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Monday Musings ~ The Writer’s Corner: Things That Help My Writing & Day Be More Successful


This is a very busy week for me, but I still want to make sure to get out a blog for today’s Monday Musings series from The Writer’s Corner. While I did have thoughts about a couple of other themes that came to mind to share (I’ll save them for the next times), I felt like providing a list of things that help me to be more successful with my writing each day, which also extends to anything else I have going on in my life – be it other creative projects or simply my day-to-day business and personal life.

So here’s a list of ten things that help me to be more productive, clear the energy, and jump start those creative juices. Many of them are my morning kick-offs, but overall are things that support my day and writing goals.

  1. Go to bed early and get up early – I used to be a night owl back in the day, but life changed and now I find that getting good sleep and getting up early support being more fresh and help me to get more done. I dream a lot and in sleep we go into the subconscious, so writing in the morning is a way to be closer to those creative thoughts and flow more before a more distinct separation between night and day happens. Writing in the morning is a way to ensure I get that time in before the day gets away from me.
  2. Find all the things I have to be grateful for and acknowledge and thank them – having a gratitude practice before bed and when I wake in the morning helps to not only infuse the day with positive energy, but puts me in a happier space, as well as helps set me up for manifesting more.
  3. Enjoy cozy breakfast time – I love having hot tea or a vegan latte in the morning with a yummy breakfast (small or large depending on my desire that day) to gently nurture me back to waking life from deep sleep. This warms me from the inside out and allows me time to go over my plans for the day. I’ll follow it up with a smoothie that accompanies my writing time.
  4. Clarify my priorities and my to-do’s for the day – Even though I am spontaneous and flow, I have found that having more structure actually helps me to get more done, so this includes making daily to-do lists and prioritizing what is most important to get done. I also have recently created a time-table schedule in which I allot time blocks for the things I need and want to do each day. This ensures I get a balance of everything in as well.
  5. Unplug from phones, emails, etc. – Once I get past the time allowed for relaxing with my morning beverage and snack, it’s unplug time. When writing, I don’t reply to anything else and shut down or ignore my phone. In order to be fully in the world of writing, I must be out of the outer world. I also know that for me, it can take time to get into a flow, so if I were to stop in between my writing for every little thing that comes up, this would break that flow and take me more time to get back into the groove. I find it crucial to disengage.
  6. Carve out a block of time – This goes with #4, but I find it important to emphasize separately. It’s important that I carve out what block or blocks of time are my writing times and that I stick to that – both not allowing other things to get in the way, and not becoming lazy that day. That’s not to say that I will force myself, but I find that the more I get into a groove with something that seems foreign to me, the more it becomes natural. Discipline and commitment are my friends and not the enemies.
  7. Moving – Carving out time for exercise is important for me. This includes being out in nature as I do so – double the benefit! Moving moves energy and when I move energy, I’m not only releasing any potential blockages, but I’m getting a healthy flow of ideas and feelings going, as well as boosting my energy, well being, and helping me to get better sleep at night too. Moving energy helps move creativity.
  8. Music – I love having music accompany my day and/or special projects/my writing. Having just the right sound frequencies going really helps synchronize things for me and supports that flow even more. Music is a necessary component for me and my life.
  9. Being present – For me this is mindfulness and “life as a walking meditation.” The more present I am with myself, my feelings, thoughts, and my environment, the more aware I am of what’s me and what’s not me, as well as the more observant and receptive I am to all the inspiration around me and ideas messaging me constantly. Presence also creates more gratitude, peace, grace, and alignment.
  10. Surrounding myself with all that I love –  I find it crucial to infuse my life and surroundings with everything that brings me joy and moves my heart the most. This includes creating an inspiring and imaginative space and home, having plants, crystals, all things magickal, and nature close by and within sight of my desk, sharing a home with my partner and fur babies, and having my best bunny friend, Astrid by my side. When I see reflections of my heart all around me, it inspires me more, infuses my heart with greater peace and joy, and makes writing so much more fun and flowing.

Please let me know some of the things that you do to help with your writing, or your day in general, in terms of making it the best it can be.

snow shoe sunset.jpg

View from our Forest Portal backyard from a recent sunset snow shoe – #7 on the list above

Monday Musings ~ The Writer’s Corner: Resistance Versus Alignment


It’s easy to get down on yourself if you aren’t producing at the rate you would like to be, or find other things in life “getting in the way” of your passions. This can go for any project or intent/goal/dream you may have, but for purposes of this post and today’s weekly series’ theme, let’s just focus on writing and I’ll share a bit about my own process and discoveries around delay and resistance versus trust and alignment.

There have been huge spurts of momentum when it comes to my book and then there have been large lulls where it seems nothing is happening – I’ve been in one of those for a while.

I’m one to keep check on myself, as I know how easy it can be to find excuses, self-sabotage, procrastinate, or even hide behind spiritual ideas as reasoning to not go about doing something.

I’ve been ingenious with it in the past, so I don’t let myself get away with it in the present.

So, when I check in with myself I ask myself how I feel about my book and writing.

When I think about it does it bring up joy or fear, do I feel resistance somewhere in my body, does it give me anxiety, or make me excited?

I will touch in now and then to stay on top of having clarity with my feelings, as that’s how I’ll know if I’m avoiding something or simply riding and flowing with the current energetic streams – something I would call “being in alignment.”

The key here is that you need to be honest with yourself.

And then I’ll look at the things going on in my life and how they are affecting me.

Do they feel to have their own flow and natural cycle? Or are they making me feel angry, resentful, or even compounding some of the emotions and feelings I’ve uncovered – in essence triggering me to pay attention to them?

If the latter is where you find yourself, then it may in fact be that there is some kind of resistance or avoidance going on, or that there are feelings you haven’t dealt with that if uncovered, acknowledged, and allowed them space, could help release the blocks and free up more space.

But not all things that come up in your life is about finding ways to run away from something.

It’s true that “to everything there is a season.”

Sometimes the work doesn’t happen on the visual and physical plane, but takes place in the background and percolates while your attention is drawn elsewhere to allow that natural process to take place.

Sometimes what you are writing needs to go through its own transformation – or you as a writer need to as well – and that might entail you moving through something in order to come at it from a different and more expansive perspective, or perhaps the collective is going through something that will make what you’re writing be more timely.

I have found this to be accurate for me during the process of writing my current book.

It isn’t happening overnight, but when it does happen, it happens very fast.

There have been different reasons for each lull spanning from at one time avoiding it (in came fracturing my foot to ensure I couldn’t), to needing to anchor in other things in my life to create harmony for the process, to needing to deepen into my creative process and expand my understanding, to needing time for research and letting go, to clarifying my purpose with the writing, to needing to step away from it in order to come at it with completely fresh heart, mind, and eyes, and to awaiting things to shift on a bigger picture level.

Sometimes there are things that can help your writing process that are beneficial to allow in, despite your ideas around what you think you should be doing instead.

