After generating the last three posts, I’ve taken time to allow myself to simply
S L O W D O W N … relax, reflect and write without thoughts of publishing anything while remaining open to sharing it all. Interesting insights emerged as I pulled weeds, walked Molly through the neighborhood and along the ocean, visited with neighbors, sat outside on the patio with my journal & pen savoring the astonishing burst of Spring color in my yard and enjoying the quiet company of Ms. Kitty.
I suspect I’ll share some of the ‘labyrinth’ pieces at my website soon, but this morning I want to let my fingers type ‘narrative style’ to see what shows up. I’ve given my inner editor a few hours off. She’s not thrilled, but I insisted because I want to exercise the same freedom at the keyboard as I do with pen on the page. I recall that it took time & insistence on my part to convince her to leave me alone with my pen & journal too … at least initially.
My friend Sharon (aka WGASA Woman) and I rescheduled our follow-up call twice because her days are quite busy, she seems to have more free time at night, and of course, I don’t do well in the evening because I awaken and arise so early. However we managed to connect yesterday around 2pm my time after she finished packing for a trip and before tackling her next task. Our conversation was rich indeed. I awoke this morning with the topic of this post in mind and I realize how sacred and essential the connection is between us.
She feels like a long-lost sister … a kindred spirit who sees me more clearly than I see myself at times … a flat mirror in which to discover and become who I am more fully and step forth in a bigger, more expansive way that I might do alone. She understands (when I lose sight of the fact temporarily) that I know more than I realize, and she holds a space for me to safely explore that knowledge (without allowing herself to be caught up in my limited perceptions) while creating ‘tension’ by asking questions and trusting us both enough to ‘blurt’ intuitive truths that come from deep within as they arise … leaving it to me to consider what her words might mean for my next steps.
Last night she left an insightful follow-up message at Facebook that I discovered and responded to this morning. In it (among other things) she suggested two possible titles for a ‘memoir’ I might write and publish … and I responded (in part) as follows:
Both titles ‘resonate’ on multiple levels with a myriad of meanings. ‘Through the Labyrinth’ evokes ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Through the Looking Glass’ … taking me right back to reflections and mirrors … so I love the synchronicity. ‘Labyrinth Journeys’ brings to mind ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ and maybe my true genre will be memoir. In addition, I suspect there will be ‘tools’ and a series of journals to invite others to participate in their own ways for their own reasons.
Not long ago, I downloaded and began listening to the Beyond Awakening Series comprised of calls recorded last Fall regarding ‘the future of spiritual practice’ in our world created by Terry Patten who describes himself as:
… a passionate Integral coach, teacher, trainer, consultant, and writer. He is committed to serving the emergence of Integral consciousness—by writing and educating, and by helping conscious individuals and organizations negotiate extraordinary transitions.
In checking for the URL just now, I see the interviews continue even now … with the most recent one added April 3rd. If you’re interested, you can learn more about Terry, listen to the calls online, and/or download the series by clicking the link above.
I started this post yesterday but ‘life’ intervened and wasn’t able to finish then, so it’s now 3:37am on Tuesday, April 5th and I’m picking up where I left off as best I can … recognizing I’m in a different space intuitively because much has happened in the past 24 hours the most significant of which is that I emailed the following ‘application’ to Jennifer Lee of the Right Brained Business Series:
“Live out of your imagination, not your history.” Stephen R. Covey
Discovery Session Application
1. I’m excited by what I’ve read in your book and seen in your Right Brained Business program, however I’ve only been able to watch a couple of the webinar session thus far, and I don’t have a ‘business’ yet so I’m not sure just how to respond to these questions, but I figure … nothing ventured, nothing gained.
By way of introduction, I’m a writer with a ‘peanut-butter cup’ idea I call ‘Labyrinth Writing’ … that I’ve tested with a variety of people thus far … both writers and non-writers … who tell me it helps them find words and access intuitive information they can then use to shift their perspectives and make changes in their lives, much as I’ve done over the past few decades. It’s a right brained tool to access inner wisdom and promote personal liberation. You can see personal examples I’ve shared at a new fairly website, Labyrinth Journal, and more at my Giraffe Journal blog over the past few months. I’m a ‘happily retired’ public school educator and have been living on a modest pension since 2001, but I’m ready to use my considerable teaching and writing experience to serve others and supplement my income sustainably. I’ve worked diligently since last July when this idea first took root within. I’ve invested significant time and money to do the work required to create this business, and I’m amazed at all I’ve managed to accomplish in the span of a few months.
2. My business vision includes creating and making available a variety of tools & training opportunities delivered primarily via downloads, webinars and phone calls. That said, my 34 years of experience in the classroom, working as a Staff Developer for a local school district, and teaching graduate classes at CSULB left me with excellent presentational skills. I’m an effective motivational speaker on stage as well so that’s a possibility too.
