Monthly Archives: August 2015

Move On, Nothing to See Here

As you can likely tell by the title, and the lateness of this Sunday (ahem, Monday) update, not much writing is being done in my life right now. Sigh. But, it’s okay.

We’ve been busy with the usual August crazy-busy-ness, like several family birthdays and those last outdoor gatherings of late summer (sniff, sniff). We don’t normally do back-to-school, being an unschooling family that learns year round, but this year… just-turned-19-year-old son is attending community college, so there has been a lot of prep and things-to-do around that. I’m really proud of him. And also, some good friends of ours are in crisis, so we’ve been busy helping them, which means hosting one of them in our home for a few weeks.

I did achieve half of my mini-goals for the week. I wrote and sent my September post for Kind Over Matter, and was pleased with how it came out. I also did, along with BlackLion, a bunch of promotion for our September online course.

The biz coaching program I’m taking starts this week, and I’m very excited about that! I hope to also ease back into daily work on my WIP.

Here are this week’s mini-goals:

  • Work on the DSP e-book at least 4 days.
  • Get back on track with my blogging schedule.
  • Devote an hour each day to work on homework for the marketing/biz coaching course I’m taking.
  • Work on planning and promoting my book talk & signing that happens on 9/12.

Have a delightful week and enjoy your creative inspirations!


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Riding Out the Lulls

I’m having a bit of a lull in my energy and motivation, at least in terms of writing my WIP. I’ve still been working on the marketing aspect of things, and that’s going pretty well as far as I can tell. Yesterday I’d planned to do a bunch of writing, but I felt supremely uninspired.

Instead of fretting about it, I let myself take time to just relax. August is always one of the busiest months of the year for my family, and I’ve been pretty much on the go, non-stop. Sure, a lot of it is fun stuff, but as an introvert, I still need that down time to relax and recharge.

So I caught up on some blog reading, and did my journal writing, and messed around on Facebook, and worked on my Danielle LaPorte workbook. It was relaxing and fun. My daughter and I treated my Mom and Aunt Peg to dinner for their birthdays. When we got home, we watched Haven.

Today I’m getting back on track. I didn’t work on my WIP, but I’ve been blogging, and working on my guest blog for Kind Over Matter. Plus doing some further promotion for our September online course.

Hopefully by Sunday I will have gotten back into the groove of working on the daily spiritual practice book. Wish me luck!

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Notes from the Marketing Side

I confess. I haven’t done any new writing this week on my projects. Not even blogging (except for these ROW 80 updates, of course).

What I have been up to, besides rehearsing, performing, and working at the radio station, is marketing. Since one of my goals relates to learning more about ethical marketing, I feel good about this. I attended an in-person “lunch and learn” workshop with my new business coach, and got lots of good ideas and insights.

BlackLion and I started promoting our September online course, which is the second time we’ve offered The Alchemy of Core Beliefs. We revamped our landing page and updated it with new testimonials from our June course participants. We set up a Facebook ad – and then had to re-write it because it didn’t quite fit into their guidelines. Who knew Facebook was so particular? I think the ad is actually better after the edits, though, so that’s good.

I guess that’s all I have to report. This week is supposed to be a little bit mellower than last, so I hope to get back on track with more writing. Here are my weekly goals:

  • Work on the DSP e-book at least 4 days.
  • Get back on track with my blogging schedule.
  • Continue to work on Feline Dreamers promotion and marketing for our September online course.
  • Work on my September guest post for Kind Over Matter.

Have a terrific week and I’ll see you on Wednesday!


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Shifting and Changing and Adventuring

The only thing on my weekly goals list that I’ve done so far is to sign up for the September business coaching session.

Which is actually not a small thing, at least not in terms of energy and attitude.

It’s the first time I’ve really invested in my business this way, in taking it to a new level. It’s not like I have piles of extra money lying around (yet), but I feel like this is the perfect step for me, where I am right now. I’ve spent much of 2015 doing a lot of inner work that has helped me shift and change. I’ve become more centered, more happy, as creative as ever, and more trusting that I can succeed as a writer, a teacher, a change-maker.