For example, if I didn’t allow for the creative spurt of art and other artsy expressions right now to come through that have been a temporary focus, then I would be keeping myself away from experiencing greater inspiration, imaginative flow, and freshness with my writing. I would limit what could be more expansive when I return to it, not to mention, I’d be resisting the kind of joy it is bringing me and would miss out on that experience.

The same goes for getting out in nature. If I forced myself to stick only to writing, I’d lose the greater well-being and nurturing being outside can provide me that will support more excitement and energy with my writing. Plus, moving helps move energy on all levels and frees up blocks, just like creative expression can do.

If we remain stringent with the process, I believe we hinder our writing.

Life is about balance and writing is too.

It’s true that creative genius has come through what some might call “mad” writers and artists. Yet, that process doesn’t always bode well for the rest of their lives or even how long they live.

I believe it’s valuable to find your balance and to know yourself in the process.

So checking in with how you’re feeling and what’s really at the core of why you are doing or not doing something is key. Be curious as to how your process is helping or hindering.

Writing is definitely a journey and it’s a very honest, vulnerable, and transparent one. I believe the more honest you are with yourself, the more honest the story woven through your words will be.

So, now, when I find myself frustrated I’m not making headway, I have found that this is simply a conversation between me and myself to take up, as the resistance isn’t there, and alignment is showing itself to be in flow. This means I have a belief or idea around progress or achievement that I need to reconcile within myself and let go, relax, and surrender even more to the process and journey.

Do you go through similar experiences with your writing or passions?

What do you do if you find yourself resisting?

Remember to be gentle and loving around your curiosity, as the inner you will feel more comfortable revealing her or his truth, if she or he doesn’t feel threatened.

Let yourself know you have your back and only want to love yourself more into expressing the truth of who you are through your writing and passions.

 

 

Monday Musings ~ The Writer’s Corner: Soulful Sunday 107 – Play by Brad


To celebrate the first blog back from The Writer’s Corner since my time away in Sedona, I’d like Monday’s Musings to kick off with the musings around the theme of “Play” because it truly is the cornerstone to well-being, balance, optimal living, and cultivating more creativity – IMHO. This is a great post by my sweet friend, Brad, that includes a wonderful article for both your inner child and children in your life to understand the importance of play in your and their lives.

I’ve heard recently from several friends that they struggle with wanting to experience more creativity, have blocks in terms of their writing and other projects, aren’t sure where to start in terms of their ideas and dreams, or feel challenged with experiencing joy and optimism in their lives.

I truly believe that play is so important to life and if it weren’t for my Peter-Pan syndrome refusing to “grow” up in the way others have accepted this to mean, I likely would feel all the same things too. Yet, I embrace singing, laughing, dancing, make-believing, making up stories, seeing through childlike eyes of wonder, believing in the magickal, seeing the glass half full, talking to myself and all the creatures of Mother Earth and the Otherworlds, recreating myself and my environment to match my heart’s joy, and embracing being silly despite others around me acting all “grown up”.

If you struggle with writing or feeling a block with your creativity, check out number eight of the ten benefits of play in the article within Brad’s blog post.

If you allow yourself to spread your wings beyond the boundaries conditioning has created and embrace having more fun, playing, and being silly now and then, you will definitely feel a difference in your life and experience it through different eyes as well.

Your projects, dreams, and writing will get a boost of freshness, as you reset a new way of being that embraces all those wonderful core parts of who you really are, rather than making them feel like they need to behave and have a life-long time out in the corner – remember, nobody puts Baby in the corner!

I hope this article helps inspire you to play more and make 2019 more joyous for you. I really do believe you’ll find your projects and life flowing and thriving more.

Here’s an accompanying short blog inspiration I shared before, with some quotes to inspire more play – Play More.

writing to freedom

This episode of Soulful Sunday explores the power of play.

Play is so important to optimal child development that it has been recognized by the United Nations as a right of every child. ~ Kenneth Ginsburg

play, poetry, silly rhyme Enjoying some playtime with my nephew Willie.

Children learn (through play) critical life skills for mental, physical, emotional, social, cognitive, and communication development. A growing body of research (and my experience too) shows that play is equally important to adults. Play supports health, stress management, learning, and better relationships. 

We get so caught up in our responsibilities that we forget to play, laugh, and enjoy life regardless of our circumstances. Play is defined as any activity done for pure enjoyment, rather than serious reasons or purpose. The danger in posts like mine is that we will add play to our growing To Do Lists! Then you face the paradox of wanting to play because…

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Monday Musings ~ The Writer’s Corner: Fragile is Like Breathing in a Bit of Stardust


Today’s Monday Musings from The Writer’s Corner is my own musing on the word “fragile” that I was presented with as part of a challenge by Linda of Litebeing. I’ve been quite immersed in family and end-of-year things, as well as new year start-ups, so I waited for the time to present itself for this, which feels like today.

The challenge is to write a post about Fragile and to include two quotes on the subject, then to nominate three other bloggers to blog about a word of my choosing. I shared with Linda that the word DID resonate very much with me and wasn’t surprised she had chosen me for this.

Being that I’m committed to my blog series these days and want to stay consistent with the themes, I won’t be taking on challenges unless they maintain synergy with my series. That being said, a musing felt appropriate as a writer to share for today’s theme and might be a reminder or inspiration for other writers, as well as anyone truly, about embracing each day and your dreams and goals now, rather than later.

I won’t be nominating anyone for a new challenge, as I don’t feel called to do that, but if you feel inspired to write about this word or any word that has meaning to you, I support you doing so and perhaps it might even kick in a creative flow if you’ve felt blocked in any way with your own writing and/or creating.

Now on to Fragile.

This is actually a word I think about often and feel as a strong underlying theme much of the time.

Interestingly, when I think about the word it brings to mind my rabbit loves because I see them as both resilient and fragile. They remind me of both how life is fragile and precious, yet resilient like them, and how vulnerability is strength.

Nature reflects this to us everyday as well.

“Some women feel the need to act like they’re never scared, needy or hurt; like they’re as hardened as a man. I think that’s dishonest. It’s okay to feel delicate sometimes. Real beauty is in the fragility of your petals. A rose that never wilts isn’t a rose at all.” ― Crystal Woods, Write Like No One Is Reading

It’s that contrast of strength in vulnerability and that beautiful divinity within all experiences of “highs” and “lows” that is inherent in all, regardless of how it seems.

Butterflies are another example of fragility, as their wings are so delicate and yet it is those very wings that carry them miles to migrate. For example Monarchs have flown 3000 miles from Canada to Mexico for millennia.

There is so much beauty and power in something that is fragile.

And yet it also calls up a reflection upon the fleeting moment there for us to be present to and embrace as fully as possible because it only happens once and a future is not promised – at least not necessarily within the same reality as the moment before it.

“People die all the time. Life is a lot more fragile than we think. So you should treat others in a way that leaves no regrets. Fairly, and if possible, sincerely. It’s too easy not to make the effort, then weep and wring your hands after the person dies.” ― Haruki Murakami, Dance, Dance, Dance

If you have a dream, a loved one, friends, people, animal companions, passions and things you care a lot about, you don’t have forever in this life to put them off or say that you’ll give them your time and love when this or that happens. Those things may never happen. These people, beings, and things you love may not be there anymore.