Several months ago I thought the following: The true spirit of my work is to build bridges for women who feel cut off from themselves, bring joy and freedom to their daily lives (delighting in who they are, just as they are with no modifications needed) through playful interaction with unique journal writing processes. More recently I’ve revised this vision as follows: the true spirit of my work is to give (exhausted, frustrated, disillusioned, and/or retired independent) women practical strategies to reconnect with a palpable sense of possibility that comes from looking inward and shifting perspectives to see ‘what is’ and ‘what might be’ in a new, more positive light revealing multiple opportunities to savor life and serve the world in sustainable ways. Two other possible ‘audiences’ for my work are ‘writers who feel stuck when it comes to sharing their authentic message’ and ‘coaches with clients who have difficulty putting what they’re experiencing into words’ …
My core message is a spiritual one has to do with ‘perceptual shifts’ born of authenticity and vulnerability built on gratitude practices and personal responsibility (without shame or blame), forgiveness of self & others which leads to compassionate action … leading to recognition of synchronicity and grace.
3. A few actions I’ve thrown myself into big time since to move myself toward becoming an entrepreneur include (but are not limited to):
* participating in Christine Kloser’s ‘Get Your Book Done Live’ program since last Fall drafting a manuscript with a working title of ‘Writing the Labyrinth to Access Inner Wisdom’ and I’ve gathered together PDFs and audio versions of labyrinth pieces on a variety of ‘themes’ to self-publish with Vervante and sell
* I’m currently developing a website as I participate in a Website Creation training with Christina Hills.
* I’ve created separate public Facebook ‘fan’ pages for my Giraffe Journal and Labyrinth Journal sites, collecting ‘followers’ at each.
* I’m also working with Isabel Parlett, the Soundbite Shaman, using her How to Say What You Do When What You Do is Deep Powerful and Hard to Describe program to develop my ‘true spirit’ message, tag-line, elevator speech, etc. … all ‘in progress’ and in flux currently
I’m trying to be succinct here, but in my last three (soon to be four) posts at Giraffe Journal I’ve shared more specifically and in great detail if you’re inclined to visit and would like to know more.
4. My biggest challenge currently is ‘the money piece’ … creating a sustainable business … learning about ‘legal things’ like trademarks and copyright, how to set up a SEO and shopping cart, decide on prices, etc. I’ve not had any previous ‘business’ experience so everything is new, but I’m gradually working these issues through piece by piece, and I’m confident I’ll figure everything out because I’m determined and persistent whenever I put my mind to something.
5. I’m fully committed to overcoming these and whatever other challenges arise, figuring everything out, and finding ways to collaborate & partner with others … so I’m a 10 on your scale. Several coaches have indicated interest in selling the journals on their sites and incorporating them as part of their training materials already, and listening to Andrea Lee recently has given me ideas about how to have ‘money conversations’ with them. I’ve decided not to hire a website designer because I’m really a ‘do it yourself’ kind of gal, but I’m pretty sure I’ll need a virtual assistant to help with time intensive things I’m simply not interested in doing but need to be done. I’m working with two gals currently to do some collaborative work together, but we’re still in the brainstorm phase at this point.
So that’s about it for now. I hope this is enough information to give you the gist of what I’m about and what I hope to accomplish next. I would love to hear your ideas. Thanks for the opportunity to apply.
“Things are only impossible until they’re not.”
Jean Luc Picard in Star Trek, the Next Generation
This email contained hyperlinks I’ve stripped out and am not going to obsessively add back in even though my inner editor thinks I should do so. This is an ‘ongoing struggle for control’ that I intend to win through persistent mindfulness and patience with all parts of myself. To continue with where I left off yesterday …
Through Terry Patten I encountered Claire Zammit and Katherine Woodward Thomas. These two women are partners in a venture designed to support the spiritual growth of women that I hope to explore next because I sense we’re on parallel paths at this richly complex time in human history. Apparently they’ve developed a program they call The Keys to Feminine Power. Typing their names into Google and clicking over there just now to get the link, I notice they offer a free download and a seven-week telecourse for ‘the awakening woman’ that looks intriguing. It appears that they’ve created a framework to support a new kind of growth between and among women that ‘mirrors’ my relationship with Sharon and a few other women writers in my life.
This morning I’m mindful that my life is my message.
Perhaps all I really need to do is continue to be myself, just as I am, and invite YOU to be YOURSELF, just as YOU are. Typing that ‘feels’ true, and I’m reminded that when I turned on the computer a little while ago I noticed this message from TUT in email:
“You’ve come a long way, Virginia, from the timid, shy soul you once were. Hiding out on distant planets, befriending alien tree forms, splashing in snow fed streams, and secretly planning your time on earth with a book published launching an internet business and all.
So what do you say we drop all the practical logic, rational reasonableness, and cautious optimism, and give those tree forms something to talk about – before they start making stuff up.
You know trees.
I’m totally with you on this –
Adding this right now makes me laugh aloud at the synchronicity and resonant ‘truth’ I sense within. Are you not laughing right along with me? Might we not create miracles together by being ourselves … just as we are … supporting one another by holding individual and shared visions of ‘what might be possible’ in the face of being present with ‘what is’ right here, right now?
Recently I heard Christine Kloser use the term ‘birth quake’ … and I’ve been captivated by the idea ever since. Looking back at life’s challenges, I realize each was a ‘birth quake’ … disorienting, disruptive, challenging and even painful at the time, but oh so worth the transformational ‘gifts’ on the other side. I’ll write more about this soon, but if you’ve stayed with me through all my ramblings, I’d like to invite you to join me in this journey of discovery because I believe we need each other to become who we’re meant to be.
Thought for Today
“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”
~e.e. cummings, 1955