Play Is Productive – Younger Self and Creativity

The author’s Younger Self, age 2.

There’s a concept that I often share with my one-on-one book midwife clients and during various workshops. It comes from one of my favorite authors of all time, Starhawk. She’s a Pagan activist, writer, and leader of the Reclaiming tradition. I’ve read nearly all of her books, and recommend them highly.

In her classic work The Spiral Dance, Starhawk writes about the Triple Self that we each have within our psyche. It’s reminiscent of the id, ego, and superego of psychology, but not quite the same.

Talking Self is a bit like the ego. It’s the left-brain, waking consciousness part of the mind. Talking Self likes to make lists, plan things out, and sound knowledgeable. Buddhists refer to this as the “monkey mind,” the part that keeps on chattering, even when we’re trying to sleep or meditate.

Younger Self is the inner child. It is right-brained, wild, and imaginative. You might picture it as yourself before the age of 7 or so, if that feels right. A client who had a traumatic childhood prefers to call it the Junger Self, after Carl Jung and his notions of the collective unconscious, which also fits. Younger self loves bright colors, sensory input, stories, and playing.

Deep Self is our connection to the non-physical. It is the seat of the soul, centered in the heart. Deep Self is wise and intuitive, and its quiet whispers often go unheard. This is where the deep wellspring of creativity and magick within each of us resides. If you’ve ever had a creative experience where everything else dropped away and you were completely immersed in the flow state, you were aligned with Deep Self.

Here’s the really interesting part, the key to what I teach my clients: Talking Self and Deep Self can’t communicate directly. They need Younger Self as a go-between, a translator of sorts.

In order to fully access the wisdom and creative powers of Deep Self, of your soul, you must align all three aspects of the Triple Self.

The best way to do this is to connect with Younger Self – and what Younger Self loves more than anything is to play.

We don’t usually think of play as productive, but in terms of creative projects it’s essential. Actually, it goes beyond just our writing, art, or designs. Play powers creativity, and creativity touches on pretty much all aspects of life.

“Play is, in fact, one of the most practical methods of survival, both individually and for the species. Within its framework lie the secrets of creativity, and within the secrets of creativity lie the secrets of being.” – Seth through Jane Roberts

In order for our creations (and indeed, our lives) to have the impact we’d like, it’s best to involve Younger Self from the start.

How do you do that? Younger Self adores beauty and the input of the senses. It loves things like candles, incense, bright and fragrant bouquets of flowers, rich chocolate, sharp citrus, gorgeous spots in nature, sparkly crystals, and evocative music. When I listed these things in a workshop, one of my clients responded, “So, basically you’re talking about romancing ourselves?” Yes.

Romancing the Younger Self allows you to align fully with all parts of the Triple Self, before you sit down to create. It gives you access to the full creative power that is your Deep Self, which is connected with the entire cosmos. It grants you access to the Mysteries, if only for a short time.

In order to truly thrive as an artist, your quest is to playfully engage your Younger Self on a regular basis. Next time, I’ll share some ways to accomplish that in the course of daily life.

In the meantime, if you feel like you need to brush up on being playful, here are some easy tips. Enjoy!

Why You Deserve More Ease In Your Life

Have you been brainwashed to struggle through life? How to tell: you begin your day tired and feeling like you’re already behind, you complain more often than you express your gratitude, you finish the day lamenting all the tasks that didn’t get done, and you wouldn’t describe your life as “fun” or “fulfilling.”

You might say you’re just trying to survive.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Modern Western culture is steeped in a “what’s wrong?” mentality.
Nearly from birth, we’re urged to accomplish more, get things done, work hard and play hard, just do it, never give up, endure pain to receive gain, and a whole bunch of other malarkey. Our main focus is on the problems or things that aren’t working well.

This way of living is making us stressed and sick. It holds us back from all the things that we really want to do in life.

What if I told you that you could have a life full of ease, right here, right now?

Some common responses:

  • Yeah, when I win the lottery, maybe.
  • I just don’t have time for that!
  • Sounds nice and all, but it ain’t me, babe.
  • Get real.
  • “Life is pain, Highness.” (William Goldman)

These are beliefs that we’ve held for most of our lives. They are the lens through which you view life and how to experience it. But that doesn’t mean that they’re right for you, or helpful in any way.

I’ve been exploring this theme of ease for a while now. What have I discovered?

I’m not only happier, but more productive and successful, when I’m focused on ease.

