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5 Reasons to Write a Letter You Don’t Send

September 6, 2018

Free writing in a journal has played a significant role on and off for most of my life so I know just how beneficial it is for processing thoughts and feelings, clearing internal space, and more.

My personal experience led me to include Conscious Journaling in my professional work as one of the foundational practices of Conscious Writing.

Yet it wasn’t until relatively recently that I discovered a magnificent array of journal techniques to suit all types of people in all sorts of situations.

Journal Therapy

Kathleen (Kay) Adams is a psychotherapist who specializes in “helping people use personal writing – journals, diaries, poetry, memoirs, and stories – as a pathway to deeper self-understanding.”(*)

She calls this “journal therapy” which she defines as “the purposeful and intentional use of life-based writing to further [desired] outcomes.”(*) It’s an approach she’s been using professionally since 1985.

Her work was originally informed by Dr. James Pennebaker who conducted and published research on the relationship between emotional release writing and improved physiological and psychological functioning.

The Journal Ladder

In 1998, Adams combined a continuum of journal therapy techniques that she’d been using successfully with her patients into one model she called the Journal Ladder.

It presents 14 different journal writing options that range from highly structured to completely open in order to help people organize, pace and contain their writing.

The reality is that free writing doesn’t suit all situations, so the Journal Ladder enables everyone to enjoy the proven therapeutic benefits of journal writing and the boost it gives to creativity.

I love the way that writing serves such a broad spectrum of purposes and feel inspired to share some of these tools with you

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Filed under: Articles — Tags: , , , , , — Julia @ 11:13 am

The Creative Power of Presence

August 13, 2018

“When you take your attention into the present moment, a certain alertness arises. You become more conscious of what’s around you, but also, strangely, a sense of presence that is both within and without.” Eckhart Tolle

Reading these words draws me ever more deeply into the Now.

It’s a subtle yet immensely significant shift to gather my focus whenever thoughts about projects and priorities gain momentum and lure me into infinite future possibilities.

Returning to the present moment feels blissfully like coming home to my Self, and when the alertness naturally re-surfaces, I’m able to re-establish presence as the sea in which I anchor my actions once more.

A State of Being

What feels so significant to me about this particular quote is the fact that Tolle directs your awareness to the sense of presence that is simultaneously within you and seemingly outside you too.

Ultimately there’s no difference between the two.

His words act as pointers to the realization that the state of presence is not just an intellectual concept; you can’t just think about being present and expect to experience the transformation in perspective it provides.

Presence is a state of being that you experience and feel (and increasingly Know at every level) through which the true nature of reality is revealed as the Source of all things – including you!

The Paradox of Presence

The paradox of presence is the inherent stillness that blends seamlessly with the spontaneous and eternal arising of the creative impulse of life itself.
That blend of tranquillity and “aliveness” is where you discover the true creative power of presence.

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Filed under: Articles — Julia @ 2:41 pm

The Importance of Internal Validation for Conscious Writers

July 7, 2018

A few days ago I met up with a friend and colleague who’s just finished the first draft of the book she’s been working on for more than a year.

She was delighted to have completed the manuscript on time, and even more importantly, feels elated by the way it has turned out.

Having not written anything longer than articles and blog posts before, initially she wasn’t sure if she had what it takes to write a full length book.

Now she’s done so in a way that feels to her like “mission accomplished”, and whatever happens from this point on, nothing can take away her strong sense of creative achievement.

Internal Validation

In a recent post on The Creative Power of Deadlines, I shared my own experience of feeling an immense degree of internal validation when I completed the manuscript for my book Conscious Writing.

There’s nothing quite like the inner sense that you’ve created something from nothing in a way that’s delivered the deepest and most authentic expression of your message in the best way you’re able to at the time.

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Filed under: Articles — Tags: , , , , , — Julia @ 10:00 am

Finding Your Conscious Writing Rhythm – Part 1

June 6, 2018

One of the topics that always comes up in mentoring sessions with people who are making the transition from thinking about writing to taking action is how to find a good writing rhythm.

This is such an important subject that I’ve decided to do a couple of posts covering the key practical aspects to consider.

Let’s start by exploring the question…

WHEN?
As a general rule, putting your writing first works for most people most of the time.

This means that you ideally start the day with some kind of energy and/or meditation practice and then write before anything else.

Even if you only spend 15 or 20 minu tes writing, at least you’ve fulfilled your commitment to your creative impulse before you tackle other tasks.

The Writing Habit

Just 15 minutes a day quickly builds the writing habit you need to establish if you want to take your writing seriously.

However, this approach doesn’t work for everyone. Some writers love the early evening twilight zone or come alive creatively at the end of the day and well into the night.

As long as whatever you choose is sustainable and produces the results you’re aiming for, it’s serving its intended purpose.

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Filed under: Articles — Tags: , , , , — Julia @ 3:57 pm

Completion Not Perfection

May 4, 2018

As a successful coach with a thriving practice, Sarah loved her work and enjoyed supporting her clients to identify and pursue their true priorities in life.

