Yes, I painted this myself using fluid acrylics and regular acrylics. I think that sometimes, we really do need reminders in our creative path.
When I say, creative path, I’m not just talking about artists, writers, and musicians. I believe that everyone is creative. The universe and all of life is constantly creating. Creativity is similar to life force energy. You’re a part of that. You can bring your creativity into your work and play. It is not just limited to art, music, writing, cooking, or crafts. However you want to play with creativity, why not do it your own way?
I’m currently doing my training to become a Kaizen Muse Creativity Coach. This training came into my life in a very synchronistic way. (More on this in later blog posts). One of the ideas we explore with Kaizen Muse is reminders. We’re human and often, our minds are busy. It’s normal (and okay) to not “get” stuff we want to comprehend or put to use in our lives right away. Our mind needs repetition. It’s all good.
I had this idea of reminders as my intention with painting the above. I figured I can’t be the only one who could benefit from it, so I’m sharing it with you here above. (Oh. My. Gawd. OMG. I’m. Sharing. My. Artwork. Again. <—this is new for me).
What do you enjoy doing? What lights your creative fire? Share here and let’s inspire each other and be cheerleaders for one another on the path.
I am thrilled to be part of the Blog Tour of author Jacki Smith and Patty Shaw whose book DIY Akashic Wisdom, Access the Library of your Soul launches on Amazon.com on Tuesday October 1, 2013.
Jacki Smith also authored award winning Coventry Magic 2011, is a Spiritual counselor, Akashic Records reader and healer, and radio show host of KIMradio, www.keepitmagic.com. Jacki contributes articles to in Retailing Insight, a trade publication for the new age industry regularly. Patty Shaw also authored award winning Healers Almanac, Wisdom of the 21st Century Goddesses and is a certified Spiritual Counselor through UCM since 1992, Reiki Master, Akashic Record reader and healer. Patty co-directs and teaches at her School of Akashic Healing. You can learn more about Patty at, www.healingwithpattyshaw.com.
The ladies also co-own Coventry Creations, est. in 1992, which is known for its inspirational candles that help us create our own reality. No matter what’s getting in the way of your success, Coventry Creations has a candle for that, www.coventrycreations.com.
Yesterday, Jacki and Patty visited Storm Cestavani http://stormcestavani.com/2013/09/26/diy-akashic-wisdom/ where they talked about healing trauma in the Akashic records.
Here’s what we chatted about the other day when I got to ask them some questions about their new book. I hope you enjoy it.
Lisa: How did you get interested in working with the Akashic Records?
Jacki: I got inducted into the “records” quite abruptly during a reading I was doing at a psychic fair. As per usual I prepared for the reading by connecting heart to heart and asking to be shown the stream of knowledge for my querent. Everything was going fine until I zoomed into her heart chakra, then through it to a place I’d never been before. A little startled I silently asked, where there “f” am I? My goal is to always look calm cool and collected to my clients, even when I’m not really. I was told by my guides that I was in the Akashic records and that I’d really enjoy giving the reading from this place instead of her chakra or aura. So I thought, sure, I’ll play. I trust my guides and boy am I glad I did. The reading was amazingly easy for me to do. Information was clear, timely and very accurate for my client. Cheers and tears all around! I continued to do all the readings that way and word got out. I soon was booked all day. I have been giving readings from the Akashic records ever since.
Patty: Initially I became interested in the Akashic records as a witness or messenger. Both my sisters came to me for healings or messages from spirit and each time the subject of the Akashic records came up. They were both to pursue working with the Akashic records to help people. I never imagined that I was included in that message. I became a spiritual healer before I started doing readings, so when I figured out that working with the akasha was so much more than giving readings, I was intrigued. I would say I found my comfort zone with the records. I found that I could “see” my client’s situation multi-dimensionally, as if I got their story from several perspectives at once. This was very exciting and helpful because sometimes I struggled with the meaning behind my client’s issues and progress was kinda plodding. Now that I can bring the healing into my client’s records, I am able to help my client along an issue with less effort and less healing sessions.
Lisa: There is a four step process in the book you teach to do some self healing, describe them for us.
Jacki and Patty: After sitting with so many clients we saw a pattern in the way people heal and we also saw that there are four basic components to healing. So we invented our own little Akashic Wisdom Process. We show how it’s done in our book so anyone can do this for themselves. This is a blessing for those on a budget.
In the process you’ll be facing fears, evaluating your beliefs, taking off your rose colored glasses (dealing with illusions) and finally breaking down your block to changing your mind, especially the change you desire. You can take the process from either direction. You can start with what you are afraid of. So you’ll be going into your records ready to address a known fear, and then you’ll be guided to disassemble the illusions and beliefs you created to avoid your fears, finally you’ll then blast through the block that you discover you built around your life to prevent you from success. Sometimes you don’t really know our issue is about fear. All you see is a block or resistance to success. Then the process flips and you take your issue or block to the records and follow the trail to the paralyzing fear that is keeping you stuck.