Yes, you read that correctly.

It’s true for my writing, my career, my relationships, and all aspects of life.

It doesn’t mean that I don’t work hard, or even play hard sometimes. It’s all in the attitude. Instead of that stressful, go-go-go mentality, I’ve embraced going with the flow.

Let’s use writing as an illustration of what I mean. Say you have some writing to do – whether it’s a blog post, an important email, or a book draft. You sit down to write. When you approach it as another task to quickly check off the to-do list, or you’re pressured by a deadline, you might freeze up. Or maybe the writing is choppy and not flowing. You keep going back over the same sentence, trying to polish it. It’s taking forever! Perhaps you persevere, and the article is actually pretty good – but you hated the entire process and couldn’t wait to be done.

Now imagine sitting down to write from a place of excitement. You’ve been thinking about what you’re going to say, maybe while you sipped your morning coffee or prepared breakfast. Over the past few days, you jotted down some ideas and phrases in a journal that you’d like to include. You put on your writing playlist, light a candle, and sit down at your laptop. You take a deep breath and let the words flow onto the page, without censoring yourself. After you take a break to walk the dog or put the kettle on, you go back to what you’ve written and begin to shape the draft into a final product. You feel accomplished and inspired.

In the second scenario – at least in my experience – you took less time to finish your writing. You felt great throughout the process. The energy you brought to your writing comes across in the final version.

It’s about the energy, the attitude, the way you approach each task. Imagine bringing this ease to all the other things you do in your daily life: grocery shopping, driving to work or school, paying bills, having a conversation, or participating in a meeting.

Ease isn’t about not having to do anything. It’s not about wealth. It doesn’t mean you’re being lazy. It’s not even about denying your pain or your problems.

Approaching each moment with ease means realizing that this life is a gift. You get to do these things. You can focus on what’s delightful. You get to choose how your life unfolds, to some extent – but even more importantly, you get to choose, in each moment, how you respond.

You didn’t come here to this life to struggle. Yes, you are here to learn lessons and to grow – but who said learning couldn’t be fun and easy? (Oh yeah – the outdated industrialized school system that teaches that one-size-fits-all. Screw that.)

You deserve to live a life of ease, just by virtue of your existence. In fact, it will make you a more productive member of society. You’ll be healthier, and more able to give of yourself. There’s actually no rule stating that struggling is virtuous – or not one that you’re obliged to buy into. Just because people in the past did it that way doesn’t mean you have to follow in their unhappy footsteps. Truly.

Paradoxically, living with more ease allows you to get more done, and to feel so much better along the way. You’re more likely to pursue your most cherished dreams, and to take the time to do things that you truly love and enjoy. You’ll prioritize time with loved ones over rushing around doing meaningless things.

Try it. What have you got to lose? A bunch of stress, guilt, and just-getting-by? How’s that working out for you?

How to Be a Thriving Artist

Earlier we took a look at our culture’s myth of the struggling artist. It’s caused many of us to put our creative aspirations on the back burner, or even in the back of the freezer.

Yep, I’m talking to you. Is there a creative pursuit – or maybe even two or three – that calls to your soul? Have you set your art aside?

There are many reasons you might offer for putting your creative dreams on hold: you don’t have time, your day job takes all of your energy, you don’t have the resources, you’re too busy raising a family, you doubt that you have enough talent or skill. The list goes on and on.

What if I told you that you can be creative, even in the midst of a busy life, and that your expanded creativity will enhance all aspects of your experience? It’s true, for me and many others.

Expressing your creativity will help you be happier, more centered, and more fulfilled. It also allows you to share your unique wisdom and stories with those seeking inspiration. You’ll be a role model for others who have repressed their creative side.

Plus, you can be a creative person without struggling endlessly or starving.

Here are some ways to become a Thriving Artist.

A note before we start: in this post I often refer to art and artists, and I want to make it clear that I intend these terms very inclusively. Your art might be writing, music, dancing, or painting, but it could also be knitting, carpentry, raising kids, writing computer programs, cooking, or any number of ways you express your innate creativity. No snobbery here. We are all creative.

Do it your way. Nothing damages your creativity more than trying to fit it into a box that someone else made. I’ve heard many, many stories about how someone’s natural affinity for art was quashed by a teacher, a casual critic, or even a fellow artist. There’s no “wrong” way to be creative. Let me say that again: there’s no “wrong” way to express your creativity.

