classroom banner classroom banner

Empty Nest + New Stories

Enrolling now


Join photographer, empty-nester, and creative team member Kelly Ishmael as she helps you to identify, explore, and challenge the stories you are telling yourself about this transition and new season of your life.

  In this four-week workshop, Kelly will share personal stories of her empty-nest transition along with heartening insights to inspire and encourage you in your journey. Each lesson will include an instructional video, specific journaling prompts, a PDF download, and a process video all designed to walk you through the process of documenting your empty-nest transition. (See the Class Schedule for more information on class content.)

In addition, you will have access to the support and encouragement of the Empty Nest + New Stories community as well as to Kelly, who will be available to answer questions and provide guidance on the lesson content.   This transition in a parent’s life is often accompanied by feelings of sadness, loneliness, anxiety, or loss of purpose. The goal for this workshop is to help you to acknowledge your feelings + emotions, to encourage you to be brave and ask yourself the hard questions, and to inspire you to embrace and enjoy this new chapter of your life.

classroom avatar
Class taught by: Kelly Ishmael
Class starts September 1st

Class Contributors

  • Amy Gretchen
  • Elizabeth Heinz
  • Ali Edwards

What you'll learn

  • How getting curious and being honest about your feelings is the first step in the journey of self-discovery.
  • How leaning into uncomfortable feelings can be the birthplace for personal transformation.
  • How the power of gratitude can change the story from that of sad endings to new possibilities.

What you'll get

  • Specific journaling prompts for each lesson 
  • Full color handouts that include inspiration and how-to’s
  • A main video presentation for each lesson
  • A digital package that includes PNG files (see slider)
  • Process videos for each lesson (additional digital tutorials when applicable)

What you'll need

  • An openness and willingness to get curious about challenging personal stories
  • A journal and pen 
  • Quiet time for reflection and writing

Class Schedule

  1. Sep 1
    Class begins
    3:00AM EDT
  2. Sep 1
    Lesson 1 | Welcome & Introduction
    3:00AM EDT
    A video presentation welcoming you to class and process videos for creating my notebook.
  3. Sep 4
    Lesson 2 | Letting Go
    3:00AM EDT
    Exploring the role of parenthood and giving yourself permission to be sad about it ending.
  4. Sep 8
    Lesson 3 | The Big Questions
    3:00AM EDT
    Peeling back role of parenthood can often expose big questions about our identity and purpose.
  5. Sep 11
    Lesson 4 | Exploring the Darkness
    3:00AM EDT
    Acknowledging the hard parts of our story with compassion and forgiveness to move towards healing.
  6. Sep 15
    Lesson 5 | The Middle Part
    3:00AM EDT
    There are times during this transition that require us to sit with uncertainty and emptiness.
  7. Sep 18
    Lesson 6 | The Next Chapter
    3:00AM EDT
    This can be a time to explore things that bring a new, different kind of satisfaction to your life.
  8. Sep 22
    Lesson 7 | New Stories To Tell
    3:00AM EDT
    The practice of gratitude can change the narrative from one of sad ending to new possibilities.
  9. Sep 25
    Lesson 8 | The Best Is Yet To Come
    3:00AM EDT
    Enjoying a new phase of relationship with adult children and the stories they are writing.
  10. Sep 29
    Class Contributor | Amy Gretchen
    3:00AM EDT
    Amy shares her story
  11. Oct 2
    Class Contributor | Elizabeth Heinz
    10:00AM EDT
    Elizabeth shares her story.
  12. Oct 5
    Class Contributor | Ali
    3:00AM EDT
    Ali shares her story.