Lisa: When is it time for a reader to put down the book and see a professional?
Jacki and Patty: DIY Akashic Wisdom is all about showing how much can do on your own in your Akashic records. Believe us, it’s a lot and something to be very proud of. Eventually though you will find there are things you just can’t resolve on your own, nor should you. That’s when you call a professional to help you out. Our short list for when you need good counsel is; every time you start to unravel an issue you are always the victim and you cannot see any other perspective, you are dealing with abuse, your parent is your abuser, you are riddled with grief or guilt so deep you cannot forgive yourself, you cannot forgive your abuser or offender, revenge is your only solution, you lost connection with your Akashic records and see nothing repeatedly. You are too afraid to ask the tough questions. There are many other reasons to ask for help with a trip to your Akashic records and we believe all are valid. Both of us help each other with things we find in our records, it’s just so nice to have someone else there for comfort, insight and strength when we don’t have it.
I hope you enjoyed this interview with Jacki Smith and Patty Shaw and you’ll check out their new book DIY Akashic Wisdom, Access the Library of Your Soul at http://diyakashicwisdom.com.
Here’s why you’ll want to do that:
When you visit their page and sign up for their newsletter you’ll receive a free recording of their Introduction to the Akashic Records with a meditation that will take you right into your own Akashic record room.
When you buy DIY Akashic Wisdom on launch day (October 1, 2013) from amazon.com you will also receive three more recording from their Akashic Wisdom workshop series.
Thanks for reading! As usual, please feel free to share your comments and thoughts below. I love getting your feedback.
AND… be sure to follow Jacki and Patty tomorrow when the next stop on the Blog Tour is David Salisbury, who will be discussing communicating with spirit in the Akashic records. To visit that “stop” on the tour, go to:
Today’s blog post is an interview with Sue Govali. Sue and I were on the same episode of Where is My Guru, an online radio show. (You can listen to it here.) As a singer and guitarist myself who loves energy work and chakras, I instantly resonated with Sue and her work. Sue teaches people how to sing from their spirits and overcome stage fright. Her heart is big and I know you’ll just love her. Below is our interview. If you want to read more about Sue Govali’s work, check out her website: http://www.singingfromthecenter.com/ Her Facebook page is here: https://www.facebook.com/Singingfromthecenter Sue’s YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/singingfromthecenter/feed
Thanks and love,
Lisa: Tell us about how you serve and empower women in your work?
Sue: Hmm. My work has been teaching for the last 10 years, and since like attracts like, most of my students have been women, with a lot of them have had the same kind of issues as me, it seems. We use the emotions so much when singing, and sessions often become a kind of therapy (especially with students who’ve become friends).
So, I guess they’re empowered by being able to explore their feelings and blocks, and simply by being present in the process, I’m serving and healing my own issues – the old adage of ‘we teach what we need to know’ always being so true!
Since I started incorporating meditation and spiritual concepts, I’ve also found that my teaching has changed completely – it helps get over the fear of performing, connects with instinct and one’s personal truth, and I’ve observed that the simple act of taking the attention down to the center of the heart and trying to be here and now can be a life changing choice.
Lisa: What makes you a fabulous female? (don’t be shy, toot your own horn!)
Sue: Argh! So difficult to toot my own horn! I’m British, so it’s just not done – we don’t want to be a show off and the whole class not like us now, do we! On the other hand, the person I am now I actually like. If you asked me that just 5 or 6 years ago I might not have been so forthcoming. I’ve done the work and worked out a lot of my stuff and have found a way up the mountain that makes sense to me. Not only that, thank you Universe, it’s seeped into my teaching (as these things often do), and is helping others in ways I would have been amazed at as little as 5 or 6 years ago. In truth, I guess I’m learning to be a little bit more fabulous every day, and in so doing empowering others to do the same.
Lisa: Who are your heroines or she-roes?
Sue: My early heroes were women I fell in love with on film – singers would you believe, Barbra Streisand and Julie Andrews! I had the records and knew ALL the songs. They were the zenith of fabulousness to me. Music has always moved me deeply so it was also often singers as I grew up, Ella Fitzgerald being a huge influence. Now, I don’t know. There are a lot of women I admire, who are doing amazing things in the world. Amma is truly amazing http://amma.org/. She gives you a hug and does incredible charity relief work around the world. I got a hug from her and the next day I felt a deep feeling of peace and joy that started at my feet and worked it’s way up my body, and which lasted for three days. I was with a psychic friend who said she couldn’t look at her, she shone so bright.
