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Pre-retreat Study

 1 - If you are participating in an upcoming retreat, reading or listening to the book, Look Inside - Moon Shadow Lodge based on a real retreat, is the best way to prepare.

​2 - If you cannot read the book before the retreat, at a minimum, you need to review 2 example stories from different categories. Sexuality, Social Harm, Traumatic Events, Family Harm.

3 - Watch the short series of video resources below.

4 - Check your packing list one last time :-)  Download Here


Neuroplasticity - Renewing the Mind

As we dig in to personal growth through Story Exploration, we must first learn some basics about harm. Harm from what and when? Trauma Definition: a deeply distressing experience. The word itself has been associated with car wrecks, fires, death etc. This is a great travesty in the understanding of how events and even spoken words have significantly shaped our lives. As we get started, we have to understand some basics about "trauma" and it's impact on the brain and body function. Because of the accelerated development of a child's body and brain, childhood events are especially significant. There is a list of examples in the first video.
Trauma Basics  (5 min)
Scott Musgrave, MSPT
Neuroplasticity  (2 min)
Sentis Brain Animation
Permanent Change! 
Renewing of Your Mind  (18 min) 
Dr. Caroline Leaf

Significance of Our Personal Story

We have found that the best of friends and even spouses don't know each others' story, mainly because we don't know it ourselves. Why don't we know or engage our story? For many reasons such as: "You just need to move on and focus on the future.", "I've learned to block it out.", "I had a great childhood." (denial), "It wasn't a big deal." (minimize) "No one cares." (apathy).

It is through story that we come to know and be known. The story of our life reveals more of the heartache, beauty and character of God. Story is the foundation of all people, nations and the primary prose of the voice of God.

An adult writing a story of a childhood memory engages more parts of the human brain than any other activity. Therefore, there is more opportunity with exploration to replace evil, harm and lies with truth, love and kindness.

Stories like that day on the playground, the dance, the one night at the dinner table, the bus ride to camp, that first date that didn't turn out like you'd hoped or any of those memories that seem to linger are significant.

Who Can I Trust? (2 min) 
Dr. Dan Allender
My Past is My Present
(2 min) 
Dr. Dan Allender
Shame and Vulnerability


Shame can build like a chronic disease within a soul. It begins as a child, formed from trauma, lies, betrayal, loss, neglect and also the shame of others being placed upon us.

Knowing Each Other's Story (2 min) 
Dr. Dan Allender
Shame and Vulnerability
(20 min) 
Dr. Brene Brown
Speaking and Listening


Being given the opportunity to listen to a story of someone else is one of the most sacred gifts a person can receive. Most participants begin to think much about 'sharing' their story, but during Story Group, developing the ability to truly listen will be profound.

There is constant and competing information all around and it has made truly listening to someone almost impossible and we haven't even noticed. What's frightening is that it's also generational.

Speaking to be Heard (7 min) 
Julian Treasure
Listening Well (6 min) 
Julian Treasure
Sex and sexuality?

These words themselves often bring fear and shame. Our working definition for sexuality is 'the sense of what it means to be a man' or 'the sense of what it means to be a woman'. At the heart of this war is far, far more than differences in anatomy. So much evil has come against our sexuality to create shame, guilt and confusion.

Sexual harm in our childhood is very effective in the kingdom of darkness. If we are harmed early in our life without resolution or comfort it's possible to live handicapped for many years later.

Dan allender.jpeg
Why is Sex Such a Big Deal to God? 
Dr. Dan Allender
StoryFinder 2.0 assessment

The purpose of this confidential self-assessment is not to get a 'good or bad score', but to bring attention to you key areas that should be given consideration in your journey of personal growth and how specific events affect the way you relate to others in your world now. Because of the neural mapping of memories, some specific early experiences will 'reenact' themselves in your life as an adult.

**Worse is, some of those events will cause you to resist or avoid good relationships and experiences in your life now.


Brain Development


We grow new brain cells and make new neural connections every day. For adults, our brains grow new cells at a rate of 150 neural connections per second. New thoughts cause new brain cells to grow! However, from birth to the age of four, it is much higher at 800 new neural connections per SECOND. From 5-8 is 600 and 9-13 is 400 etc. What's the point? When something significant occurs or is chronic, it would be recorded twice as much in your brain if you were 8 years old vs a 15 year old and 4 times more significant then for an adult. This is where a specific event can cause us to get 'stuck', like being afraid to speak in front of groups of people but have a strong desire to and a message that needs to be heard etc.

This assessment is completely confidential as you are not required to enter any personal information in order to complete it. We encourage you to have your spouse, family and friends take this assessment privately. The implications of patterns of behavior and thinking are critical as to how we relate to a spouse, child, friends, co-workers and directly relates to the current quality of life you are likely experiencing. Completing the StoryFinder you will receive the results from over a thousand men and women.



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