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"Bringing Your Inner Treasures
to the Outer World . . ."
with Naomi Rose
July 2009 Newsletter
1. Introduction: "Writing a Book Can Heal the World"
2. Feature: "Why, in This Age of Writing to Boost Careers,
It's Important to Write Deeply"
3. Guest Forum ~ Jane Falla: "A Few Unconventional Ideas
4. Selling from the Deeper Self: "A New Model"
5. Naomi Rose Services: "Book Development,"
"Rose Press Books Now Available"
Writing a Book Can Heal the World
our times of evolution and challenge, when we are seeking solutions to
planetary and societal problems, it may not be immediately apparent that
what we do and who we are in the deepest, quietest place within ourselves
might contribute to the solution. We tend to think in broad, heroic, active
terms ~ a movement started, a great idea put into practice. We don't tend
to think in terms of something as homegrown and internal as, "I wonder
what in me wants to come forth?" Because it might be as simple and unacclaimed
as making a good supper for your family; or helping a friend move, internally,
from a stuck place to a freer one.
Or it might actually be writing a book.
For years, now, I've been writing about writing books as a way to make contact with the deepest place inside you-and through that, to touch an equivalent place in your readers. All my newsletters, and my books on the creative process, such as Starting Your Book: A Guide to Navigating the Blank Page by Attending to What's Inside You , are predicated on that premise. That in our deepest heart, we are connected; and books are a way to find that connection and radiate it out.
This issue speaks to this same message ~ I hope, in a way that finds its way into your heart and speaks to you directly, even if you never plan to write a book. The process of creating in order to encounter our true being is an eternal one ~ our kin, our brothers and sisters and cousins, include Michelangelo, Mary Cassatt, Shakespeare, Mozart, and so on ~ and it helps make life worth living. As a lifelong student of the creative process (as you'll see when you read on), and as lifelong student of the healing arts, I would be ecstatic to find out that what I share here touches your being and gives you courage and inspiration. If that turns out to be the case, I hope you'll write and let me know.
enjoy this issue of the Writing from the Deeper Self newsletter. I'm delighted
and privileged to also host a guest writer, Jane Falla from Massachusetts,
who is herself a writer (she has a book ~ perhaps, ultimately, a series
~ called The
May your urges to create bring you in touch with the invisible world within and around you, and may you ~ one way or another ~ bring the invisible world into form, to share.
WHY, IN THIS AGE OF WRITING TO BOOST CAREERS,
IT'S IMPORTANT TO WRITE DEEPLY
I have nothing against writing helping people become known, if the purpose
of their becoming known is somehow to be of service. I myself have been
helped by innumerable books whose publication has been really good for
the author. I just spent the weekend reading a book about work by a poet,
the poet David Whyte. His book, Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage
of Identity, speaks to the soul's need to find its true being through
work, and includes as an example his own decision ~ after decades of avoiding
it ~ to be a "full-time poet." Shortly afterwards, that wish came true;
and his book is part of that. That a poet brought a poetic, soulful sensibility
to the usually pedestrian subject of work is a great gift to me, and many
others, I'm sure. We need poetry to infiltrate, interpenetrate, our daily
lives; and work is the dailiest part of our life.
However, too many people are being urged to write books as part of their "platform" ~ to sell something else: a workshop, a name, a brand. And when they do this, for the sake of getting their name out alone, something is lost ~ not only the paper on which the book is printed, but also the connection to something larger that opens up one's being, that connects to the soul of things, that brings the writer to something universal and true through the particulars of the writing. Instructional books are necessary, but we are already glutted with information. What we need is the music of our being, sung to us within us and by others whose writing calls us back to ourselves. I'm reminded of how Mother Theresa, who worked among the poorest of the poor in India, once said that the poverty in the United States in terms of disconnection and loneliness was even greater. Writing is, in potential, a true bridge to our own being ~ and thereby to the readers' being. If it is only to jumpstart or enhance a career, something is lost.
There's a seller of things to do with books who has created, by his own gleeful account, the equivalent of "paint by the numbers": just fill in the template ~ Chapter 1 should deal with X, Chapter 2 with Y, and so on. To me, this misses the point entirely. For while there is certainly an accepted structure to books ~ they have chapters, each one somehow furthering the one that went before; sometimes, they have parts; there is a beginning, a middle, and an end (most often) ~ unless there is that direct encounter with what wants to be written, there is no spark. Why would a writer just want to fill in the blanks, as if building according to some other architect's plans? When the challenges and joys of creation lie before us, an unlimned world until we open our inner eyes and ears and hearts, and begin to bring through what wants to happen?
When I was a child, I did not, to my recollection, have a specific career in mind that I wanted to follow. Perhaps I'm repressing thoughts of wanting to be a ballerina, or a builder of castles. I only remember my wonder and amazement at watching an artist, on very early TV, draw a picture of an arched bridge and the water flowing under it. I might have been three or five, young enough to have no templates of life at all, young enough to take everything as a miracle. And when I watched, on this tiny black-and-white TV screen, an artist named Jon Nagy put his piece of charcoal to a totally blank piece of paper and make a curve, I was spellbound. What was it going to be? I followed with my eyes and all of me as the curve extended itself, swerved, circled back, spoked out ~ and suddenly, it became sufficiently recognizable, what it was he had so mysteriously been doing! "It's a bridge!" I said aloud, practically jumping up and down, ecstatic that he had, magician-like, taken the "nothing" of the blank piece of paper and made a few lines and squiggles and somehow turned it into a "something." His technique was quite realistic, though also somewhat impressionistic, giving indications of a brick-arched bridge, the flow of the water along the surrounding grassy banks. But I fully believed his scene, he brought me into it. From "nothing" had come "something," and he had been the magician to make that true.
I did not, from that, automatically say, then, "I want to be an artist like Jon Nagy" ~ although my father was a would-be artist, a good one, and encouraged me; and I did, in fact, spend my entire teenage and young adult years studying art: drawing, painting, printmaking, etc. Nor am I sorry I did, for it taught me a way of seeing as much as representation, and a way of being present with what I drew. It even gave me one of my favorite analogies by which to explain the process of writing a book ~ a more spatial analogy than linear, whereby the artist puts something, a light wash, say, on the canvas, and then gradually brings everything else into relation to that, or changes other elements and then changes the original in relation to those more attuned changes.
But what I got from that experience of watching Jon Nagy draw a scene that appeared "out of nowhere" was not the specific wish to be an artist, but the wish to create: to draw something out of "nothing."
Only now, so many decades later, can I recognize this as a mystical wish ~ as the desire to touch the ineffable, bring it into some kind of transmittable form. We all have the "no-thing" in our nature, the unmanifested qualities of the divine; and there is, in everyone, I'm convinced, some desire to create from that invisible place, whether it's a book, a song, a family, perhaps even a business. To hear that we are "made in God's image" could also mean that, like God, we must reach into the "nothing," the not-yet- conceived or -manifested aspects of our being, and make those aspects real. No less than Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel, this urge visits people like us, as well.
This encounter with the invisible is what makes our creating a book both challenging, magical, and holy. Whether you think of creating as "wrestling with the angel" (as Jacob did in the Bible, after which his name was changed to Israel) or as birthing something that wants life into being, or as naming yourself with your real name, it is a sacred opportunity to meet up with the depths of your being ~ to surprise yourself with the wisdom and beauty and potential joy that can arise from it. To forego this essential, soul- feeding experience in favor of something where you can just fill in the blanks and boost your career is a terrible sacrifice for the soul.
I say this to you, not knowing whether you have any remote desire to write a book, or a short essay, or anything ~ knowing only that the "platform," bottom- line orientation to book writing (and other aspects of modern life) can bring in money and fame but smother one's true being. I say this to you, convinced that the Creator is in all of us, and that our profound loneliness has something to do with not meeting the Creator through the creating. "God was lonely, and so created humans," goes one Creation story. I think it's true. And as we give ourselves to the willingness to let creation arise in us, we quench our thirst for the depths of being that lie hidden within ourselves.
This seems to be my ongoing "platform," in the sense not of credentials so much as message: creating can be fun, and empowering, and all sorts of wonderful things as well as challenging. But the best part is that it brings us closer to our sacred nature, our true nature. And it is that that enriches us inside, and has the potential to do so outside, through that. You can't become really rich by going after riches; but once you touch the inner wealth, the outer comes round in kind.
May you feed from what you've read, here. May it nourish the seeds of sacred creating within you. May you water those seeds with your love and attention. And when something grows from it, if I can be of service as your Book Developer, it would be my privilege and my joy to do so.
3. GUEST FORUM: JANE FALLA
"A Few Unconventional Ideas About Writing"
Over many years I have sought writing advice from various resources, including publishing colleagues, authors, books and references, conferences, workshops, and writing groups. I kept returning to a nagging question: Why do people call themselves "aspiring" writers, rather than writers? Why don't I feel like a "real" writer? I came to suspect it's because we've been handed a long list of rules about what it means to be a "successful author," and if we don't comply or fit the mold, then we question whether we can even call ourselves writers, especially if we aren't published or seeking publication.
A few gut feelings emerged this year that ring deeply true to me and challenge widely held "you-have- to" beliefs about what it takes to be a writer. I offer these as suggestions, rather than as prescriptive advice.
1) Forget about platform (major, continuous visibility in the marketplace). The industry (publishers, editors, agents) insists that authors have a platform to be published. Realize this is more about promoting yourself as an author than about the value of your writing. Don't confuse being a "successful author" with being a writer. Obsessing over platform can keep you so busy that you wind up dissociated from your true writing, producing "content" because you have to. If you strive to write from your deepest self, trust that your words will find and touch their audience whether you become a celebrity or reach the masses.
2) Try not writing on the computer. Write by hand, and use a computer to revise and format (edits are also helpful on paper). Writing and editing by hand slows you down like nothing else. It may be uncomfortable at first to do this, but in slowing down you invite yourself to reach for truth and clarity. You wait for the right words. You pay attention, become aware, and fully enter the space of your thoughts and feelings.
3) Stop reading. Nearly every writing authority or reference emphasizes the importance of reading. After awhile, obligatory reading starts to feel like reading for reading's sake. Try a reading fast to drive yourself to find your own words. Quit reading writing references that espouse techniques or prescriptive advice that don't feel right to you. Don't read like a writer. Read like a person who wants to understand. Take your time, pause and reflect on what you just read, and consider the words on a "felt" level rather than deconstructing them analytically, intellectually, or academically. Read to go beyond your thinking mind into your very soul. A friend speaks of writing that calls us "to awaken. To turn and discover our own depths as a consciously noticed, consciously felt, consciously recognized vital part of ourselves."
4) Abandon the idea that you have to write a certain amount every day. You can be flexible in your writing practice. Honor your not-writing time, knowing that it serves a valuable purpose. Appreciate "distractions" as useful influences--tools that can help you question, reflect, dig deeper. Eliminate the "sit down, you must start writing even when you don't want to" struggle, or "You must write XX words a day," or "Write at least XX hours per day" if those practices don't intuitively feel right to you.
5) Allow yourself to stop worrying about being polished, clever, or creating well-crafted writing. Well-crafted pieces may receive acclaim, but the creative endeavors I value marry art and craft, each with a good dose of heart. Plenty of authors get high praise and positive reviews for their intellectual prowess, but ask yourself what your writing does for your heart and soul, not just your brain.
6) Understand what revision and editing mean to you. Find the courage within yourself to keep questioning (without obsessing) and exploring whether you've gone as far as you possibly can at that time. If your gut tells you that there are still lessons to learn, feelings to process, blocks to overcome, or some other kind of "red light" to overcome to let clarity and honesty shine, trust yourself to know when to put something aside, sometimes even for years. If the fire burns within you to keep revising, stay with it without forcing momentum or feeling compelled to rush to publication. Let yourself honestly sense/feel what may be "overediting" in the quest for style.
7) Don't feel that you have to share your writing with anyone. Too many writers get their souls scorched by heartless critiques that paralyze them rather than helping them grow. If you do want to share your words, own your responses to whatever feedback may come your way by letting down your defenses and being open and curious. Seek one or two trusted friends who will recognize your words as a gift, give them heart-felt, thoughtful, respectful, and honest attention.
8) Forego the title "writer." This may be one of the greatest revelations I have had this year. In a culture obsessed with titles and status, this may seem counterintuitive. But by letting go titles and labels, you find yourself simply following your calling rather than getting caught up in what you are called. This lets you seek and strive for whatever it is that helps you be your best, most natural self. For me, writing is more a part of who I am than being a "writer."
Falla is a former literary agency associate, and the author of The
4. SELLING FROM THE DEEPER SELF
Rose Press Books Are Starting to Bloom for You
Press, my new publishing company, is the in- the-world aspect of Writing
from the Deeper Self. Writing from the Deeper Self is the process of being
with oneself so deeply, with my caring guidance, that the book is essentially
"loved out" of the writer ~ which is why the tag line of Writing from
the Deeper Self is "Bringing Your Treasures into the World." And since
the tag line of Rose Press is "Books to Bring You Home to Yourself," you
can begin to see the connection.
In all my newsletters, I have been saying, one way and another, that what is in us is enough to heal us, and to bring our readers into a state of wholeness. Rose Press, as a publisher, continues that vision and value system. Therefore, even in promoting and selling the Rose Press books (and there are now six! ~ already in print, or soon to be), I want to stay true to the deeper Self ~ our true nature. And that's what this next part is about.
Please read this appetizer-sized piece of "Selling from the Deeper Self," below, and then click below to read the whole thing on the web page. It really is worth your while, and it is likely to bring riches (including the monetary kind) into your life .
of the web page you'll be transferred to by clicking include:
the books are:
Make sure to read #2, How You Can Profit from These Books (in Money as Well as Spirit). It's truly an idea whose time has come ~ and a real-life example of Harmonious Prosperity
And the appetizer:
"I believe that the link to the inner life and money [put forth in my books] is medicine ~ it is our inner substrate, not visible to the naked, social eye, but actually determining all that happens in our individual and collective lives. And I believe that these books can help anyone who reads them come home to themselves, and enter into the world ~ and their own world ~ from a much more grounded, connected, loving footing, as far as money is concerned.
"Right now, we have the possibility of moving into a way of being as a culture, as a planet, that will fulfill our highest needs and goals, help us help ourselves and one another, and rise to opportunities that at the moment are only dreams, if we can even see that far. I believe these books will make a deep impact on your soul and wallet, and I invite you to read them all and find out. If they speak to you, and if you start (even over time) to experience beneficial results, then I hope you will share the word of this medicine, and tell your friends and family and colleagues to read them all."
For more details, click here: Rose Press.
5. NAOMI ROSE SERVICES:
the Book Harbored in Your Heart
ROSE PRESS BOOKS NOW AVAILABLE
I hope you will buy the Rose Press books ~ and make money from them, too (one way and another). Complete descriptions, excerpts, contents, illustrations, purchasing options, and more can be viewed on the web page by clicking below.
Meanwhile, here's a brief description of the books, to whet your appetite!
The Feminine Path to Money, by Naomi Rose.
(Print & E-Book versions)
What if having
money isn't about "going out and getting it"? What if we only need to
connect with our true nature to have all we need? This profound, beautiful,
deeply honest book offers a heart-warming perspective on why the patriarchal
model of money isn't working ~ and what will. A magical story of how the
death of an old self brings an endless ocean of treasures from within
~ including money. You don't have to "Go Out" and get it. You just have
to be Home to receive it.
Reader reviews: "Pure joy!" ~ "This book went straight to the core of me and touched me in inexplicable ways. The experience was unquestionably sacred and because of that, some form of healing took place."
Living in MotherWealth , by Naomi Rose. (Advance copy) (Print & E-Book versions)
Volume 2 of MotherWealth, this book offers wonderful ways to make MotherWealth real in your own life. Beautifully illustrated by the author. (NOTE: This book is not yet in print, but you can reserve your advance copy now, at a discount.)
The MotherWealth Collection. Includes both volumes in print. Signed by the author/artist. Order both books now and save $5 ~ almost 15% off the list price.
Civilization, by Dr. Claudio Naranjo. Foreword by Jean Houston.
(Advance copy) (Print & E-Book versions)
This world-famous pioneer of consciousness and healing now turns his penetrating and compassionate focus on healing society, based on his over 30 years working with the transformation of individuals. This book is just what our times needs, and is a book for all time. Healing Civilization will be in print Spring 2010. Purchase your advance copy now, and get free shipping.
Portable Blessings Ledger: A Way to Keep Track of Your Finances and Bring
Meaning and Heart to Your Dealings with Money, by Naomi Rose.
(Print & E-Book versions)
What if, every time your hands, mind, and heart touched money, something wonderful happened? This book will give you all you need to bring your heart and finances together in an immediate, hands-on way. The format of an actual blessings ledger enables you to keep track of everything you make and spend down to the penny, while at the same becoming intimately aware of the soul-story pattern that reveals itself in the process. Keeping this ledger transforms everything-how you see your life, the abundance flowing to you, and the expansion of your heart that makes you a source as well as recipient of blessings.
Your Book: A Guide to Navigating the Blank Page by Attending to What's
Inside You, by Naomi Rose. (Print & E-Book
This most encouraging
book has as its premise that what's inside the writer is what makes the
book valuable, and the process of writing a book worthwhile. Most writing
books focus on the product, alone; this one focuses on the person doing
the writing, and the process of being present to the writing. As you get
more and more acquainted with what's inside you, you'll find that writing
your book flows easily, surprising and sometimes even delighting you with
what and who you find.
Reader review: "Reading your book was like receiving a comforting hug of encouragement. I love everything about your book-the way you've organized it; the crisp, succinct words of advice that don't hit you over the head; and the gentle, thought- provoking exercises. The connection of writing and the heart-of the practice of writing as a way to get in touch with the divinity in ourselves-how true! How could this elude us-ever? Once you have this treasure in your being, you realize how clear it all is- why we write, why it matters." ~ Jane Falla
Read more on the Rose Press site ~ and then read the books, and bloom! Click here: Rose Press.