I also feel the planets are changing, we’re in the New Age, and it’s up to women to stand strong at this time.g
Lisa: How do you stay inspired daily?
Sue: I meditate and do yoga in the morning. This helps set me up and clears out the kinks. I feel that “mindfulness” is key, learning to walk between the raindrops. Although I also feel that life is a process and one can’t be inspired and “on” every day – there’ll be times when the ego attacks and we have to do battle and that’s how we grow! I also get inspiration from others – seeing their strengths and how they deal with life.
Lisa: What is your favorite music?
Sue: I like all sorts of music but my soul beats with the heart of a jazzer. I discovered it in my 20’s and never looked back.
Lisa: Speaking of music, tell us about your work as a singer.
Sue: It was Billie Holliday I got into first. I’d trained as an actor and had been working steadily for 3 or 4 years, but it didn’t feel freeing or authentic. I bought one of Billie’s albums, loved it, then started fancying myself in a club in a glittery dress. So, I put an ad in the paper “Jazz musicians wanted,” and got a gezillion phone calls, and started from there, not knowing the first thing about it. I worked as a singer in London, England, for 9 years, learning my craft, playing in bands, running bands, doing sessions. I went to the Guildhall School of Music for 2 years, at this time, while also gigging.
I gradually got better and better gigs, was on the radio and the tele, did Ronnie Scott’s club. Then a friend asked me to do a European tour with her with the band The Moody Blues. She dropped out and another friend joined. We had a brilliant time drunk in various elevators around Germany, I seem to remember. The Moodies kept asking me back and so I kept going, an arrangement that lasted from ’90-99. It was nice to get proper money and to tour in style, and I used my time off and moolah to record and write my own music and learn how to mix and produce.
Of course, one’s spiritual path keeps unfolding and I realized around ’96 that it was ego that had been causing all of the resistance and unhappiness. There was no Eckhart Tolle then, or similar Gurus, and I realized that I had nothing to put in the place of my own narcissism, and discovered a mind numbing stage fright underneath that. I can remember filming ‘The Moody Blues Live at the Albert Hall’ in ‘99 and feeling so much fear. They downsized not long after that, and I hibernated and finished my album in Cambria, California.
My husband and I moved to San Francisco in 2003, and I started teaching later in the year, for want of anything else to do at the time and a need to earn a crust. I kicked against it for the first few years, then it slowly dawned on my that it was doing me a lot of good, and teaching me loads. So much so, that I surrendered to it in the end, realizing it was part of my path.
Last year I also realized it was time to go back to performing, that it’s a part of me, and if I don’t do it, a part of me is miserable. I wrote a show and put it on, and have a string of gigs planned for 2014. My teaching space is also now essentially a TV studio, fully equipped with light and sound, where I teach live lessons and plan to record a plethora of stuff (posh prose), including music and musical performances.
Lisa: What advice do you have for artists and creative people when it comes to expressing their authentic selves?
Sue: That you’re doing it for you, primarily, not for the audience, because if feels good and it makes you happy. The diaphragm is usually so tense, full of our fears and living in the future, when we learn to breathe properly it can be very freeing. So first step, take a beautiful deep breath, take the attention down to the center of the heart and try and be here and now. The ego is housed in the head, so taking the attention down to the heart cuts through it all.
Plus, the more we try and ignore the fear, which stops us from being authentic, the more it takes our attention, so LET IT BE PART OF YOUR PERFORMANCE (or creative process) – surrender to it, then you’ll quickly get bored of it and find a truer emotion to express. From a place of true “mindfulness,” we can choose our emotions, perform with truth and passion, and then just walk away.
I also feel that energy goes from yin to yang, so if we come from a place of peace and silence, and recognize within that is our true nature (“I am a peaceful soul”), the fear, the egos biggest weapon, can’t touch us, especially if our focus is the center of the heart.
I think the process is this: the soul and the ego are housed in the 3rd eye, the 6rth chakra, where they duke it out for supremacy, the ego usually winning by attacking us through our own fears, or by going ‘no, we always do this, no need to CHANGE’. The ego has little power outside of the head, and a good breath cuts through all of its shenanigans. So, let a good breath take you down to the heart, let breath meeting spirit in the heart combust and create joy, and let that open the diaphragm, the seat of the voices’ physical power.
Another good way to get there is to laugh, experiencing the breath, and feel it in the diaphragm. When you feel emotion from the diaphragm, it’s easy to access spirit and what you truly want to express.
Lisa: What’s your creative process like?