Manage your expectations. So many people I talk to about writing a book are worried about the end of the process: What will readers think of my book? How will I have it published? What if it’s rejected? These are all useful questions, to some extent – but not at the very beginning of the process.

How can you thrive as an artist when there’s this much pressure on your creations? We recognize the absurdity of worrying about where your newborn child will go to college when she hasn’t even begun to hold her own head up. Why do we think it’s natural to treat our new creations that way? When you act as if your creativity is all about the end product, you’re putting a lot of pressure on the process. Relax.

Change your underlying beliefs. Most of us absorbed the beliefs of our culture, the ones that tell us that being a successful artist is extremely rare. Because of those beliefs, we often don’t feel that our art is good enough. We don’t think we deserve to reach our dreams or to enjoy creating. The good thing about this is that beliefs can be updated. By opening yourself to the idea of being a Thriving Artist, you’re already starting to shift them. When you feel fear or doubt about your abilities, acknowledge these feelings, and then create anyway.

Just begin. The best way to be a Thriving Artist is to create. Do something creative that feels fun. Don’t get caught up in doing it right, or what the end product will look like, or what other people might think. Put your focus on the process. Simply create, or practice, or whatever feels right to you in the moment.

When it stops being fun, you’ve had enough for now. Do it again in a couple of days.

Making the shift from struggling (or secret) artist to Thriving Artist doesn’t have to be hard. Don’t make it a Big Deal. Just get started, and see what unfolds.

Remember, creativity can be easy and fun.

Next time, we’ll talk about why we’re so addicted to struggle, and the value of embracing ease in our creative work – and life in general.

Starcat’s Favorites: Kitty Snuggles

As you probably know if you’re a regular reader of this blog, late winter is NOT my favorite. I keep getting emails and seeing memes on social media with messages like “it’s almost spring!” I delete them immediately, as in Maine…it’s not even close.

Our monthly family potluck was supposed to be this Sunday, with a tropical theme to get us through the tail end of winter. Um, yeah. We had to postpone it because we’ll be having sleet, slush, freezing rain, and other forms of precipitation that no one wants to drive in. Old Man Winter is laughing at us, I’m sure. (I’m trying not to even think about a year ago today, when Quester called me from an icy trail, lying on the ground with his ankle broken).

But this post is supposed to be about things that ARE my favorites. So, among the things that help me through the its-still-winter-but-its-already-spring-elsewhere months: kitty snuggles, fuzzy PJ pants, soft blankets, lots of good books, chai tea with almond milk and honey, and (as always) cool stuff I find on the web and want to share with you.

Here goes:

Have a challenging time being still for meditation? Try mala beads.

I don’t have teen kids anymore (I KNOW – my baby turned 20 last month!), but I loved this interview.

Speaking of kids growing up – are you feeling kinda peri-menopausal, ladies? Take this hilarious quiz.

The original “work smarter, not harder” guru: Thoreau.

I feel so lucky and blessed to know my soul’s callings. If you’re not quite sure about yours, this article can help. (Maybe it’s writing! Is it writing? Read this).

Looking for some good news for a change? I got this awesome link from astrologer Rob Brezsny.

Have an awesome weekend – and if you live near me, stay dry and cozy!

Why All the Struggling? (A Rant)

When I was a little kid, I wanted to be a writer. I was drawn to the magick of stories almost as soon as I arrived on the planet. I started reading at age four, and became a voracious bookworm. I took a notebook and pen everywhere I went. I loved to study and learn.

It’s pretty clear, from my current vantage point, that this was (and is) my calling.

And yet…

As I grew, I was told by well-meaning adults that “writer” was not a valid career path. “You can’t make a living at it,” I heard many times. In my AP English class, we studied classic authors who were brilliant…and who were also addicted to alcohol or drugs, or had been confined in a mental institution, or had committed suicide.

Writing came easily to me, and the ideas flowed forth like a fountain, but I discounted my efforts, and listened to those who urged me to instead focus on “the real world.”

As high school came to an end, I shifted my focus to journalism.

In college, I soon found that my temperament wasn’t suited to a career as a journalist. Deadlines are stressful, and stress and my body don’t do well together. So I adjusted again, and studied broadcasting. I took a creative writing class on the side, and the professor’s self-proclaimed “tough” critiquing style turned me away from writing fiction for a couple of decades. Clearly I sucked at this writing thing, after all.

I ended up with a perfectly fine career in public radio. But it wasn’t my calling. 

