is how I take care of my psychological well-being.”

– SDSU Communications Student

Do Not Forget to Listen: “I recently watched a movie about a young boy who was a part of the foster care system in New Zealand called “Hunt for The Wilder People” on Netflix. The young man said he was taught to use haikus when dealing with negative emotion, and each time a haiku was spoken in the movie, it was a significant moment. Susan said, “Whatever you can do in your life to balance… do something that focuses on positivity or mindfulness…”. It is a reminder that it is vital to have a balance in life.”

– SDSU Communications Student

Nature is a Remedy: “In Susan’s presentation, we learned about Haikus and the elements of being mindful and present. One of the positive implementations to my day was incorporating a daily walk. Susan suggested we need to “take some time to just appreciate nature and the sounds around you” which reminded me of the first time I began to appreciate my daily walk around the neighborhood. The simplicity of strolling outside after being inside for so long was refreshing and maintaining that practice has lifted my spirits during heavy times. Taking time to absorb nature has bettered my understanding of mindfulness.”

– SDSU Communications Student

The Beauty of Words: “Susan was an inspiring guest speaker to listen to and learn from. She discussed the creativity of Haiku and the importance of Haiku. She debriefed the background information behind Haiku, and she has motivated us to take some time to appreciate nature and the sounds around us to really find our inner peace. She said, “whatever you can do to balance your anxiety and depression during a time like this that we are in and focus on positivity, kindness, and calmness during this time.” |”Our journal article this week related to some things Susan was talking about throughout her presentation…The journal article and Susan both discussed the emotions that hard times can cause and how to regulate those doing hard times such as COVID-19”.

– SDSU Communications Student

“Thank you so very much for your inspiration presentation in my class.  As you can see from the students’ responses, you were quite a hit in so many different ways.  I know you could have talked for another hour and the students would have loved it.  I can’t thank you enough.”

-Patricia Geist-Martin Ph.D.

“I took Susan Farese’s Haiku Class in a time when we may be a bit “stale”.  Being confined at home has dulled the feelings.  I am not a writer or that creative. What Susan’s class did for me was awaken my senses.  I was able to tap into some happy and sad moments in my haiku.  It was cathartic, enlightening and extremely engaging. I left the class feeling more appreciative of the world and very proud of myself!   I will continue to write Haiku as it doesn’t take a lot of time and it is fun!  Susan was able to influence me with techniques that will stay with me forever.”

-K.D. Haiku Workshop Attendee

“I really enjoyed your Haiku class and thought it was really informative! I had so much fun creating my first Haikus thanks to you! I did not think I could do it but your expertise and support really helped. What a fun way to spend my Saturday afternoon. Thank you so much. I am going to keep writing Haikus. You have sparked an interest for me! Thank you!”

-A.S. Haiku Workshop Attendee

“I am not a writer and I definitely do not have a way with words, but I thought this Haiku class seemed like a great way to try my hand at writing for myself. Susan Farese made it easy to follow and shared great original imagery and stories to help guide a nervous beginner. You become more aware of all there is to observe in life and how to reflect on that. I found it helped me to be more mindful. It was a bonus to be able to share this experience with others.”

N.G. Haiku Workshop Attendee

“This workshop was very enlightening for me. Keep the creativity going!”

-Anonymous Haiku Workshop Attendee

“It was a privilege to work with you. I love your style and how well you helped me bring out my inner soul. Stay safe and healthy.”

-J.A. Haiku Workshop Attendee

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