Sue: I like to work on one thing at a time, and yet have had to multi task the last few years – building this program, the studio, writing music, articles, programming computers, et al. I think personally it all comes down to focus. Having focus, being disciplined with one’s time and energy to create the space for the inspiration. Plus I tend to be organic in the way I approach things, not necessarily going for the thing I SHOULD be going for but the one that feels right, which usually works out in the end…
Lisa: Tell us about working with energies and how coming from spirit assists us with creativity?
Sue: I think it’s a continual battle to come from spirit and not ego, and that’s heightened when performing or creating art because our feelings of inadequacy can hit us so deeply. This makes us want to control our responses/the creative process and we get in our own way.
The discovery of vibrational chakra healing has been pivotal for me and my students, and since I’ve seen the same reaction in all of them, as well as myself, I can now say confidently that I believe it to be the secret to accessing one’s spirit, soul energy and personal power.
Lisa: What passions or side projects inspire and influence you with your music?
Sue: Everything influences everything else, for me, and talking to many other artists/singers/musicians I hear the same thing. I’ll find a book that pertains to what I’m going through, or see a film, or it’ll come up in conversation, or its written in the sky so clearly it can’t be ignored!
And now that I’ve incorporated spirituality into my teaching and have a space to explore all of my interests the process have become extremely organic and somewhat amazing.
Quote from Ronnie [Scott]: “That’s my claim to fame – I took lessons from Vera Lynne’s father-in-law…And so, ladies and gentlemen, 5 musicians who’ve brought a great deal of pleasure to very few people.”
When going through conscious type of life changes, sometimes our inner child feels like we need approval from others. Even though I’m a rebel and prefer deferring to my inner authority instead of outside sources, I’m human. It’s human to feel like you need approval, permission, or to get others’ opinions.
The challenge in getting input from others is to not allow it to hold you back. It’s all too easy to get stuck in analysis. This can cause procrastination. If you’re sensitive (like me), sometimes, others’ words or even lack thereof, can make you start to question yourself. (By the way, I’m not saying to ignore others’ opinions, especially if you have a partner, children, loved ones, or others who will be affected by your choices. Of course, please consult them for at least the big stuff!)
I find that if I get a great idea or that I feel guided to make a change in my life often it feels right and I don’t need any opinions. Let’s say I want to change the color in my living room. I’m really drawn to coral and oranges lately with teal accents. I’m going to go for it soon. (Are you reading this, hubby? I need your painting skills!).
On the other hand, some changes feel a bit more scary. For example, I’ve had Bettie Page bangs since 2005. I’ve changed up my hair color often, but not my cut. For the past year, I’ve been agonizing about whether to let my bangs grow out. (Hey, I want too look cool and let them hang in my face as I play guitar. I’m praying not to look like a middle aged Zooey Deschanel when I grown mine out. She’s gorgeous, but much younger than me.) I mean, it’s just hair, right? I can cut it again if I don’t like how the bangs turn out. I also have a stellar hairdresser and I trust her.
Other changes sort of scare the bejesus out of me. Things like moving cross-country or doing my yoga teacher training. (I’m going to do the latter next year, if all goes well.) I know that some fears serve us. I don’t like the idea of jumping out of an airplane, but that is a good thing. It makes me go take a class, not that I ever would, ha ha ha! I also have a healthy fear of going trekking in the Himalayas, but I know that I will one day. Of course, I will train for it and research the best guided trip for me, maybe doing some high altitude living for a spell to get acclimated. (This is idea of trekking the Himalayas actually has been one of my biggest motivators to let my body heal chronic fatigue syndrome. I want to be healthy to enjoy it.)
To be honest though, I imagine that most of our Western world changes we desire to make pale in comparison to places that have experienced war, natural disasters, government upheavals, revolution, poverty, and other distress. I do my best to imagine this, putting my little, old problems into perspective when I am trying to make decisions. Chances are, if you are reading this, your life is pretty good. You own a computer, for starters. I’m not trying to diminish the pain you feel when life seems to hand you changes that are out of your control. Those are the hard ones. I’ve been there and it’s true and cliche, but you only can control how you deal with those changes thrust upon you with your attitude, words, and actions.
I’m not trying to guilt you with the prior paragraph about first world pain, ha ha ha, and well, if you’re human, you’ve probably already mastered how to guilt trip yourself. When you feel like you need approval or the green light, I see it as a chance to gently re-parent my inner child who feels lost. Then, I go into my inner adult or parent and mentally write myself a permission slip. I say you can even go one step further and make a physical permission slip, signing your name, something like the below (or see the above graphic):
“I, Lisa Selow, give myself full out permission to change the colors of my hair, website, and rooms in my house.” [date and sign]
Yes, it’s a mundane example, but hey, once you get used to giving yourself permission, it will get easier. I’ve found that this practice helps me to feel good about my decision. I don’t worry as much about making the ultimately “right” decision. I only can make the best decision I can in the moment for where I’m at in life at present.
