Author Interview: Lynda Allen

Author Interview: Lynda Allen

Author Interview: Lynda Allen

I interview wellness authors to find out what makes them tick and why they write the books they do. Lynda Allen regularly attends the weekly Mango Publishing Heart Wisdom author panels. Her insightful questions and caring approach to any topic impressed and intrigued me. Certain you will want to get to know her too, I asked her to participate in this series.

Nita Sweeney (NS): Tell us about your most recent book.

Lynda Allen (LA): My newest book is Grace Reflected, a collection of poetry and essays.

NS: What made you want to write this book?

LA: Writing is part of my being. So, there was no one thing that made me want to write the new collection. With poetry, I simply write as I go along through my days, especially during my morning writing time. Then there seems to be a point when I feel that the poems reach a tipping point and want to gather together in a collection. Once I get that feeling, I look back through the poems I’ve written and start listening for the order and flow.

NS: What message do you hope readers take away?

LA: I hope the words of the poems and essays will speak to the reader’s heart, will share insights with them, and will challenge and inspire them. The collection is a journey through the places I find grace reflected in my life. Sometimes I find it reflected in nature and in moments of spiritual connection, and sometimes I find it in the depths of grief or in spiritual activism.

The words surprised me over and over again with their beginnings in rage or sorrow and their endings in steps on the path to healing and forgiveness. Those forces come together through love in the words of these poems – empathy and anger, rage and forgiveness, the words offer me a path that can hold them all and allow them to coexist in a way that encourages action from love or grace.

That’s why the title for the collection is Grace Reflected. It’s not only a reflection of the sources of grace in my life, it is grace itself moving through my heart in the form of words offering me that path to healing and a reflection of wholeness. It is a reminder that is also found in the image on the cover of the book.

While the reflection of the swan looks different than the swan itself, distorted by the movement of the water, if the swan became still, the reflection would then show the swan, unbroken and whole. So, my hope is that these poems and essays will offer a reflection of what is unbroken and whole within each of us and the healing and hope that knowing offers.

NS: What led you to this path?

LA: I never imagined myself as a writer or poet. It happened, quite literally, overnight. One day I wasn’t a writer and the next day I was.

One day I had never written a poem before and the next I started writing poetry and never stopped.

It happened when I went through a spiritual discernment process guided by the friend. It was a process that invited me to listen for a question through meditation and stillness that my heart wanted to ask and then listening again for an answer. The question that arose for me at that time was, “What is mine to do to be happy?” The answer I heard was only one word: write. I had no idea how writing would make me happy, especially because I wasn’t a writer!

All I knew was that I was willing to find out what it meant. I believe that willingness and the yes that accompanied it, were the keys that unlocked one of my soul’s greatest joys. The very next morning I began to write. It was as if a dam had burst, and my heart was flooded with words. It was a powerful and slightly disorienting experience!

NS: Writing (and life) can be stressful. How do you take care of yourself?

LA: I have a short writing and meditation practice that I begin most days with. I make sure I spend time in nature observing, learning, communing, and absorbing. Finally, I take walks for exercise, for listening to audiobooks, and for the time spent outside.

NS: Do you have a motto or slogan you find helpful? If so, how did you arrive at that?

LA: My motto is to Live Heartfully! For me, that means following my internal Heart Compass. The image of the Heart Compass is an image I carried around in my mind for a while years ago and one day finally drew it on paper. I showed it to a friend, and she said it would make a nice necklace, which hadn’t occurred to me! So, I had it made and wore it every day for a couple years as a daily reminder of my intention to live from and create from the heart. It helped me transform how I live.

NS: Tell us about your other work.

LA: In addition to being a writer, I am also an artist and make jewelry. Last year I decided it was time to figure out how to make the Heart Compass necklace available to others to help them transform their lives too. So, I set about learning how to solder sterling silver, and now I make the necklaces for others!

As an artist, one of my favorite things to paint are what I call Animal Wisdom Journals. I feel a very deep connection to animals of all kinds. So, years ago I put together my connection with animals and my art in the form of these journals. They are custom made for each person. I sit in meditation while holding the person in my thoughts and invite an animal to come forward to work with that person in the form of the journal. Then I paint and burn the image of the animal into the cover of a leather journal. On the inside I also include information about the animal and the wisdom it offers.

NS: What is one thing about well-being you wish you’d learned earlier?

LA: I wish I had learned the practices of mindfulness and meditation earlier. Learning to live mindfully and developing a regular meditation practice helped transform my life and how I live it in such positive ways. My days are much more peaceful. My greatest, ongoing mindfulness challenge and peace practice is driving!

NS: Do you have a writing tip for the writers out there?

LA: For me, writing is all about listening. So, I would say, practice your listening skills. There are stories all around us all the time waiting to be told. There is wisdom and insight within us waiting to be shared.

Be still and listen for both.

NS: Has your life turned out differently than you expected? If so, how?

LA: Absolutely, and in too many ways to list! ???? The biggest surprise was discovering that I am a poet.

NS: What are you currently reading for inspiration?

LA: Sacred Instructions: Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change by Sherri Mitchell and Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation by Parker Palmer

NS: What wellness book could you not put down?

LA: Peace Is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh. It is a book that changed my life. I learned so much about how to bring peace into everything I do, which some days I’m more successful at than others!

NS: What’s next for you writing wise?

LA: I’m currently seeking representation for a mystery novel, which is the first in a series, and I’m always writing poetry.

AND FINALLY:

NS: Mermaids or Goddesses?

LA: Mermaids. I love the ocean!

NS: Toast or bagels?

LA: Either, because in the end they are both just vehicles for butter!

NS: Ocean, mountains, or forest?

LA: It’s too difficult a choice. I could narrow it down to ocean and forest.

NS: Leggings or jeans?

LA: Jeans, definitely.

NS: Dogs, cats, fish, guinea pigs, or horses?

LA: Sloths. I adore sloths. If we’re talking strictly pets, then cats.