Life is fragile.

Life is precious.

Life is here for you to embrace now.

And when you do…when you surrender to the fragility of now and surrender your heart to the hands of spirit, you get to realize the powerful potential and beauty of that delicate moment.

It’s within fragile moments that artists create, writers write, musicians compose, babies are conceived and birthed, inspiration strikes, innovation emerges, nature breathes, the cosmos weaves…

The human body is an incredible masterpiece – both resilient and fragile.

So often I think about this and how it takes just one moment that can change your life.

I’ve had several fractures that happened in quick and odd ways. And while my body has healed fast, proving its resiliency, it also helps me to make choices in my life about presence and what I value enough to put myself in positions of potentials like this.

I don’t live in fear, but I do live with awareness and make choices that reflect my values, passions, and beliefs.

I do the same with my dreams.

I don’t have forever in this body and my dreams can’t wait. Nor can the collective be put on pause until we each decide to step up and out.

Life goes on.

Cycles come and go.

Things change.

For this reason I follow the nudge of my heart and encourage myself to do things I love and that I feel guided with inspiration to express because when we surrender to that moment, we breathe in a bit of stardust that has the ability to propel us in unimaginable ways.

Even if just to add wings to our hearts.

It also makes a huge difference for everyone around us.

Imagine what happens within the person you say “I love you,” “thank you,” “I forgive you,” or even “hello” to.

Imagine what happens to you as well.

I find music and sound to be powerful.  For me, maybe the most powerful in assisting shifts, connecting dots, igniting creative power, and drawing forth from a deeper well in my heart.

This leads me to share two songs with the title Fragile.

The first is a favorite of mine by Sting. One of my top favorites of his actually. I thought I would include the lyrics and then the song to follow. I will let you sit with the words and their meaning for yourself.

Fragile by Sting

If blood will flow when flesh and steel are one
Drying in the color of the evening sun
Tomorrow’s rain will wash the stains away
But something in our minds will always stay

Perhaps this final act was meant
To clinch a lifetime’s argument
That nothing comes from violence and nothing ever could

For all those born beneath an angry star
Lest we forget how fragile we are

On and on the rain will fall
Like tears from a star
Like tears from a star
On and on the rain will say
How fragile we are
How fragile we are

On and on the rain will fall
Like tears from a star
Like tears from a star
On and on the rain will say
How fragile we are
How fragile we are
How fragile we are
How fragile we are

The next is by Dustin O’Halloran and is purely instrumental. Another favorite of mine. Sometimes we don’t need words to feel the energy move through us and understand its message.

I think if you sit with this next song, you’ll be taken on a journey that moves you to the edge of fragility – where you feel the thin thread we walk between realities and worlds upon.

Fragile N.4 by Dustin O’Halloran

It takes but one fragile moment to change the course of everything.

A reminder for being as present as possible and realizing the power within a fragile instant where reaction and response, impetus and inertia, life and death dance.

Thank you Linda for the invitation to reflect upon this.

And just a note about next week, as Monday Musings takes a pause.

I will be away in the transformative energy of Sedona, AZ between Friday, January 11th and Monday, January 21st (which just so happens to be a Full Supermoon Lunar Eclipse), returning back to things on the 22nd. During this time I will not be blogging, except for maybe this Friday the 11th while I’m in transit – we’ll see if Astrid has a message for me for Ask Astrid Fridays upon leaving or if she wants to wait until I return for her next share.

That means I’ll skip one week of the ongoing series until I return and two weeks for Monday Musings, since I’ll be fully back on a Tuesday.

I’m sure that when I do return that it will be with new inspiration and another shift in motion, as being in Sedona always happens at key points when big change is in the air.

I hope the New Year is starting off well for everyone and that you find your own strength in embracing those fragile moments of inspiration.

Monday Musings ~ The Writer’s Corner: Poetry & Inspiration from Author Camilla Downs


Today we find ourselves at the last day of 2018 and the eve of a New Year. Many people find this a time to review the past year with reflection, gratitude, release, and openness to seeing where they might want to make changes that will be more supportive for the intentions calling to their hearts. It’s times like these that inspirational stories can really hit home and be way-showers and fuel to our passion flames, so this felt like the perfect day to share some poems and works from a woman who is truly an inspiration.

Today’s Monday Musings from The Writer’s Corner highlights Camilla Downs.

I haven’t met Camilla in person – yet – although we came close at the beginning of this year. With her living so close by in Reno, I know it’s just a matter of divine timing and alignment that we will, especially being that we share the same birthday – 2/26.

Yet, social media has been a connective bridge between us and this is how I’ve come to know her and her incredible children, Lillian and Thomas.

Camilla is a single parent who has encouraged, nurtured, and supported her beautiful children to be all they can possibly be and to live life fully despite Lillian’s rare chromosome deletion called 18p-, and Thomas’s challenges with sensory processing. In doing so, she has learned to do the same and so they walk this journey hand-in-hand.

The three of them are a powerhouse team, they’ve lovingly dubbed “Team TLC” to correspond with the first letters of each of their names, who have all self-published a book. Each of them have amazing gifts, have accomplished so much despite challenges, and are truly an example of vulnerable strength, compassion, and unconditional love.

I admire Camilla so much and find her to be a true inspiration, amazingly brave mother, woman, and soul, and a living embodiment of what it means to keep deepening into and expanding the heart as an example of unconditional love at work.

The connection the three of them have together is one of balancing teaching and leading, with learning and guidance. It has taken them to dark depths and soaring heights together. It is through their devotion and commitment to each other and themselves that they support the blossoming of one another and are spreading love to the world.

Camilla is a best-selling author of “D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance,” blogger at http://camilladowns.com/ and inspirational speaker. Her passion is writing, sharing her life experiences, mindfulness, meditation, emotional connection, and nature photography.

I chose the following two of her newer poems to share with you today, as they feel to speak to themes and messages I feel prevalent in the collective and that I thought might be inspiring, shifting, and/or comforting as you embark on a New Year.

Following the poems you’ll find some words from Camilla, herself, and links to her published works, as well as her children’s. I share all of these links, which include some great book trailer videos for all three of their books that Camilla created, because it reflects how we truly can accomplish anything we set our hearts and minds too, no matter our circumstances nor how much life throws our way.

Camilla, you are a true inspiration and motivation for others to follow their dreams and see them through in 2019.

Thank you for sharing all of who you are with all of us and for being such a guiding light in your children’s lives, as much as I know they are for you too. I imagine we’ll continue to see a lot more of all of you in the years to follow.

I’m grateful to know you and call you my friend, sweet Pisces sister.

 

One Breath at a Time by Camilla Downs

One breath at a time, dear one

You find yourself in a vast ocean of your own creation.
An ocean full of the humanness of life.

Joy, love, peace,
laughter, happiness, abundance,
beauty, compassion, kindness.
Fear, sadness, greed,
competition, judgments, shame,
guilt, jealousy, loneliness.

