Counting Nine Hundred! Nine Tenths Of The Way There

countingI’ve been counting today. It’s my nine hundredth blog so it got me thinking about other milestones in my life. One of which is my daughter’s birthday. On a Monday afternoon seventeen years ago I gave birth to my very special Crystal child. The one who is responsible, at least in part, for these blogs and my book. When she fell to Earth she really shook my world!

Last week I also added up some of my life skills and how long I had been using them. Counting the different things I do made me feel very proud to have given so many things a go. I discovered that I had spent 40 years working with Past Lives, 30 years working with crystals, 26 years working with Tarot and 20 years working with counselling/mentoring. I’ve also spent 18 years doing Reiki, 12 years as a public medium, 10 years teaching mediumship & spirituality and 9 years channelling art on behalf of Energy Beings. Plus my years as a Mum, pet owner and running a business.

It all adds up. But I feel I often forget my achievements because I am so busy focusing on what what I can’t do. Or what I want to learn next. Watching my child grow up, checking her milestones, praising her achievements I found that I was counting on her behalf. Counting all of the successes. Praising her progress. Reminding her that there is so much she can do with her life. Somewhere along the way of my life I stopped doing that for me. Instead I got sidetracked into noticing the failures and mistakes. Telling myself off for not doing better or the best. Instead of recognising that I was building a solid list of achievements to be proud of.

That’s why this blog today matters. It is recognising, through counting, how far I have come. Reminding me that I have made a contribution to the world. No matter how small that may turn out to be. Or how big. I might never know which it is. But I’m going to keep on counting my good stuff!

Day 900 of my blogging challenge

A Writer: From First Person To Every One

writerA thread of thought has been in my mind for a little while now. It drifts in and out when I sit down to write my blog. I think about becoming a writer. What it took to start, how I have the discipline to continue and what happens afterwards to what I write.

I know quite a few people personally who I would consider to be writers. I look at what they share with a kind of awe. How did they manage to tap into my head so well that they write about  the same questions I have. Some of them would never give themselves the title of writer. Yet when I read their work I know that they are in the flow of their own creative energy. In fact I have bought many books only to feel that the writer isn’t actually a writer. So what do the writers I admire do differently. Firstly, they follow that good piece of advice – they write about what they know. Because that usually reveals something about themselves. And as their story (whether fact or fiction) emerges I get a glimpse of their world. I’m let into their inner space for a short while.

These writers communicate by using the personal. They put their personal in front of every one to say ‘here, if you can use this please do so’. Even if they write in the third person. When I began blogging I had a pile of journals, notebooks and jottings stashed away. Putting things down on paper has been a habit for most of my life really. Especially when setting off on anything new. But I had to think about how a blog would work. I could stuff it full of facts and statistics. Or use the ‘every one knows’ kind of statements. Even debate popular opinions. However, I also felt that would restrict me in some way. I understood that to be a writer in the way I wanted I had to discuss my personal experience. Because it works better at explaining what my life is really like.

That’s the aim for me as a writer. My experiences of life are by no means unique.

So if I share my personal world for a moment or two someone else may identify with it. I am a product of my experiences. We all are. But I know that we all share many common or similar experiences. And letting my world be open may give someone else a sense of connection to me. Through our similar experiences we can be on the same wavelength for that fraction of a second. Thinking about myself as a writer I also know that I would like my writing to promote positive energy and change in my world. If I can connect for that second, be open and sharing with someone for a moment, then we can agree that we are the same in some way. Because right now there is too much made of differences. And not enough of similarities.

With my writing I explain who I am and invite others to take a look at me as I move through my life. And I invite others to do the same and share their stories (Inspired 2 Write is one of my projects). There is something very honest that emerges from writing from the first person to each other. We begin to see past the restrictions of culture, race, gender, religion, sexuality. Past the assumptions and judgements that seem like a thick glue when we are trying to talk to each other. Writing isn’t about everybody agreeing. It is all about promoting debate and understanding. Even within myself. Writing as ‘I’ helps me own my inner world so I can address the parts of it that need to change. Because all of us need to change. The world needs honesty and clarity right now.

One of our oldest traditions is storytelling. By writing it down we preserve those stories for the future. Voices caught, held and ready to be heard again even if the person is long gone. How wonderful to pass on an honest account of all of our shared lives. I’m certain that starts with writing about ‘me’.

Day 892 of my blogging challenge

Press Release? Stuck For Words – Not Like Me!

press releaseYesterday’s theme continues. I’m running late with a couple of things. And struggling with a press release I have to write. It’s certainly not like me to be stuck for words!

