“Working with Naomi was like
having someone who is for you,
who keeps seeing you and
accepting you. I couldn't have
written the book without Naomi.
She is truly my fairy godmother
~ Katayoon Zandvakili: author,
My Beautiful Impostor
"Bringing Your Treasures into the World . . ."
(510) 653-ROSE / (510) 653-7673
~ Free initial consultation by phone ~
Writing from the Deeper Self is a unique approach to writing that starts from your inner experience, called in by your heart, and only later finds its way into words. Because this process accesses deep inner knowing, it is trustworthy (you don't have to ask, "Is it good?" because your reference point is within you), healing, and fulfilling.
Naomi Rose, M.A., is a Book Developer based in Oakland, CA who works with aspiring book-writers in person, or by phone & email, encouraging & deeply supporting them to write the books of their heart. She has over 30 years experience in the publications field, as well as graduate work in psychology and a commitment to the healing process. She was awarded the "Elite Service Award" by Thumbtack.com, and chosen "#1 Editor and Book Developer in San Francisco."
This page features the most recent
Writing from the Deeper Self newsletter,
put out by Naomi Rose to her readership.
To go to the Home Page of the Writing from the Deeper Self website, click here.
To see the earlier, archived newsletter articles, click here.
July - August 2011
1. Introduction: "What Does It Mean to Be Creative?"
2. Feature: "Creativity Isn't Just About Having Good Ideas (Creativity Is
What Happens When You Pay Attention to Who Lives Inside You)"
3. Postscript: "In Praise of the Feminine in Creating, Even Promoting,
4. Writing Your Own Book: "Closer Than You Think"
5. Help Me Spread the Word: "Starting Your Book Helps Writers,
Readers, the World"
6. Flower Essence Remedies for Writers: "Healing Your Emotional Field
Makes It Easy to Write a Book"
7. Book Development with Naomi Rose
What Does It Mean to Be "Creative"?
What does it mean to be "creative"?
Is it just a brainstorm of good ideas? Or is there something more to it?
This is a wonderful era for creativity. The word is in the air, and even theologies are speaking of it more than when I was growing up (in a very creative family, I might add). And yet, as I read the Internet, I get the impression that creativity ~ which is universally "possessed" ~ has been reduced down to a very narrow, and rather mental, bandwidth.
Because creativity is innate and our spiritual inheritance, and is too easily relegated to "gifted others" or to this narrow bandwidth (you'll read more about that, below) ~ I hope that what I articulate in the feature article will spark your realization of your deep creativity, and the expressions (could be books!) that await in your heart.
I often find myself recalling a saying of Jesus: "If you bring forth what is with in you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you." In my own experience, I know what this means. I once had an 8-year writer's block, long ago ~ out of which, eventually, "Writing from the Deeper Self" came as the remedy ~ and to not be able to bring forth what is in me did indeed, for a time, destroy the aliveness of my being. Learning how to listen it forth, evoke it from my heart, and be present in frequent wonder to its unfoldment has proven to me that when you bring forth what is in you, what is in you saves you, and opens you to the magnificence of what lies inside you.
In that vein, I hope you will enjoy this issue of the Writing from the Deeper Self newsletter. (If you have missed earlier issues, they are archived on my website, as you'll read below.)
Writing from the Deeper Self is as much about healing as about writing. When you write from your depths, you bring wholeness to what otherwise may feel like the scattered and disparate parts of yourself. Creating from within offers you the gift of discovering not only what is there, but also who is there. As my book, Starting Your Book: A Guide to Navigating the Blank Page by Attending to What's Inside You , puts it: "To stand, like the most courageous of explorers seeking remote terrains and intimate landscapes, on the rim of your consciousness ~ and to pull up from within you exquisite surprises and gifts in the process of struggling to bring a book to birth." It is the "within you" that is the source of these treasures, so definitely worth mining and bringing into your world (and then, if you wish it, into the larger world).
Contents of this newsletter:
So this may be a time when you could actually consider the sometimes rocky, but ultimately incandescent journey of bringing forth the treasures of your being by writing a book from the deeper Self.
Enjoy letting your treasures out!
P.S. Speaking of healing and wholeness, I want to recommend the beautiful healing mandalas (whole-making, kaleidoscopic images based on nature) at www.bellandtodd.com. And while you're there, read the articles on healing by Bonnie Bell. When you are at-one with yourself, the writing flows so much more easily, and speaks to universal experience.