At times you feel as if you
are on the verge of drowning.

One’s arms and legs have become
heavy with the struggle of this
ocean swirling with humanness.

What is one to do?
There is no place to return.

You jumped in knowing
there was only One Way to survive
in this vast ocean of humanness.
One breath at a time.

For as you breathe each breath
it is another opportunity
to feel the humanness of life.

Feel all of it,
the comforting and
the unlovely,
and then release it into
the vast ocean to be
cleansed by Mother Earth.

For one day you will feel
the heavy burden begin to
lift from your arms and legs.

You will know only the
unconditional love of this
ocean of humanness.
All the rest is still there.
Yes, it is.
Still swim in it, you do.

Yet, it just brushes by you
as you are drenched in the
unconditional love of all that is.

Rather than struggle
You move in harmony
with the humanness.

One breath at a time,
See, there it is ..
You just took another breath and another
and another … Keep breathing, Keep swimming
in this vast ocean and know
you are not alone.

You are surrounded and uplifted
by the One Love and breathe
it in with each breath.

You cannot escape the One Love.
It is always with you.

One breath at a time.

~

Nature’s Abundance by Camilla Downs

I feel the frosty cold
embrace as You brush
across this body.
I feel and Know
your Abundance.

I touch and hug
the beautiful,
scarred and knotted
trees that sprout
and grow from Your soil.
I feel and Know
your Abundance.

I delight in the sparkling
and unique snowflakes
as they drift from
the brooding clouds
above and lightly fall
upon this body.
I feel and Know
your Abundance.

Lo, even as I dodge
and walk through
the nuggets of
geese waste left
behind by these
majestic and
interesting creatures,
I feel and Know
your Abundance.

Yes, I feel Your abundance
I Know it now.

It’s been a long road
getting to this
glorious and bountiful place.
Yet, I have arrived.

I have arrived
to the freedom
of Knowing this …

I am made of bits
and pieces of You.
You are made of
bits and pieces of me.
This body and ether
mix with Your essence
as we collide.

I see it now.
All that is made
of You is Good.
ALL, I say, ALL!

Even as your form is
changed and no longer
resembles Your essence.
It is of You.
And, it is Good.

Humans take and borrow
from you to create,
grow, and make
the things we must
have to survive,
yet also the things
we think we need,
and the things we
simply want so
as to fill a void.
Grateful for your
abundance and gifts
I am.

We take your trees
and metals and we
make this mysterious
and sometimes elusive
thing called money.

We make it into
something it is not.
It is only of
You and we use it
for good, for bad,
for our benefit,
and for the benefit
of others.

One slight shift
in awareness of
what money truly is ..

That is True Freedom.
Freedom to respect
and love that money
stuff of which
contains Your essence.

Knowing, absorbing
and feeling
Your abundance
has brought on
this shift from
lack to abundance.

Thank You
Mother Earth.
Thank You
Nature.

I feel and Know
your Abundance.
You are Abundance.
I Am Abundance.
And so it is.
I Am.

****************

 

 

Contributor Note from Camilla Downs

I love walking. I am out for walks anywhere from three to six days a week. I have a deep connection with trees and love spending time with them. Nature is partly the inspiration for my writings and poetry.

And partly the inspiration to write is a desire to process my own life experiences; to give them an outlet through writing. Writing in this way allows me to feel and release experiences and to receive comfort and answers via these writings. Writing holds my heart and guides me to confront the unlovely and harsh thoughts that litter my mind at times. Yet, also to fully experience the joyful and peaceful moments of this life.

Most times when I sit to write a poem, I will first look through nature photographs I have taken. I will feel an internal nudge to use one as inspiration for whatever I am about to write. The writing flows so fast, I can barely keep up with “grabbing” it all before it’s gone!

My writings are not only poetry. I write of my own life experiences and how I’ve processed the experiences. It was around the year 2008 that I repeatedly received a determined internal nudge to openly share my life and experiences. I continually brushed this aside thinking I had nothing of importance to say or share with others. The nudge was so persistent that I finally gave in and began sharing.

In addition, I am a mentor through “The Alchemy of You” mentoring sessions to empower others from within. This 4 session mentoring brings peace of mind to one in the midst of confusion, stress or disempowerment. Followed by or accompanied with a deep sense of appreciation for one’s self.

Further, these sessions assist others with decision making, being one’s true self and speaking one’s truth, knowing the solutions to situations, diffusing internal triggers when they arise, and paving the way for more harmonious relationships with loved ones and strangers alike.

http://camilladowns.com/thealchemyofyou/

I’m also a single mom to two beautiful beings; 17 year old Lillian Darnell and 13 year old Thomas Darnell. I’ve been single parenting them for the past 12 years. Lillian has a chromosome deletion called 18p-; which manifests in various challenging ways.

These two ignited a spark within and have been an integral branch of the spiritual path I travel. Thomas and Lillian have taught me empathy, compassion, patience, nonjudgment, and what it means to unconditionally love others.

We each have a published book and I am working on my second book, “Walk With Me Journey to the Center of My Soul”. To learn more about our books, visit here … http://camilladowns.com/books/

 

Published books:

D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey To Acceptance by Camilla Downs

Biggest Little Photographer by Thomas Darnell and Camilla Downs

Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories by Lillian Darnell and Camilla Downs

This one link will take readers to all 3 books in one spot … http://camilladowns.com/books/

And, just for fun here’s the book trailer for each book:

Where Would You Fly: https://youtu.be/4OwzBMq1S8o

Biggest Little Photographer: https://youtu.be/LYUOex6s5-s

D iz for Different: https://youtu.be/3GUo0ZNny_s

 

Online articles and poetry:

Camilla Downs’ Soul Writer Blog:

http://camilladowns.com/blog/

 

elephant journal article:

https://www.elephantjournal.com/2016/03/dear-meltdown-welcome-meet-my-friend-mindfulness/

 

The Urban Howl poetry:

http://theurbanhowl.com/2018/04/11/path-of-love-camilla-downs/

http://theurbanhowl.com/2018/04/17/may-we-all-release-expose-this-beautiful-space-within-camilla-downs/

http://theurbanhowl.com/2018/04/23/have-patience-when-dancing-with-the-shadows-of-your-being-camilla-downs/

http://theurbanhowl.com/2018/06/01/the-path-of-the-heart-will-emerge-camilla-downs/

 

Women’s Spiritual Poetry:

http://womenspiritualpoetry.blogspot.com/2017/02/free-to-be-you-by-camilla-downs.html

 

Australian Institute On Intellectual Disability Article:

http://camilladowns.com/2015/11/12/my-journey-with-intellectual-disability-and-relationships-a-short-memoir/

 

Monday Musings ~ The Writer’s Corner: Twas the Night Before Yuletide


christmas eve.jpg

My dear friend Mark of Ravenwood Inspired, who also happens to be the wizard behind making me two new fantastically magickal Faery wands (one of which just arrived recently in time for the Solstice), sent me this version, below, of one of the most famous Christmas poems. I have to say, however, that I really love this one a lot more and I think you’ll understand why.