ABOUT LYNDA ALLEN

Lynda Allen is first and foremost a listener. All of her work whether it’s writing, art, creating Animal Wisdom Journals, or leading meditation begins with deep listening. Lynda listens to her own inner knowing and wisdom, the natural world, and the still, small voice of the Divine in the silence. She listens. Then she creates. In all of her creations she strives to inspire others to open their hearts and embrace their journey, both the dark and the light, with gentleness, love, and joy.

Her new collection of poetry and essays Grace Reflected is now available.

She is also the author of three other poetry collections Wild Divinity, Illumine, and Rest in the Knowing, as well as The Rules of Creation, a guidebook to living life from spirit.

Lynda Allen Books

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can learn more about the many offerings of Lynda’s heart at her website www.lyndaallen.net, follow her on Instagram @heartfullylynda, or join her All 4/1 Facebook group.

 



If you purchase something through the affiliate links on this page, Write Now Columbus, a collection of resources for central Ohio writers and readers, will receive a small percentage of the sale.

Author Interview: Lynda Allen

Author Interview: Polly Campbell

Author Interview: Polly Campbell

I interview wellness authors to find out what makes them tick and why they write the books they do. I met Polly Campbell, another Mango Publishing author, after reading a review copy of her new book, You Recharged. The book is filled with helpful suggestions learned from real-life experience. I wanted you to meet her too.

Nita Sweeney (NS): Tell us about your most recent book.

Polly Campbell (PC): My newest book You, Recharged: How to Beat Fatigue (mostly), Amp Up Your Energy (usually) and Enjoy Life Again (always) is about getting unstuck. About overcoming burnout and finding ways to restore and reengage with life again in a way that feels fun and fulfilling, creative and healthy. It’s about vitality.

NS: What made you want to write this book?

PC: As a writer, I’ve written hundreds of articles and other books on mindset, success strategies, and psychology that can help us live better lives. I’m fascinated about how we can use our thoughts, beliefs, mindsets to create our experience. My podcast, Polly Campbell, Simply Said is about this too. And yet, a few years ago, I was feeling so stuck. Bored. Tired all the time. Life felt dull. And, I was really uncomfortable with that. I looked around and recognized that I had all I really wanted—happy family, interesting work, lots of support, but I wasn’t enjoying it. I was feeling exhausted and stuck and I wanted to understand why and learn how to reengage. How to revitalize. My boredom changed to curiosity and that evolved into this book where I share what I learned with others.

NS: What message do you hope readers take away?

PC: First off, I just hope readers enjoy the book. That they feel inspired, entertained, and better about life when they finish it. And, I hope they recognize that living a more engaged, fun, healthy, happy life right now is possible. For all of us. And that doing it is worthwhile. Life is about vitality and participation. About showing up. Having fun. Listen, I live with debilitating chronic disease and pain, I’m middle-aged, and I eat too much pizza and yet I feel excited and energized about my life again. If I can do it anyone can and it’s a matter of adding in the ideas, practices, beliefs, actions that support us. That lift us up.

NS: Writing (and life) can be stressful. How do you take care of yourself?

PC: Part of my daily routine includes maximizing pockets of quiet time whenever I can get them. I get up an hour early for reflection, meditation. Then, I do morning pages and just hang out and get grounded in myself. I do a little physical exercise each day and get outside. Each day, I add in some action, behavior that makes me feel good. The simplest, easiest, most fun thing I can do that day to support my health and wellbeing. This might be a round of golf with my husband. A meditation. Time spent on a new creative project or challenge that’s interesting. Time with friends. Even if I only have a few minutes, I think it’s important to spend time doing something that will add meaning and growth. So a few minutes to meditate, read, be outside, are important to help me stay grounded.

NS: What led you to this path?

PC: At the age of 3 I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. So as a kid, I was limited in what my body could do, but books and writing were expansive for me. And, I became very interested in how we can use our minds to create the lives we want.

NS: Do you have a motto or slogan you find helpful? If so, how did you arrive at that?

PC: I am very deliberate with my self-talk…one thing I say often to myself is, “OK. You can figure this out.” There is so much I don’t know, am not good at, like everyone I face many challenges, but I do believe I’m capable of learning what I need to know, or finding the people and the resources who can help. We don’t have to do it alone. When I am challenged and feel like quitting, I go back to this: It’s OK you’ve got this. You can figure it out. And that opens me up to the people and things that can help me find a way through.

The other motto I follow is “Become a creator, instead of a complainer.”

NS: What’s the worst wellness advice you’ve ever heard?

PC: That you have to be thin or beautiful or young or rich or anything other than what you are to make a valuable contribution and to live a happy life. There is so much pressure to be something different. I try to keep my focus on being all of who I am. I do want to be better and there are many things I want to improve because like all human beings, I feel good when I’m learning, growing, creating, exploring. Personal development is powerful and exhilarating when it elf-improvement is powerful when it comes from a place of growth.

NS: What is one thing about well-being you wish you’d learned earlier?

PC: That there is no one way to live a great life, to live one that is interesting and healthy and satisfying. There are lots of ways to do it. Lots of ways of living a fulfilling life and making a difference. The unique qualities and quirks we bring are superpowers. Find what matters to you, explore, study, share, engage. Be a part of the world and you’ll learn what fills you up, then do those things.

NS: Do you have a go-to wellness practice you would like to share?

PC: Focus on this moment. Instead of worrying or what-iffing about what might happen, focus on living as well as possible in this moment. Life isn’t always rosy. It doesn’t always feel good, but that doesn’t mean anything is wrong. It just is. So, make this moment a little better and you automatically improve the moment after. String a lot of good little moments together and in the end, you have a great big good life. It’s the process that matters most, not achieving some goal in 20 years. When we stay clear about that, we will reach our goals and have a good time doing it. Participation matters. It is the life.

NS: Do you have a writing tip for the writers out there?

PC: Read your work aloud. Always, but especially before you send it out anywhere. Build time into your schedule to do this. Write it. Let is steep for a few days or weeks if you can. Then print it out and read it aloud. You’ll hear the rhythm of the words, the pacing and the holes or bumps.

