"Bringing Your Inner Treasures
to the Outer World . . ."
with Naomi Rose
March 2010 Newsletter
1. Introduction: "Seeds of Spring"
2. Feature: "When Books Are Less Than Life (and Yet Writing a Book
Enhances Your Life"
3. Feature: "Imagining Yourself into the Picture:
How Empathetic Imagination Heals the Soul"
4. Flower Essences for Writers
5. Book Development: "Write the Book You Want to Write, the Way
You Want to Write It: Book Development with Naomi Rose"
6. Rose Press Books and other delightful blooms
SEEDS OF SPRING
As I write this, it is late winter, with hints of spring to come. Among the seeds I have been cultivating in my heart underground this past winter are some that are beginning to sprout and show their lovely faces ~ while others still lie in mystery, not yet visibly unfolding.
This is so true to the nature of Writing from the Deeper Self itself that it amazes me that I ever lose faith at all in the creative, birthing process that it is (though I sometimes do, for a time). The deep yearnings in our hearts call to us: and we listen, or we turn away, or we listen and turn away for a time and then return. The path of listening is, in my experience, both fool-proof and subtle. The world is loud; our own worrying and striving is loud in our ears; it takes something to quiet down enough to hear.
I am hoping that my newsletters help remind you that what you seek is within, and that writing a book from that place ~ while often challenging, and bringing us to our edges of our limiting self- identifications ~ is a marvelous gift to us in the very act of writing, as well as to our readers down the road.
So in this issue, some sprouted lovely seeds:
Where are you in the creating, birthing process, as spring comes closer? What heart's-desires have been growing in the dark, and may now be coming into the light of awareness (if not yet publication?)
If you are ready to explore bringing your treasures into the world as a book, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone me at (510) 465-3935. You can also read my book about starting to write a book (hint: the secret ingredient is you), Starting Your Book: A Guide to Navigating the Blank Page by Attending to What's Inside You. . (See below for more details.)
Wishing you organic growing,
2. FEATURE: WHEN BOOKS ARE LESS THAN LIFE (AND YET WRITING A BOOK ENHANCES YOUR LIFE)
Here is something you might not expect me to include in a newsletter about writing books from the deeper Self: words about how reading books are not really "it."
And yet this guidance, by the Sufi master Hazrat Inayat Khan, has much to recommend it. I want to share it, here, with you:
"One may ask, what should one study? There are two kinds of studies. One kind is by reading the teachings of the great thinkers and keeping them in mind, the study of metaphysics, psychology, and mysticism. And the other kind of study is the study of life.
"Every day one has an opportunity for studying; but it should be a correct study. When a person travels in a tramcar, in the train, with a newspaper in his hand, he wants to read the sensational news which is worth nothing. He should read human nature which is before him, people coming and going. If he would continue to do this, he would begin to read human beings as though they were letters written by the divine pen, which speak of their past and future. He should look deeply at the heavens and at nature and at all the things to be seen in everyday life, and reflect upon them with the desire to understand. This kind of study is much superior, incomparably superior, to the study of books."
Granted, these words might seem to undercut the very work I do as a Book Developer. I mean, if books amount to less than does a study of life and nature ~ why even bother writing one?
Yet as I have experienced the reality behind these words, Hazrat Inayat Khan is saying that there is nothing outside us that is as true, as guiding, and as beneficial, ultimately, as what is inside us. Nature shows us what is inside us: in every rosebush seeking to bud and also heavy with spent blooms, we can see a way of knowing ourselves ~ our own nascent beginnings and endings, the birth- and-death that is our own inner nature. And as we become closer to our inner nature, our understanding of the true nature of others, not only ourself, develops. And so it is possible to see a person walking across the street and know the whole nature of that person simply in how he or she stands, walks, where the gaze goes.
Is this a reason not to write books? Not at all. This way of observing, in fact, is quite connected to how writers and painters often see: the gestural detail that denotes the larger story ~ a stroke that suggests the larger image. Learning to study one's true nature is the wellspring of writing that connects, guides, and offers profound solace to readers who seek (even if they don't know it) their place in the scheme of things through your book. And so there are certain books that actually add to the reader's experience of self- knowing, self-connection. Such books are gifts, and they may stay with their readers for the whole of their lives.
What Hazrat Inayat Khan writes about books reminds me of how I used to read books when I was very young. My parents both were writers, and their bookcases were more like extended family than adornment. No one ever told me not to read what was in them, and so well before I could understand plots, themes, and other adult preoccupations, I read the novels and stories that, with a word, a breath, created an atmosphere in which I resided for a time: a world unlike my own that nevertheless brought me closer to that world in myself. Developing ~ or perhaps, sustaining ~ my ability to know with the pores of my skin, to insert myself into an unknown world's language and color and dialogue through my imagination (not yet hardened off by adult survival needs), kept alive in me a capacity to know directly, to experience intuitively, to perceive directly, and to be brought to certain inner places accordingly.