I thought it would be perfect for today’s Monday Musings. It also reminds me of my Russian Tortoise, Gaia, and celebrates this sweet Eve that is also Joy’s birthday (my sweet angel rabbit who returned to the stars).

If you haven’t heard or read it, I hope you enjoy this enchanting Yuletide rendition that speaks of the spirit of the season and reminds us of its true reason. The poem is thought to be written by C.C. Williford.

We’ll be back to regular Monday Musings next week, which will feature more poetry and other works by a sweet author friend of mine. Stay tuned!

Until then, I hope you enjoy a beautiful holiday evening, however you choose to celebrate this time of year.

I’m about to jump into my snuggly bunny onesie, enjoy Christmas lights by the fire, prep a yummy meal and dessert, and get ready for the continuation of the new Watership Down miniseries and present opening.

Wishing you a beautiful Christmas Eve.

whimsical rabbit christmas tree.jpg

TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE YULETIDE

Twas the night before Yuletide and all through the glen
Not a creature was stirring, not a fox, not a hen.
A mantle of snow shone brightly that night
As it lay on the ground, reflecting moonlight.

The faeries were nestled all snug in their trees,
Unmindful of flurries and a chilly north breeze.
The elves and the gnomes were down in their burrows,
Sleeping like babes in their soft earthen furrows.

When low! The earth moved with a thunderous quake,
Causing chairs to fall over and dishes to break.
The Little Folk scrambled to get on their feet
Then raced to the river where they usually meet.

“What happened?” they wondered, they questioned, they probed,
As they shivered in night clothes, some bare-armed, some robed.
“What caused the earth’s shudder? What caused her to shiver?”
They all spoke at once as they stood by the river.

Then what to their wondering eyes should appear
But a shining gold light in the shape of a sphere.
It blinked and it twinkled, it winked like an eye,
Then it flew straight up and was lost in the sky.

Before they could murmur, before they could bustle,
There emerged from the crowd, with a swish and a rustle,
A stately old crone with her hand on a cane,
Resplendent in green with a flowing white mane.

As she passed by them the old crone’s perfume,
Smelling of meadows and flowers abloom,
Made each of the fey folk think of the spring
When the earth wakes from slumber and the birds start to sing.

“My name is Gaia,” the old crone proclaimed
in a voice that at once was both wild and tamed,
“I’ve come to remind you, for you seem to forget,
that Yule is the time of re-birth, and yet…”

“I see no hearth fires, hear no music, no bells,
The air isn’t filled with rich fragrant smells
Of baking and roasting, and simmering stews,
Of cider that’s mulled or other hot brews.”

“There aren’t any children at play in the snow,
Or houses lit up by candles’ glow.
Have you forgotten, my children, the fun
Of celebrating the rebirth of the sun?”

She looked at the fey folk, her eyes going round,
As they shuffled their feet and stared at the ground.
Then she smiled the smile that brings light to the day,
“Come, my children,” she said, “Let’s play.”

They gathered the mistletoe, gathered the holly,
Threw off the drab and drew on the jolly.
They lit a big bonfire, and they danced and they sang.
They brought out the bells and clapped when they rang.

They strung lights on the trees, and bows, oh so merry,
In colors of cranberry, bayberry, cherry.
They built giant snowmen and adorned them with hats,
Then surrounded them with snow birds, and snow cats and bats.

Then just before dawn, at the end of their fest,
Before they went homeward to seek out their rest,
The fey folk they gathered ‘round their favorite oak tree
And welcomed the sun ‘neath the tree’s finery.

They were just reaching home when it suddenly came,
The gold light returned like an arrow-shot flame.
It lit on the tree top where they could see from afar
The golden-like sphere turned into a star.

The old crone just smiled at the beautiful sight,
“Happy Yuletide, my children,” she whispered. “Good night.”

Monday Musings ~ The Writer’s Corner: Writing is an Opportunity to Face Fear


Most everyone in some way experiences fear on some level and it isn’t just isolated to writers or creatives. This is just one way our fears manifest, by stopping us from doing the thing we love most. We all have little voices in our heads that have a life of their own, running us around in circles with the idea of keeping us away from pain and disappointment – yet they also keep us away from growing and experiencing fulfillment.

While today’s post focuses on fears writers experience, the ideas and techniques shared here can be applied to any fear we have in life. And since writing fears really aren’t about writing, per se, but about something deeper around stories we’ve accepted as reality about ourselves conditioned by the past, while we work with these fears we’ll be shifting our entire life.

I’ve had to work with many fears over the course of my life to include things like public speaking, fear of heights, fear of being judged and having my work judged…and while we may not always completely eradicate those voices, we definitely learn how to work with them, harness them, and stop giving them control.

In Sage Cohen’s great post, 10 Ways to Harness Fear and Fuel Your Writing for Writer’s Digest you’ll find insightful thoughts on how to consciously work with your fears in a way that harnesses their energy for your writing. I especially love this reference she adds, which speaks to how we can regain control over our lives in the midst of fears and fearful voices:

In A Beautiful Mind, when someone from the Nobel Prize committee asks schizophrenic mathematician John Nash how he silenced the voices that threatened to interfere with his work and his life, Nash replies something to the effect of, “I didn’t. They’re talking to me right now. I have simply made a choice to stop engaging with what they’re saying.”

And so can you.

You can also choose to have a conversation with them like she shares in #9 where you get your fear voice and heart voice together as one through a series of thoughtful curiosities that put things at ease.

It’s interesting to me that we fear “fear,” but fears are more like our soul’s coursebook to growth that we have written perfectly in a way that we know in our hearts will provide great depth, expansion, and evolution. Fears can translate into some incredibly rich writing, music, painting, or any creative project by adding layers of realness to our work.

I’ve used a lot of the techniques she describes in her article and while things may not happen overnight, they do happen step-by-step if you’re willing to truly work at it. That’s all you really need, is a commitment to yourself to work with yourself gently and with encouragement.

Ari Meghlen recently shared a guest post by Nore Hoogstad on How to Overcome Writing Fear that also focuses on some key fears around writing and some quick, easy thoughts around them, which you may also find helpful.

I hope you’ll find these supportive with your process.

What are your greatest fears that seem to be running the show?

Do you think you can commit to working with at least one of them and make your passion a priority, as a result?

Monday Musings ~ The Writer’s Corner: Interview with Jean Brannon, Author of Atlantis Writhing


 

Atlantis Writhing.jpg

Today’s Monday Musings from The Writer’s Corner highlights author, Jean Brannon. The worldwide web brought Jean and I together by way of serendipity, but it feels much more like a golden thread of soul connection drew us back to where we left off. There is definitely a rich and sweet weaving that happens between us when we communicate, filled with continual, synchronous reflections. I couldn’t have been more honored to be able to read and offer a review for her new novel, Atlantis Writhing. Originally, it was my artwork that connected us, but it is our shared desire to spread love and inspiration through our work that unites us.

Jean was so kind to be open to doing a written interview for this Monday Musings series and I think you’ll find her answers and journey to be very inspiring and insightful.