It took me until my early 40s to become a published author. I’m now almost 50, and I’m just beginning to make a living through my passion for words. Even setting aside that “making a living” part, when I re-dedicated myself to my calling, it brought a profound shift in my life.

What I discovered is that – for me – writing, reading, and studying is amazingly joyful work. It’s fulfilling. I get up each day eager to do my work in the world. Creativity is FUN.

My young child self knew this decades ago, but was vulnerable to the beliefs of the mainstream culture.

I know my story isn’t uncommon. It isn’t just writers – many of us who are creative and drawn to the arts are discouraged from pursuing our passions. It’s not just about the money, either. We’re fed a constant litany of stories about how freaking hard it is to create. How the creative process will destroy your life and your sanity. How it’s not “normal” to live the life of the imagination. How artists toil away in self-imposed solitary confinement, miserable and hungry.

Just try to be like everyone else, already, those voices whisper. Forget creating. Go shopping or something.

I call bullshit.

Sure, there are times when writing (or creating) is hard – in the way that any pursuit can be, on some days. But a good creative challenge is also fulfilling, uplifting, and fun.

Why do we make it harder? Why hold our fellow human beings back from indulging in the creative passions that light them up? Why the emphasis on struggle?

As a culture, we idolize those who have achieved success in the arts, particularly actors and musicians. Yet we discourage our children from bringing forth their creative talents. We cut funding for arts education. We build a solid wall between work and play.

We encourage one another to “keep the day job,” to spend our leisure time on superficial pursuits, and to ignore the whispers of the muses. As adults, we “don’t have time” to create, because we’re too busy with “more important” tasks.

It’s stupid. Let’s give it up.

Thanks for reading my rant. Next time, I’ll talk about how to go from struggling to thriving.

Do you have a book idea that’s been haunting your dreams? Want some tips for how to get that book written – without all the struggle? Sign up for my newsletter over at my website.

Water Priestess in Winter

First let me say that I love living in Maine. I adore the summer, the beaches, the lakes, the forests, the autumn, the mountains, cool people, spring flowers, and yes, even the snow. Mostly.

As a Pagan priestess and a hippie chick, Earth-based spirituality is the way I live. I enjoy the turn of the seasons, the phases of the moon, and living in harmony with those energy tides.

Until late February, when I start to hear and read “spring is coming!” Um, no. Not here. Not yet.

We’ve had Spring Equinox circles where the kids made benches around the fire pit from the four feet of snow piled up in the backyard. It is rare when we don’t get at least one snowstorm in April, let alone March. Late winter in my state is full of mud and ice and cold winds.

So, right about now, I’m dreaming of warm sand beaches and turquoise waters. Not that I’ve actually been to the tropics…yet.

Over the past few years, it’s been made clear to me that I’m a water priestess. I’ve embraced the calling. I’m doing research for a book (working title: Water Wisdom) about this experience, and the value of water (literal and metaphorical) in our lives. My writing retreats are all going to happen by the sea. My philanthropic plans include helping clean up the oceans.

I love being a water priestess, but this year in particular, it seems to make the winter even longer. Longer until I can plunge into those heavenly waters under the open sky. Pools just aren’t the same. I’m stuck in the waiting place.

Unless, of course, I can manifest my dreams of visiting the Caribbean and swimming in the warm sea. Hey, it would count as research for my book and the search for retreat venues, right?

In the meantime, I’m dreaming of swimming in the sea and reading on the beach under the sun.

3 Tips for Loving What You Do

One of the best gifts I’ve given myself in my adult life is to do what I love, and love what I do. I’m not exaggerating when I say it has completely changed my life, in so many positive ways.

It’s especially vital for creative types, and those drawn to spiritual matters – yeah, I’m talking to you! It’s time to destroy the stereotype of the Starving Artist (I have a whole rant on that topic, which I’ll save for another post) once and for all. Now is the perfect time to expand into doing what you love as a full-on career path.

I’m not saying to quit your day job tomorrow. It’s taken me about a decade to fully transition into a place where I’m making a living doing what I love – and I’m still building pieces of it!

Here are three key ways to build your dream career.