And although these capacities at some point took a way-backseat to other, more left-brain skills ~ still, that memory of who I could be and where I could go through reading lay at the foot of my personas, waiting like a faithful dog for me to turn that way again.
To make books the sole determinant of our knowing is to undercredit what lies in us. But to write a book from the deeper Self is another story. For what gets engaged, inside, can be that very place that we secretly long for; and by opening to writing our books, we invite that place, that faithful dog, that sacred well, to come close.
Usually, people think of the value of writing a book as accruing primarily to the reader ~ or, if to the writer, only because it's helpful to the writer's career, something that can be sold in the back of the room after workshop-leading; something that can help to build the writer's platform and name.
But in my experience ~ really, the whole basis of my work ~ writing a book helps the writer most of all. Whether it's the relief of unearthing something wanting expression from within or the joy of creating ~ or the transformative surprise of finding such wisdom and treasures within you ~ or simply finding yourself (once your destination has been reached) turned into someone beyond who you were when you first began writing (the caterpillar's surprise at being a butterfly) ~ writing a book from the deeper Self is your contract with your own soul. In that sense, it can be challenging to do; but also, it can show you things about life, and your life, that you might never have been able to bring forth any other way. Recently, someone told me that a friend of his ~ a man whom I had helped to write a book some years ago ~ probably saved his life by writing that book.
I think this may not be an exaggeration. To be able to tell the truth as you experience it ~ to put things together in a way that you feel to be real ~ to delve into what is not known, and come up with treasures ~and to even have the opportunity to bring joy and beauty to the writing experience: this alone may save a life.
And, happily, all this does translate into a reader's experience. Writing from the deeper Self can be a transmission, as well as a gift, a warning, an illumination, a friend. The place you are when you write, the energy you are in, the intention you hold for yourself and your readers ~ all this translates into the blessing that your readers will get to experience.
So although a book is not everything ~ although reading books may offer less guidance than learning how to listen to what arises within yourself, with nature's help ~ writing a book from the deeper Self can connect you with what is in you in such a way that you surprise yourself by the magnificence and beauty of your blooming ~ and blooming into the very special kind of flower that you are.
I hope you will consider writing a book from the deeper Self for yourself ~ now, or at some point down the road. It can be a remarkable experience for you. And you will have a book to offer others, too.
IMAGINING YOURSELF INTO THE PICTURE:
HOW EMPATHETIC IMAGINATION HEALS THE SOUL
You may or may not have noticed how often I allude to the artistic process of painting, when attempting to describe the creative process of writing a book. There are many more similarities than one might think. And because it is all laid out spatially and concretely in front of the artist on a single canvas ~ for instance, a green swath to indicate the emergence of a tree; a yellow background suggesting how the afternoon light falls on a building wall ~ it is possible for the creator to see at a glance how the relationship of all the elements wants to come together; what needs to be shifted, brought forward, refined in relation to all else that the artist is happy with on the canvas.
This is a useful analogy for book writers, who tend to think that writing a book ~ because it is done in words rather than concrete visual images ~ is only a linear process. But Writing from the Deeper Self makes use of not only the linear mind's abilities (sequencing, structuring, explaining, etc.) but also of the soul's propensity to experience through images. Allowing an image to come to you and get your writing going is one accessible and often powerful way to make your way into your book.
Images are, in themselves, invitations. Images in paintings, especially, may invite us in. And in accepting (whether consciously or not) that invitation to enter, we make use of (whether consciously or not) what I sometimes like to call our "empathetic imagination."
In the feature article just above, I spoke about empathetic imagination when I wrote that in reading books as a young child, "My ability to know with the pores of my skin, to insert myself into an unknown world's language and color and dialogue through my imagination (not yet hardened off by adult survival needs), kept alive in me a capacity to know directly, to experience intuitively, to perceive directly, and to be brought to certain inner places accordingly."
Now I want to share with you a beautiful illustration of empathetic imagination in writing. Charles Baxter, a writer now in Minnesota, was one of many writers invited to write whatever he wanted to about any painting in the Chicago Museum of Art. He chose a 19th-century landscape, and inserted himself into it, imaginatively, in such a way as to bring back an amazing, subtle, tender story. He called it "Descent of Angels." I found this story in a book called Transforming Vision: Writers on Art .
I am linking it here, and I invite you to click and read it. It is as subtle, lasting, and evanescent as a landscape itself, and reflects something of what I've written about, above. Here is how it begins:
Almost every afternoon during the winter of 1870, around two o'clock, the young mother bundled up her baby in his snowsuit and went out to sit on the bench in the backyard. She always cleared the bench of the new snow with her gloved free hand; then she sat down with the baby perched on her knee.
