"Bringing Your Treasures into the World . . ."
(510) 653-ROSE / (510) 653-7673
~ Free initial consultation by phone ~
March - April 2011
1. Introduction: "Some Fruits of Spring"
2. Feature: "The Antidote to Fear is Desire (Letting the Muse Find You
When You Procrastinate Writing Your Book"
3. Contest: “The Results of the ‘Lengthy Sentence Contest: The amazing
experience that can happen when you take the time to slow down”
4. Recommended Books : “The Gift of Anger”
5. Writing Medicine: “Flower Essence Remedies for Writers & Readers
(Enhancing your writing by enhancing YOU)”
6. Starting Your Book: New, revised, gorgeous edition available
Some Fruits of Spring
Spring is finally here, in the San Francisco Bay Area, and sometimes one does not initially realize what wonderful growings have been taking place under winter's earth until they begin to sprout.
I had become so used to winter ~ working, creating, doing, this winter ~ that when I sat down to gather up some wonderful things to share with you in this newsletter, it surprised me how much there was to share ~ and how exciting, abundant, and rewarding these "fruitings" turned out to be. So please, read this newsletter when you have a bit of time to savor and get into it. It's the equivalent of slow-food, not fast-food ~ and just as delicious and nutritious. Take a breath, and settle in for some things wonderful.
In this issue, you will find:
I'm also honored to have been chosen as the "#1 Editor & Book Developer in [the] San Francisco [Bay Area]" by Thumbtack.com, and given their Elite Service Award. To see for yourself, see " Spotlight on Naomi Rose."
I just love this issue. So many wonderful people's writings join me, here. I'm delighted at this emergence of community. I hope you will feel part of it, and feel welcome to add to it as you are so moved. You are the treasure. Writing from the Deeper Self is what brings your treasures, as books, into the world.
~ Naomi Rose
THE ANTIDOTE TO FEAR IS DESIRE
Letting the Muse find you when you procrastinate writing your book
It's true that much of my work as a Book Developer is helping my clients get through their fears about writing. Such fears ~ and there are myriad ~ take over the inner life, constrict the arteries and veins of free-flowing expression, and sometimes just plain stop the writing from taking place.
When I am sitting with a client who is suffering in this way, somehow I am able to be completely present to the multi-dimensional layers of these fears, so that in time they come to melt in the light of what's beneath them being shared and received with compassion, without judgment. When someone gets to that more root-level fear of "no one cares what I have to say," for example ~ a child's inner experience, shelved like a scar and covered over with more adaptive, even witty, articulate, behavior ~ then I know we can soften this constriction, bring our (the client's and my) caring and interest to the matter. Being listened to deeply is (a) human, and (b) magic.
And yet: sometimes, I go through this, myself, still. I tell myself, "Tuesday, I'll use the morning for writing, not for work." And then somehow, there I am, working instead.
On one hand, I can rationalize this as having some benefit: it keeps me current with the experience that my clients so often feel. I have no high pedestal to speak down from, no lofty "Ah yes, it used to be like that for me too, many, many years ago." It's happening now, and somehow, from within this fear-constriction, I can't remember how I get my clients out of this place, much less myself.
When this happened to me most recently ~ only a few weeks ago ~ the discomfort of not writing when I had promised myself I would began to set in domino-type motion a whole raft of insults to myself, such as only my Inner Critic can do. From "You don't really have anything to say," to "What made you think this book you're writing is going to interest anyone?" to "If you hadn't publicly told people you were writing this book, you could just pack it in, altogether," the mean-spirited voice inside took the existing fear and bullied it into a wall of defenses. What a mess of suffering!
And yet: I love the book I'm in the process of writing. I love where it's taken me, over several years. I love what it's trying to teach me, how much of myself I've given to it. I didn't, and don't, want to give up on it, or on myself. What I want is to find where it's alive and breathing, and write from there.
This is how I came to realize that an antidote for fear in writing (which might equal fear of exposing one's true self to oneself, or fear that the cover over the true self ~ the adapted self, or ego ~ is all there is to one) is desire .