NS: What’s the worst piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?

That, if you want to publish, you should target the smallest sites and publications. Baloney, aim high. See what happens. Also, I don’t like the “write what you know tip.”  I often write what I don’t know but want to learn. More interesting.

NS: And the best?

PC: Be careful about how you talk about your work and your writing. Don’t battle it. Don’t emphasize how hard it can be. Use language that supports and shapes and allows the expansiveness that creativity requires. Our writing is an ally that helps us understand the world. We do not have to have an adversarial relationship with it, even on the days when it is difficult to do.

NS: Has your life turned out differently than you expected? If so, how?

PC: Well, from my earliest memory, I knew I was a writer. I wanted to write books and magazine articles and speak to audiences and I’m so grateful that I am able to do that. But I was also going to remain single, childless, living in New York, living the life of a bestselling published author in some NYC penthouse. Instead, I fell for an awesome man, who didn’t want to live in New York. The Internet emerged so I could work from anywhere. And, so I live in the suburbs of Oregon, with my husband, daughter, and three animals.

NS: Is there anything you would change about your journey?

PC: I don’t think like this. Wishing things were different doesn’t change them. Of course, there have been ups and downs and difficulties, but I look on them as situations that are part of life, not problems or liabilities. Instead, I try to find the lessons in what I have experienced and experience gratitude for the moments both rewarding and challenging. I haven’t loved all the experiences I’ve had, but I’m grateful for them.

NS: What are you currently reading for inspiration?

PC: I pick up all kinds of stuff and right now I’m checking out Christy Whitman’s book The Desire Factor.

NS: Is there a wellness or inspirational book you couldn’t finish? Why? 

PC: This is almost blasphemous, but The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life, by Deepak Chopra. I did finish it, but I thought about quitting many times. It didn’t resonate. Felt cumbersome, ambiguous. As a reader I also prefer very direct language and practical applications. May pick it up at another time—my preferences change as I do—but it wasn’t my thing.

NS: What wellness book could you not put down?

PC: Steering by Starlight, by Martha Beck.

NS: What’s next for you writing wise?

PC: Ahhh, well, I’m playing with a new writing project in a genre completely different than what I have worked in before. And I’m working on new nonfiction idea. Developing the proposal now.  Also hope to expand my podcast Polly Campbell, Simply Said.

AND FINALLY:

NS: Mermaids or Goddesses? (Superheroes or Gods?)

PC: Goddesses

NS: Toast or bagels?

PC: Bagels

NS: Ocean, mountains, or forest?

PC: Oceans

NS: Leggings or jeans? (Jeans or slacks or sweatpants?)

PC: Sweats. I avoid hard pants as much as possible.

NS: Dogs, cats, fish, guinea pigs, or horses?

PC: Cats. But don’t tell my dog. And yes, I do love them equally.

About the Author:

You RechargedPolly Campbell is the host of the podcast Polly Campbell, Simply Said and the author of four books including You, Recharged: How to Beat Fatigue (Mostly), Amp Up Your Energy (Usually), and Enjoy Life Again (Always)  and How to Live an Awesome Life: How to Live Well. Do Good. Be Happy. She is a blogger with Psychology Today and her magazine articles appear regularly in online and print publications.

She is a frequent guest on Afternoon Live, on the ABC affiliate in Portland and is a sought-after speaker and guest on podcasts and radio programs attracting listeners who want to live well, do good, be happy. Campbell has integrated the things she writes and talks about into her own life through practical experience. She lives with her husband and daughter in Oregon.

Where to find Polly:

Her website: www.pollycampbell.com

Podcast: Polly Campbell Simply Said, How to Live Well, Do Good, Be Happy: 

You, Recharged

FB: @PollyCampbellAuthor

Instagram: @pollylcampbell

Twitter: @PLCampbell

www.pollycampbell.com

 



If you purchase something through the affiliate links on this page, Write Now Columbus, a collection of resources for central Ohio writers and readers, will receive a small percentage of the sale.

Author Interview: Lynda Allen

Author Interview: Rachael Wolff

Author Interview: Rachael Wolff 

I interview wellness authors to find out what makes them tick and why they write the books they do. Rachael Wolff, another Mango Publishing author, and I spend time together nearly every week at the Heart Wisdom panel. Rachael’s smile and good nature warms every heart. I hope you’ll find her as wise and lovely as I do.

Nita Sweeney (NS): Tell us about your bookAuthor Interview: Rachael Wolff

Rachael Wolff (RW): My book is Letters from a Better Me: How Becoming an Empowered Woman Transforms the World. The letters act as a transformational guide igniting the powerful women inside that have suppressed for too long. The journey begins with taking a trip into our own internal chaos where we take off our blinders and see where we are holding ourselves prisoner. Next, we implement the process of accepting ourselves where we are and start working from there. Finally, we shift into action and become the positive change we want to see. The letters shift negative self-talk and blame into true empowerment. Empower Yourself, Change the World!

NS: What made you want to write this book?

RW: I actually fought the idea of writing a women’s empowerment book at first. I had tried to sell another book that didn’t get any bites. I was in the middle of writing another book about abuse. My agent asked me if I could write a women’s empowerment book. Based on what was selling at the time, I was concerned. My definition of empowerment is about being accountable and responsible for what is mine and then projecting the best authentic version of me out to the world.

I believe wholeheartedly in the message Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi amplified, which is to live the change from the inside out. My agent and I were actually on a retreat in Sedona, Arizona when the idea of how to write the book came into my head. I was walking a labyrinth and I saw it. The book is to get us out of our own way in acting against ourselves and each other, and empowering ourselves to transform the world by living and BEING the change.

NS: Why did you use letters to do this?

RW: I use letters, because letters are personal. We can see each other and ourselves in letters. When I write letters, I write from the heart—committed and invested in every word. They are my way of connecting emotionally and being accountable and responsible for the words I put out into the world. When I write them to myself, they become a contract to be a better me. Letters are how I broke the most self-destructive patterns in my life. I wanted to share them, along with the other tools I picked up along the way that got me to stop self-abusing and find true empowerment.

NS: What message do you hope readers take away?

RW: First, I want readers to get that our perspectives are our freedoms or our prisons. A better me is our inner wisdom that knows the difference. Second, our stories have the power to free us or hold us back, but we have to see them to be able to re-write them. Lastly, I hope readers finish with a clear vision on how to represent the changes they want to see by living the changes in their own lives.

NS: Writing (and life) can be stressful. How do you take care of yourself?

Author Interview: Rachael WolffRW: I’m a self-care tool queen, LOL. I’ve been reading self and spiritual growth books since I was fourteen, which is over 30 years now. I have been in and out of therapy since the age of 10 and my degree is in Human Development. The blessing is that my journey comes with an AMBUNDANCE of tools. I use different ones depending on where I am in the moment. One of the ways I take care of myself right now is writing a daily blog called, “Daily Aligning with Love, Abundance, and Peace” on FromALovingPlace.com. This helps me to be accountable and responsible for my energy daily.

Reading and writing a lot helps me process any of the more challenging situations or feelings that come up. I believe every feeling has something important to show me, so it’s important for me to allow myself to feel through things. I let the feelings guide me into healing past wounds that are keeping my energy aligned with fear, lack, and separation at any point in time.

Feelings are healthy allies until we deny, suppress, avoid, or blame others for them. That’s when they turn into toxic energy, which creates more of what we don’t want to see in the world. That’s why I make it a part of my self-care to be present with them and feel them through. When the feelings are fully aligned with the energy of love, abundance, and peace, I do my best to spread that energy as far as I can, because when I’m in that space, my self-care is through connecting with others from a loving place.

NS: Tell us about your work.

RW: I’m a speaker for both professional and personal growth.  I speak at workshops and seminars, live and virtual. My goal as a speaker is to help people connect to what is holding them back and give them opportunities to change what is no longer serving them.  People come out with tools to improve their situation no matter what their situation is because what they will uncover is their ability to change their story from the inside. I absolutely LOVE seeing or hearing people’s AHA moments. It’s one of my favorite parts about the work I do.

NS: What led you to this path?

RW: My interest has always been in understanding people. I’ve noticed signs guiding me down this path since high school. I won awards for Public Speaking, English, and Guidance.  I was writing a sales tip column for a trade magazine, developing and leading training programs, and speaking all over the United States and Canada throughout my 20’s.

In my thirties, I became a preschool teacher, a full-time single mom, and a college student, which is where a deep shift happened. I became aware of the dangerous path my own stories took me down. My inner dialog was BRUTAL and the things that were happening in my life were a reflection of what was going on inside of me.

When I changed my internal stories (with a lot of help), my life began to transform in the most AMAZING of ways. My insides began to match my outsides. It was in this shift that I learned the impact of what it meant to live life from a loving place. In my 40’s, I began sharing my new stories with the world on FromALovingPlace.com. As I practiced living this way daily the way I see the world changes, which keeps creating physical changes in my reality.  Now, I keep getting opportunities to help others do the same for themselves. I love how the Universe works.

NS: Do you have a motto or slogan you find helpful? If so, how did you arrive at that?

RW: My perspective is my freedom or my prison. I follow it up with the question: What am I creating for myself right now? This gets me to question the stories I’m weaving in my head. Are they coming from the energy of love, abundance, and peace or fear, lack, and separation? This came to me from the awareness that if I let my stories get away from me, I’m creating a prison for myself. The motto helps me stay accountable and responsible for EVERYTHING that I’m projecting out to the world. It helps me to find clarity in the confusion.

NS: What’s the worst wellness (mental health, self-care) advice you’ve ever heard?

RW: “You can’t do it that way and get results.” I’ve heard this a lot in many different ways. What people forget, including me sometimes, is that we all have our own journeys. That’s what makes us uniquely us. When we embrace our unique and authentic selves, we live empowered.

I do my best to remember that someone else is living their own perspectives of truth. It’s their choice to figure out if those perspectives work to serve them living their best lives, just like it’s my choice to figure out what works best to serve me living my best life. If we convince ourselves that something doesn’t or won’t work, it won’t for us. It doesn’t make that reality true for someone who believes differently.

NS: What does it mean to live your best life?

RW: For me, that means living from a loving place. In order to do this, I’ve seen the importance of staying aligned with the energy of love, abundance, and peace over fear, lack, and separation as much I possibly can. I do my best to align my thoughts, feelings, perspectives of truth (beliefs), actions, responses, and reactions in accordance to aligning my energy there. I don’t make excuses when my energy is not there, I simply take responsibility and accountability for where I am and I use one of my many tools to help me to get back to being aligned with that energy. Sometimes this can take seconds, other times it might take a day, but with LOTS and LOTS of practice, it rarely takes more than that.

One time, it did. I sought professional assistance working through my grief of losing my dad and stepmom within a few years of each other. The other time, I started writing my daily blog because none of my other tools were working. Too much of the energy of fear, lack, and separation kept taking me over and that affected my thoughts, feelings, beliefs, actions, and OH BOY my reactions. I was struggling to live from a loving place during that time period and the people who were close to me were the ones feeling it most.

Living my best life in the moment includes a lot of reading, writing, connecting with others, and connecting with nature. When I do these things, I naturally take care of my body, mind, and soul without shaming or forcing myself to be or live differently than I am in this moment. My outer world reflects my inner world, so I love what comes out of me living in this place.

NS: What is one thing about coping you wish you’d learned earlier?

RW: Something funny, but yet Divinely perfect happened to me while reading this question. I had a reaction to the word coping, which means I had an unhealthy attachment to the word from some point in my past. I’ve found when that happens it’s VERY important to look the word up, because it usually has nothing to do with the actual word, it’s my story around the word that tends to be the problem.

That is probably one of the things that would have been useful to know earlier. I used to get so unconsciously bent out of shape by the way words were being used. In the past, I may have gotten very defensive because of my internal reaction to the word. When I realized we are all just interpreting words through our own perspectives of truth, understanding this helped me to ask more questions instead of jump on the judgment bandwagon, which just keeps me in a toxic story in my head. I used to have so many rage-filled conversations in my head because of a word that I could be seeing completely differently than the person saying it.

Every once in awhile on my From A Loving Place Facebook page, I will get a reaction to a word I’ve used.

I’ve learned to explain my vision of the word while also letting them know that I see that they are looking at it through their lived experiences. I thank them for sharing how the word affected them. The responses usually thank me for explaining my view more, and 9 times out of ten they take their original comment down. My mom taught me, “You can’t make me feel anything.” Other people offer us tools to see ourselves, but they don’t have the power to make us happy, sad, crazy, etc. When I fully absorbed this lesson, I got my power back.

Author Interview: Rachael Wolff

I learned to live and feel my feel MY feelings. That means if I have a reaction, I’m responsible and accountable to become aware of what this word, feeling, person, or situation is showing me about myself. I’ve healed and grown so much from learning to do this. I even had a healing moment from simply looking up the word coping, because the definition in my head took me back to a toxic situation where an addict would refer to his abuse of alcohol and drugs as “coping,” which triggered feelings of anxiety and fear along with a knot in my stomach.  It wasn’t the word; it was the story I was tying to the word.  Seeing the actual definition changed the story behind the word to a much healthier one.

NS: Do you have a writing tip for the writers out there?

RW: Write in your authentic voice and stay open to learn how to be a better writer while remaining true to that voice.  Nobody can write in your voice better than you. I struggled in my writing until I found my voice. Trying to mimic other people’s voices did NOT serve me well, but remaining open to learn, I not only found my authentic voice, I found ways to make my voice shine through using lots of wonderful suggestions and skills I was taught along the way. I’m open to constructive criticism, which is one of the ways I attracted my agent to me. She loved that I didn’t get defensive when she had ideas or suggestions to make my writing stronger.

NS: What’s the worst piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?

RW: I’m not sure about the worst, but when it was suggested I write like someone else, that didn’t work at all. Nobody wanted to buy that book. It was only when I read the book back later that I saw the difference in the book that sold and the book that didn’t. I was trying to write like a particular best-selling author, but that wasn’t my authentic writing voice.

NS: And the best?

RW: The absolute best advice I ever got was to study and write poetry. I took an independent study of poetry my senior year of high school. Learning rhythm and flow has made the process of writing magical to me. If I don’t feel the flow and the rhythm, I’ve noticed the reader doesn’t either. I’ve seen this in critiques of my work and others too. If something comes back feeling choppy, it’s usually because I fell out of that flow and rhythm.

NS: Has your life turned out differently than you expected? If so, how?

RW: My life is definitely different, but what I realized is that it turned out to be perfect fit for me. I used to put other people’s ideas of how my life SHOULD look at the forefront, and that only ever kept me from living my authentic life. Now that I’ve become clear on the importance living my own journey. I live both authentically and abundantly. It doesn’t matter how anyone else judges it. I love my life, and because I love my life, I serve the people in my life to the best of my ability. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to be given healing opportunities in my interactions with others, I will and I do. I’m a single mom with two teenagers, LOL. I get LOTS of opportunities.

NS: Is there anything you would change about your journey?

RW: I wouldn’t want to change one thing, because it wouldn’t be my journey if I did. If I changed one thing, a string of things would change. I love what I have to give because of my journey.  Some people don’t realize the levels of trauma I’ve experienced in my life because of how I choose to live now. I refused to believe that I would remain a victim of my perpetrators my whole life, so I didn’t give up until I found a way to live my life on my terms. I’ve gone through tons of different belief systems along the way, and I learned to effectively weed out the ones that don’t serve my highest good. Each experience I have leads me to more opportunities. I love that!

NS: What are you currently reading for inspiration?

RW: I’m reading four books right now: You Recharged by Polly Campbell, Conversations with God Book 3 by Neal Donald Walsh, Hiring the Heavens by Jean Slatter, and The Wisdom Codes by Gregg Braden. I tend to have a couple audiobooks and a couple physical books going at all times. Most of the books I read investigate people’s perspectives of truths because I love learning about people. I love looking at it from every angle and belief system. The books I align with feed the energy of love, abundance, and peace within me. I love personal growth, academic, memoir, biography, spiritual, and pretty much anything that dives into the human experience. There are so many perspectives to explore, which is usually why I have four books going at a time.

NS: Is there a wellness or inspirational book you couldn’t finish? Why?

RW: There have been a few books, but what I’ve realized is that if I’m meant to pick a book up, there is a reason. If I’m meant to put a book down there is a reason. I get what I’m supposed to get from every experience in perfect timing. It took me three tries to read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I wasn’t ready to see the whole book until I did. One chapter that helped me get out of an abusive relationship was towards the end of the book. I KNOW I wasn’t ready to fully absorb the wisdom until the moment I read it.

There have been other books that I’ve struggled through, but couldn’t put down, and EVERY TIME there was either a line or a chapter that had a lasting affect on my journey. I’ve learned to trust where I’m led and when I’m led there. It’s one of the many reasons I don’t usually get rid of books related to wellness or personal growth even if I don’t connect with them right now. The only exception is if I feel a book is attempting to get the reader to align with the energy of fear, lack, and separation. If they are doing it intentionally to enlighten the reader on how the brain works, I will keep reading. If they are using it to manipulate the reader into feeding it, I either put it down or use it for research in understanding humans better.

NS: What wellness book could you not put down?

RW: Loving What Is by Byron Katie

NS: What’s next for you writing wise?

RW: I’m going to complete my 365-day adventure of writing my daily blog “Daily Aligning with Love, Abundance, and Peace.” Then, I’m diving into writing a series of books to make the path inward an enjoyable adventure.

AND FINALLY:

NS: Mermaids or Goddesses?

RW: Depends, if I get the feeling of empowerment by looking at her, I WANT her!

NS: Toast or bagels?

RW: Bagels

NS: Ocean, mountains, or forest?

RW: I love them all. I appreciate whichever one I’m offered in the moment. All three can move me into grounded and centered energy that take me to a state of AWE.

NS: Leggings or jeans?

RW: Soft yoga pants for home and jeans or cargos for adventuring.

NS: Dogs, cats, fish, guinea pigs, or horses?

RW: I’m a lifetime cat person who now has a dog that is my baby.

About Rachael Wolff

Author Interview: Rachael Wolff

Rachael Wolff is an author, speaker, and blogger. Wolff got her professional start traveling the United States and Canada in the 1990’s as a sales trainer performing at conferences, sales seminars, and for individual distributors, manufacturers, and retailers. She graduated from Eckerd College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and a minor in Anthropology with an award in “Excellence in Human Development.” She continues to use her 30 plus years of personal and spiritual development, along with her professional and formal education to inspire individuals to make positive changes in the world by becoming their best selves.

Website/Blog: https://FromALovingPlace.com

Inspirational Facebook Page: https://Facebook.com/FromALovingPlace

Author Facebook Page: https://Facebook.com/LettersfromaBetterMe

Twitter: https://Twitter.com/Wolffspirit9

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lettersfromabetterme/

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/wolffwisdom

 Email: lettersfromabetterme@gmail.com



If you purchase something through the affiliate links on this page, Write Now Columbus, a collection of resources for central Ohio writers and readers, will receive a small percentage of the sale.

Author Interview: Lynda Allen

Author Interview: Karen C.L. Anderson

Author Interview: Karen C.L. Anderson

I interview wellness authors to find out what makes them tick and why they write the books they do. This author interview features coach and author Karen C.L. Anderson. I met Karen on Mango Publishing‘s Heart Wisdom panel. As happens with many Mango authors, I quickly felt I’d found a colleague and friend. Karen focuses on healing mother-daughter relationships and creative anxiety.

Nita Sweeney (NS): Tell us about your writing.

Karen C.L. Anderson (KCLA): The book I am currently writing, is about…shame. It doesn’t have a title yet, but I’ve been playing around with titles like “How I Made Shame My Bitch” (it’s definitely not going to be that ha ha ha) and “Unshame Yourself: Healing The Most Toxic Relationship Of All.”

NS: What made you want to write this book?

KCLA: Shame has been a lifelong companion. I started to recognize the impact it was having on me about 20 ago and I’ve been learning how to change my relationship to it ever since. Unless there is “repair” (to use clinical language), shame can become toxic. And there’s a very fine line between what is considered healthy shame and toxic shame.

NS: What message do you hope readers take away?

KCLA: I want readers to take away that shame is a normal human emotion that few of us seem to have a healthy relationship with; that we can develop a healthier relationship to it; and that doing so will allow us to be more intentionally authentic and vulnerable in our work and life.

Given that shame is a normal human emotion that we will continue to experience, and that humans have an innate need and desire for growth and self-expression, I want to give readers tools to manage shame. Put another way? I want to give readers the ability to love themselves because of whatever it is they thing makes them a bad person, not “in spite of” or “even though” or “no matter what.”

NS: Writing (and life) can be stressful. How do you take care of yourself?

As best I can, I love myself unconditionally and hold myself in high regard. Also? Hydrate. Nourish. Sleep. Rest. Play. Connect. Boundaries.

NS: Do you have a writing tip for the writers out there?

KCLA: When writing doesn’t feel good (and I count on it not feeling good at least 25% of the time) don’t make it mean that you shouldn’t be writing, or that your writing is bad, or that something has gone wrong. It’s just a sensation in your body.

NS: What’s the worst piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?

KCLA: It’s not so much “advice” as it is my perception of what good writing is, what it looks like to be a writer, etc. Basically, all the “shoulds” I have, like “good writing should be literary,” “good writers are disciplined and write every day for several hours at a time,” and stuff like that.

NS: And the best?

KCLA: Anything you write counts as writing. I think, actually, that I gave myself that advice and I now give it as advice to others.

NS: Tell us about your work.

Author Karen C.L. Anderson

KCLA: In my Mother Lode 1:1 coaching program, I work with women who have/had difficult relationships with their mothers and who want to use that relationship as a catalyst for growth, wisdom, and creativity. We work on healthy boundaries, overcoming the fears associated with “putting yourself out there” (because for many women, their Inner Critic’s voice is their mother’s voice), confidence, and people-pleasing, and more.

NS: What led you to this path?

KCLA: I have a mother 🙂 Seriously though, the older I got the more obvious it became that there was a lot to unwind in regards to our relationship. For most of my life and well into adulthood, I was boundary-less when it comes to my mother. I had no idea where she ended and I began. We were emotionally enmeshed. I felt chronically angry, sad, and fearful of her. And yes, therapists suggested that she may have narcissistic tendencies and maybe even borderline personality disorder. So my path has been two-fold: #1 to figure out who I am separate from her and #2 to repair the complex emotional traumas that came from growing up with her.

NS: Do you have a motto or slogan you find helpful? If so, how did you arrive at that?

KCLA: How we heal individually is how we heal collectively. To be honest, I am not sure if I heard this from someone else, but as I continue to do my own work, I see the “micro” (one woman healing her relationship with her mother) and “macro” (women healing from the relationship of white supremacy, internalized misogyny, and patriarchy). And so as we do our own individual healing, we become examples of what’s possible, and we do less harm to future generations.

NS: What’s the worst wellness (mental health, self-care) advice you’ve ever heard?

“Just think positive” and “raise your vibration.” I get it…the Law of Attraction is a thing, but it doesn’t seem to take into account what it means to be a human being with the full range of human emotions, not to mention that most humans are living with unacknowledged, unresolved trauma. In fact, it’s the disconnection from our bodies and our full range of emotions (which reside in our bodies) that is the essence of trauma.

NS: What is one thing about coping you wish you’d learned earlier?

KCLA: That coping isn’t the goal…I used to think it was all about figuring out ways to cope. To figure out and fix dysfunctional dynamics and patterns. Then I learned that all I really need is more self-knowledge so I could trust and respect myself, so I could step out of and free myself from conditioned, dysfunctional, co-dependent patterns and not just find better ways to operate within them.

NS: Has your life turned out differently than you expected? If so, how?

KCLA: It has turned out differently, although I am not sure what I expected way back when. As I said, I was so disconnected from myself that I had no internal rudder, if that makes sense. I certainly didn’t think I’d be a published author several times over (although from childhood I wanted to be a writer) and I didn’t think I’d have my own business.

NS: Is there anything you would change about your journey?

KCLA: Not really, although there’s a part of me that wonders what more I would have accomplished if I had started earlier. I recognize that I might not have been able to handle the success I enjoy now when I was younger.

NS: What are you currently reading for inspiration?

KCLA: I am generally always reading both a fiction book and a nonfiction book. The most inspirational nonfiction book I read in the past year is My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem. Right now I am reading Patriarchy Stress Disorder by Valerie Rein.

NS: Is there a wellness or inspirational book you couldn’t finish? Why?

KCLA: There are many wellness/inspirational books I haven’t finished and the reason is usually one of two things: #1 I got what I needed in the part that I read or #2 I got distracted (I suspect I am on the ADHD spectrum).

Author Karen C.L. Anderson

NS: What wellness book could you not put down?

KCLA: So many. Glennon Doyle’s Untamed comes to mind. I will read anything Brené Brown writes. Same for Elizabeth Gilbert. Other favorite authors include Wally Lamb and John Irving. Wally and John are novelists, but I consider reading for pleasure to be “wellness.”

NS: What’s next for you writing wise? (or otherwise – doesn’t have to be writing)

KCLA: In addition to the book on shame, I am working on a memoir, A Letter To The Daughter I Chose Not To Have, in which I examine my relationship to motherhood through a series of interconnected essays. I very consciously chose not to have children (I never had the desire), although I am a stepmother and it’s been a complex journey.

AND FINALLY:

NS: Mermaids or Goddesses? (Superheroes or Gods?)

KCLA: Goddesses

NS: Toast or bagels?

KCLA: if I weren’t sensitive to gluten it would be sourdough toast with butter, although many years ago I was smitten with bagels and cream cheese.

NS: Ocean, mountains, or forest?

KCLA: An ocean next to mountains with forests nearby.

NS: Have it all!! What about leggings or jeans? (Jeans or slacks or sweatpants?)

KCLA: Depends.

NS: Dogs, cats, fish, guinea pigs, or horses?

KCLA: For the first time in my adult life I have a dog, but I’ve had cats every single day of my 58 years.

About Karen C.L. Anderson:

Karen C.L. Anderson is a writer, author, and master-certified life coach who helps women use the troubled relationships they have with their mothers and/or daughters as a catalyst for growth, empowerment, wisdom, and creativity.

Difficult Mothers, Adult DaughtersShe is the author of:

  • After (The Before & After) (2011)
  • The Peaceful Daughter’s Guide To Separating From A Difficult Mother (2015…no longer available)
  • Difficult Mothers, Adult Daughters, A Guide For Separation, Liberation & Inspiration (March 2018)
  • The Difficult Mother-Daughter Relationship Journal: A Guide For Revealing and Healing Toxic Generational Patterns (January, 2020)
  • Overcoming Creative Anxiety: Journal Prompts & Practices for Disarming Your Inner Critic & Allowing Creativity To Flow (June 2020)
  • Dear Adult Daughter, With the Emphasis On Adult (July 2020)

Karen’s next book, tentatively entitled Unshame Yourself: Healing The Most Toxic Relationship Of All, is scheduled to be published in 2022.

She is also at work on a memoir, A Letter To The Daughter I Chose Not To Have.

Prior to all of this? Karen spent seven years as a freelance writer and before that, 17 years trying to fit her right-brained self into a left-brained career as a trade magazine journalist in the field of plastics (and if she had a dime for every time someone mentioned that line from The Graduate…).

Karen and her husband Tim Anderson (a left-brained engineer) live on the Southeastern Connecticut shoreline.  

Overcoming Creative Anxiety

Certifications & Education:

  • Certified Dare To Lead Trained Professional
  • Master Certified Coach, Life Coach School
  • Healthy Boundaries for Kind People coach and facilitator
  • Emotional Freedom Techniques practitioner (EFT Training For Trauma, Levels I + II)
  • Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Marist College

The Difficult Mother-Daughter Relationship Journal

 

 

Website: http://kclanderson.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KCLAnderson/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kclanderson/

 

 

 



If you purchase something through the affiliate links on this page, Write Now Columbus, a collection of resources for central Ohio writers and readers, will receive a small percentage of the sale.

Author Interview: Lynda Allen

Author Interview – Melisa Caprio

 

Author Interview – Melisa Caprio

I interview wellness authors to find out what makes them tick and why they write the books they do. This author interview features Melisa Caprio who entranced us when she appeared on a Mango Publishing panel. As an intuitive photographer, Melisa sees the world through a different “lens.” [pun intended.] Her creative approach offers a unique take which helps many. I wanted you to meet her too.

Nita Sweeney (NS): Tell us about your book. Give us the official “pitch!”

Melisa Caprio (MC): In Postcards to the Universe: Harness the Universe’s Power and Manifest Your Dreams, artist-photographer Melisa Caprio offers a way to combine art, love and manifestation that will lead you to everything your heart desires. Lush with imaginative images and poignant with heartfelt words, this beautiful book is already igniting a creative fire in manifesters everywhere. Caprio photographs the postcards as she intuits it-by each person’s specific manifestation. Through art and photography, we get to see the desires of people manifest in the world, thus taking the law of attraction to a whole new level.

 

Postcards to the Universe Collage

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Photo Credit: Melisa Caprio ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

NS: What made you want to write this book?

MC: I was teaching people how to use their creativity for manifesting using the Law of Attraction with my project Postcards to the Universe, A Global Movement for Manifestation. I kept getting story after story from people who created a manifesting postcard of their dream coming true in their life and I thought, “I have to make this a book.” I took a course on how to write a book proposal and when I completed my book I ended up having 30 postcards from contributors who sent them to me that I photographed and their stories manifested.

NS: What message do you hope readers take away?
Melisa Caprio Signing Postcards to the Universe

Melisa Caprio

MC: I want readers to understand that we attract what we focus on, usually it’s negatively. But actually, we can learn how to co-create with the Universe to bring in what we really want when we do it in a conscious way. I do it by tapping into creativity.

NS: Writing (and life) can be stressful. How do you take care of yourself?

MC: I take care of myself by finally learning how to stop the negative self-talk. We have a tendency to beat ourselves up and I have become super aware of how my mind can go down that rabbit hole. Once I became aware of myself doing it, I learned to stop and shift my thoughts around. I speak much kinder to myself now.

 

NS: Do you have a tip for the writers out there?

MC: Yes, writing is relatively new to me, I am a photographer and had been doing that for years. I learned that it’s really important to spend time being creative. It applies for me with both writing and photography. Even if I don’t publish the work. Working our creative muscles I find is good for the soul.

NS: What’s the worst piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?

MC: That you have to get up early and start a writing practice. That doesn’t work for me. I follow my own rhythm to know when I am in the space to write. I think you have find what works for you and commit to that as your writing practice. For many people it’s every day. For others it may be mornings, while others may prefer evenings. Some may do it a few times a week. As long as you commit to it, and follow through.

NS: And the best?

MC: To just sit down and write. Don’t think about it; just do it. When I approach it like that even if I am not sure exactly what I will write that day, it comes to me.

NS: Tell us more about your work.

MC: I also have a weekly radio show on Wednesdays at 4PM ET. It’s hosted on OMTimes Radio and I am blessed have such amazing guests that I interview. I am always looking for inspirational people who can share themselves and their work. I interview a lot of other authors. It’s a great show and I take the recording and make it a podcast.

NS: What led you to this path?

MC: That is a long story, but the short version is, I was in a place where my life took a turn and I was very unhappy. I started searching and asking myself questions about what to do next. That is when I learned about manifestation. It just grew from there. The right books found me, people who helped me get to the next step started showing up, and new doors presented themselves.

NS: Do you have a motto or slogan you find helpful? If so, how did you arrive at that?

MC: Yes, it’s funny and it has stuck with me. My mother has a saying in how she describes me, “You’re a horse of a different color.” She actually uses it for our whole family. I like it. It means we march to our own beat and that’s cool.

NS: What’s the worst wellness advice you’ve ever heard?

MC: Anytime I see another fad that everyone is talking about, I get suspect. I think you have to find what works for you, you know when something is good or no good for you.

NS: What is one thing about coping you wish you’d learned earlier?
Melisa Caprio, author, photographer, radio show host

Melisa Caprio

MC: I wish someone had told me how important it is to trust yourself. Our intuition is so spot on and I don’t think we are taught when we are young how important it really is. It could save us from so many things, if we just listened to it.

NS: Has your life turned out differently than you expected? If so, how?

MC: Yes it’s very different than I could have imagined. I never thought I would be an author and have a radio show.

NS: Would you change anything about your journey?

MC: No, not really. There are a few situations that I would probably change. I few take backs that I would do. But overall, it’s the journey that got me here.

 

NS: What are you currently reading for inspiration?

MC: Because of my radio show, I interview so many other inspirational authors, I am getting introduced to more and more amazing work.  I love it.

NS: Is there a wellness or inspirational book you couldn’t finish? Why?

MC: No, never. I always finish them. There have been a couple that were just OK but I still finished them.

NS: What wellness book could you not put down?

MC: There are a few authors whose work I just love and usually have a hard time putting down: Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, Carolyn Myss, and Don Miguel Ruiz

NS: What’s next for you writing wise?

MC: I am working on a book using my photography as affirmations and explaining how those affirmations can shift our lives.

AND FINALLY:

NS: Mermaids or Goddesses?

MC: Goddesses

NS: Toast or bagels?

MC: Bagels

NS: Ocean, mountains, or forest?

MC: Can I pick all three?

NS: YES!

NS: Leggings or jeans?

MC: Jeans

NS: Dogs, cats, fish, guinea pigs, or horses?

MC: Right now it’s cats, it was dogs for a while. It changes.

 

About Melisa Caprio

Postcards to the Universe - Book CoverMelisa Caprio, author, photographer, radio host and creator of Postcards to the Universe™ A Global Movement for Manifestation, is inviting people from around the world to participate in this movement. By using photography, art, personal wishes and desires and sending them out to the Universe via a postcard. Her inspiration comes from a desire to have a forum where people come together in creative ways for global change. She is currently giving workshops on photography, art, transformation, and manifestation. She guides her clients on how to create a unique postcard for added effect on the power of creative intention.

Caprio has her own weekly show titled Postcards to the Universe with Melisa on OMTimes Radio where she interviews spiritual trailblazers, she has turned that show into a popular podcast.

She has been featured in ROAR: Fierce Feminine Rising Magazine, and Voyage VIA Miami MagazineShe is a regular contributor on Thrive Global. Caprio has been featured numerous times in the local newspaper Sun-Sentinel: Broward and Palm Beach News on her work and also exhibits her photography work on a regular basis in fine art galleries in South Florida.

Find Melisa here:

www.postcardstotheuniverse.com

www.melisacaprio.com

OMTimes Radio – Postcards to the Universe

*all social media links can be found on Postcards to the Universe website.



If you purchase something through the affiliate links on this page, Write Now Columbus, a collection of resources for central Ohio writers and readers, will receive a small percentage of the sale.

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