At the end of the year, as part of a writing circle, Susannah Conway asked: What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?
It took me a day or two to contemplate: I’d made so many decisions this year – so many big ones, and each had its own particular ‘wisdom.’ So it was hard to decide – plus I had a cold, which was making me feel sorry for myself.
And then, this morning, I knew which one to choose. This year I made these ‘wise’ decisions:
- To write a book about angels
- To publish the E-magazine I’d been talking about publishing for years
Then, I made this one:
- To attend Jonathan Fields‘ Tribal Author Book Marketing class even though I didn’t have the money
This was so much more than a ‘how to self publish your book’ class. It was a course in heart-centered business, in self-realization; in marketing and brand development and self-awareness. It was worth every penny – times ten.
“What is your book about?” Jonathan asked each of us at the beginning of the class. I listened to the other students talk about their projects – marketing, business, branding, women’s wisdom. When it was my turn, I murmured, “Angels.”
I couldn’t explain it very well then. I kind of mumbled something about how much I loved the people who sent their stories in; how I hoped to build a forum where I could tell more of them; where they could tell the stories to each other.
I didn’t present it well. I’d never heard of the ‘elevator speech,’ hadn’t streamlined my ‘pitch’ or built my ‘platform.” And I had no idea how or where to begin.
I imagined that Jonathan and the other students saw me as a well-meaning flake. Maybe I was. I sat down.
Jonathan encouraged us to get onto Twitter; he seemed to be having such fun with it that I decided to give it a better try.
That was an excellent decision. This year, because of the remarkable people I have met on Twitter, I decided:
- To shift and shift and shift my brand until it felt like me; I moved away from the corseted and limiting and oh, so stale, “angel lady” to ‘me’ – this genuine, soul-full, mossy being who’s been living at the center of my heart all these years.
- To ‘break up’ with a business associate who was simply not clicking for me; not her fault, not mine; just not a good fit, and though I let our working relationship linger far too long, I learned from that, too. (Thanks Mark Silver and Janet Goldstein)
- To release my inner ‘snark’ from the good girl cage; to let my outer ‘sweetie’ clarify, to be more genuine – more true (Thanks Erika Napoletano – for inspiration)
- To eat raw food – a lot; to eat other things, too. (Thanks, my dear friend, Susan Powers)
- To deepen my connection with the Sacred Feminine (Thanks, Julie Daley, Rebecca Elia, Marjory Mejia)
With their help, daily cheerleading and inspiration, I clarified my voice and:
- Moved my blog to WordPress (Thanks, Shelly Kramer!)
- Built a lively ‘like’ page on Facebook
- I decided that giving content away was a good idea, after all; that more content will always flow to me
All good decisions. Still, the wisest decision was this: I showed up.
I kept moving and I did not quit.
Each time that I would have, in the past, given up, I lifted off and watched myself, like a bemused and loving parent. I watched myself argue for my limitations, make excuses, talk myself out of abandoning every project the moment it got difficult. And I didn’t quit.
I watched myself pick apart perfectly good work and stuff it into drawers; I watched myself go all frazzly and disorganized and cluttered; i watched myself get distracted and overwhelmed by everyone else’s need of my time, my attention, my driver’s license, my energy and, it often seemed, my blood; and still, I did not quit.
I did not wind up lying on the couch with a strange sleeping malady, a lost voice, a migraine.
I took care of my aging parents; hit my weekly deadline; I made lists and systematically checked off each item with a proud purple pen.
Then, at the end of the summer, also on Twitter, I heard about a workshop with life coach, Sarah Robinson. Sarah was promising to deliver something I was looking for and, without a second thought, I signed up. I hadn’t travelled in over two years – anywhere. The day before I left, I realized: I don’t want to go. A moment later, I realized: I am terrified.
I went anyway.
I flew to Atlanta with 100 dollars in my bank account; and 20 dollars cash. On the plane, I made a list of intentions on the back of the napkin the flight attendant gave to me with my tea. No matter what this workshop is (because, honestly, I had no idea what it was about) I will use it to make a shift; no matter what happens there, I will get what I need.
As my plane circled the airport, I felt the first tickling of a sore throat. By the time I’d dragged my suitcase to the hotel in the oppressive Atlanta heat, I had a fever.
I wanted to go home.
Still, when Sarah asked, “Who wants to speak first?” I put up my hand.
I stood in front of a circle of loving women (and one man) and told my preposterous story of Grace and light and angels; I told it through tears, through laryngitis and a fever; through self-doubt and shame and humiliation; I told it to people I did not know. People who could have laughed at me, ignored me, dismissed me, lynched me, disbelieved me: I let all of that be there and I showed up.
When it was over, all that was left was the heart, the heart, the heart – pulsing, red and real.
Then, they circled me and I was re-named, reborn, re-branded.
Since then, nothing has been the same.
What has been frozen can melt; what has been tangled can unfurl. What is hidden inevitably emerges. Since then, I have been in a constant state of labor, delivering:
- The book of angels
- The Four Soul Questions Everyone Should Be Asking Now
- Shadow and Light: Your Soul Year Card Deck
- The inklings of The Soul Caller Training (launched in 2011)
At year’s end, I sit on the living room floor, surrounded by pages pulled from dusty drawers and weeping.
I cannot believe what has happened in one brief year.
I cannot believe the beauty of what I’d buried away; the sheer volume of ideas that have streamed through me. I do this each day, ceremonially, with great reverence – as part of a great opening, a great showing up.
As I work, I check in, asking: How does this resonate with ‘me’? For now, because I showed up, I know exactly who I am.