Now I’ve found a coach I really resonate with, who happens to live in the same area, and is super inspiring.

As far as my other goals go, it’s not like I’ve been lazy or unmotivated, I’ve just been end-of-summer-in-Maine full-on busy. On Monday I was recovering from the festival weekend, spending time with family, and helping my son get ready for college. Yesterday we took a ferry boat to a beautiful island to spend time on the beach, picnicking, making faerie houses, swimming, chatting, and eating ice cream. Today we had a fun field trip to a water park with some of the members of our homeschool co-op. The next couple days include rehearsals and performance for the fundraiser we’re doing Friday night.

I do still plan to make some progress on my weekly goals. At the same time, I’m cutting myself some slack because I can feel the wonderful transformation I’m undergoing. The process, along with the summer adventures, takes energy. So I’m honoring that.

I’m also looking forward to the next steps. My goals next round will certainly be evolving along with my business, though of course my writing is always at the heart of it all. I feel excited, a bit nervous, and incredibly blessed.


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A Late and Brief Update

Hey there! I was away all weekend, drumming at a fun music festival. I performed with Dark Follies, helping drum for parades and fire spinners, and we raised a bunch of money to help our colleague who was hit by a car a couple of weeks ago (click here if you’d like to help out or spread the word). My daughter had an awesome weekend doing lots of fire spinning and hanging out with festival friends. We enjoyed great weather, fun music, and awesome people. I got to dance a lot and laugh a lot, and that’s always good.

But that meant I didn’t really do much toward my writing goals.

Nevertheless, I feel like I’m making progress. I did sell a couple of books at the festival, and talk to a bunch of people about what I do. While I was away, the virtual retreat I was taking part in wrapped up, so I’m getting caught up on all of that. It’s very exciting, and I’m on the verge of investing in some business coaching for the first time. A big step, and I’m a bit nervous, but feeling ready!

My first Starcat’s Notebook newsletter was well-received, with over half of my two-dozen subscribers opening it, so that feels good.

I guess that’s all I have to report for now.  I have a busy week, and so I’ve scaled back a bit on my mini-goals for the week. Here they are:

  • Work on the DSP e-book at least 3 days.
  • Keep up with my blogging schedule.
  • Work on Feline Dreamers promotion and marketing for our September online course.
  • Sign up for the September coaching course (gulp!).

I hope your week is amazing!


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Front-Loading and Festivals

My week has been super productive so far. That’s because I’m kind of “front-loading” my work, knowing that I’ll be gone Thursday through Sunday, performing at a festival. In fact, I’ve already achieved most of my mini-goals for the week. Woo hoo!

I’ve been working on my daily spiritual practice book, and I’m now up to 17,538 words. I’m nearing the end of chapter 2. I also posted an excerpt from the introduction on both of my blogs. I’d love to hear your feedback if you take the time to read it. Thanks in advance!

I'm on target with my goals this week!

I’m on target with my goals this week!

The virtual business retreat has been fantastic so far, and is helping me to really refine my goals for the rest of 2015 and the steps I need to take to get there.

Blogging has been going well, and I’ve already posted and/or scheduled two Starcat’s Corner posts for this week, which gets me back on track. I wrote and sent the latest book review, of Tantra for the West (great book, by the way). My first Starcat’s Notebook newsletter is ready to go out tomorrow morning. Yay! I’m starting with 24 subscribers, and looking to grow the list over the coming days and weeks.

BlackLion and I have also been working on our marketing for the next offering of our online course, The Alchemy of Core Beliefs. We sent out information to our subscribers (this is a separate list from my new one, though with some overlap), and have the back-end website page all updated and ready. Now we’re working on getting the word out, and will probably do a Facebook ad campaign.

Lots in progress, and now it’s just about time to prepare for a long weekend of camping and performing. I hope the rest of your week is both fun and productive. Blessings!

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Developing a Daily Spiritual Practice

Here’s an excerpt from the introduction of my work-in-progress, a book on developing and maintaining a daily spiritual practice. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments, below. Thanks!