Interview with Jean Brannon ~ Author of Atlantis Writhing

Jean Brannon Author.JPG

  1. How did the idea for your novel “Atlantis Writhing” come about?

 

Back in 2013, I had been working in a joint healing practice in Athens, GA with my beloved life partner and Reiki Master Greg Hagin. When he passed away unexpectedly, I felt I needed to re-evaluate everything. To reclaim “my life” as opposed to what had been “our life” together. I also felt Greg’s death had been a wake-up call to ensure I made life’s every moment count. Just the week before his death, Greg and I had worked together to create a list of things we wished to accomplish in 2013. “Completing a first novel” was at the top of my priorities.

And so, two days after Greg’s memorial service, I sat down at the computer and decided to write. Really write. No matter how bad the words sounded or how much I didn’t feel like it. I committed to write without judgment, without editing and without missing a day until a first draft was completed. That was August 5, 2013.

I told no one what I was doing. I abstained from movies and television and the radio to eliminate outside influences and be able to write as purely as possible from a meditative place. Every day, after treating my acupuncture patients or finishing farm chores (Greg and I had lived on the outskirts of Athens, on over 12 acres of land), I would meditate. And then sit at the computer, allowing a storyline to unfold. I was guided right away to an Atlantean setting to explore the questions that kept flooding me. Questions that – not surprisingly since I’d lost my life’s great love – centered around examining what a balanced and healthy but impossible love would look like. Whether such a love could endure. And if  it would endure.

Then on March 7, 2014, I saved the first draft of the final chapter in “Atlantis Writhing”, my written response to those questions I’d been asking for so long. My own editing process then began and many revisions followed, leading me eventually to seek publication. An endeavor that turned into a few years of query letter submissions. A process that ultimately led to the book being published now by Absolute Love Publishing.

 

  1. What are your inspirations for writing?

 

The archetypal “hero’s journey” is an endless source of inspiration to me. Anyone who is feeling frightened or challenged or traumatized or unable to go on…who finds a way to go on anyway. Whether that’s a fictional Rocky Balboa refusing to stay down in the boxing ring or a very real Rosa Parks not budging from her bus seat, I am moved and motivated by ordinary folks doing the extraordinary.

Yet in addition to that type of inspiration, I am continually appreciative of and called to action by the ancient wisdom I do my best to embody. The guidance gleaned from my studies in Chinese medicine and New Thought philosophies. Which means I intend to incorporate these teachings into my work, so that anyone who reads my writing – or even glimpses the cover art on something I’ve created – will be uplifted, inspired and empowered. And so knowing that I’m consciously intending to help anyone who crosses my path feeds my enthusiasm and keeps me passionate about this labor of love!

 

  1. Have you always known you wanted to write?

 

I grew up an avid bookworm in a small town in West Virginia. At the time my hometown didn’t have a library, but every few weeks a mobile library would park near the elementary school. And I could hardly wait to check out as many books as I could from the Bookmobile! I would sometimes re-read books while waiting for the Bookmobile’s return. Truly I can say I’d read “Charlotte’s Web” at least 50 times by the time I was seven!

Perhaps it’s because books seemed like such a rare and magically precious commodity. But even as a child I daydreamed about one day being a novelist. By the time I attended Richwood High School, I’d fallen in love with classical literature, and in Mrs. Gwinn’s eleventh grade English class read two pivotal works – “The Hobbit” and “Jane Eyre” – which had a lasting impact in terms of the genres that spoke to me the most: epic fantasy depicting the hero’s journey as well as impassioned romance.

 

  1. Can you share a little about yourself and the journey that has led you to now?

 

Even though I’d always hoped beyond hope to be an author, my writing journey has not been a straightforward path.

I grew up in an impoverished area where people worked hard for most anything they had. Where it was understood that young people needed a rational plan for the future so they could earn a decent wage and provide for themselves and their families. Where dreams were more in the “crazy pie in the sky” category because, in most cases, that type of thing didn’t put food on the table.

So when it came time to choosing a college major, I knew in my heart I wanted to be a novelist. But my head kept telling me to “keep it real”. I decided journalism would allow me to become a practical writer, and so I ultimately graduated from WVU with a bacheler’s of science in journalism with an emphasis on advertising copywriting.

Post-college I landed what I thought would be my dream job. I moved to NY and began work as a copywriter. But it wasn’t long before I felt disillusioned. Before it felt increasingly wrong to use my writing skill to sell people things. And before I developed pretty severe back pain. I vividly remember spending a couple of weeks recuperating in bed, where I began taking stock of my life. I acknowledged to myself I still desired to become a novelist, but working in the ad business had made me realize I simply couldn’t bear to write some pretty words simply so I could sell some books. I knew I needed to feel like I had something important to share.

Fortunately, an acupuncturist was recommended to me. And I was helped so quickly I felt uplifted by Oriental Medicine. I began to wonder how pleasant it might be to work in soft music and dim lights and help people to feel better. Ultimately I decided Oriental Medicine would make a wonderful second career – not realizing at the time that this ancient healing system would one day inspire the words I’d feel were important enough to share.

 

  1. How do you stay motivated with your writing?

 

Motivation to me is fueled by two forces – desire and momentum. Sometimes I find that life’s extra-busy periods can scatter my energy, which tends to put the brakes on forward progress as it dampens my enthusiasm. Which can then undermine motivation in general.

So I’ve found a simple balancing technique that springs from committing to baby steps. Which involves asking myself honestly what tiny amount of time and effort can I commit to my writing each day. Because in the committing comes the showing up, every day, to honor myself. And that daily attention, from a Chinese medicine perspective, nurtures the digestion channels while helping the acupuncture channels governing movement to flow. These channels are all crucial to keeping one’s motivation moving forward in a healthy way.

If a person can thus “show up” and pay daily attention to a goal for 21 days straight, that’s how long it takes to form a new habit – or begin to realize a dream. So if all you can comfortably commit at first to your writing dream is two minutes a day, then commit to two minutes a day. But really commit!  Put it into your schedule. Set a timer if you need to. And make sure you write your heart out for that full two minutes.

At this stage, resist doing more. Because it’s all too easy to overdo it and become overwhelmed. Do your two minutes and feel great about it, since after the initial three weeks of two-minute commitments, your mind, heart and soul will be in the habit of enjoying them and thus be eagerly anticipating those two minutes. Once this habit is established, then gradually add minutes to your commitment. Perhaps two minutes extends to five, which can then become seven and eventually ten. Over the course of another month or so, you’ll find you’ve carved out the time and now have the initiative to move forward passionately with your dream!

Jean Brannon

 

  1. What are your greatest challenges?

 

I find my single greatest challenge is being a natural multi-tasker. Which means, for the most part, I am in my happy place juggling a number of projects and goals. Yet if you combine that with my Capricornian tendency to be a workaholic, then sometimes I forget to make enough time to play every day. Add in the fact that I love being an author as well as an acupuncturist, and on some level I feel I can justify the long hours I put in daily – because these paths of service both light me up!