You can take things one step further and make a long list of things you give yourself permission to do. Ooh, this one is juicy to me. I get out a legal pad so I can flip through the pages quickly. I get out a really, inky, hot pink pen and write down the stuff I want to do. Ooh, delicious! Or, I write the list in my journal, which feels good and later, I can refer to it and/or add stuff.
My permission list is quite full right now. It has tons of items, but this is good, right? Scientists always have said that change is all there is and of course, they are right. I myself like to make changes over time, in small steps. That’s what feels best for me. Any time I’ve made huge ass changes in my life, the changes haven’t stuck for very long.
What about you? What do you need to write a permission slip for in your own life? Share in the comments below and let’s support each other!
About Me: I’m a Creativity Coach that specializes in liberating women to live more authentic, courageous lives. My self-empowerment book, A Rebel Chick Mystic’s Guide: Healing Your Spirit With Positive Rebellion is published by Hay House, Inc. It’s available for sale online and at physical bookstores too. Find out more at my website: http://lisaselow.com
You’ve not heard from me a lot lately, I know. I’ve been on the sidelines a bit this summer of 2013, really since coming home in April from a three-week California trip that included some book events. I needed some time to integrate my journey.
So, I’ve been doing my best to walk my talk about practicing self-care after I really pushed the envelope to make my book a success. (Warning: This blog post is the longest I’ve written and well, probably the most honest too.)
Speaking of walking my talk, I wouldn’t be doing so unless I was honest here. I’ve been wanting to speak my truth for a while now.
As a highly sensitive person, I tend to only share a few details of my personal life here and there. I like to share the moments that are positive and inspiring.
When I share my challenges, it’s not so that you feel sorry for me. It’s because I’m called to share, in hopes of helping you to avoid the same issues or perhaps, shorten your learning curve in some way. Or, maybe you won’t feel so alone in your path or that you’re the only one with challenges?
Even if it feels awkward, I like to share. I’ve not done this about my recent difficulties until today due to worries such as:
“Will anyone read this?”
“Will it really help anyone?”
“Shouldn’t I just be a ball of energy, love, and light? After all, I’m a self-empowerment author! I’m not allowed to have flaws or even a crappy day!”
As I gently silence these inner critics of mine, I connect to your heart, that place where your own inner truth lives. I connect to that place from my own heart, asking you to please take good care of yourself. If you don’t, you might be forced to at some point. (I put the main lesson early on in this post, so that if you decide to stop reading this post, you are gifted with one of my hard-won, most heart-breaking and even most expensive pieces of heart-filled wisdom.)
I’m recovering from a bout of chronic fatigue syndrome.
I was in denial about having it (again) for about a year and a half. (I had a long battle with it from 1997-2001, but successfully healed it.)
In June (this summer), I decided to finally get some help in my healing process, after weeks, really months of not functioning much above the eat/sleep/shower level. I switched physicians, finding an integrative medicine doc who practices medicine more in the vein of a past doc of mine who retired. I’ve had tons of blood work and tests, switched up supplements, tweaked my already healthy diet, vitamin B12 injections. I’ve returned to yoga and meditation.
Part of my healing has involved intravenous nutrients too (IV’s). I’m at the end of a 6 week course of intravenous nutrients as of this writing. I’ve done these in the past and had great results.
Thing is though, I’m a bit of a baby when it comes to needles. This tells you how much I want to feel better that I subject myself to IV’s. I’m hoping it works. The first one went well. The second, third, and fourth ones really pummeled me. I felt worse, retreating to the couch, unable to even muster the energy to read books.
The fifth nutrient intravenous infusion seemed to charge me up. That day, I went to see Black Sabbath in concert and I was able to stand pretty much the entire duration of the show. This concert rocked! It was easily in my top five concerts of all time I’ve attended! I was able to see one of my guitar heroes, Tony Iommi in person, very exciting. It seemed to remind me of one of my reasons for existing…to make rock and roll music!
As I looked down at the very painful bruises on my arm from the IV’s, I looked up at Tony, thinking what an inspiration he is. He has been getting treatments for leukemia for a while now. He also had an injury early in his career as a musician of his left hand. Yet, he still plays guitar like a god!
Suddenly, my fatigue and bruises seemed less worrisome. I remembered myself as a capable of healing. I held a vision of myself as radiant, beautiful, energized, creative, and fully alive with the energy to make my new dreams a reality.