You’ve felt it: the longing for a deeper meaning to your life. The search for spiritual connection. The yearning for more of those moments of lucid clarity, uplifting joy, and freewheeling bliss. You know, deep down, that feeling whole is your birthright. In your own unique way, you are a seeker.

Traditional religions and their rituals no longer speak to as many people as they once did. Instead, many of us choose to look within to find our own personal spirituality. A connection to the Divine, or to nature, or to that which you hold sacred, is an individual relationship. You don’t need a translator or a go-between. You’d rather develop your own intimate relationship with the energy of the universe. Or maybe you’re uncertain just what your beliefs are, and want to explore them at your own pace, free from dogma and doctrine. You long to create your own tradition, drawing from many sources, ancient and modern, to craft an eclectic personal spirituality that speaks directly to your experience.

When you begin to explore your personal spirituality, the first step is often to do a lot of reading. Chances are, when you open a book categorized as self-help or personal development, you’ll soon find a page with exercises to complete or questions to answer. With a groan, you may read that section and then go on to the next chapter, or stop and put a bookmark at that page, thinking you’ll get to it later. The books may accumulate on your shelf, waiting for that “sometime later,” when you have more time to focus on them.

Many people say that they want to include more spirituality in their lives, but they can’t seem to find a way to fit it in. Yet ultimately, reading about spirituality isn’t the same as practicing it.

Why would you want to have a spiritual practice at all? Isn’t just living life itself a spiritual practice?

Of course it is. Yet when you set out on the path to be more consciously aware of your spiritual connection, it can seem overwhelming. You are, in essence, choosing to become enlightened. Despite popular notions, enlightenment isn’t a fixed point that you arrive at one day. It doesn’t mean that you figure this puzzle of life out once and for all, and everything will be bliss and roses from then on out. It’s not a lofty state that only the great mystics can achieve.

Enlightenment, to me, means cultivating the awareness that you can choose to live in harmony and joy, to go with the flow of life. Sure, you won’t be joyful in each moment, but you’ll develop the tools with which to return, again and again, to your center, to connection with the energy of the cosmos. Creating a spiritual practice can provide you with those tools.

When speaking of enlightenment, many cultures have used the analogy of climbing a mountain. You will find your own path, and the climb will be beautiful and enriching, but it won’t always be easy.

In your daily life you will encounter challenging situations, people, or events that can negatively impact you, not only in that moment, but potentially for much longer. A daily spiritual practice allows you to reset your connection with your inner self and see the world in a more hopeful light. In addition, as you practice connecting yourself to your higher purpose, you will not only interact with your life differently, but you’ll be able to change it in ways that feel great to you while living in harmony with others in your life.

The benefits of starting and maintaining a daily spiritual practice are wide-ranging. After you’ve established a practice and nurtured it for a while, you’ll gain a better knowledge of who you are (and who you are becoming), a stronger connection with the world around you and its other beings, and a visceral knowledge of your own divinity. Not only do you develop your personal connection to the universe and the Divine, but you also continue to expand and grow into a more well-rounded and loving person. Being grounded in a spiritual practice will also have a positive impact on your physical health. You’ll experience less stress, and your emotional life will become more joyful and peaceful. As a result, your relationships will improve, including the most important relationship you have: the one with yourself.

You’ve heard it many times: practice makes perfect. If the word “practice” and the associated concepts seem hard to accept, you’re not alone. I was one of those people who never understood the importance of practice until I was an adult. As a bookish child, my natural aptitude for academics made me not trust anything I couldn’t do on the first try. As a result, there were many things I might have enjoyed that I crossed off my list because I “wasn’t good at” them. It wasn’t until after college that I realized the real value of dedicating oneself to a practice.