  1. DO what you love. You might need to find out what that is first, or maybe you already know. But no matter what it is, build time into your life to actually DO it. Even if you’re currently in a soul-sucking 9-to-5 job, or you have little kids, or you care for elderly parents – maybe it’s all of the above! No matter what your current life looks like, you can take an hour during the week to do something that lights you up. Build a habit. The more you do it, the more it will expand into the rest of your life.
  2. LOVE what you do. Even the aforementioned soul-sucking day job? Yes! Even that. Change your attitude. Up your game. Switch jobs, if it’s possible. Look at it as a temporary gig, a “bridge job” to what you’d rather be doing. Learn to love the perennial housework – when I decided to let go of resentment about household chores, I discovered that doing dishes or folding laundry is the perfect time to daydream new book ideas! The more joy you allow into your daily experience, the more opportunities will appear before you. It’s a matter of tuning in to outside-the-box ideas that were there all along – you just couldn’t see them through your fog of grumpiness and boredom.
  3. Get some SUPPORT. I struggled along, trying to DIY my business for several years. Then I hired a biz coach – one who I resonated with. She has tattoos and rescues pit bulls, and is delightfully witchy. I adore her. Find someone cool who knows a ton about what you’re trying to do and hire them. Use that old reliable bridge job to fund the building of something better. Leveraging your success by hiring someone amazing will save you a lot of struggle, confusion, and frustration.

In order to thrive, you need – and deserve – to do what you love. We’ve been collectively sold a whole crappy philosophy about work being a drag and creativity not being profitable. There’s no need to suffer.

Step outside your comfort zone and try something new. Take that first step on the path to doing what you love, and learn to love everything you do along the way. 

(Is writing one of your secret loves? Want some support in making it part of your everyday life? Join my e-newsletter list at the website).

Starcat’s Ten Best Books of 2018

Hey there, bibliophiles! Before January is over (how did this month fly by so fast?!), it’s time to share my ten favorite reads from last year. In preparing this post, I noticed that I apparently didn’t create a “best books” post last January. Huh. I know I read some great books in 2017. Maybe I should go back through my journals and see if there are any gems I just have to suggest.

Meanwhile, onward and upward with my recommendations for great reads from 2018. As always, please note that these aren’t necessarily books that came out in 2018. They’re just my top favorites of the 42 books I read during the year.

Here’s my list:

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman. This luscious novel is a prequel to Hoffman’s classic Practical Magic. I’d read that book many years ago, but this new novel swept me effortlessly into the story, and carried me along like a powerful current. This is masterful writing.

The Transformational Power of Dreaming: Discovering the Wishes of the Soul by Stephen Larsen and Tom Verner. On the subject of dreams, my all-time favorite author is Robert Moss, and this book ranks right up there with his best works. The authors offer many entry points into exploring your dreams, and they sprinkle the book with stories that connect and inspire. If you’re at all drawn to working with your dreamscape, you’ll want to read this.

Art & Soul, Reloaded by Pam Grout. I’ve put this book on the list because it provides a perfect entry point for those wishing to expand their creativity. I didn’t go through the week-by-week program she offers, because I feel like I’ve already done this work on my own. But if you’re looking to include more deliberate creative time in your daily life, this book is an excellent guide. I love her playful, sassy writing style.

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. This is the first book in a series, and it’s wonderful. I love writing that feels like a faery tale, and this one definitely qualifies.

Green Rider by Kristen Britain. I came across this fantasy novel, another first book in a series, last summer, and immediately wondered why I hadn’t heard of the author before. The world-building is great, and Britain puts her own spin on the “heroine’s first adventure” thing. I plan to read more.

You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth by Jen Sincero. I absolutely LOVE this book. Why? So many reasons, including Sincero’s philosophy, her humor, her badass self… It really resonated with me, big-time. I read it as part of my self-designed curriculum for upgrading my beliefs and actions around prosperity. I worked through all of the exercises and found them very helpful – and this book was never boring, which, face it, some books on money can be. I highly recommend it!

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero. Because I loved her money book so much, I read her previous book, too. Super good. You’ll love it.

The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future by Ryder Carroll. I’ve been bullet journaling for just over two years now, and I love it. Reading the how-to manual from the inventor of the method seemed like a no-brainer. I’m so glad I did – I learned a ton! If you’re a bullet journaler or if you’re intrigued by it, get this book.

The Martian by Andy Weir. Between seeing the movie, which was great, and the book making the PBS Great American Read list, I decided to check it out. It’s even better (of course) than the movie, and I couldn’t put it down.

Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. by Brene Brown. I read this book on the recommendation of a colleague, and now I want to read all of Brown’s books. Her work is revolutionary. I hope these ideas spread far and wide. Just…wow.