CREATIVITY ISN'T JUST ABOUT HAVING GOOD IDEAS Creativity Is What Happens When You Pay Sttention to Who Lives Inside You
Creativity often seems to be
viewed as the ability to come up with a lot of out-of-the-box ideas ~
a brainstorm of ingenuity, a mental agility. And while it can include
this, of course, creativity is so much more than this. It is, at its essence,
a soul-thing. And since this is so, everyone has the capacity to open
to and cultivate it, if they are called to.
But like many realities of our deep nature, this can be invisible to people about themselves, and it also can be invisible to a larger culture ~ such as our own. And the effects and side-effects of this neglect can be far-reaching, even if we are not consciously aware of it.
When I was an art student in high school (a high school for students of music and art), we had a substitute teacher come in one day. An imposing man in a fading tweed jacket with a quick wit and a quicker tendency to dismiss, he stood at the blackboard with a piece of chalk in his hand.
"How would you suggest chalk, in a painting?" he demanded.
The class was soon atwitter with raised and waving hands.
"White paint, scumbled over to look rough," called out one boy.
"Acrylic paint with sand mixed in!"
"Black crayon on white paper, scraped off to let the white show through!"
The substitute teacher nodded his head, as if to acknowledge all those creative tries. Then, for some reason, he looked straight at me. "What about you?" he asked.
"Me?" My mind was a total blank. If there had been any ideas in there, they were quickly routed out by my fear of the teacher's booming voice. I froze and tried my best to disappear. But as I was in plain sight, that didn't seem to be working.
"Yes," he drawled. "How would you suggest the look of chalk?"
I took a breath, hoping for inspiration. When none came, I offered, "How about using ~ chalk?" It wasn't a creative answer, but it made total sense to me.
But he shook his head back and forth, back and forth. "And you call yourself an artist!" he said witheringly, and turned to someone else.
Well, no, I didn't ~ not after that, not for some time. Thanks to that experience and others I encountered along the way, I came to believe that creativity had to do with coming up with ideas, with unexpected ways to do things ~ the less obvious, the better. And though over the years I became able to train myself to think more in that way, it always seemed a superimposition ~ an effort that taxed my counter-efforts to simply be at home with myself.
I thought of this old story about the chalk because finally, almost 50 years later, I think I have more of a sense of what real creativity may be. It's not what I was told it was, not what I was made to feel inadequate about. It's not about being able to brainstorm 100 ways to fix a drain/bake a pie/change a lightbulb/mix your own paints, though creativity certainly may come into all that.
If we are the outcome of a creative universe in which we participate, in which we live and move and have our being, then surely we are heir to something within ourselves, which we can reach for, that goes beyond merely intellectual pyrotechnics.
To be creative is to listen inside. To be able to be inwardly directed, and follow what opens up, even if we don't know (a) that it will work, (b) where it will take us, or (c) whether we will even recognize ourselves as familiar, in the process. To be creative is to be an instrument for something that is both of us and beyond us-the whole that is greater than the sum of the parts, appearing in the part that is given to us.
Having good ideas is the surface level of creativity. Living with the creative attunement is the deeper reason, challenge, and joy.
# # #
There is such a difference between creating from the ego, and creating from the deeper Self. The ego may know a lot and have its cleverness; but often there is an insecurity underlying even the most impressive of accomplishments. In my own book-writing, and in working with my clients, it becomes so clear that the closer you get to your true heart, the more vulnerable you feel. Whether you can be present to that vulnerability without wanting to disguise it, hide it from others or yourself, or just close it down speaks to how hollowed out your instrument is becoming. Empty of self-images, we can receive the truth, beauty, healing, and surprises that can move through us from a deeper Source. When we are able and willing to lay down our need to know exactly what we are doing, and approach this open door with an open heart, something essential rises up from within us to meet it. That something essential moves us, speaks through us, loves us into expression. We become the reeds that can carry the music played by the Beloved. Which may be our deepest longing, after all.
How can we move into this true creativity, without feeling like we are being examined, graded, tested for how well we are doing? What is this creative field that we are part of, which asks us from inside (no demanding teachers at the front of the room) to make room for something that seeks to tell itself to us?