To become proficient at anything, you need to practice regularly. It’s as simple as that. This is just as true for spirituality as it is for playing sports or mastering a musical instrument. Living spiritually, as with any new skill, requires regular practice. Just attending a church, circle, or temple, or reading books about values you want to embody, isn’t enough. You need to engage in active involvement of some kind, not just passive attendance. In order to become what you wish, to live your deepest truths, you must take action. And to be able to act with any skill and grace, you need to practice on a regular basis.

Living your spirituality also takes discipline, another word that can sound scary. To those of us drawn to a life of the spirit, the idea of discipline can be a turn-off. We’re free spirits, wanting to soar, and discipline sounds like a set of chains to hold us down. However, self-discipline can instead serve as a helpful container for your spiritual exploration.

When you choose to commit yourself to a particular practice, for a set amount of time each day, with your full attention, magic happens. Your spiritual practice, done consistently, even if it’s just ten minutes in the morning or before bed at night, will have a ripple effect that spreads outward into your entire life. That seemingly-small container of connection that you create each day will allow you to grow, expand, and flourish. Like the Doctor’s famous Tardis, it’s bigger on the inside.

But wait just a moment, you might be thinking. Daily practice and self-discipline? That sounds like a lot of extra work. You already have a full schedule: a day job, partner, kids, a social life, household duties, and other responsibilities. How can you afford to take the time to create your own meaningful spiritual practice?

The cool thing is, you can easily create a daily spiritual practice that not only fits into your existing schedule, but also brings joy and depth to your life. You can learn to commit to your practice, no matter what else is going on in your inner and outer worlds. You’ll soon find that you can’t imagine what you used to do before your dedication to practice.

I know this from my own experience. I’ve had a daily spiritual practice since 1997. My two kids were born in 1996 and 1999, and I was the primary breadwinner for our family. For several years leading up to when I started my practice, I had read many books on spirituality, with their suggestions of how to implement the tools they were offering. I started several practices that lasted a few days or even a couple of weeks, but went no further.

It wasn’t just that I was busy (which I certainly was), but some old patterns also played into my initial reticence. Spiritual practice is a form of self-care, and many of us, especially women, feel a certain guilt about taking time for ourselves. We are taught to give, and taking time and energy for our personal desires can feel uncomfortable. Often, we are also afraid of our own power and potential, and of taking responsibility for our choices. By actually taking the time to walk my talk, I knew I was embarking on a journey that would require me to be more honest with myself, and true to my deepest desires. That was a scary step to take.

Do any of these fears resonate with you?

It was my desire to learn to do Tarot readings, combined with a life-long love of writing, that helped me to finally create the perfect practice for me, one that has lasted for many years. Before long, I realized how much the other people in my life were benefiting from my daily dedication to spiritual practice. Supported by that daily container of conscious centering, I was able to be a better mother, wife, employee, and friend. I was calmer, and could find the space to respond genuinely and more mindfully to life’s challenges.

My morning practice became part of our family’s routine. Sometimes the kids would sit with me and look at my Tarot cards. My husband made space for my practice, helping by packing my lunch or distracting the kids. When we went on vacation, usually family camping trips, we’d all sit on the grass and meditate together. I learned to listen to the chattering of the kids without distraction, allowing it to be part of the landscape, like the singing of birds and the sigh of the wind. Now my children are nearly grown, I work for myself, and my practice has evolved with me. In fact, my spiritual practices have expanded over time and become part of the fabric of my everyday experiences, informing how I approach my work, household chores, and playtime.

You, too, can find the satisfaction of a practice that fits into your life and becomes an intrinsic part of your daily routine.

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A Productive Week


I was productive, but these guys? They rested.

Apparently my self-pep-talk worked, because I’ve had a rather productive week! I worked on my DSP (daily spiritual practice) work in progress 4 days this week, which I’m counting as a win even though I didn’t hit my goal of 5 days. I got a lot of good work done, and I’m now at 16,225 words total. It’s going well.

My book talk at a local Pagan festival yesterday went well. I had less than a dozen attendees, but that was actually pretty good when compared to other workshops being offered. We had some good discussion at the end, and everyone seemed to especially enjoy the DSP excerpt I shared, which is a good sign. I’ll share it here on this blog tomorrow, so you can read it for yourself.

