What magic will jumpstart your creative work?

Take the quiz and get a Creative Witchery™ ritual tailored for you!

Get your magic!

Creative Witchery BLOG

Courage in this moment

Yesterday, millions of us saw Dr. Blasey Ford testify. As I watch my Facebook feed, I see person after person speaking up.
 
And it reminds me: Courage and action DO change the world.
 
Even though she was originally afraid to come forward, even though she had to deal with death threats and move her family for safety, Dr. Blasey Ford spoke her truth.
 
Through her courage, she laid bare the ugliness and pervasiveness of a culture that looks at men pressuring women for sex and says, “Boys will be boys” or “All men do that.” She inspired millions of women and men to say, “No, that is not okay” and “This is not the world we want for our daughters and sons.”
 
Maybe Brett Kavanaugh will still get confirmed. Maybe not.
 
Whatever happens, this is a moment that will change history. This is a moment where we CAN and MUST change history.
 
In 1992, after the Anita Hill hearings, there was an electoral wave that tripled the number of female senators (going from two to seven), increased the number of women in the House by 60% (from 30 to 48), and inspired hundreds of women to run for offices, from state legislatures to school boards. TIME called it “The Year of the Woman.”
 
We can bring another wave this year. (Three ways you can get involved at the end of this post.)
 
And, if you are feeling traumatized by these events, take care of yourself. Find community and care and support. Give yourself tenderness and love.
 
Then when you can, in ways big or small, speak and act with courage. Bring YOUR truth into the world–in your actions, in your conversations, and in your creativity.
 
BEYOND ELECTORAL POLITICS
In every area, our truth and courage make a difference. A couple years ago, I worked with a client who was courageously bringing a new view of cancer into the world. Another previous client is telling the stories of death row inmates who are likely innocent. Other clients are helping people connect with the life stories behind the objects in their home, educating people about safe and healthy cosmetics, or using comedy to advance gender equality.
 
What have you been afraid to say or do? What creative work have you been holding back?
 
These times can be difficult. But we have each other, and we have ourselves. The world is asking for our voices in this moment.
 
Be the voice of creative change in the world.
 
~~ Get support ~~
If you’re struggling to process a memory of sexual violence, you can reach out for help by phone to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network at 1-800-656-4673 or over text message to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 (on almost all carriers, these texts are free).
 
~~ Three ways you can make a difference (political) ~~
1) Take back the House: https://swingleft.org/
 
 
3) Elect more women: https://www.emilyslist.org/
 
~~ One way you can make a difference (personal) ~~
Choose courage over fear. Choose to bring your truest creative work into the world.
 
Yes, you might be afraid of people’s reactions. You might be afraid of failure or judgment or ridicule.
 
But truth has power, and your true creative voice will make a difference in the world.
 
You will be more powerful, more fulfilled, and more alive–and the world will be better for your work.

 

Is this common belief keeping you stuck? (plus, how to get past it)

Sometimes people say they can’t join a coaching program because of timing conflicts. They can’t see a way around it.

I get it. When family obligations, a demanding job, or other commitments are there, it can seem like there’s a conflict, pure and simple, with no way out.

Here’s what I also know: The thing that stops you from joining a coaching program also stops you in other areas of your life. It may be timing, money, fear or something else that stops you. Whatever it is, that same thing will stop you in many other areas of your life.

“I can’t find a way” and “this is just how it is” are like the air you breathe. They seem like a simple fact. (But air isn’t as simple and straightforward as it appears–it can be bottled to let people breathe underwater, it can support planes in the air, it can be split into its component parts to make oxygen for sick people… it can contain radio waves and invisible gases and high frequency sounds beyond the range of our hearing.)

When you see air as “just air,” you will not see what else is there or what else is possible. When you say about a situation,“This is just how it is. There are no options. I can’t find a way,” you will literally NOT SEE the options that exist.

Even though limitations may SEEM real, they are not the TRUTH.

 

The truth is, you are a powerful and creative human being.

If you have a desire, the way is there. Accepting this is the key to creating the life you want.

And here’s how you find the way: Commit FIRST. Then open yourself to receive the way.

(Most of us instinctively ask HOW we can get to a goal–and if we don’t see how, we deflate and lose hope. We decide we can’t have it.)