This vision was much different from the zom-pire (half zombie and half vampire) images in my mind of myself with pale skin, barely alive. Even with my incredible fatigue, insomnia, digestive issues, body aches, brain fog, migraines, and constant dizziness from even standing up (especially doing yoga or meditating or playing guitar), I knew that inside, I’m still a creative person. I knew that when my health returns, I could bring my creative ideas to life. I had been writing them down so that I wouldn’t forget them.
Speaking of visions, as a sensitive person, I’m quite intuitive. Much of my intuition comes through in dreams. For weeks, I had been having this dream about a large, wooden door.
This door felt symbolic in some way, like if I went through it, I would have access to all of my success and the next parts of my journey. It was the path I was supposed to walk or thought that I had to go down to be a success in my field.
In some dreams, I was knocking on the door. No one would answer.
In other dreams, I was standing in the rain, freezing cold, wind, or blinding snow, waiting for someone to open the door for me. At times, I pounded on the door in my dream, even trying to kick it in or knock it down.
Still, there was no answer. In my dreams, I cried or I took naps. I was dehydrated and starving in these dreams too. I felt so alone, but part of me felt used to it, sadly.
Eventually, I stopped trying to get the door to open. I sat down in the entrance way, relaxing and at peace with where I was at in the moment. I even found this photograph of me by a similar door in my collection. Amazing how the mind and spirit speak to us and then, give us evidence that we heard correctly!.
As an intuitive person, besides dreams, I also love to use oracle cards to receive guidance for myself. I’ve been using decks since I was a kid, but only recently jumping on the digital app version of them. I loved Denise Linn’s Gateway Oracle Cards so much that I also bought the app for my iPhone 5. During my dreams about the wooden door that wouldn’t open for me, I kept drawing the card, Embracing the Future shown below:
I realized that this card was showing me a more joyful path that was already open to me. It was beckoning me to just go through the doors that were open for me, instead of exhausting myself trying to force the big, wooden door open.
Even through my brain fog and disabling fatigue, I was being shown that my old way of life and being wasn’t working. When I thought about how hard I worked during the past couple of years with my book stuff (really, being a workaholic for close to two decades), it was no wonder to me how I ended up this way!
The past two years, I did a ton of stuff, much of it on my own. (Yes, I’ve hired some help, but no, I don’t have an assistant.) I figured if I worked hard that someone might recognize it and want to help me out to help me further my book’s success:
Along the way, I allowed myself to get too emotionally upset over some of the things that happened. I’m pretty sure this aspect is what led to my chronic fatigue syndrome returning. I also felt like my process as a creative person was rushed. I had asked for a year to get my book done, but I was given only 7 months to turn in a completely perfect manuscript. Talk about pressure as first-time author. I had some time to write, sleep, and pee a few times per day, ha ha ha!
I’m grateful for the opportunity and I enjoyed everyone I worked with, but it really was killer. As I mentioned, I’m a sensitive artist type. I share the stuff below, so you understand some of what I went through:
Rejection. Rejection. Rejection. You’d think I’d be good at handling this as a writer, but I’m not. I never went the route of having an agent and querying my book proposal, since I won my book contract through a contest. I experienced tons of rejection hustling to get some endorsements for my book. I’m grateful to those who gave me a chance.
I’ve reached out to others in my field, figuring we share a similar audience, but I guess I’m not cool enough. I’m that Goth girl in the high school lunchroom that the popular kids don’t want to talk to and I’m okay with it. I just have to find my tribe. I know who my real friends are and I’m so blessed! I’m hopeful that I’ll find the right people I’m meant to enjoy and spend time with, yay!
I’ve had some approach me for joint ventures, but I didn’t meet the requirements for numbers (as in social media following and email list size). Ouch. The very things that could build my platform I’m excluded from, very disheartening, especially when I’ve worked so hard.
Even submitting articles has been painful. I’ve been told by some that I am a good writer and they enjoyed my articles, but that they wanted to give other writers a chance since I already have a book. Say what?! I’m treated like I’m a big time author with a huge following and well, I’m not. I just wanted to work with other like-minded people to help others.
I’ve been flabbergasted and this is just the highlights ha ha ha!
Normal, human stuff, I know, but it still hurts. I’m working on focusing on the support I have had, along with the friendships and relationships that nourish me and matter.
Failure. I spent half of my book advance on public relations and marketing help. I knew that it was a gamble, but I didn’t want to stay up nights, wondering if I should have hired some PR help. I did get some speaking gigs in California and I was on a Blogtalkradio show. I’m still waiting for some promised book reviews to come in. I beat myself up, thinking I was a “failure,” as I saw similarly situated, first-time authors with the same level of platform as me getting on television, radio, and in magazines. I figured I’d at least be able to get on my local Detroit Fox News (a cool story about a metro Detroiter, yes, me, that turned her life around after the automotive companies fell apart in 2008.)
