If you haven't yet seen the movie, Philomena, starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, you might not want to read this blog, but if you have, and you found your heart strings tugged by the young mother's pain in having her toddler ripped away from her and adopted out against her will, then you might find this blog useful.
I've just had an eye-opening conversation with Emotional Mastery Expert and Demartini practitioner, Bruce Conrad Williams, who managed to get me to see something that was hiding away in my blind spot.
The world of publishing is quite transformed these days as so many self-publish rather than waiting for the external stamp of approval of a traditional mainstream publisher. There are obviously pros and cons to this scenario: on the 'pro' side, the barriers to publication are fewer than ever and writers are able to claim the profit from their book sales rather than just a ten percent royalty; on the 'con' side, more and more publishers are opting to not pay for contributions (one publication that used to pay me one and a half times the going rate now pays nothing at all because they are flooded with material) and many traditional publishers are redirecting applicants into their own self-publishing companies (establishments that used to be known as vanity presses, where the writer pays a fee to have their book published). The traditional publisher will watch the author's stats and if the results are good, pick up their work and publish it themselves. No risk to the traditional publisher, all risk to the author… It’s a brave new world.
Did you read or watch Peter Pan when you were a child?
I remember being captivated by this story about a youth who is perpetually young and can do all sorts of magical things (like fly), and who lives an adventurous life battling crocs and evil pirates and looking after a band of lost kids!
As with most classic tales, there are a few profound truths being communicated despite the childlike surface story, not least of which is the fact that a one-sided, only-positive life is an illusion.
How to extract the wisdom, opportunities and benefits from difficult experiences.
We’ve all heard the truism that it’s not how many times we fall down that matters, it’s how many times we get up. (And the other one about getting back on the horse.) Which is all good sense and we know they’re right, but it ain’t easy.
In fact, speaking for myself, I’m thinking of creating a business card that says, ‘Failure Expert’ because I seem to have a knack for screwing things up. I’m not sure that I would attract many willing clients, but perhaps if we all made a study of our ‘failures’, we’d be better able to transform our challenging situations.
If you've been following my writing and journey, you know that I'm pretty interested in the Law of Polarity – the fact that our universe is an expression of complementary opposites. Years ago, in my early 20s, I started to teach Creative Writing workshops, and without having a very deep understanding of polarity at that time, I was teaching it!
In the process, I coined an expression – 'Self-As-Team' – that fits in with everything I'm doing today. Here's a quick overview:
When I returned from Bali with my swollen, churning belly, I didn't have the energy for anything but reading; it so happened that the page I was up to in my Demartini book delivered some profound insights that stopped me in my tracks. (Synchronicity yet again!)
I shared these insights about how I was speaking the language of desperation ('have to', 'need to', 'must') in relation to my business in my previous blog, and that this emotional state of desperation had undermined my immune system. In the weeks since then, as I've continued to butt up against the issue of my apparent 'business failure', I've had more realisations that I hope will serve you as well.
or – 'From Desperation to Inspiration'
Our first week in Bali was divine - sunshine, villa right on the beach, friendly people, fascinating customs, tropical landscape, delicious food… and then the diarrhoea hit. Okay, I won't go into much more detail! Suffice to say I spent the second week feeling increasingly ordinary, lacking in appetite or downright nauseous. By the last few days I was really ready to return home but even that didn't set things right. I was constantly exhausted. By midday I was usually in bed for a two or three hour deep sleep, and I seemed to only manage to achieve one or two simple tasks per day. My legs were leaden and it was an effort to just move around. By the second week I had a little more energy but was constantly bloated. No matter what I ate or didn't, I would blow up like a whale. I was feeling physically revolting, and that was making me feel depressed and negative.
Having so little energy I did the only thing I could do: I read.
Mother's Day last Sunday reminded me of an article I wrote years ago about my children and the antics they were getting up to. As my youngest have just turned 18, I'm entering a whole new era now. I was a very focused mother – we home-educated as well, hence the Nina character, so mothering has always been a huge part of my life. I've also been very entrepreneurial and so never expected any empty nest syndrome at all; I was quite taken aback by a temporary feeling of purposelessness when the girls turned 18. It was almost as if my 'raison d'être' was complete.
My twin daughters turned 18 last week and eagerly headed off for their driver's license test. One passed and one failed.
This is a much more confronting experience than when a single child fails – aside from the obvious comparison issues, there is the difficulty of celebrating for the one who passes (because she doesn't want to make her twin feel bad), and the inner conflict for the one who fails: part of her wants to congratulate her twin and the other part is feeling envy, misery, embarrassment...
It's Anti-Bullying Day and kids are being asked to wear orange as a sign that they won't stand for bullying. I wonder, though, if what's really being promoted is Anti-Bullies Day, since the majority of public opinion seems to be on the side of the 'victims'?
I'm more in favour of Let's Get Conscious Day… Particularly that we get conscious of universal laws and how bullying fits into them. Because upsetting as bullying can be, it's not a sign that things are broken and dysfunctional; there's actually a 'hidden order' at work…
A Creativity course led by an art teacher makes us think about drawing and painting and pottery types of creativity, but in its broadest sense, creativity is about creating anything, including one's life – as my new Mastery Club Trainee Facilitator, Joan Marie, recently reminded me! (Which is kind of funny, since one of The Mastery Club characters is the art teacher, Ms Mackie, who directly draws the link between sculpting and creating one's dream life...)
Joan is an accomplished artist and an art teacher in Missouri, USA. We've been in touch via email over the last few years since our paths crossed due to the Next Top Author competition and Joan wrote to me expressing her delight over The Mastery Club and her desire to teach it. Well, having conceived of her Creativity Course, she figured this was the perfect match – and then brought me up to speed!
This week I'm posting a blog that TMC fan Elaine Stoeckel kindly sent me with the line, 'Wonder when we'll get THIS sort of straight talking in Australian Schools?'
It turns out to be a radio announcer's sample of what he would love to hear a school principal declare at the start of the year. I agree! Dennis Prager rejects political correctness in a powerful statement that is very worth reading – let me know what you think.
I was recently contacted by a new author who has had a rather frustrating experience since publishing her first book, and so thought I'd share some of her story in the spirit of 'Buyer Beware – Publishing Traps for the Unwary'.
This highly qualified writer – she's a PhD and lecturer in literature – was inspired to write a book on self-esteem for youth, and when finding a publisher seemed too difficult, she signed up with what is known in the industry as a 'vanity press'.