I’m getting used to flying through a piece of writing. Letting my words flow out and then organising afterwords. After all, at the moment I’m writing at least two pieces a day. Plus the social media posts, answering questions by email and message and bits towards my new book. Who would have thought a press release could cause so much anxiety, frustration and doubt? It’s not as if I haven’t written any for myself before. In the last eleven years I’ve done plenty. But like my Amazon Authors Page and my lulu Author Spotlight page doing a piece to send off for publicity has me running for cover. So, of course, I’ve left it almost to the last minute.

I’ve had many debates with myself about writing a press release. Is it my Ego Mind playing with me and generating false modesty? Am I still ruled by that childhood instruction not to be big headed? Is there a little corner of me still saying I’m not worthy of being talked about in a positive way? Have I discovered a part of me that thinks saying what I’m good at is boasting? I suspect it’s a combination of all of these added in with that bit of me that has always been shy. Most people who know me now wouldn’t think I was shy. I learned quickly to ‘fake it ’till I make it’ so that I can be outgoing. But when my Guides asked me to stand up in public and give messages I refused for quite a while.

Until I was able to encourage the shy me to step back so the talkative me could take over. Then I could press on with working for the Spirit World. She has stayed in the background pretty much.

Yet I feel she’s raising all sorts of objections again right now. I have to take another step out of my comfort zone and she’s worried. Worried that the wider world might not like what I offer. I keep telling her that I’m past caring about what people think. But she still does. She cares that people will judge her and find fault. That people will press criticism on her so much that she will be in bits. I know that there is a person like this in most of us. It’s the bit that didn’t get quite enough loving, positive approval for being who I am. The girl who could paint but was told not to bother. The woman who wanted to write but only wrote factual, dull reports.

No wonder a press release, talking about what I’m doing with my writing, is a challenge. I’m going to have to dig very deep to get past this. But I will. Because I love that shy, reserved girl who practised her singing and wanted to be in a band. Yet was too afraid to chase that dream. I love that she puts in an appearance when I’m about to take a leap forward. And I love her persistence. Even though she lost some of her dreams she’s determined not to be forgotten. I know she has courage. She regularly comes up against the domineering me who wants to take on the world and win because she’s always right. Shy me always calms domineering me down. Shy me keeps me grounded.

I guess the press release will get written. In the end I have to learn to talk about myself and my abilities. It’s a delicate balancing act but worth it in the end. Because what matters is the book. It’s arrived through Spirit intervention. They have helped me press on. And what ever is said next, I know I have acknowledged my love of words.

Day 710 of my blogging challenge

Another Inspired Challenge

Another day, another adventure. When I set off with the Inspired 2 Write 28 day challenge I decided that I should also write in the group every day.

As well as encouraging every one to write something I wanted to challenge myself. It would be like writing another blog really. Then I also decided that I knew quite a bit about blogging (I’ve been doing it for more than a year, lol) so perhaps I could share some hints and tips. That would mean three lots of writing every day for twenty eight days. Interesting. I know I want to write more. I’very found I love writing. So stepping up the challenge this way would test how much I really do want to spend my time writing.

That was the other issue. Another one or two pieces, no matter how short, would stretch the amount of ideas and words I needed to deliver. More thought, more typing, more editing equalling much more time. Where would I fit things in. After all I’ve started back at work and my diary is looking very busy up ahead. Yet the challenge to write more is an opportunity for me. As usual, I decided to step off the cliff. Jump right in. Give it a go. I told myself that I could always restrict the hints and tips posts. Or not do them at all. But I felt it was right to share the demand of a piece of writing every day. That way I would be treading the same path as everyone else in the group.

Another thing also emerged for me. If this challenge worked for some of the participants perhaps there would need to be a way to carry it on.

A sort of Insipred 2 Write Version 2. Another opportunity for new writers and those involved in the first challenge to get or keep the momentum going. That’s what I’ve found I needed. Enough blog posts so that the pattern of writing has become firmly fixed for me. I’m not sure I could stop now even if I tried. Because what I’m seeing people write about is fascinating. I love reading their work. We have different backgrounds, experiences and voices. It’s another chance to connect with people who are expressing themselves from the heart. I find it energising.

Perhaps that’s something I hadn’t expected from my writing. I hadn’t planned to be leading a challenge. Or even encouraging others to write in the first place. It sort of happened. When I thought about that I realised that I fell into writing in the same way I seem to have fallen into lots of things in my life. Love, depression, corporate life, counselling, mediumship, motherhood. Usually just as I thought my life was finally getting somewhere. Each bolt of lightening threw me in another direction. Not necessarily one I expected to go in. But I’ve learned to keep myself on my toes ready for the next big shake up.

My experiences keep taking me on unexpected journeys. Off to another point that I couldn’t see when I set off.

I am proud of my flexibility with all the change that comes along. Now I want to brush up on my decisiveness. I pendulum from jumping in where angels fear to tread to agonising over every insignificant detail. To some people that definitely makes me Marmite. You either love me or hate me, often at the same time. I believe in shaking the tree. Because I believe we all have the potential to be so much more than we believe we are. I also feel that we have been encouraged to fear far too much.

