Writing from the
Your Treasures into the World . . ."
653-ROSE / (510) 653-7673
Free initial consultation by phone ~
1. Introduction: "
Letting Go into the Harvest"
2. Feature: "The
Value of Completing a Book and Giving It to Yourself
and the World"
GO INTO THE HARVEST
Go into the Harvest
season has just turned into Autumn. The oblique slant of the sun changes
the cast of the light to more gold. The first flush of leaves start turning
brilliant colors and weightlessly dropping from their tree-homes to the
ground. Fall is a time of letting go.
the same time, it is also a time of harvest. Soon there will be pumpkins
on the ground (at least in the farmers' markets and stores), apples hanging
from the trees, grapes abundant on the vines. A cornucopia of ripeness.
is the first Autumn I am realizing that connection between letting go
and harvest. They always seemed to be from different worlds, or at least
require a long time interval in between. But recently, I have experienced
how completing a major work is a letting go into a birth, and then comes
the harvest. And the harvest ~ unlike apples or pumpkins ~ can be something
beyond what one could have envisioned during the earlier, effortful part.
feature article in this month's newsletter is about (sound of trumpets!)
Rose Press website now being online: www.rosepress.com.
Those of you who have been reading each month's issue know that the creative
process behind this large work took time, endurance, inspiration, and
skills I didn't know I had (or would need to have). That this long, large
work ~ equivalent to writing a book ~ is complete is both a letting-go
and a harvest. That part of this harvest turns out to be myself ~ my own
journey, a larger sense of what is in me and available to me ~ surprised
me. And yet that's completely in tune with what I always seem to be writing
about with Writing from the Deeper Self: you are writing you book, but
your book rewrites your life, your sense of who you are. It asks things
of you that you initially don't believe you have, and then it shows you
that you have so much more than even that.
think you will enjoy this article. And I think it will tell you something
about yourself, and your own aspirations and process.
harvest news of interest:
is so much wonderful growth in my "garden" ~ such a harvest
after months of work, prayer, and staying the course:
I am now a featured writer about Writing
from the Deeper Self on a number of Internet sites. In
this era where everyone is supposed to be an expert in something, I am
an expert on not-knowing. Funny, but true. As so many of my previous articles
have said ("Not-Knowing: A Sometimes Unnerving, but Utterly Reliable
Guide"; "Beyond Expertise"; "We Build the Road As
We Travel"; etc.), not-knowing is what allows you to be present to
what's inside you in writing a book, and thereby bring all of you to the
enlivening discovery. My articles can be found on at least the following
I'm told I will be interviewed at some point on BookBiz radio (will keep
you posted). My mission seems to be to bring the process back into the
product. I'm just delighted that results-oriented media such as Dan Poynter's
newsletter and BookBiz radio are open to including this more intuitive,
more heart-centered way.
I will be offering a 4-week class in October
on "Money & the Inner Life: A Being-Centered Approach to Wealth."
The relationship between money and the inner life is the
subject of three of my books ( MotherWealth: The Feminine Path to
Money ; Living in MotherWealth [in progress]; and The
Portable Blessings Ledger ). This Being-centered approach does work
~ and it brings in more than money. If you live in the San Francisco Bay
Area, please give yourself this gift.
the book by Dr. Claudio Naranjo, has received a wonderful review at Café
Libri by Barbara Garro. You can read all about this
important book on the newly online Rose Press site (www.rosepress.com)
The "Money & the Inner Life"
series of books are now available on the Rose Press site as well.
You can read excerpts, see beautiful images, and find out what it means
to connect money with the inner life, and what that might have to do with
you. (Money & the Inner
Life books/Rose Press)
If you have been wanting to start writing a book but haven't exactly known
how, my book, Starting Your Book: Navigating
the Blank Page by Attending to What's Inside You
has its own page on the Rose Press website: Starting
Your Book. Take a look, browse, and see what speaks to you. Hint:
You are the essential ingredient.
And, if you are ready to write your book
and want custom-tailored guidance, encouragement, and nurturing midwifery,
my Book Development service is here for you. This too
you can see on the Rose
Press site as well as on this very site.
book you long to write is in you. I can help you bring it out ~ without
outlines, or needing to know ahead of time exactly where you're going.
start right from where you are and nurture your book into being. Being
listened to, and listening, will work its magic to bring forth a book
you can love writing, be proud of, and have your readers be grateful for.
over 30 years in the publications field, I can help you turn your yearning
into a publishable manuscript, then help you take the next steps.
is truly my fairy godmother of writing." ~ Katayoon Zandvakili, author,
My Beautiful Impostor (forthcoming)
your harvest become known to you and nourish you and others. Writing
from the Deeper Self: Bringing Your Treasures into the World.
VALUE OF COMPLETING A BOOK
GIVING IT TO (YOURSELF AND) THE WORLD
Creating a Rather Intricate and Heartfelt Website Has in Common with the
Harvest of Writing a Book)
going to tell you a story ~ backwards as well as forwards. It's
about the Rose Press website. But it could just as well be about
the book you write, or have, or will. Or about some yearning inside
you that seeks expression in form, and won't leave you alone until
you bring it into life so that it has a life and is available for
others to feed from.