I have heard some people confess, "I'm just not creative." But this isn't possible. This error must have to do with some sense of being graded, or with the thought that you have to come up with 1000 great ideas. Anyone can learn to slow down and listen inside, if they wish to: listen for what calls them, what draws them to it, and what their own true internal response may be.
I used to think, as a writer, that what I needed to do was have everything basically worked out ahead of time, and then sit down and carry out that template. When I couldn't do that, I concluded that despite my growing up in a family of writers and going to a high school for artists, I had no innate artistic talent and should just give it up.
And I guess that would have worked, except for some yearning inside me that I could not box up and bury underground, forever ~ a yearning to make something meaningful and beautiful out of what I knew and even what I didn't yet know ~ to find something that "had my name on it," which would allow me to recognize my true nature.
As I have written in an earlier newsletter and on my website biography, the process now called "Writing from the Deeper Self" did not evolve from writing techniques , but from my healing journey. Indeed, most of the doors into writing that have meant something to me and my clients initially came from nonverbal domains: breath awareness; inner sound; inner imagery; what makes itself known through movement and body wisdom; the soul's arc throughout a life, dipping in and out of visibility. At a time in my life when I felt most despairing over my seeming inability to create, no writing techniques were able to touch the aliveness hiding under the despair. But there were healing ways (present in many religions and cultures because they are universal), which brought what was in me closer to the surface.
Then I could write about what was in me ~ or use it to fuel writing about what was also outside me ~ because it was right there , intimately close. When your breath, for example, is a vehicle for bringing you close to what your soul has to tell you, you can trust it to create the you-that-creates. When your heart's pulse is a vehicle for telling you what wants to be brought forth, you can trust its presence to guide you, simply by listening to it. You never have to go out of yourself to come up with a list of clever proofs of creating. Creating is what happens when you pay attention to who lives inside.
The skills accompanying creating of course are consequential. If you want to play the piano, it does help to know the names and sounds of the keys, and to develop a sense of chords and intervals, and the emotional qualities that go with certain modes. But skills can always be developed, at any age, if the desire is there. Over the years, I have taught myself to read music ~ once seemingly impossible, and now such a comfort that I can't imagine how I lived without it. Being able to read music allows me to become, literally, an instrument for playing Bach, or Mozart, or old-favorite songwriters like Judy Collins, James Taylor. It enables me to write songs of my own ~ musical interludes that feel inspired in the moment ~ and write them down in case I turn out to still love them later on. I would never underplay the role of skill and technique in any art.
But I think desire precedes everything. And if you use your own inner being as the source of finding that desire ~ and see how it shows itself to you (does it speak in paragraphs? In stories? In small, intimate details, the dappled shade on the ground from a tree overhead in the sun? In some not-yet-heard inner music that feels only like unformed desire, desire seeking some form for its expression?) ~ what is in you will ultimately lead you home.
To be creative is to be alive, is to be in touch with the subtle dimensions of your own being. The devotional path asks us to become clear, emptiable instruments ~ so that the empty space within the clarinet can carry the blown-in sound, so that the hollows of the cello can contain and let the rich bowed-sound out. To be a creative human being is both an extraordinary opportunity/gift, and the most natural thing in the world: to be the one seeking to express, and also the unformed presence seeking to be expressed ~ creator and created, in one.
Many years ago, I used to think that writing a book was a task, a challenge, an impossibility, a shallow victory at best. I think, now, that writing a book from the deeper Self is a way to know yourself as creator and creation; a process of listening so intimate and true that you rewrite your life and being, as the book gets written. Whatever creative modality you are drawn to ~ visual art, music, writing, and so on ~ creating asks of us that we meet ourselves without disguises; and gives to us that we meet ourselves in much deeper beauty, resonance, and glory than we ever could have hoped for.
Maybe using chalk to represent chalk has its place, too. The point is, we can love our creativity into being. We don't have to scare it into being. All the seeds are already there.
Just add water.
Copyright © 2011 by Naomi Rose. All rights reserved.
IN PRAISE OF THE FEMININE IN CREATING, EVEN PROMOTING, OUR BOOKS
It's been said, by book-promotion pundits, that writing a book is the feminine part, and marketing it is the masculine. I don't know if this is actually the case, but assuming for the moment that it is, this comment gives us an indicator of the imbalance in our culture and, very likely, in our own lives.