When you COMMIT FIRST, you let go of the “can’t find a way” belief that blinds you to possibilities.

That allows you to take other steps–brainstorming possibilities, “downloading” divine guidance, letting go of internal obstacles, taking action, opening to receive, and more.

Sometimes the solution comes easily. A client in my program overcame her belief that “I can’t have it,” spoke her supervisor about some time off and got it–easy as that.

Other times you’ll make more effort. I have seen people do powerful things to handle logistical obstacles. I once used almost a third of my vacation days just to be in a program. I have Skyped in for three-day retreats just weeks after giving birth. I have traveled solo on 12-hour plane trips with a baby and hired babysitters in three different cities to get the transformation I wanted. I have gotten a clogged duct and been top-off, half-naked nursing a baby in 360-degree positions while Skyping into a retreat from a hotel room (AFTER flying cross-country to be there live). I have driven six hours two or three times a year for ten years, often with a child or my whole family in tow, to go to transformational retreats that would change my life.

I’m not alone in this: I know people who have stayed up for 2:30 am calls so they could be in the program they wanted, or flown to California from Europe or Australia for multiple live retreats. A colleague brought her son from Australia to Oregon for a ONE-DAY retreat (she made a vacation of it). I know people who have flown cross-country, multiple times a year, year after year (and no, they weren’t all rich; many had incomes less than the US average) because they were willing to do what it would take to get the results they wanted in life.

The question for you is, are you willing to commit to what you want in life? Are you willing to let go of the illusion that there “there is no way”?

It may come easily, or it may come with effort. You won’t know until you step in.

But the first step–saying YES, I CAN and committing to have it–is the foundation of everything.

This works. I’ve used this approach to create a career as a writer–despite being a scared immigrant girl who didn’t know any writers (and whose parents encouraged her to get a “secure job” as doctor or government worker).

I’ve used this approach to live abroad, travel in Asia and Europe, buy an apartment, buy a house, make money in real estate, land a six-figure job during the height of the financial crisis, launch a successful writing business, find and marry an amazing man, have two children after turning 40, work from home while being a mom, and more.

Clients have used this approach to find agents, get published regularly in The New Yorker, start six-figure creative businesses, double their income, get featured in major film festivals, and more.

Doing your true creative work. Creating the life you want. It all begins with saying, “Yes, I can.”

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. What will you say YES to today? If it’s your creative work, get in touch. I’ve put together a program designed to help you do your TRUE creative work and finally have the CREATIVE SUCCESS you’ve been longing for. You’ll move past your blocks… uncover your truest, best creative work… and discover the unseen opportunities already in your world… so you can take a dramatic leap in your creative career.

This is a high-level program for ambitious creative people who are committed to big results. If that’s you, hit “reply” and let’s talk.

The one question you MUST ask to do your best creative work

Years ago, I was writing a political novel. And certain scenes were excruciating to write. I was so bored I had to force myself to write them. As I wrote, I felt incredibly sorry for my MFA classmates who would be reading it. “Wow,” I thought. “This is so boring and awful for me to write–these poor people who have to read it!”

And then suddenly I had a huge realization: I was writing a book I THOUGHT I should want to read (a thoughtful literary and political novel), not a book I would ACTUALLY want to read.

The thing is, it’s very easy to fall into this trap. All through our culture, there are signs telling us what’s “good.” Critics’ reviews. Best seller lists. Awards. Commentators on shows. Teachers and professors. People whose opinion we respect.

If a book or film, exhibition or performance is critically well-received or wildly popular, there’s a chance you will actually enjoy it. So it’s easy to just categorize it as “good” without thinking too much.

Sometimes that transfers over into our own creative work. We start making something, and we try to make it good, while unconsciously basing our standards on what other people have said.

The real question I should have asked was not “Is this good?” but “Am I writing the book I’ve been unconsciously searching for every time I go into a bookstore?”

The perfect book… the book that would pull me in with its story, fascinate me with its characters, transport me with its observations, move me with its scenes. The book I was longing for.

So that is the book I began to write. I followed my desires, and a magical realist plotline emerged, interweaving with my original political novel. And I was enthralled as I wrote, channeling inspiration and wonder, amazed with what I was creating and the experience of creating it.

This is the question: “Are you creating something you’ve been searching and longing for?”