However, she was constantly over-delivering, felt depleted as a result, and harboured a secret sense of shame.

She’d always wanted to write and share the lessons she’d learned from many years of spiritual, personal and professional growth.

Yet despite several attempts to apply her wide-ranging skills to the written word, she kept getting stuck and just couldn’t find her flow.

Despite her professional success, she felt like she was failing.

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Filed under: Articles — Tags: , , , , — Julia @ 9:14 am

The Creative Power of Deadlines

April 5, 2018

Love them or hate them, deadlines are an integral part of living a creative life that includes sharing your creations with others.

Some people relish the pressure and feel they come alive and do their best work in the 11th hour.

Others experience such a strong degree of contraction from the stress that their inspiration shuts down and they end up driving themselves forcefully towards completion, often feeling depleted and dissatisfied with the end result.

A High Priority

My relationship with deadlines is somewhere between these two extremes.

During my publishing career, I worked to cut-off dates at every stage of the process from the author delivering the manuscript to the print date when no further changes could be made.

Meeting deadlines was a high priority and carried all the way through to making sure that finished copies were delivered to the right place at the right time when authors were engaged in promotional activities like book signings.

Honour the Commitment

Having crossed the threshold to become an author myself and forged my own path over the last 20 years creating courses, classes, products and retreats, I certainly have more say in the time frames I’m working to now.

However, there’s always a requirement to decide when something is going to happen and then follow through to make that a reality to honour the commitment – to myself and to others.

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Filed under: Articles — Tags: , , — Julia @ 11:51 am

5 Ways to Lean In to Creative Uncertainty

March 8, 2018

I’ve been developing my ideas for the new project I’ve recently started working on and have been called once more to face an array of unknowns.

I know this space of creative uncertainty with a familiarity that comes from my commitment to living consciously with creativity at the core of who I am and what I do.

The Depths of Discomfort

However that doesn’t mean I’m able to avoid the depths of discomfort relating to the “not knowing” that’s an integral part of the creative process.

I love the fact that my conscious approach leads me over the edge of what I “know” to discover fresh insights and ideas.

Yet it’s genuinely tough to translate the essence I so often realize intuitively into forms which retain the integrity of the message and can be readily communicated, shared and enjoyed by others.

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Filed under: Articles — Tags: , , , — Julia @ 3:45 pm

The Power of Ritual

February 8, 2018

The 1 February was the festival of Imbolc, one of the cornerstones of the Celtic Calendar.

Traditionally, as the store of winter provisions started to run out, Imbolc was a time for performing rituals to harness divine energy and ensure the availability of food to see everyone through till the autumn harvest.

Fires would be lit to celebrate the steadily increasing strength of the sun as well as the powers of Brigid, the Goddess of fire, healing and fertility.

Conscious Actions Performed Mindfully

One of the aspects I love about such time-honoured festivals relates to the power of ritual and the immensely positive impact of conscious actions performed mindfully.

Rituals set things apart from the everyday and have the potential to transform your experience from the mundane to the sacred.

Shift Your State of Consciou sness

Whether they’re short and simple or lengthy and elaborate, rituals bring you into the present moment and trigger a shift in your state of consciousness.

Mindfully focusing your energy on a selected intention benefits you in a multitude of ways including boosts to your creativity, commitment and confidence.

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Filed under: Articles — Tags: , — Julia @ 12:55 pm

Calling Forth the Real Creative You

January 11, 2018

I love drawing on the alpha energy of the New Year to reflect on what really resonates for me in the new Now!

Once I’ve recharged and released what feels “done” from all that has been, I take myself through a process I’ve developed to call forth my naturally creative true self.

With that in place, I’m free to explore a multitude of possibilities and make conscious choices about what priorities I feel drawn to focus on next in all areas of my life.

Clarity, Focus and Flexibility

This leads me to a point of clarity in relation to the preliminary intentions I set for both personal and professional projects.

These could be developing an area of the garden, for example, or creating new content to share with you through courses, classes, mentoring and retreats.

It feels natural for me to start with a focused yet flexible “big picture” and then allow the details to arise along the way.

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Filed under: Articles — Tags: — Julia @ 11:41 am

Who You Become

December 7, 2017

In a recent mentoring session with a new client I’ll call Sarah, I found myself explaining a perspective that’s a core principle of my conscious and creative approach to living and writing.

Who you become is just as important as what you create, write, say and do in the world.

In fact it’s essential because who you are and the state of consciousness you’re in doesn’t just determine the quality of your self-expression, it directly impacts your whole experience of life.

Sabotage

Sarah understood this principle intellectually but was struggling to apply it.

She was so focused on being of service to the people she felt inspired to help that she was driving herself hard to make it all happen “yesterday” and causing herself a great deal of stress in the process.

The irony was that the more she pushed to achieve the results she was striving for, the slower her progress and the more frustration she felt.

Who she was becoming as a result of her approach was not only detrimental to her health but also sabotaging the whole project!

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Filed under: Articles — Tags: , , — Julia @ 3:08 pm
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