The over-emphasis on the masculine ~ on doing, being dynamic, out there (not that it's not part of life, but it's put forth as essentially the only model) ~ can make us neglect, within ourselves, the utterly essential need to be still, at times; to be present, receptive, available for what is capable of coming through us. When we don't learn how to be creative ~ when we don't know that it matters how we are with ourselves so that something inherent and uniquely our own can grow ~ then we do not groom and attend to it even as much as we groom and attend to our money, or as much as we attend to our concerns that our books, once done, get out to the wide public.
What can be more important, at least in the beginning, than realizing how we can be vessels, instruments, receptors, wombs of creation? I use these feminine terms knowingly, though I don't limit their applicability only to women. This is a human capacity, and a divine human capacity at that. Will we really continue to turn our backs on the ability to reflect, to receive, to be ~ that word which has received so much opprobrium in American culture, in particular ~ passive ? There is also a beautiful meaning of "passive," and this quality has its rightful place: to allow to arise without interference from the controlling mind, trusting its rightness and ability to receive guidance. For all Michaelangelo's extraordinary productive activity as an artist, do you think he did not know the need for inner passivity, in order to birth those exalted images in stone, or in the paintings of the Sistine Chapel? Creativity is so much more than inventive ideas. Let us honor the deep, full range of what it is to be a creative human being for ourselves, and let go of that narrow definition.
Here's what most people don't realize, the realization of which could make a great deal of difference when writing a book and seeking its promotion, afterwards:
If you allow the book that is truly in you to come out for its own sake, and for the sake of reflecting and transforming the deepest impulses for creating that are in you, the book will have its own life and energy . And though you will still need to market and promote it, the book itself will help you . Its vibration ~ generated from what you wrote, and who you were in the process of writing it, and who you became because of the book's influence on you (as babies also transform their mothers) ~ will call in distinct people, possibilities, avenues, openings, opportunities. It will help you announce and share the book, because it is of you: it bears the imprint of your soul.
Let creativity find you. Open to it, as it arrives. Give thanks, breathe into your fears, and see what beautiful trail appears under your feet, under your pen ~ for you to follow, and for the rest of the world to treasure.
Writing from the Deeper Self: Bringing Your Treasures into the World.
Copyright © 2011 by Naomi Rose. All rights reserved.
4. WRITING YOUR OWN BOOK ~ Closer Than You Think:
Starting Your Book: A Guide to Navigating the Blank Page by Attending to What's Inside You, by Naomi Rose
like 85% of Americans (and others elsewhere in the world) you believe
you have a book inside you ~
what are you waiting for?
Starting Your Book: A Guide to Navigating the Blank Page by Attending to What's Inside You will show you how you have it in you to write the book of your dreams.
Raved about by readers. Endorsed by creativity experts. An intimate companion for your dreams of expression, self-discovery, and book-writing,
Available now, in print and e-book versions.
The book you long to write is in you. Listening can bring it out.
"I miss you. Please write. ~ Love, your true nature."
For a taste of the book, click here.
5. HELP ME SPREAD THE WORD
Starting Your Book Helps Readers, Writers, the World
I believe that books can change
the world for the better. It's a more intimate way of bringing about change,
from within, as readers are moved to new levels of feeling, awareness,
consciousness, inclusion. For this to happen, books need to be written
from that deep Self.
The ability to write a book in a way that brings forth your inner treasures, and thereby sparks that same place in readers is potentially in anyone who wants to write a book. And statistics say that a full 85% of Americans do.
A book of encouragement: Starting Your Book
I wrote Starting Your Book: A Guide to Navigating the Blank Page by Attending to What's Inside You to encourage anyone wishing to (a) write a book, and (b) discover their unique inner treasures. Most books on writing stress technique; this one stresses inner discovery and deep appreciation of the writer, and lets you bring forth the book knocking from the inside on the door of your heart. In that sense, even if you were to read it and not write a book, you would still learn much about how to hear and honor what's in your heart, and your own unique creative path.
The feedback from readers is enthralling! People are taking heart from this book, believing they can begin the book they'd been wanting to write, or take their shelved notes and turn them into a book. Readers are feeling inspired, encouraged, "buzzed," as one reader put it, motivated, touched, and many other joyful, wonderful things.