If you’re not, then chances are, you’re creating something based on someone else’s expectations. That’s not a terrible thing: the world is full of perfectly enjoyable copycat work (think of all those money-making sequels and remakes).

But, powerful original work can only come from YOU. Your soul, your quirks, your experiences and wounds and desires. Your creative longing.

Write the book you’ve been dying to read. The film you’ve been aching to find. Make the art you wish you could see.

These are the unexpected bestsellers that change the landscape–the critical successes everyone else will copy for years.

So if you want to do your truest, best creative work–and love the experience of doing it–   follow your unmet desire: Do the creative work you’ve been longing to find.

 

P.S. I’ve put together a program designed to help you do your TRUE creative work and finally go for the CREATIVE SUCCESS you’ve been longing for. You’ll move past your blocks… uncover your truest, best creative work… and DO the creative work you’ve been longing to do. (And, you’ll also discover the unseen opportunities already in your world so you can take a dramatic leap in your creative career.)

This is a high-level program for ambitious creative people who are ready for big results. If that’s you, email me and let’s talk.

What happens if you DON’T do your true creative work?

(Plus, what happens when you DO)

I talk a lot about doing your true creative work–but why does it matter? Why is it important to do your TRUE creative work?

It matters because if your true creative work is stifled, it affects every area of your life.

When you stop up your deepest creative urges, you block the flow of life through you–and the negative effects leak out into the rest of your life.

Years ago, I struggled every day to write. Some days I managed it. Other days failure-fearing, desperately procrastinating part of me won out. I lived in a state of dissatisfaction–with my writing career, my life, and everything around me.

On days when I didn’t write, my frustration seeped into everything. I was annoyed about people on the subway. Things my boyfriend said. Taking time to do errands, wash clothes, clean my apartment.

I resented the time I spent at my money-making jobs. Even though I was great at what I did, I was always holding back because it wasn’t my “real” work… so I rose, but never to the top of my field.

Meanwhile, I stuffed my frustration down with busy work, escapist reading, and surfing the internet.

If you’re not doing your true creative work, there are big costs for you too.

You might tell yourself it’s enough to raise a loving family, to contribute to society through the job you do. You might say your creative “day job” or commercial work is enough.

But deep down, you know that’s not true. You know you want more.

Denying that truth squashes your soul. Slowly but surely, you are letting yourself die.

I don’t exaggerate, by the way.

Your soul is at stake, and so is your health.

Months, years, and decades of frustration, irritation, and self-denial… what does that do to your body? Depression. Anxiety. A lower immune response. High blood pressure. Heart disease. And more.

The biggest thing you can do for your health is to seek joy.

So how do you choose joy–and do the creative work that feeds your soul?

 

Step 1: Commit

Make the choice that you WILL do your TRUE creative work.

It’s not enough to want it or try for it: you must make an absolute commitment to doing your true creative work. When you “hope” and “try,” the underlying belief is “I wish for this, but I’m not fully committing because I don’t really believe I can do it.”

When you say “I will have this. I will find a way, no matter what,” you cut off all other alternatives in your mind. And that creates an ENTIRELY different energy and result.

When you STOP imagining how you might fail and ONLY look for ways to succeed (yes, this takes conscious choice again and again, in each moment!), you will see opportunities and choices you would have overlooked before. The way will open.

 

Step 2: Take steps to keep yourself from backing out

Even after committing, your body and mind will naturally pull you back towards your default way of doing things. You need to put structures in place to keep you moving forward.

There are three key ways to do this:

  • Money: Make a big investment in yourself or your creative work. When you invest a large amount in yourself, you’ll do the work to move through blocks and reach your goals because you don’t want to lose the money you invested.
  • Public declaration: Commit to your goal PUBLICLY. When you tell people what you commit to, you’ll be motivated to act because you don’t want others to see you quit or fail.
  • Big action: Take immediate, bold action that requires you to take the next step toward your goal.

To get life-changing results, do all three.

I’ve used all three of these, again and again, in my own life and with clients. They work.