White Hot Truth: Clarity for Keeping It Real on Your Spiritual Path From One Seeker to Another by Danielle LaPorte. This book made me laugh out loud, a lot. It also made me think, deeply. What more could you want? Plus, it’s Danielle LaPorte. She’s freaking amazing.

I also finished reading the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan (and Brandon Sanderson) in 2018. I loved the ending! These books got better and better all the way through the series. If you love fantasy and haven’t read them, they’re a classic and a must.

What gems have you been reading lately?

Starcat’s Favorites: Transformation

We’re already almost finished with the first month of 2019, but I’m finding that I’m still processing 2018. Can you relate?

It was a hugely transformational year for me and my family.

We became empty-nesters. Quester broke his ankle, badly, and had to have (not one but two) surgeries. BlackLion got a new job outside the home. I’ve been up-leveling my business, my prosperity, and my writing in expansive new ways. I traveled to Denver and New York City for vacations. I’ve been the recipient of some exciting Big Visions, centering around my career and callings (I got professional photos done, even!). I’ve discovered some new friendships and nurtured some old ones.

Yeah. That’s a lot – and it isn’t even everything!

How about you? How was your 2018? How is your 2019 shaping up so far?

No matter what happens in my life, reading is still one of my favorite things. Here are some of my favorite reads from the autumn and early winter. I hope they inspire and enrich you!

This is the year I turn 50! I’m actually super excited and happy about it. Here’s a cool idea to celebrate a half-century.

Making some changes for the new year? Hang in there – it will get easier!

I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about Marie Kondo’s new show. I also want to read her book; it’s in my virtual “to read” pile on my Kindle.

Bullet journaling? Why yes, I’m still enjoying it. Mine isn’t as fancy as this author’s, but it helps me keep myself organized.

Did anyone else do NaNoWriMo back in November? Here’s how to reward yourself. Also, a deep and insightful article on writing empathy.

Science is (slowly) exploring the existence of magick. I haven’t read the book discussed in this article yet, but it’s on my list.

Feeling weird about wanting to hire household help? Don’t!

I love this story! Synchronicity rocks.

After successfully raising two unschooled kids to adulthood, this post made me go “aww!” So sweet.

Winter pleasures: hot cocoa that’s good for you, new episodes of Dr. Who (note, this article does have a spoiler alert if you haven’t watched yet!), and nurturing yoga classes.

Enjoy the weekend!

An EASE-Filled 2019

This year’s word of the year was an easy choice – yeah, I confess, that’s a pun, but an incidental one.

You see, my word for 2019 is EASE. If you’re a regular reader here, you’ll know that I’ve been working with the concept of ease & connection for several months now.

In a July post, I promised to let you know how it’s going. I’m delighted to report that my practice of ease & connection has been rocking my world! I’ve been letting go of old beliefs around money, work, and self-worth. Those beliefs had me buying into the false notion that anything worthwhile must include struggle and strife. It’s taken a while, but through practice, I’ve come to see that my work is much more productive and valuable when I approach it from a place of ease.

The same holds true for life as a whole. Even the tough parts are better approached with ease than with tension.

That doesn’t mean that work – or life – is always “easy,” but it does mean that when I’m in a place of struggle or angst, I pause. I use my tools to get centered before moving forward again. It involves processing and releasing stress, and then approaching any given situation from a grounded and connected place.

Contrary to what we’ve been taught, it really works!

Thus, I’m continuing this practice into 2019, and I’ve chosen EASE as my word for the year.

If you take a peek at my vision board, you might notice that travel is something I’m planning to do more of this year. I’ve discovered that, while I’d make a horrible nomad (I love my home and recharge here), I do really enjoy exploring the world. When I travel, I bring back loads of inspiration for my writing and my work. 

So, my Big Vision for 2019 and beyond is to offer luxury writing retreats 4 or 5 times per year. Some will be here in lovely Maine, and others in various places around the world. When I’m not leading retreats, I’ll be writing. I’m currently working on three books – yeah, at once – with more in the queue.

I’ve already signed the contract on a retreat venue for July 2019, in mid-coast Maine, on the ocean My first transformational luxury writing retreat is happening this year! I’m so thrilled. I love how ease and connection – and the support of my amazing biz coach and her community of inspiring women – have already allowed me to step into my callings in a more powerful way.

Here’s to EASE, connection, and inspiration in 2019!