I didn’t want to get on television to become famous, but rather, to help spread the word about my book, so I can help as many women as I possibly can. I never wrote a book to be famous, to be honest. There are easier paths to fame, like making a suggestive viral video, ha ha ha! Plus, fame is all about ego, don’t you think? I reasoned that I wasn’t pretty enough to be on television or sparkly, shiny, or exciting. So be it, I finally reasoned. I don’t fit the mold. I’m not the girl-next-door, all wholesome, Barbie-doll-like, spouting off perfectly delivered sound bytes, wearing the latest designer clothes and shoes. I’ve never expected to appear on Oprah or hit the New York Times best-seller list. Those aren’t my goals. My goals are filling my coaching practice and giving back to the causes that I support to help women, the planet, and animals. There’s nothing wrong with fame, but I myself don’t make that my goal.
More Rejection. Well-meaning friends introduced me to their like-minded colleagues and author friends online through Facebook messages and emails. I enthusiastically but gently wrote back, thinking I was going to meet some new, sister authors or coaches. I offered my support of their work, not making it about me or my book. I just love to support other authors ‘cause I know how hard the book journey can be at times. It’s also just fun to make new friends. None of these people wrote me back. I am not sure why the virtual rejection stings more than the in person type for me.
I don’t want to go into every detail of my pain about my book process, but you get the idea.
I started to tell myself a story that I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t popular or cool enough, wasn’t pretty enough, and didn’t have a big enough platform so I wasn’t worthy of any help.
I also went into the darkness, questioning whether I was supposed to have written my book. I wondered if it really helped anyone. I’m so grateful for a friend of mine who is a coach who helped me remember that my emotions and feelings don’t have to mean anything and I don’t have to make myself suffer with the story I tell about them. Whew, thank you, soul sister! I also thank my husband for reminding me with gentle gut checks about my accomplishments and encouraging me to take it easy on myself. Thank you, hubby! (I learned later that I sold more books in a month than most authors sell on average…ever. It was a mixed blessing to learn this.)
Emo. Emo. Emo. I wasn’t suicidal, but I had a moment where I wondered if my book would become more of a success if I died. (This is the ultimate artist angst, right?). A teacher of mine from a class I took last year mentioned the idea of post-publishing depression to me. (Check out her blog about it here: http://lissarankin.com/the-anatomy-of-a-writing-career) I was in shock, as she described how many first-time authors go through this. I thought I’d been there, done that with depression with the life changes I had since 2008.
Since I’d healed it before, I knew I could again. This time around, I found myself painting for some reason as a way to heal myself. I hadn’t painted in about 20 years. Maybe it was the colors or the soothing, repetitive nature of painting, but it’s helped me to return to my center. It’s helped me to remember that I AM a creative person and not too shabby of an artist. My work is needed, even if it’s to honor and process my own feelings and emotions. It’s safe for me to be creative.
Ahh, so that is the open door that was waiting for me. I’m an artist, along with being a writer and musician. I’m a creative freak! Ha ha ha! No wonder the cool kid in school types didn’t want to hang with me, not even online and definitely not at certain cocktail parties.
It’s okay, I realized to let go of what I thought I was supposed to do as an author. I don’t have to go the traditional route of success. As a fun quote reads, “Even if you win the rat race, you’re still a rat.” I mean, rats are adorable, but NO ONE’s tombstone reads: “She had 10,000 Twitter followers, 10 blog comments per week, 1,000 email newsletter subscribers, and 1,000 Facebook fan page likes.” Nobody’s. Nope.
As I nursed my body, mind, and spirit this summer, I realized that most of my coaching clients in the past have been artists, musicians, and writers too. I started to google “Creativity Coaching” and synchronistically, I met a creative coach in one of my online forums I participate in who needed some practice clients. I received so much benefit and it rocked my world, so much that I decided to sign up for the same training to become a Creativity Coach. You may have noticed that I’ve been using the title for a while now, so that my spirit gets used to it.
When I really think about it, I’ve come full circle. I started out my healing journey back in 1998 with my first bout of chronic fatigue syndrome. That year, I was starting massage therapy school after a brief career as a legal assistant. I had such a strong desire to write a book as a result of my first healing of chronic fatigue. I ended up writing a self-empowerment book and it wasn’t published until 2012, but still, I have fulfilled part of my mission of helping others, especially women. Here I am, 15 years later, about to embark on a new course of learning and career (creativity coaching) as I heal my second bout of chronic fatigue, one that is more authentic and fulfilling for me. Yay! Second chance! I mean, a third. Or, is it fourth? Fifth? Sixth chance? I’ve lost count. Oh well.