Thursday, September 16, 2010, the Rose Press website finally went
online. It had been just about a year since its inception when I
first decided to put together a website. (The file I started of
the correspondence with the web technician, to keep track of things
to do and changes to attend to, starts on September 15, 2009.) Little
did I know (much like with writing a book or having a child) all
that this website would entail. But still, one begins out of some
desire, or a combination of desire and necessity. One begins.
on the day before the site was due to go online ~ September 15,
2010 ~ having delivered every correction to the web technician (me
insisting on every comma, on italicizing every book title), I sensed
something coming, something connected with the immanence of the
website's "going live." What I hadn't expected
was this profoundly limitless sense of opening that arrived fully
dressed inside my heart ~ this sense of expansion, a horizon almost
tasted that was not quite yet in sight. Earlier on, when I was writing
and illustrating the website and then all the myriad details of
getting it online, I couldn't have anticipated this horizon. But
there it was, something-I-knew-not-what; a presence of something
not yet known.
what this tells me is: we cannot, beforehand, know the exact nature
and presence of what we are birthing, as we work in our art, our
craft, our message. We cannot plan that. We just have to keep staying
as true as we can to our inner promptings and take each step, and
correct each misstep as best we can. We cannot, beforehand, know
the enormity of what we are bringing forth, or how it will give
us a larger version of ourselves to ourselves, any more than a pregnant
couple can know how they will feel when they gaze into their newborn's
eyes, the gripping love that will bind them for life to this mysterious
and precious being. We can only give ourselves to what we do, and
then be there for the work and for the gift.
took up a good four months
of the making of the Rose Press website ~ the pickiest of details.
Getting the artwork scanned; making sure that every comma, every
opening parenthesis, every image-alignment on the page put up by
the web technician was just as I intended. Over 129 pages of email
correspondence between us over the course of a year logged lists
of phrases to refine in print ("set 1 size large font";
"add 2 line spaces above the top of the heading"; etc.),
text- and -image positioning instructions, in and amongst the more
personal pleasantries. I had never really considered myself much
of a "detail person" before, but now I was astonished
to negotiate ways of dealing with things on this admittedly intricate
website; to find solutions to things that the technician said were
not possible. From being a private perfectionist in my art, I became
a witnessed, public perfectionist ~ the real thing out loud. "God
is in the details," after all. I just hadn't realized how many
details there would be, or how many I would stand up for. "I
am done!" the web technician emailed me more than once, when
I knew we were not. "There are still these few things,"
I would write back. And somehow, between us, we found ways to deal
with the "few things."
an email came from her, on September 16th ~ "DONE." ~
and we really were done, at once, interior Trevi fountains opened
up in me, endlessly cascading water rising up in the light; sparklers,
etheric fireworks, vast inner distances of joy. I had not expected
this level of joy. The shift from the long duration of seemingly
endless labor to the sudden emergence of this astonishing new life
was overwhelming (in a good way); ecstatic. The caterpillar in the
cocoon cannot conceive of the butterfly. I had wings.
Can't Always See the Path Until You're Looking Back At It
home from my studio, where I had received the declaration, "DONE"
on my computer, when I parked outside my home I wasn't ready to
get out and resume life as usual at home. First, I needed to sit
in the car and savor this opening: to be with it, to look back on
how it had come to be. Up till now, although there had been creative
work (the writing, the illustrations), I was mostly in touch with
the work of the website: the laundry list of things, each next requirement
squeezing out awareness of the one before it. Now, the path behind
me opened up of its own accord and revealed the high points of the
journey, both the hard parts and the parts I loved ~ what I had
given myself to, not knowing how it would come together, or even
if. Just listening as best I could to what called inside, and following,
wrong turns and all.
behind the wheel of my parked car, my mind went back to the initial
urge to write a website, without any idea of what should be on it.
Taping blank 20 x 24 sheets of newsprint paper onto the back of
a wooden screen in my studio, I hoped that each sheet would tell
me what the pages of the Rose Press website would be. Some days
I could hardly bear to turn the screen around and look at the blank
pages waiting for me to know something and turn them into something.
