Cultivating Stories of Hope to Inspire us During Uncertain Times

Dr. Emily Keller is a psychotherapist specializing in working with children, families, grief, and trauma.

Here at Subtack, she writes weekly stories—inspired by time in her new garden—to help her and others make sense and meaning out of the world around them.

What readers are saying:

“I just wanted to let you know how much your writing inspires me. I think I know where the story is headed, and then I realize you were talking about something deeper the entire time.”

“Your writing has invited me to explore my own grief.”

“I know you said you don’t know where this is headed, I just wanted to say “keep going, don’t stop.”

Do you feel uncertainty during these shifting times?

Does the world feel full of darkness?

Are you looking for hope and inspiration?

I am often inspired by the stories and strengths of my clients. They are often surprised that what they feel they are needing is already inside of them. Together, we co-create space to cultivate what is already within in order to support healing and becoming.

Similarly, since moving into this home during a pandemic, this yard its many gardens helped me create space … for tears, for letting go, for letting out, for breath, for hope, for taking in …

During my time outside, I’ve discovered garden treasures left by the previous owners: fountains, fairies, figurines, wind chimes, and much more. Like us, each holds a story.

I may not know the historical stories that each treasure holds, but I give them space and new life in the garden. I delight in their presence. I create new stories, as they bring me joy throughout the difficulties of parenting, sometimes alone, four boys during a pandemic shortly after a cross-country move and job change.

I am coming through a crisis of narrative after losing touch with the story of who I am and where I thought I was headed in life.

The stories we tell (about ourselves, others, and the world) guide our lives. Without a familiar story, we feel lost. Directionless. I did. Now, I’m doing for and with myself what I do with clients … picking up the pen and writing a new chapter.

Therapy costs ~$150 an hour. Not everyone can afford that. I am hoping that by sharing my process and these garden vignettes, you will find the inspiration you need to rewrite the unhealthy stories you hold.

This is especially important because many of our storylines were written in childhood and carried into adulthood. Many of them simply aren’t true:

  • “I’m not good enough.”

  • “I’ll never …”

  • “I can’t …”

  • “I’m not lovable …” etc.

None of this is true. Rewrite it based on the truth.

Let’s dig deep and find the truth. Join me in the dirt … the messy space of healing, being, and becoming.

Much of Story Garden is free until you decide it is not. You are welcome to support the time I put into writing and creating by purchasing a subscription. For the price of one fancy coffee a month, you will get access to what I feel are more vulnerable stories or the ones that I put more time into writing. Or simply the ones that are still in process. It’s more like a back-stage pass into the messy process of rewriting narratives.

To learn more about me and my psychotherapy work and training: HTTP://