But I do my best to remind myself that experiencing daily delights outside my occupational joys are essential to overall balance and well-being. Which is why I set aside time every day for activities like drawing and home improvement projects (art and appreciating old houses are two passions of mine!). As well as yoga and Epsom salt soaks and walks in nature and quiet contemplation of a firepit’s flames. Incorporating such things helps me make self-nurturing as much a part of my life as multi-tasking!

 

  1. What does a typical day look like for you and do you find that scheduling in your writing helps?

 

A typical day for me probably looks atypical to most people. Some days my acupuncture sessions are booked in the afternoons or evenings, while other days I offer morning treatments. Jogging and yoga and other self-care pursuits get penciled in around my sessions. And in the new year, I will be adding in book fairs and festival appearances and so forth – so my schedule is likely to get even less structured.

But no matter what else is going on during the course of a day, I find the early morning hours and the ones right before bed are when I’m naturally drawn to write. For me personally, a hard and fast writing schedule doesn’t feel best. I prefer to make the commitment every morning that I will meditate in front of my keyboard. And make sure I take at least some notes if full-on inspiration doesn’t strike. Then I do the same thing as my day is winding down. I find that by inviting ideas to come to me in the in-between hours (dawn and dusk) that the words flow more easily and naturally than if I try to force productivity according to a particular time table.

 

  1. Do you have any advice for new writers?

 

I’d advise any new writers, first and foremost, to have their internal editors take a little break and go sit in a corner quietly. There is a time and place for editing. Which is that time and place when you’re ready to make it all look neat and pretty and wrap it up to go in a red bow. But that’s not at the beginning. The beginning tends to be rather messy. It’s a time for coloring outside the lines. For dangling participles and drivel as dialogue and a disturbing overuse of adverbs.

I’d encourage new writers to let it look bad. And move on. There’s too much of a human tendency to angst about whether it’s any good or not. Such a tendency to worry that it can block momentum and make you pause, overanalyze and then stop altogether.

Please. Don’t stop. Whatever else you feel you must do, just keep going. Just keep showing up, and the words will come. They may sound stilted or silly initially, but encourage them to keep coming and – sooner or later – they will start to flow. And flow well. For sure you’ll surprise yourself if you just keep at it!

 

  1. There are more options these days for writers to publish their work and pros and cons for each. Which way did you choose and why?

 

I chose the traditional publishing route, and I decided to follow that path initially because I felt I might learn a lot from whatever feedback I’d get through the query-submission process. I reasoned that having spent my early corporate career as a copywriter would serve me exceedingly well as a new novelist. Because I’d learned not to be married to my words, and so I had no fear of anyone doing the equivalent of bleeding a red pen across my pages in the interest of making them better and moving them closer to being accepted for publication.

I wasn’t exactly prepared, however, for silence. And seemingly endless waiting. In this day of electronic submissions, I can appreciate how agents are getting thousands of queries every day, and so a prompt and warm and fuzzy response isn’t usually the norm. But to hear nothing? For months on end? After spending hours personalizing a query to a particular agent, and pointing out why my story perfectly aligns with the material they’re seeking?

After six months of form-letter rejections or no response at all – and no feedback whatsoever to go on – I decided to take an agent’s query-writing class. I followed that up with another agent’s class where I submitted my query and first few pages for a critique. I got some great feedback from those classes, and yet vastly different opinions as to what makes an awesome query.

I decided to experiment with the feedback I’d received, and so I revamped my query into two styles according to what I’d learned. And then I began the submission process all over again. Yet I got the same results. After several more quiet months, I decided to hire Jane Friedman – a veteran with 20-plus years of publishing industry experience – to review my query and synopsis. I’d been following Jane’s newsletter and blog for a while, and found her insights to be wise and thoughtful.

She provided quick and compassionate counsel regarding my submission materials. And then said something shocking. That basically it was my genre – a New Age fantasy novel – that likely was the issue. Because most publishers weren’t looking for novels with metaphysical teachings. Although she gave me some tips for searching via mlswishlist.com and PublishersMarketplace.com for agents and editors and publishers that perhaps would be open to New Thought novels.

I immediately started researching, and with renewed confidence I prepared a submission package for a publisher I thought would be a great fit. I mailed out the materials two weeks later. And then in six weeks, I got an email from Absolute Love Publishing’s editor – she wanted to read the whole manuscript. In two more months, I was offered a contract. And now eighteen months later, “Atlantis Writhing” is ready to launch!

And so my own experience and what I’ve learned talking to other writers tells me there’s no one right path to publication for everybody. Some writers may be overwhelmed at the idea of all the decisions required in self-publishing. While others may thrive on retaining complete creative control.

I have to say honestly my own journey toward becoming a published author is not what I’d expected. Yet I’ve learned so much and I wouldn’t change any of it! I am thrilled to be aligned with a publishing company whose sole mission is to promote goodness in the world – I mean, how wonderful is that?

I hope my own experiences may help inform others and prepare them for some of the possibilities they could encounter if they choose to pursue traditional publishing. Overall, though, I would encourage new writers to explore all the options available, then see what truly resonates with their intuitive senses. And make their choices accordingly.

 

  1. What are you currently working on?

 

Right now, I’m revising a nonfiction manuscript on the lesser-known lower-leg chakras that Absolute Love Publishing is looking to release this spring. I’m also writing a free 21-day PDF series I hope readers will find helpful that explores step-by-step some of the self-actualizing tools the “Atlantis Writhing” characters use in the book; this PDF series will be available at no charge by the first of the year to anyone who emails me and requests the “Free PDF Series” at jean@jeanbrannon.com.

 

 

  1. I know your book hasn’t officially launched yet, but how can people pre-order and where can they find announcements about its official release?

 

I so appreciate you asking about the publication date and pre-order information! The book officially is launching Tuesday, December 11, 2018, and at that time will be available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks and other similar outlets. The book may also be pre-ordered at the Absolute Love Publishing website: https://absolutelovepublishing.com/atlantis-writhing/

 

And Tania, I’m so thankful for your time and for you allowing me to be a guest via The Writer’s Corner. Many blessings to you and your readers in the coming year!

Jean Brannon Atlantis Writhing.JPG

Thank you dearly Jean for taking the time to share about your journey. It’s a beautiful example of what is possible through commitment and supporting what calls to our hearts. I greatly appreciate you and all you have to share with the world. I know that your experiences will be supportive for many. I wish you much success with your new novel and continued blessings. I’m so grateful for the reconnection.

Jean Brannon is an Author & Acupuncturist. Her website is www.jeanbrannon.com.

And again, her book can be pre-ordered at this link, where you’ll also find my review: www.absolutelovepublishing.com/atlantis-writhing/

Monday Musings ~ The Writer’s Corner: Author Highlight & the Importance of Storytelling


stories for the inner ear

Monday’s Musings this week takes us back to the days of storytelling and the simplicity of woven symbolism that speaks to the heart. One of the authors I hold dear in heart is Cliff Durfee, who transitioned back to the stars as the angel he is in October of 2014. I shared and reviewed his book, “Stories for the Inner Ear” in a blog post just the year before. You can find that here:

Self Discovery Was Never So Simple And Fun ~ Stories For The Inner Ear By Cliff Durfee

His book is one of my most cherished and sits on a whimsical shelf alongside my most favorite books and beloved pieces.