But then little bits of ideas would come, like marginal scribbles
on a napkin, and I would put them down on the pages. Gradually,
these scribbles began to reveal what that page could be about. But
it was just ideas, no writing as yet.
visual artist I used to be in my youth ~ picked up and deferred
over the decades ~ whispered, "Start with an image." Especially
since all the other residents in my studio community are visual
artists, it was not difficult to be inspired in this way. Now I
remembered the enlivening trip to the art store to match the shade
of crimson/burgundy acrylic paint I had in mind for the background
color of the website. I had commissioned an exquisite logo the year
before ~ now visible as the "Enter"
page of the Rose Press site ~ , and it gave me a clue as to
memory opened up the next. A feature I had completely forgotten
about came back to me, impressing me with my dedication to the artwork
alone: all the research I had done on sacred architecture (the sinuous
domes of mosques; stained-glass cathedral windows; patterned Persian
rugs; colorful geometric tiles) in hopes of incorporating the flavor
(or "fragrance") of such beautiful art into the images
I would make. In my mind's remembering eye, I saw myself standing
at my waist-high work table, a ruler and T-square in hand, making
exacting measurements and hand-drawn grids (astonishing myself!)
so that each image would have a harmonious sense of proportion and
a rose I had painted for the home-page art, for the first time in
a long time I remembered the delight of buying a fresh pink rose
from a florist, and taking it back to the studio to paint it. I
remembered the sacred feeling of that rose, and of being with it
completely in order to paint it. Drawing the petals circling round
the center, then filling them in with dabs of pink, white, crimson,
brown, staying with the process until it had depth and petal-ness,
until I loved what I saw as much as I loved the live rose. Redoing
the background was involved, then, and gluing the much-loved rose
onto that background. Once I had something down that I loved, I
was afraid to "mess with" the leaves on the rose's stem
by painting them directly; so I made a stencil of leaf-shapes I
liked so I could duplicate them; used the stencils to draw the leaves
onto the background; and painted them two shades of green. [The
finished image can be seen on the Home
Page of the Rose Press site.] It was around then that the making
of the Sistine Chapel, a la the 1950s movie, "The Agony and
the Ecstasy," began to have some personal reference for me
("When will it be done?" pleaded the Pope played by Rex
Harrison; and a paint-smeared, wild-haired Michelangelo played by
Charlton Heston shouted hoarsely, "When it is finished!").
artwork followed. A petal from the live rose formed a template for
a tracing on paper. I loved its shape, how it arched, shell-like
at the top, with scalloped ridges at the bottom. Using the tracing,
I cut out three identical petals and played with ways to fit them
together pleasingly. Eventually, the three crimson petals superimposed
on one another, outlined in metallic gold paint, and placed inside
a decorative arch on a crimson background ended up being the central
piece of the "&
Other Fragrant Offerings" page of the website. However,
at that point, I didn't know there would be such a page, or that
the words "fragrant" and "offerings"would come
into it. And now, I recalled the trek to a higher-quality photography
store to scan in those illustrations I had already finished. I had
to wait two hours on their schedule, and to keep putting money in
the parking meter. But I didn't mind. This whole thing was starting
to get exciting!
text made its way into my awareness slowly, awkwardly ~ helped by
the beautiful artwork and the total engagement I experienced in
doing it. At first there were very trying, very uninspired drafts.
The text shifted around many times before settling into a real existence.
And now I remembered (but dimly, without the urgency of the actual
experience) feelings of overwhelm and doubt. And the process of
bringing myself back to the writing, even so. Bit by bit, the pieces
began to come together. Once they were in place, they set a standard,
a touchstone, by which to tune whatever would come next. Gradually,
I let go of what I thought I "owed" my readers. If I couldn't
relate to it, I let it go or sought a more intimate way to put it,
sensing for what felt true and beautiful to me. This took months.
a broader swath of memory, now, I remembered the swirl of details
coming together: the naming of the pages ~ the writing and rewriting
of the pages ~ the intimate creative act of it all. Each page was
actually like a chapter in a book, standing on its own yet related
to the other pages and the website as a whole. This continuity in
design and intent was immensely pleasing to me. It was less an informational
bulletin than a family of related aspects ~ something like a couture
design line (!). The more I gave to it, the more invested I became;
the more I invested, the more I gave to it. It was a beneficial
cycle (if a demanding taskmaster, one I had imposed on myself);
and I often felt connected to angelic states, as well as to various
biological, spiritual, and artistic ancestors, as I reached for
what I felt expressed ideals and experiences I didn't know were
available to me, and might serve us all.
now it was done. There were ten pages (after the beautiful "Enter"
page): ten chapter-equivalents:
(each with their subpages for individual books)
Story of Rose Press"
Creative Process Behind Rose Press"
to Use Rose Press Books"
Press Community" and
page had something beautiful and meaningful on it, and quotes from
great mystics and artists graced many of the pages (even the Shopping
Cart page had a quote). I had exceeded my own expectations, had
succeeded in giving birth to something I would want to see and read
again and again.
this Website ~ Not So Different from Completing Writing a Book
got out of the car, carrying my internal scrapbook with me. It felt
rich to have honored the process in this reminiscence, now that
I was at the end and able to look back and see where I had come
from. If this was what it was like to complete a large work, then
it was worth it! What new opportunities and joys lay around the
bend? What fruits would come from this flowering?
this new year (the Jewish New Year having just begun ~ 5771), may
you look forward to beginning, continuing, or completing a great
work. Perhaps it will be the book of your heart. If so, I would
be delighted to help you with it. For not only the result, but also
the process of discovering (or deepening) your own artistry, is
what will be your work and your gift and your reward.