book writing

Come Meet My Writing Muse

Come Meet My Writing Muse

Come meet my writing muse – the Lion. 

Little did I know that Lion would become a writing muse as I began to welcome the idea of writing this new book I’m currently working on.

In January of this year, I had an animal reading done for myself by Ana Maria Vasquez. I was intrigued as she does them based on numerology and date of birth. While I don’t understand exactly how it all works, I’ve been intrigued by how it’s unfolding and applying to my life. I revisit the reading each month as there is a different animal energy for me to observe and pay attention to via the reading Ana Maria did for me.

She began with the animal that came in with me at birth, considered my totem animal, which she shared is Lion. Then each month she shared what animal presented itself that would help guide me this year. I must say, so far, each animal has been in alignment with where I need to focus my energy, and how I can embody more of their teachings.

When Ana began the reading she said that the animals were sharing how this was a happy reunion. She said the animals adore me and were excited to see me, and hangout. How touching that was to hear.

While Lion being my totem animal, Ana shared that Lion energy has also been with me since my 54th birthday last year and will be with me until I turn 55 in July. Lion is also my animal for June, so I’ve definitely been paying attention to how this all fits in with my life right now.

Ana shared that looking at the energy of lion, lion is for me personally about balancing the feminine and masculine. How I’ve achieved a certain level of success to this point, but now this time in my life is about my hearts desires, not playing by the rules of others, and about being in cooperation with more of the feminine aspects of lion. Those aspects being more about being inward, and feeling safe and protected while listening to my heart, before I step back out into the world again.

As I wrote yesterday on my blog, my writing process for this book is to follow my process, and not what other writers do or how the industry may suggest.

It occurred to me as I’ve revisited the reading and Lion as my totem animal, that it’s also in alignment with an animal communication reading I had done with Gidget in early March, done by my friend, Dawn. So much of that reading has helped me with a new awareness as I’ve allowed it to unfold, instead of trying to force an outcome. I’m recognizing that when I try too hard to figure things out that I only retreat further into myself, which only leads me to feeling anxious, frustrated and worried.

A little over two weeks ago I began the search for a lion totem to have on my desk. I found just the one I was looking for in a shop on Etsy called, Journey Back to the Past. A one of a kind as someone with the initials A.J. made it. I knew it was the one as I felt this skip of recognition in my heart. So gentle with just the right balance of sweetness and confidence, I think, reminding me that I too, am one of a kind, and there is no one else like me. Just like you, one of a kind, and something to be proud of and cherish.

Lion encourages me to listen to my heart, be gentle with myself, to not force anything, and to be patient. As for that last  – patience – I do believe just about every animal tries to help us humans with that! 🙂

This morning in silent meditation, I saw in my mind’s eye lion walking confidently across an open field. I admired his sturdy, strong, graceful stride. Not in a rush, but just enjoying and owning his domain. He then let out a gentle roar, and one I felt a message that I too can roar, by sharing my thoughts in my own graceful and expanded understanding as I continue to write this book.

Thank you for reading and sharing in my intrigue of the muse!

XO,

Barbara

After I finished writing this post, The Animal Wisdom Tarot, popped into my mind. I wondered what the Lion card looked like from that deck. I share it here because it sure did make me smile as I saw myself sitting beside that lion in this sweet illustration.

And the message? Be true to self; claim authority.

Lion: Ruler of the Open Heart (Strength) - Animal Wisdom Tarot

What I’m Giving Up to Write a New Book

What I'm Giving Up to Write a New Book
Photo Credit

What I’m giving up to write a new book is something I never thought I would. What I’m giving up is this notion that there is a right, or wrong way for that matter, to write a book.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much time I’ve spent in the past reading and listening to the “how to’s” from the industry and also from other writers and authors, and their process. Telling myself that if I just did it their way it was what I needed to do, instead of opening to what was right for me.

Now don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy hearing about the craft of writing and other’s process. But now when I do, I hear it more as oh, that’s cool, and it’s inspiring to know other’s like me are out there following their creativity.

I’ve come to realize so much of this trying to figure out how something should perhaps be done was just my own lack of trust in myself, tied to my own need to feel worthy. Have you ever felt that in your life? This need to prove your worthiness?

At times, it has been quite painful to be in this place of feeling not good enough. That the way someone else does or did something is viewed as better.

I’ve had the thought of writing another book for close to two months now. Before that it wasn’t anywhere on my conscious radar. At times, I didn’t even think there was another book in me.

But today I began and wrote 2,365 words. And I’ll be honest, part of it came from two blog posts I wrote last year. 