As the first link reflects, Cliff and I shared a very special friendship and I feel him so often around me, supporting and guiding my journey.

Especially so when I began writing my new story, feeling him to be smiling down upon me with my dear rabbit and tortoise friends who are out in the Cosmos with him. In fact, my Russian tortoise, Gaia, moved on very close in time to Cliff.

I find it interesting that it was not long after his moving on to the next part of his journey that I experienced a twist in my own and went through a soul-decision of how to embrace my own transitional phase, which led me to now.

With the holidays being challenging times for people missing their loved ones and even experiencing the transition of people dear to them, this compounded the reason to share about Cliff and his book again.

It is through the innocent beauty of what he brought through to the world and to my life, that I find extra peace and experience of his eternal presence, which brings sweetness to what could otherwise be emotionally challenging.

And as a writer, sharing a love for child-like simplicity, faerytale, and mythical storytelling, I am seeing even more why our connection was so profound and how much he is helping me to bring forth my best through my own work.

Storytelling is perhaps the oldest art form, as even simple drawings were a way to tell a story and leave lasting impressions for others. It is a sacred and ritualistic process that is very meaningful.

Everything has a story to share if we take the time, and devote the presence, to listening.

From the trees to the mountains, the creatures of the forest and sea, the tiniest child or eldest member of the family, to even the stars and Cosmic sound frequencies – they all carry a story and purity of heart will open us to hearing more and more of them.

Stories give our lives meaning, inspire, provoke, teach, entertain, reflect, express beauty, and shape the future while also healing the past. They bring us into the moment to feel something that has the ability to change our lives, here and now.

Cliff’s book is a compilation of eleven magickal stories interwoven into a simple and enchanting read. The layers of symbolism speak to your heart and sweetly work on your subconscious.

It’s still available on Amazon and may be a beautiful holiday gift for a loved one or yourself.

There is room for all kinds of storytelling because we love being moved by a story, taking us through the twists and turns of emotions and life decisions, to awaken parts of us in slumber, or remind us of something important we’ve forgotten.

In essence storytelling connects us both to our humanity and ignites our destiny.

Monday Musings ~ The Writer’s Corner: Creating Time & Commitments


Today’s post is a personal share of my journey with my writing, but more so, about how I’ve had to restructure and sculpt out a new way of being and managing my time. Truth is, I’m still in process of tweaking things and figuring out the most supportive schedule that honors both my needs for flow, but also creates a more a personal commitment to growth, by opening up to how discipline can be fun and efficient if I create a well-balanced bigger picture out of it.

One of the questions I’m asked is how I find time to do all the things I do, but especially where writing is concerned and what a typical day might look like for me. I actually included this on my new FAQ’s page so it is an anchor of reference for others and myself. Here is what I shared about my schedule and how writing has become an integral part of it:

“If you don’t make the time, it won’t happen. Or if you don’t make the time, something may happen to force the time upon you. And believe me, we can find time for what is important to us. At first I did it only when inspiration was flowing, until I fractured my foot hiking and got the message I needed to complete the story and not treat it as a side hobby. I used the two months of healing to do just that. And since, I’ve found that I need to balance inspiration and discipline in order to keep moving forward. So, I actually have recently created a very structured, but balanced schedule that involves at least a 2-3 hour block in the late morning for writing (which these days involves editing/revising) after my morning routine and time I allow for social media and an hour of writing a blog on the days of my blog series, I then have lunch break, a block for my exercise routine at the athletic center that includes time out in nature after class days, 2 hours of painting after that, and relaxing/movie time before getting to bed. Weekends are open to what ever shows up and allows for outdoor and social activities. Of course there are times extra things show up that need taking care of, so I just readjust to the best of my ability for that short duration.”

I have always been an organized person, but over the years I have gone to a more extreme version of flowing to counterbalance the many years before of over-working myself and being highly regimented and rigid (which produced huge amounts of stress, disconnect from my spirituality, and unhealthiness) – this to include my schooling years and years spent in office jobs.

What this ultra-flow resulted in was things piling up on me and then me ending up doing these big last minute pushes where I’d accomplish in-human feats.

So, yes, one extreme to another – years of over-worked, unrealistic demands I placed on myself to perform at an ideal perfection level always, to super flow, but then pulling out crazy accomplishments in the nick-of-time.

Not very healthy, to say the least.

And so I had my work cut out for me in learning how to fine-tune the right balance of each of these that both supports and harnesses my gifts.

In walks this new path I’ve carved out for myself that while is very streamlined in comparison to my previous flowy, multi-faceted days, also asks of me to create a committed and balanced discipline – a new sacred ritual to be my new norm and most natural way that takes the best of my abilities and creates a harmonious dance, rather than one partner taking the lead more.

And I will say, it’s been an interesting challenge that I’m taking my time to anchor.

This weekend I’ve been in reflection and opening to different perspectives of seeing it all in order to make adjustments that are best aligned with all angles taken into account.

While things have been in flux, I’ve been noticing how things feel and how other areas of my life are affected, then seeing if those are ways I’m okay with, or not.

It’s created an in-between-worlds percolating experience, as the shifts form.

If things feel off-balance I want to take a look at that and make sure its reflective of my essence and new, more authentic way of being (perhaps this off right now because it’s different), or if it is leaning too far to one side and neglecting my highest heart.

And so experimentation continues to weed out or embrace, but ultimately to anchor harmony.

This is why I feel my spirit has called in things like my new style of painting, which I haven’t done for several years – to help keep a creative flow going alongside a very disciplined editing time I have ahead.

Also bringing in the athletic center training ensures I don’t get trapped in my chair at my desk all day, helps physically move energy, and ensures physical well-being overall. It’s also hugely impacted my outdoor activities, as I’ve seen a major upgrade in conditioning, strength, and my ability to do things like strenuous climbing with speed and greater ease. Dave calls me “speed racer” and remarks I’m 20% faster….always ahead of him now these days.

And adding in regiments of time for other important aspects of entrepreneurship, joy, and connection with limits, both ensures balance and keeps things in check, as it’s easy to get side-tracked.

While this is the ideal schedule I’ve put together, which I actually have very thoroughly written out on a sheet of paper I keep at hand with time slots and all, I am open to higher versions that may speak through, as well as keep in mind realistic encouragement, without creating high demands on myself while I transition into this schedule.

I’m about 60% there while I’ve had a lot of new thrown at me and a lot of setting things in place that was key to make it all smooth, and I will continue to implement this over the next month to make it my new norm.

I am finding myself much more productive this way and getting used to it all, finding that it does in fact speak to all parts of me and truly is the way I will find myself able to accomplish all that I want in timely and aligned fashion.

When do you carve out your time for writing?

Do you have ways to make all the things you want to do, work into your life?

How might you shift your schedule and commit to implementing it?

Aren’t your desires and dreams worth it?

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