Desire, I am finding, does not like to be put into cages, even the most well-intentioned cages: "Every morning, you will get up at 5:00 a.m. and sit in front of your computer for an hour, no matter what." Actually, I have a friend who does write this way, and it works very well for her. I am proud of her, and somewhat envious. But it's not a way that works for me. So I have to keep finding those cracks in my defense system, those free-breathing places where, if I pay attention to them in a certain kind of way, they will yield the most beautiful writing that is beautiful to write. (And that's how I know the writing is beautiful: because there is a beautiful feeling in me, as I let and shape the words out.)
Desire is like many of the cats I've had in my lifetime. You do not "own" a cat. A cat cohabits with you, and tells you when it wants what it wants. Uncivilized, instinctive, close to and in the body, desire threads through us at its own will and pace, and when it is ready it tells us, "I'm here. Do something with me."
So it was that after a bout of evading writing my book and feeling bad about it, it was while I was washing the dishes ~ something so ordinary, so everyday, and so far from the seemingly loftier world of writing ~ that the solution came to me.
It really came. It arrived, like a guest or old friend who I hadn't remembered. It arrived along with the flow of water from the faucet, my body occupied holding a dirty dish in one hand and a soapy sponge in the other. My mind was on the dishwashing, but maybe a small part of it was engaging the Muse unawares. And when desire came, it announced itself right away, as if I were a thirsty tree and rain came down from the skies to water me.
I had been trying to write a certain part of the book somewhat abstractly, and having trouble getting into it with any felt-sense of certainty. Ideas are wonderful, but with no embodiment they can waft around and not really stick. Well, when this desire stopped me in my soapy tracks and straightened me up with a burst of interest, I realized that I had had an experience, as a child, that beautifully described and encapsulated not only the focus I had been seeking to write (for a section called "Being Present") but was about desire, itself. No wonder Desire tapped me on the shoulder. It wanted my attention, and my presence in writing about it.
I ran to the computer. Yes, I really ran. (It was only a room away.) I turned it on, set up a blank file, and began to write with no fear at all. Memories rose up to give substance and detail to my message, so that I got to be totally present while writing. At the same time, I was not only recording what happened years ago; I was perceiving it from my current age and understanding, and therefore able to extract just those particular threads of memory that fulfilled the story that something in me ~ desire, I'm thinking ~ was moving towards. I knew the "ending," having lived through it; but what I did not know was how I would get there, which details would come forward, how I would describe them so that the experience of reading was alive for more than just me.
When I reached the end, I knew I had traveled somewhere of value. It was like that story, inside me, had been waiting for a time and place when its telling would be most valuable; its context, most powerful. It was a difficult experience at the time that now was showing me its hidden treasures. It was the setting for a jewel to come, later in the book.
I share this with you, as I hope I share all my writing experiences, to open up to you how deeply held our experiences can be, and how when the time is right, they will come forth with such clarity and even deliberateness that they can only be characterized as a gift.
So the next time you find yourself avoiding sitting down to write, see if you can find your desire. It may be in the first place you look, or it may take a little looking. You may find it by sitting down faithfully at your computer or writing pad every morning at 5 a.m., or you may stoke the fires by giving thought, attention, even the dreaded "Inner Criticism," to the writing-not-yet-done and then just be taking a walk, or doing the dishes, and Desire arrives and says, "Now." It's a good life, when that happens. What's alive in you wants you to connect with it. And, if you give your heart to your book, you can.
Copyright © 2011 by Naomi Rose. All rights reserved.
To read the writing that came out of my process described above, "Fried Chicken Fumes," click here.
And if this article stirred something live in you, I have two "products" that will take you further towards the fulfillment of your heart's desire:
THE RESULTS OF THE "LENGTHY SENTENCE CONTEST"
The amazing experience that can happen when you take the time to slow down
In the January-February issue of this newsletter, I put forth an invitation ~ or challenge, if you prefer ~ for my readers to write at least a paragraph made up of long sentences. The idea was to bring back the appeal of the way writing often used to happen, in previous centuries: deep, winding, thoughtful, full of surprises to the writer as well as to the reader.
This contest was originally stimulated by a snail-mail conversation I had with my good friend Jane Falla, a writer, editor, and former literary-agency associate, about the losses we as a culture were sustaining with the popularity of high-tech communication (such as the Internet, of course ~ which allows me to write this to you, and you to read it). Yet despite obvious benefits, the speed and resulting shallowness of communication can leave something truer about us in the dust, resulting in a kind of soul-forgetfulness and loneliness that might be viewed as "gaining the world and losing your soul."