 

Step 3: Put in place ongoing support for your true creative work

  • Hire a coach: Don’t waste months or years floundering around in DIY mode. Get support and guidance from someone who knows the way. (I’ve been working with coaches for more than twenty years; without that support, I would not be where I am today.)
  • Find community: If you came from a family or community that doesn’t believe strongly in the value of creative work, part of you might be afraid that if you pursue your creative work, you’ll end up alone. Find a community of people who support your new way of life. 
  • Set aside time: Create time in your schedule. What is the OPTIMAL schedule that lets you create at your best, most inspired time? How do you need to shift your schedule so it supports the life you want? What will you say no to so you can say yes to your creative work?
  • Invest in personal growth: Do the deep work to transform your fears and blocks. Without this, you’ll be pushing a boulder up a hill. But when you transform your fears and blocks, you will open to higher and higher level opportunities–and accelerate your progress toward your goal.

 

When you do your true creative work, EVERYTHING changes. Your energy shifts, and you magnetize people, opportunities, ideas, adventure, love, money… because people are just drawn to creative expansion and sheer joy. You experience an unprecedented level of success… because you’re drawing on your highest talents, in love with what you do, and doing your most brilliant work.

It’s the magic of creation–and once you make it the foundation of your life, you can never go back.

P.S. I’ve put together a program designed to help you do your TRUE creative work and finally go for the CREATIVE SUCCESS you’ve been longing for. You’ll move past your blocks… uncover your truest, best creative work… and DO the creative work you’ve been longing to do. And, you’ll also discover the unseen opportunities already in your world so you can take a dramatic leap in your creative career.

This is a high-level program for ambitious creative people who are ready for big results. If that’s you, email me and let’s talk.

My story: How I did what it took to break my writer’s block

When I was struggling to write, in the mid-2000s, I found a writing coach. I could tell he would be able to help me where so many other people and approaches had failed.

There was just one problem: he charged A LOT more than I had ever spent.

The amount scared me. I didn’t think I could do it.

My boyfriend at the time wasn’t hearing it. “You have to do this,” he said. “You are going to work with this guy–even if you have to take out a home equity loan to do it.”

His words had a big effect on me. As a child of first-generation immigrants who scrimped and saved, it was foreign and scary to me to take out a loan out to pay for creativity. (“Borrowing against your home! How irresponsible!” the immigrant voices inside me shrilled.)

But my boyfriend said, “You’ll make it back. You’ll pay it off. You HAVE to work with this guy because you HAVE to break your block and write.”

He was so serious and so certain–it really got me. I recognized: he was right. I DID have to do this. My soul required it.

(I don’t mean ‘I was broken and this coach could fix me, so I had no choice.’ What I mean is, there are some things so important to us, so core to who we are, that we MUST fulfill them. Writing was that for me. Whatever it took to get me writing again, I would do.)

So I took a deep breath and chose: I would work with this coach.

As it turned out, I didn’t have to take out a home equity loan. Once I made the choice, I found it much easier to pay for than I had expected.

(Side note: In the intervening years, I’ve found this phenomenon to hold true again and again, for me and for clients: once you CHOOSE and COMMIT, the way opens.

Corollary truth: The way does NOT come from thinking, “I’ll save up and try to make more, and if I have the money, I’ll do it.”

Decision and commitment open your eyes to new opportunity (and sources of money). Excessive caution and hanging back focus your eyes on lack of money–and that perpetuates more of the same.)

This is key: The WILLINGNESS to do what it took opened the way. The willingness to do the scary thing I would never have considered before. The willingness to listen past the fear… to my soul’s imperative. And the willingness to make that bold commitment with my emotions and my money.

Yes, I DID break my writer’s block then. And what that did for my self-esteem is beyond words.  

I was flying. Triumphant. Powerful.

Also, much more simply: I was capable. I believed in myself again.

And that is priceless.

 

P.S. As a side note, the results were priceless, AND there was money. 🙂 Within a few years, using the same power of commitment and choice, I also tripled my income–but that’s a topic for another post.

P.P.S. If you recognize the feeling of I MUST DO WHAT IT TAKES,” let’s talk. That is a message from your soul. Something in you is calling for you to break through your block–and to do it now.

I’m offering a new 1:1 program called TRUE CREATIVE SUCCESS. It’s designed specifically to help you break through what’s been holding you back for years, so you can do your TRUE creative work and take a DRAMATIC leap in your career and income. This is a program for talented, ambitious creative people who will do what it takes. Email me now to find out more.