When I write I am doing it for me. It’s a way of listening to myself. Of pushing myself to strive to be better. Not perfect. I don’t feel that perfect exists. I feel we have to be good enough for the moment we are in. Hindsight is wonderful. But it’s always an exercise in looking back and seeing what we can do differently going forward. I wish people wouldn’t use it as a way of blaming themselves. Or others. I do what I do in any moment. There is no other way to live and take action in the world.

Of course I hope that the things I do are helpful, kind and loving to myself and others. Yet I can’t know for sure the full consequences of my actions.

I can’t stop being active in the world for fear of doing something that will upset me or others. Life is here to be lived in the best way I can do it. I would like to think that my optimism comes through in my writing. And my honesty. I’m willing to look at myself and try to be the best me I can be. Sometimes that will work. Sometimes it won’t. Life is about the interesting interplay of light and shadow. I contain both of these within me. I wish to shine much more of my light rather than be in the shadows. However, I’m human so skip past my writing on the days where the shadows are around. Unless you too are evolving through the shadows. In that case read on and maybe we can evolve alongside of one another.

Day 419 of my blogging challenge.

A New Opportunity to Write

At the End of November I wrote about my Inspired 2 Write challenge. I took an opportunity in 2015 to leap into a writing challenge. My daily blog is the outcome of that step off the cliff.

One of the things I’ve learned doing a challenge is how I use my opportunities when I’m doing something out of my comfort zone. Usually I take ages to decide to do something. I like to think it through from all angles. Opening up to my intuition has shifted me from planning to spontaneity. So I’m a bit more likely to take a leap of faith. Setting out on a writing challenge at short notice meant I had to take my chance without much thought. But I’m so glad I did. Something about not over-thinking has helped me to grab the opportunity with both hands and make it work.

As I approached the end of my first year of doing a blog every day I realised that somehow I had written thousands of words. How amazing that I had so many words inside me. That the consistency of blogging has become a normal part of my day. I felt so inspired to continue writing that I decided to set up a challenge to, hopefully, inspire others to join me in finding their writing voices. So there is now a Facebook group called Inspired 2 Write and on 1st January I invite you to join with us and start writing. The challenge is to write each day for 28 days and at the end have 4 blog pieces that can be used to get going with.

So how does this opportunity actually work?

First, let me know by sending me a message on my Facebook that you want to be part of the group. I can add you to the group so you can post your writing and get feedback or support. The group is open to complete beginners, those who have already started to write and those who want to get consistent in their writing. Each of the four weeks will have a theme to help you focus on what you are writing about. You don’t have to have a web site or blog to join in as I will ask you to put your pieces to the daily post using the comments option. Each day there will be a minimum number of words to complete but you are free to write as much more as you feel inspired to do.

Also, if you miss a day there is no need to double up. You can move on to the next day’s post. I am not looking at spelling, language or grammar. What I would like to find is your authentic voice. Each of us has a different style, subject matter and experiences to share. So I want to stress that there is no ‘right or wrong’ about the group. Your voice is equally as valuable and interesting as mine. So is your story. I want to listen to what you have to say. Not what people judge to be ‘good’ writing.

Here is the opportunity. What makes it worth doing?

I’m a great believer in making every chance count. I hope that anyone who joins in the challenge will enjoy discovering their voice. That the act of writing something every day becomes habit forming. Then that people are inspired to continue writing. Hopefully people will feel confident enough to start sharing their writing further than the group. Through a blog. Or in a writing group. Or by taking the next challenge. I host several websites so I am offering anyone who completes the challenge the opportunity to be a guest blogger. After all, I know you will already have blog pieces to share.

I also feel that inside all of us are many stories. Our experiences can help others who find themselves in similar situations. I think about many of the books I’ve read in my life. If those authors hadn’t shared their stories, if they had never started writing at all, I would have been left without a great source of comfort and support. Books turn lonely nights or difficult times into bearable times. They are an escape. Or a confirmation of connectedness. When you begin to write you begin to offer support, comfort and an escape to others. That’s a great result for this challenge.

So why grab the opportunity right now? After all it’s a holiday time when I want to relax.

I know there is a big energy shift starting from 1st January 2017. There is an opportunity to live our dreams. All it needs is that leap of faith. Or a New Year Resolution. Because I know that is what you will need. Resolution. And faith in yourself. I also know that anyone who joins in is capable of completing the challenge. That’s because if I can do it I’m sure anyone else can. I always wanted to write but lacked confidence. Yet when I went for it look how it’s turned out. I have finished a book now as well as writing every day. So for whatever reason you might be inspired to write please take that step off the cliff and join me at Inspired 2 Write ?

Day 411 of my blogging challenge.