For years, I hid my inner artist in the shadows, supporting other writers, artists, and musicians. I can’t stay in the shadows any longer. My light wants to come through, even though I’m no Picasso, no Bob Dylan, and no Rimbaud. I have my own creative genius, as do you.
As I walk through the door that is open for me, I smile as I wipe some tears away. I still have brief moments where I feel like a failure or I wonder why I’ve made myself suffer so much. I worry that taking this summer off negatively affected my book’s success (nope, I still managed to muster energy courageously to do a bit of promotion this summer). I had to turn down a couple of opportunities due to not having the energy. I asked if we could reschedule and I was told, “No.” I guess those weren’t the right people for me, were they?
I wonder at times if bleeding onto the page is really worth it. I’ve bled all over this blog and on Facebook. I’ve bled onto the page to write my book. It’s hard not to wonder if you really make a difference as just one person.
I also wonder why I’ve compared others’ highlight reel to my behind-the-scenes reel. This drains my energy more than anything! I have rehabbed my Facebook newsfeed so that I’m not constantly bombarded with posts about how great people’s lives are and how successful they are and oh, look at which famous people they get to hang out with or work with, etc. (Hey, you get to see my ego totally naked here, lucky you!).
Other times, I crack up a bit and cry again, thinking about how staying off social media and my blog actually increases my numbers. I went on a social media detox for the entire month of June 2013 to recenter. Someone wrote me privately saying it was “career suicide” since I’m a new author. I didn’t muster the energy to reply back. It was further evidence of my need for a break. I have to say that I’ve received more unsolicited advice and correction the past year during my book journey, than any other time in my life. If you’re sensitive, this is not easy to manage.
I feel raw, naked, exposed, and vulnerable in writing this, especially the next part: I am fucking scared that I’ll follow my passions such as art, music, and writing and I’ll still end up here again, this place of being sick and tired, exhausted from the trying. I hear myself ask in a wimpering, almost shaky voice, “What if I suck again? What if I fail?”
Yet, I have to take the risk to suck or fail.
I’m not aspiring to be the next big thing. I just want to be the next Lisa Selow. I’m not asking to play guitar like Jeff Beck or write like Martha Beck (two Beck’s I admire!). I may never sell a painting. But, I know it’s the path of the heart. It’s my path. I’m meant to live and work as an artist.
I know I still will have to face perfectionism and procrastination. But, I’ll be happier, more peaceful, and healthier. The traditional models of marketing, writing, coaching, self-help (I prefer the term “self-empowerment”!), and success don’t work for my clients and don’t work for me as a sensitive, creative soul.
It’s time for something new, I’ve decided. I’m ready to pitch the old stuff and the pain, heartache, and sadness for a new way of living and being.
At times, I feel like I’m a kid with training wheels as I learn to do mindfulness meditation again or as my legs burn in sun salutations. I crack open my Zen Buddhist teachers’ books, thinking, “Oh, I have so much work to do on myself,” but at the same time, thinking maybe it’s not so hard, maybe writing those silly haikus I share on Facebook or painting whimsical things in a kid-like way will heal me? I smile how I easily connect and banter with people on Etsy or other creative websites or talk about guitars or enjoy reading a blog post by an artist I admire. Why should I keep trying to knock on doors that don’t open? Answer: I can’t any more.
Who knew that creativity would become my favorite spiritual practice or path? I guess I’ve always known, but I thought I’d follow the path when I became successful or finished my work. I figured I’d do it once I had my author’s platform built up enough to satisfy people. Or, maybe in retirement? Nope. Gotta follow the path, just one, gentle step at a time. I’ll be stopping to smell the daisies, talk to squirrels, and watch the birds this time around.
Maybe I’m not just a book-selling, platform-building, content-writing machine after all? Maybe I’m more than my Twitter or Facebook numbers? Maybe I’m a real person with real dreams?
Maybe I went through the pain, heartbreak, angst, post-publishing depression, sadness, and fatigue and health challenges for a reason? Hmm. Maybe it’s so I understand other creative people better and can serve them better as a coach? Maybe it’s so that I’ll finally listen to my inner wisdom that whispers, “Create!” or yells, “Rock and f*ck’n roll!”?
Yeah, I’d say it’s all in divine order.
Thanks for reading.
What about you? Have you ever experienced illness as a result of not following your true path or not taking care of yourself? What about angst? Have you had angst as a creative person? What has worked to heal? Please share in the comments below. I’d love for you to share your wisdom here.
About Me: I’m a Creativity Coach that specializes in liberating women to live more authentic, courageous lives. My self-empowerment book, A Rebel Chick Mystic’s Guide: Healing Your Spirit With Positive Rebellion is published by Hay House, Inc. It’s available for sale online and at physical bookstores too. Find out more at my website: http://lisaselow.com