It is only because I have this newsletter, and know that you are reading it, that I was inspired to put forth the challenge in the previous issue:
"Write a page with a long sentence in it that (a) makes sense ~ no point in just throwing in words, helter-skelter; no art in that; (b) comes to you from within ~ i.e., you can feel the rhythm of that length urging your words into place, feel it in your heartbeat, sense it in your breath; and (c) makes you feel differently after having written it than you usually do writing short, to-the-point, utilitarian (or PR) messages. (You'll need to write a short bit afterwards, describing this process and experience, for me to know what that change in you is.)"
Entries started to come in soon after, especially once I shared this contest with Chris Dunmire, the publisher of Creativity Portal . She put it on her site, opening the contest up to a wider audience (creative people, not all of them writers). As the deadline drew near, I read all the entries, one after the other, with immense gratitude for the places their writings brought me inside myself.
I hope you will find the same thing as you read the winning entries. They are really worth reading. What will you find in yourself, as your breathing slows down to match their lengthy sentenced writing?
Jane's comment was heart-warming and humorous enough to share with you. She wrote me, "I am also just glad (relieved!) to know there are people out there who still value words and deep writing enough ~ that people know there is more than only spending time texting and writing in cryptic language ~ 'thx, can u send me a long sntce? LOL. :->.'"
Click on "Lengthy Sentence Contest Winners" below, and see what happens inside you. (And if you are moved to tell me, or even to write a long sentence of your own, send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
To a slower, deeper, sweeter, more connected way of writing ~ and of living!
To read the contest winners and winnings, click here.
4. RECOMMENDED BOOKS
The Gift of Anger, by Marcia Cannon, Ph.D., MFT
My friend Marcia Cannon, a very deep human being and a Ph.D. and Marriage & Family Therapist (MFT), has published a most valuable book with a very unusual spin. Called The Gift of Anger: 7 Steps to Uncover the Meaning of Anger and Gain Awareness, True Strength, and Peace , the book takes that difficult and very human emotion which often gets in the way of our true fulfillment and causes pain to ourselves and others, and turns it on its head so that it actually becomes an agent of transformation in our lives. "I want to do all I can to help people redefine anger and use it for healing and true strengthening," Marcia told me. This book fulfills that dream.
Published in March by New Harbinger, it already has eight 5-star reviews on Amazon.com. As someone who never realized that anger was potentially a door into self-discovery and strength, I really appreciate the clarity, wisdom, and ultimate hopefulness of Marcia's book. If anger has been less than a great experience in your life, I recommend that you buy the book and find out how it can help you transform what lies under your anger into confidence, direction, and strength.
From the publisher's description:
It's Time to Listen to Your Anger: Anger is a natural response to feelings of hurt, betrayal, and embarrassment, and a reliable outlet when we feel just plain stressed out. Yet many of us see anger as a negative, potentially dangerous emotion that should be suppressed.
But the truth is, anger is a gift ~ a natural, internal signal that unfailingly identifies an opportunity for healing and growth. The Gift of Anger shows you how to recognize this signal, discover the deeper meaning behind your anger, and change the relationships and situations in your life that frustrate you. In seven simple and effective steps, this book guides you past any level of anger, from mild irritation to rage, and toward a balanced approach to using anger for greater understanding and well-being.
By learning to see anger as a gift, you'll be able to:
From the reviews: "What makes Dr. Cannon's book so special is that she lays out some very simple yet very powerful next steps to literally change your anger's root causes to make them a source of strength for you instead of a source of perpetual triggers for your anger. When the root causes of your anger transform into sources of strength, what you are left with is a sense of control and a sense of confidence that you no longer need to be a victim of anger and anger-related behavior. And that is truly life-changing."
To learn more about this book, click here.
5. WRITING MEDICINE:
FLOWER ESSENCE REMEDIES FOR WRITERS & READERS
Enhancing your writing by enhancing YOU
Flowers are your healing friends!
Did you know that flower essence remedies can help you write your book (or poem, story, thesis, etc.) in many wonderful ways? It's true. 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' 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. Once you experience clarity, for example, it's easy to see what you need to do in your writing. Once you experience confidence, the whole landscape of your writing changes for the better.
There are many wonderful qualities available to you for your writing ~ or indeed, any creative work you seek to do. The Rose Press flower essences can stimulate strength, stamina, big-picture-seeing, attention to details, self-compassion, acceptance, beginner's mind, nurturance, strength of will, and many other qualities valuable in writing ~ and in living.
These special blends have names that tell you what helpful properties will evolve in you by taking them. "The Writer's Muse." "Confident Expresssions." "Flow." "Self-Compassion: Rewriting the Past." "Seeing the Big Picture." "Coming in Closer ~ A Feeling for Detail." And more.
To see what wonderful, helpful qualities these flower blends can offer you, please click here.
6. STARTING YOUR BOOK
New, revised, gorgeous edition available!
A "book whisperer" charts a path to finding your own path through writing a book - and revealing your true nature in the process.
IF YOU HAVE BEEN LED TO BELIEVE that how you write a book is by sucking it up and churning it out, despite who you are and what's inside you,
You have a wonderful surprise in store.
My book, Starting Your Book: A Guide to Navigating the Blank Page by Attending to What's Inside You, opens the door to the secret, inner world of book-writing: a world rarely made public until now. Where most writing books focus on the product alone, this intimate companion highlights the person doing the writing.
And you are the beneficiary.
Now available as a revised edition (print and e-book) of this much-loved guidebook to the writer (as well as writing) of a book, Starting Your Book can help you find your way to writing the book of your heart that only you can write ~ and that you are totally equipped to write.
Based on the pioneering work that I have done for decades as a book developer/"midwife," and offering an abundance of reflections, encouragements, practices, and revelations on how to bring who you really are into your writing (e.g., do you write "top-down" from the Linear Brain; "bottom-up" from the Artistic Brain; or somewhere in between?), STARTING YOUR BOOK will show you how to discover, treasure, and use what is in you to write the book of your heart . As you get more and more acquainted with what's inside you, you'll find that writing your book flows easily, surprising and frequently delighting you with what ~ and who ~ you find. And these blessings will translate naturally to the hearts of your readers.
"Naomi Rose's writings and personal coaching sessions have imbued me with so much that I'm grateful for, transforming and alchemizing things within that have manifested as deep writing. I'm happy to acknowledge her important influence on my writing life as I have others in the past: Julia Cameron, Natalie Goldberg, and Eric Maisel, to name a few." ~ Chris Dunmire, Creative Director & Publisher, Creativity Portal (www.creativity-portal.com)
Part I. Answering the Call/ Chapter 1: Answering the Call
Part II. Preparing the Ground/ Chapter 2: Slowing Down and Listening Inside to Make Room to Receive What's There (Embracing the Blank Page/Listening/Slowing Down) * Chapter 3: The You Who Writes * Chapter 4: Why We Fear the Book-Writing Practice (Transforming Your Fear into Bright Willingness) * Chapter 5: Coming through the "Fear Barrier" * Chapter 6: The Value of Not Knowing Everything * Chapter 7: Discovering Your Unique Creative Pathways (Tuning) * Chapter 8: Making Sacred Time and Space for Writing
Part III: Knowing Your Equipment/ Chapter 9: Engaging the Linear and Artistic Brains: The Best of Both Worlds * Chapter 10: Are you a "Top Down" or a "Bottom Up" Kind of Writer? (Or Somewhere in Between?) * Chapter 11: The Magic of Desire; the Growth Hormone of Attention * Chapter 12: Now That You're Prepared ~
Part IV: Writing It Down/ Chapter 13: Easing into Your Heart * Chapter 14: Accessing What Your Heart Holds in Store * Chapter 15: How to Tell When You're on the Right Track * Chapter 16: But What About the Rest of the Book?
AFTERWORD/ How This Book Was Written * Invitation to Share Your Experiences
"What Naomi does superbly is to evoke the creative and articulate in each person who works with her ~ to such a degree that each one is surprised at his/her own talent for expression." ~ Gay Luce
Available now from Rose Press
And to bring the healing home all the way: There's a Rose Press Flower Essence Remedy for Writers designed to go with this book, called "You are the Treasure You Seek." Read the book, take the flower essence remedy, and watch your book begin to take form in the most wonderful way. $15/bottle.
Available on "Other Fragrant Offerings" page of Rose Press site.