Blogging is going okay. It seems like I’m only able to do one blog post per week on Starcat’s Corner, no matter how I try to schedule in two. I’m not sure what to do about that. I’d rather have one good quality post than two or more rushed ones. Maybe I only need to post once per week. I’ll have to think about that and re-evaluate.

This week I’m very excited to be participating in a week-long “virtual retreat” that’s all about figuring out how to make my business (which includes my writing career as well as Feline Dreamers) shine. I’m determined to set aside plenty of time to focus on it, making it a priority.

Which brings me to my mini-goals for this week:

  • Work on the DSP e-book at least 5 days.
  • Spend at least an hour per day, every day, on the virtual biz retreat.
  • Keep up with my blogging schedule (and evaluate the frequency of posting).
  • Send out my first Starcat’s Notebook newsletter.
  • Work on Feline Dreamers promotion and marketing.
  • Write a book review of Tantra for the West.

I wish you a productive week with all of your chosen projects and goals. As well as some fun time just for you!


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Calling on Willpower and Self-Discipline

I’m tapping into my willpower and self-discipline to get work done on my goals this week, amidst some family birthday celebrations and other summertime pursuits, plus the ever-present housework. So far, so good. (This is a self-pep-talk, in case you can’t tell yet).

Today alone I got up and ready for the day, did my spiritual practice, helped my Aunt with a little project, went grocery shopping, washed and hung out two loads of laundry, and cleaned the kitchen, along with doing my writing and checking my e-mail. I still need to finish this blog post, make enchiladas, and go to a birthday party at our Wednesday night homeschool group. Whew!

Even so, I’ve been working on my daily spiritual practice book. I’ve added 2,550 words this week so far, which means I’m up to 13,613 words on the book as a whole. It feels good.

I looked into doing a GoodReads giveaway, but I’m too far past the launch of Cultivating Self-Love to be able to do one. Ah well – another thing off my to-do list, right?

I blogged yesterday on Starcat’s Corner, and in the process, I got a bit vulnerable. I posted my Blue Moon intention, which directly relates to my writing, in the hopes of encouraging myself to be more accountable.

I’m calling on my willpower and self-discipline because my writing career is important to me. It is key. Yes, so are my family, friends, and my non-writing responsibilities. It’s all one thing, really.

One’s life as the creative art.

Balance is possible. My goals and dreams are within reach. I’ve got this.



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Late, But Feeling Great

Well, I’m posting this ROW 80 update on Monday afternoon, rather than the traditional Sunday. Why?

Saturday was our annual backyard party, and we had a fantastic time! It took a bit of work to get everything ready, from setting up our backyard stage (yes, we have one, don’t you?) to shopping to cleaning. The party itself was an all-day thing, lasting well into the wee hours. We had a blast! I loved drumming as part of the live music, dancing, enjoying the fire, playing with kids, and just visiting with everyone.

Then, on Sunday, it was cleanup time. We had help from the folks who stayed over, but still, it took a while. We spent some time visiting with friends who had camped out at our place, and those who stopped by to say hello. Then Quester and ElvenTiger and I headed out to make an important purchase – we got a new bow for ElvenTiger, who has her first outdoor archery tournament this month. We grabbed dinner while we were out, and by the time we got back home, all I had energy for was a shower and bed.

It was a lovely summer weekend.

What did I accomplish this past week? Well, I wrote, edited, and sent my monthly Kind Over Matter post, and got some very positive feedback from the site’s owner (yay!). I’ve been sharing Open Your Creative Portals all over the place, and added a bunch of new subscribers to my Starcat’s Corner e-mail list. I’ve been keeping up well with my spiritual practices and exercise, which feels really good.

My mini-goals for the week:

  • Work on the DSP e-book at least 5 days.
  • Finish preparations for my book talk and signing this weekend.
  • Keep up with my blogging schedule.
  • Set up a GoodReads giveaway for my second book.
  • Write a book review of Tantra for the West.

Have a wonderfully productive week, my friends!


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