inspiration

Finding Clarity through Tuning in and Really Listening

I share with you today the book trailer I made for my latest memoir, Wisdom Found in the Pause – Joie’s Gift.

When I decided to write this book, I wanted more than anything for people (especially women) to read it and know that they deserve to take time for themselves – that really, it is imperative in order to live the life they want.

A part of me felt vulnerable at times for sharing my story about grief, letting go, and not knowing what was next, because I’d thought I’d had it all figured out, and then realized we will have many transitional periods in our lives. I also believed in my heart that many others were going through a similar transitional time, or would be in the future.

While I envisioned being in the place I am today, a new direction of helping and encouraging women to take time for creativity, stillness, and looking within to listen to their own soul whispers, I look back now and see that every step I took until this point was necessary – even though at times it felt like I was in murky water and I’d never get out of that questionable place.

Putting together this video today is just another way in which I want to encourage others and let them know that is perfectly okay to be in a space of transition – to see it as a gift – to sift through your thoughts with gentleness.

I hope you will enjoy the video. And if you are a reader of my blog who lives nearby, I’d welcome you to take time just for you during a winter women’s creative sacred soul circle I’m facilitating at my studio, Joyful Pause. It begins January 19th, and you can learn more about it here. I’ve extended the early bird pricing because I truly want to be of help to others.

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Looking to the New Year. Living a Life Uncommon.

Looking to the New Year. Living a Life Uncommon.

Looking ahead to the New Year, I’m filled with hope, excitement, and yes, some nervousness and fear. From all indications of what I’ve observed about this particular mix of emotions of the past, this signals I’m on the right path and exactly where I’m supposed to be.

With Christmas now gone, I’ve realized I moved through it much easier than in the past. I believe in part it’s because I’m much better at letting go of expectations. I also believe it is because I have a much better perspective and understanding of who I am and what is important to me. Though I know I am never complete in this process, and I am a work in progress.

In years past, I’d have to have the whole week between Christmas and New Years just to re-group and find my way back to center. Where as this morning, I was eager to get back to my writing cottage and work on details for a Women’s Creative Sacred Soul Circle I’m forming for the winter months.

This is somewhat new territory for me, but something I’ve had a vision of for many years. There are many workshops I’m giving thought to while also keeping myself in awareness mode of not filling my plate too full, like I can tend to do. But I’m feeling very called to stay in a centered, sacred space of my own, fully engaged in what I’m feeling pulled toward….even when I don’t always have a clear picture…but putting my trust into the fact that a master plan is already in the works.

While workshops for women are my main focus for this year, I also want to stay dedicated to my blog because it’s a place that I’ve really come to love. While I thought I’d continue work on writing another book, I’m feeling called to table it for the time being. Though I will simmer in it and save nuggets of wisdom I find or that run across my brain, writing them down and collecting them in a folder should the time come to write that book.

I’ve realized I was struggling with letting the book idea go for now because I had mentioned it in my latest book, Wisdom Found in the Pause that it was something for my readers to be on the lookout for. It’s always a feeling that I’ve disappointed others if I don’t finish what I said I thought I was going to do. But I’ve realized holding onto something just for the sake of not wanting to disappoint others means I only really disappoint myself and more importantly, it blocks me from moving forward.

I continue to want to lead a life uncommon. What that looks like to me is continuing to do my own inner work, encourage that in others, live a life of creativity and less stuff, take some short jaunts away in our van we are in the process of converting to a camper, collaborate with my friend Rachel on future Talking Sticks workshops, and other workshop ideas we have in mind, a possible online collaboration workshop with my friend, Dawn of Animal Voices, and also volunteering to help with geriatric miniature donkeys coming to LaValley Equine Sanctuary this spring.

The other reason I feel it is a life uncommon is that I think too often we push aside our intuition and let fear get in the way, thus losing out on doing what truly matters most to us.  Everything I’ve written about my New Year ahead feels so heart centered and is coming from a place that feels true and right…and most of all it feels incredibly meaningful to me.

And as my mom eluded to in a note to me this month that when she looks at me she still sees a little girl trying to figure everything out and get it right, but she also sees the strong individual I am letting her light shine and spreading it out into a world that can sometimes be gloomy.

And she’s right…It’s important to me to try and make a difference in this world. I’ve come to realize that it does not have to be something grand and big…it just has to come from that sacred place within me. Because when it does, it by default does make a difference…it’s that positive and bright light of following your own soul’s wish, which it desperately wants for you to do, that you begin to live a more fulfilled life…and when you do, other’s who wish for the same will see that and want it too.

So my focus for the New Year is to continue to follow that true, inner light of mine, provide a sacred space through workshops for women to help them open to their soul’s whispers and inner light and to keep writing here on my blog. I also look forward to learning more about donkeys and being open to what lessons they will no doubt have in store for me.

It’s my hope that you will continue to return to my blog time and time again and that I can provide you with inspiration and encouragement to live fully into who you are and not only seek out, but truly live a meaningful life that is right for you.

“If you trace our roots to the very essence, you find we are all connected. On a deep level I am a tree and birds perch on my arms. In the Land of the Imaginative Heart, I am connected with spirit and earth.”

~Laura Hollic, soul artist

Photo above by Kevin Thom. Makeup by Rachel Duff. Costume, model Laura Hollick.

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Pooch Smooches Shares “Wisdom Found in the Pause” and Thought-Provoking Interview

Pooch Smooches Shares "Wisdom Found in the Pause" and Thought-Provoking Interview
Me & Joie when I first brought Joie home in the fall of 2012.

Today I invite you to visit my friend, Jackie Bouchard’s blog, Pooch Smooches, where she interviews me about my new book. You will want to check out Jackie’s books too, if you don’t already know about them. They are among my top ten favorite books about dogs!

Here’s a sneak peek at the interview…

PS: It’s no spoiler to warn blog readers that Joie dies during the telling of your story – after all, you mention it on page 1. What made you decide to do that?
BT: Thank you for asking this question. I struggled with whether or not I should state that up front at the beginning of writing this book. Mainly, because so often I’ve read or heard people comment that they won’t read a book where a dog has died – that it is just too painful.

While I truly understand that pain, I’ve come to see transition in death and transition during trials in our life that there are gifts within these times of pain and difficulty. Meaning, that if we only focus on the sadness of death or a change in our life, we tend to miss out on the new blessings it often brings, too.

Click here to read rest of the interview…plus read Jackie’s final note “about books where the dog dies…”

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