This morning as part of my process not only for writing, but for the benefit of my life really, I’ve started a new experiment with my meditation practice. Normally I listen to a guided meditation or to music. But I’ve decided to just sit in silence. My goal today, a big one, as I wanted to try and meditate for one hour. I’ve never done that before and the longest has been thirty minutes.

But I am curious about what it is I might discover if I just learn to be with me more. Now I realize for many that sounds scary. It was for me too in some ways. And I’ll admit, the first couple of minutes felt almost like torture. I wanted to wiggle right out of my chair! But I opened to the uncomfortable. Pretty soon my shoulders dropped back down from around my ears and the butterflies in my stomach found a place to rest, and I heard myself taking these welcoming, deep breaths. It felt so good.

In that space, though I didn’t make it an hour, and sat for forty five minutes as I had to go to the bathroom… Okay, maybe too much information here, but I just had to go. 🙂  At any rate, it was in that space that it came to me how to begin my book. I’d been searching for a way in, that first line of a book that would start to carry me to the next and would begin the momentum.

The reality is that my process really began quite sometime ago, though I didn’t realize it then. But it’s been in the experience and growth I’ve had the last four years that has brought me here.

Then over two months ago when that idea of perhaps there might be another book in my future, it didn’t begin with the actual sitting my butt in my chair and clicking away on the keyboard. I just started to observe and capture thoughts that were coming to me (which I continue to do), keeping track of them on post it notes, or on paper, and then transferring them to Evernote.

Last week, a few times in the wee hours of the morning, I had more thoughts flowing. This weekend I realized it was time to just begin and made the decision it would be today. And so my experiment with sitting in silence in meditation to listen for what I might discover as the first line to begin…and it came. Now I’m not saying it will stick just as it is, but it was a start! And I welcomed it!

What I’m giving up to write a new book is to stay open to my process, however that will unfold. For now it’s a day-by- day process. I looked at my schedule of things to do this week and for now, added in two more one hour writing sessions. If more calls to me to do so, I will.

Part of my giving up also began when I recently wrote about my desire to give up my mindless scrolling of Facebook and how I didn’t even realize I was using it as a distraction. While I’ve decided to keep my personal profile page and will continue to link my blog posts there, it’s about as much as I will do with Facebook for now. It’s freed up an incredible amount of energy and I’m sure enjoying how this feels.

I’ve set no deadline for now on when this book will make it out into the world. I trust myself now that if it’s meant to be, I’ll keep writing. When I get stuck, I’ll honor that and do things such as walking or meditating to find my way back to the page.

I’m giving up everyone else’s process and the getting sucked into the “how-to” of industry standard. Instead, I’m embracing my own authentic path, which I have to say feels quite liberating and empowering. Yes!

Thanks for being here and reading!

XO,

Barbara

This is it! The Cover for My New Book: Wisdom Found in the Pause – Joie’s Gift

This is it! The Cover for My New Book: Wisdom Found in the Pause - Joie's Gift

I want to say a very special thank you to all who either sent me a personal note via email, left a comment on the blog post about voting, or left a comment and/or voted on my Facebook page last week. There were close to 400 of you who shared your thoughts!

While I must admit I was leaning a wee bit more toward the cover above, I was still torn. Reaching out to you for your feedback, I took into consideration the many helpful suggestions and thoughts. I took them back to Caryn, my book cover designer, of Lantern Glow Design.  She was able to lighten the background, make Joie pop a bit more, and make the reflection a bit clearer in the water. I’m very happy with the final result!

What I love about this choice is how warm and inviting it is. While I loved the image of the sky in the background also, I felt that didn’t convey the same warmth I was shooting for. But the GOOD NEWS is that the sky photo fits perfectly for the inside of the book!  It just so happens that this book is divided into two sections and the sky photo will introduce Part Two:

Part One is titled “Joie” and it’s about how Joie came into my life, how we worked through her physical challenges, developed a deeper bond, and the exciting time we had when we were on the set of the film The Surface where as you may recall she plays a small part in the movie.

Part Two is titled “The Pause.” After Joie passed away in August of 2013, I took a two month sabbatical. It’s during that time of reflection and learning to just be that I was able to accept letting go of a chapter in my life that my identity had been so closely tied to, and how I learned to accept and see the many blessings that being in transition is all about. I discovered much wisdom in slowing down and taking time to listen to my heart, hence the title: Wisdom Found in the Pause.

I’m still shooting for a fall 2016 release though don’t have a specific date yet. The formatting of the book is going well, which I’ve undertaken myself this time around. Oh how I love all the resources we now have available for independent publishers!

So please do stay tuned…. and thank you again so very much for all your suggestions and comments. Please know that I truly appreciated each and every one of them!

You are all the best!!

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