" I have been very comforted by your words. I feel a blessed permission to regroup and connect within again ." ~ Shelley Klammer, Canada
" The cover art has a magical image. [And] The content! I so appreciate the slow-down process that I will take up these wonderful listening practices into my daily routine. Training for an Olympic event, or in this case writing my book! " ~ Mary Ann Plansky, California
Help me spread the word
Will you help me spread the word about Starting Your Book ?
You are my "fan base," and I am here for you too. When I write these newsletters, the thought that you are there reading it inspires me. So you are the perfect person to contribute your suggestions, connections, and ideas on how I can bring Starting Your Book to a wider readership.
With your (minimal) help, this book can reach a variety of new readers whose lives could be enriched by it ~ and whose eventual books you might even get to read and enjoy. Word of mouth is still the best way, and the word from your mouth will go a long way.
Here are some ideas to spark yours:
Whatever you come up with is great! I appreciate your willingness to support me in this way. Just email me at email@example.com, and tell me what you've come up with.
In thanks, I will send you the ebook of Starting Your Book , just for sending me your ideas or names to contact. Or a print version, if your tip turns out to work. (And if you already have the book, I'll give you a Rose Press Flower Essence Remedy for Writers of your choice ~ see Flower Essence Remedies for the list of choices.)
I thank you for helping me spread the blessings of Starting Your Book to potential readers who are also potential book-writers.
6. FLOWER ESSENCE REMEDIES FOR WRITERS
Healing Your Emotional Field Makes It Easy to Write a Book
Flowers are your healing friends!
Flower essence remedies can help you write your book. And it's as easy as taking a few drops under the tongue, in a glass of water, or directly on the skin.
Rose Press's line of Flower Essence Remedies for Writers & Readers has been expressly designed to help writers get through obstacles and impasses common to human beings who want to write a long work like a book. Gently, effortlessly, they bring certain positive qualities to your emotional "body" so that you gradually begin to feel those qualities in your own mind and feelings.
Clarity! Flow! Inspiration! Endurance! Awareness of details! The Big Picture! These and more qualities will become part of your experience effortlessly, just by taking these wonderful remedies.
"Shining Star gave a lovely lift to my spirits and helped me feel more at ease with the whole process of bringing my book forth into the world, and with the exigencies of life, in general." -Rahima Warren, author, Dark Innocence (Rose Press, 2011).
To see what wonderful, helpful qualities these flower blends can offer you, please click here.
7. BOOK DEVELOPMENT WITH NAOMI ROSE
The fruits of my work as a Book Developer are threaded through everything in this newsletter (and in all the WFDS newsletters). All the products and projects are exciting ~ but the real heart is in the book development: the process of bringing forth from a client's deep heart the book that awaits birth, there.
To me, the process is so essential. It's never about cranking out a product, even though that's how most of us learned to write in school (and at work). It's always about listening inside more and more deeply, until that which lies at the core of your being has a way to make itself known to you. Writing is the way we make that known.
What does this say about Writing from the Deeper Self? That it's not only for the purpose of writing a book, but is a deeply spiritual process that your own being seeks to make real. If you did not benefit from the writing process, I would not be doing this work, because it's that evocation of what's real in you that brings me the most joy. Later on, when all this process is complete and you have a book in hand, the book itself will evoke for your readers a similar experience of being in contact with what is real in them. This is the case no matter what the subject of your book. If you have a longing to write a book that comes from who you really are inside, this is the place to do it.
"Working with Naomi has been a total delight. Not only is she able to deeply listen to me and fully grasp my ideas and intentions but she is also wonderfully talented at helping me clarify and plan out the structure and scope of my book. Her understanding and support of me combines with her own great insight and makes her an outstanding and inspiring midwife for creative process." ~ Kathy Carlson, MA, Ph.D., MFT, author, The Flame at the Tip of the Candle: Interconnectedness as Seen through the Lens of War
"Giving birth to books that heal is certainly your calling." ~ Doreen Hamilton, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, author, Essential Speaking: The 7-Step Guide to Finding Your Real Voice (Naomi Rose, Book Developer)
(Click here to see this book.)
For more details on working with Naomi Rose as your potential Book Developer, see this very website!
(To begin at the beginning ~ the Home Page ~ click here)