4. FLOWER ESSENCES FOR WRITERS
am overjoyed to let you know that soon Rose Press ~ the publishing outgrowth
of my work as a Book Developer, using Writing from the Deeper Self ~ will
be offering flower essences to help you write the book(s) of your heart.
Rose Press will soon be co-creating these essences with FES (Flower Essences
Services) in Nevada City, California, an inspiring company that has doing
this kind of healing work for over 30 years.
Flower essences are distillations of particular flowers' healing properties, put together singly or in blends as remedies for various conditions ~ emotional, mental, and spiritual as well as physical. First developed in the early 20th century by Dr. Edward Bach, flower essences have since been expanded, all over the world, to offer humans (and even animals) levels of healing that are gentle, effective, have no side effects, can be used safely with medications, and create outcomes that can often truly be called truly miraculous. These remedies work with the subtle energetic bodies, such as the mental, emotional, and spiritual. Dr. Bach believed that "Health depends on being in harmony with our souls." For this reason, flower essences can heal all manner of distresses that one might not expect a substance to be able to heal.
And this is why I am so excited about moving into the production of a Rose Press flower essence line for writers.
Before I begin production, I want first to consult with you ! I want the benefit of your input as to what stops you from writing freely, and what qualities might help you to do so. This can guide my flower- essence formulations to produce bottles of flower essences that will work for you.
If you could design the perfect vial of flower essences to help you through your book-writing knots, what kinds of help would you want? What are some of the fears and obstacles you face? Fear of failure? Fear of being exposed? Fear of speaking your truth? Self-esteem issues? Confusion? etc. etc. etc.
And what kinds of qualities could you see as the remedies? Joy of creating? Self-trust and self- authority? Delight in sharing? etc. etc. etc. Think in terms of both the actual writing process inside you, the kind of effect you might want your book to have (on you and others), and the process of taking the book out into the world.
invite you to share your concerns, needs, and ideas with me ~ and if including
a little story or anecdote would help make your situation clearer to me,
please feel free to include it. My intention is to serve my clients ~
past, present, and future ~ and anyone else who has a desire to write
a book deeply. Just write me at email@example.com.
And if your suggestions are used, you will receive a free thank-you vial of that flower essence for your own use, once the product is out on the market.
5. Write the Book You Want to Write, the Way You Want to Write It: Book Development with Naomi Rose"
Writing a book
~ especially one that you really want to write ~ can be a wonderful, fulfilling
experience. But it helps to have true support and direction, and the encouragement
that what is in you to write, you can.
It helps to have a knowledgeable and compassionate ally along the way ~ someone who not only knows about how to put a book together, but who also understands how delicate can be the process of being true to yourself throughout, and who can shine a light on your unique essential nature so that it has room to alight on the page.
Offering solid book-writing support developed over 30 years' experience in the publications field, I also bring my love of the healing process to your journey, so that you trust your inner voice and let it guide you. In time, your inner voice sprouts as an authentic writing voice. From there, you can take wing and soar.
For more details, my website will give you the full flavor. Or simply contact me directly, by email ~ firstname.lastname@example.org ~ or phone: (510) 465-3935. I offer private consultations in my Oakland studio in person, or work by phone and email if you are out of the area, anywhere in the U.S. and internationally.
Naomi Rose, Book Developer
Author, Starting Your Book:
Navigating the Blank Page by Attending to What's Inside You
6. ROSE PRESS BOOKS
& Other Delightful Blooms
Press books are the organic, logical, and fragrant outgrowth of the
Writing from the Deeper Self book-development process.
Some of the books have already blossomed (been published) and are available for you to read, enjoy, and integrate into your creative and financial life. Others are budding (soon to appear). Who knows? Maybe your book will appear here one day.
If you're considering writing a book, Starting Your Book will show you what's involved, inspire you to believe in yourself ~ and the minimal cost of the e-book version will soon be recouped as your creative life goes into high gear.
If money has been on your mind (and whose has it not?), then MotherWealth: The Feminine Path to Money and The Portable Blessings Ledger will show you that developing your inner wealth pays real-life, in-the-world dividends and blessings.
And if healing our current social crises are of concern to you ~ the environment, violence, oppression, the economy, and more ~ then Healing Civilization, by the renowned Chilean- born psychiatrist Claudio Naranjo (who first brought the Enneagram of Personality to the U.S.), will let you in on a secret that, once you know it, can change everything for the better.
HEALING CIVILIZATION, by Dr. Claudio Naranjo.
With a Foreword
by Jean Houston.
MONEY AND THE INNER LIFE SERIES, by Naomi Rose
THE "CREATIVE PROCESS" SERIES, by Naomi Rose
Starting Your Book: A Guide to Navigating the Blank Page by Attending to What's Inside You
more details, see: