A year for prosperity

A pensive Idris Elba peers down at me from the dreamboard above my desk. His subtle reminder?

Shouldn’t you be writing?

Absolutely, and I have been. Almost every day for months.

Help for writers via the dreamboard

Dreamboat. Yes, he is. Oh, I misheard you, you asked about the dreamboard. Yep, he’s on that too.

Why a dreamboard? Aren’t I a practical, evidence-based kind of person. Yep, I am. And I’m also exploring a conscious, joyful life, being creative and curious. And I love a visual, so the dreamboard works for me.

My life has been a much more certain thing these last few years since I switched to being clear on what I wanted, asking for it and taking action towards getting it, rather than bemoaning the fact I didn’t have whatever it was. Letting go of that scarcity mindset and giving myself encouragement and inspiration to be a doer not a watcher.

Most days that works well. Other days it’s the support of family, good friends, books or the dreamboard that remind me about what matters in my life, and why, and what I’m doing to keep it that way.

At the top of the dreamboard this year is my one word…


Now this is less about prosperity as a measure of economic wealth and more about its meaning as a state of flourishing, thriving, good fortune and success. Though if we win the lottery I’ll be sure to let you know.

In the centre of my dreamboard is the question…

If not now, when?

This is my defense against the dark cloud of doubt, impatience and procrastination that occasionally  hovers over my workspace. Works a treat for me. Try it.

For 2018 I have time to write, time to create, time for fun, and time for family as the big four of what’s happening. And of course, there’s a little time for coaching, change and facilitation work in there too. And the fundraising through Women Who Care (more on that next time).

Time to write

How does time to write work with prosperity? We’ll skip tactfully over the fact that there’s been a bit of a gap in the blogging since July last year, not quite a prosperous flow of words there – well here really.

I have been spending a lot of time writing—just not writing blogs.

When I finally gave myself time and permission to be a writer a couple of years ago, getting up at the crack of dawn to begin, I ended up writing my memoir Breathing While Drowning: One Woman’s Quest for Wholeness. I needed to write and share Jacqui and my story. To put down on paper my own quest from grief back to life.

What’s next?

With my first book published I found myself free to write fiction.

Who knew that once I cracked the fiction dam it would turn from a trickle to a flood.

If you’re on my Book Friends email group, you’d know I’ve penned the first draft of my second novel. Well, here’s where prosperity starts to flow. It seems I’m overgenerous with my words, positively profligate—that’s the recklessly extravagant meaning of profligate not the utterly and shamelessly immoral one.

Draft One poured out. 116,000 words in about six weeks – prosperity.

Ideas pouring forth

Great! It had strong heroines, wicked villains, murder, mayhem, magic and mythical beasts. Wait, what? What are you writing I hear you ask? Don’t you usually write tips for a conscious life, empowerment for women?

Yes, and I’m following my own advice from my very first blog—it’s never too late to start afresh.

The manuscript has one woman who finds herself worn down. She yearns for a better life, connection to other people, a little adventure and a modicum more attention from the rest of the world. Her quest to save the universe becomes her quest to save herself. It just happens in a world full of magic and mythical beasts. As I see it I’m still empowering women, they’re just fictional rather than real. Not so different.

Back to the draft. My writing coach suggested I’d written 3 books, so I divided up the draft, worked on the first third and within a few weeks draft two reached 110,000 words – prosperity again.

Third time’s a charm

Yoikes. I sent that draft in and, you guessed it. I do like threes. The coach’s suggestion, take the first third and slow it down, let the characters loose, let them tell the story at their own pace, let the readers get to know them before I let them discover they are brilliant at magic, feed them to the dragon, or send them on their quest to save the cosmos. Oh, and add more on the senses, weather and world building.

And that’s where I’m up to. Draft 3 stopped at 88, 270 words. It’s been red-penned and I’m ready to revise and polish. My prosperity continues to flow in all shapes and sizes. I have an extravagant amount of time to write and that’s what I’m doing.

Release the words into the world

What about you?

Do you have a word that’s your focus for this year? Could you spend a couple of minutes in quiet contemplation and see what pops up?

Have you every tried a dreamboard? Have you ever set yourself a goal that takes you closer to your dreams? Do you let yourself dream? Is there a book or creative project inside you waiting to break the dam wall and burst forth?

It’s time to dream a little.

If not now, when?

Thanks for reading.
And if you’d rather listen to me read the blog, head over to SoundCloud HERE


If you’d like some sneak peaks at my next book, sign up to my Book Friends list in the website footer to get my irregular newsletter.

How hard is it to wait?

I’m curious. Why do we have to wait for things? I mean really, when you want it, feel it, see it, and work for it, you should get it now, right ?

Sometimes I really struggle with the whole, wait for it to happen, let nature take its course, go with the flow. What the heck is “the flow” anyway? Is it the thunderous torrents of water over the cliff edge, the moon driven tides that ebb and flow in the bay, or the muddy trickle of the creek in drought?  Or all of the above?

Going with what flow?

I feel like my flow is kind of like a dam

Up top is a huge still, deep lake, all is calm. Look past the surface, behind the dam wall, the spill-gate is struggling to keep the pressure to a reasonable level. It stands to reason, that every now and again you have to open more gates or the dam will burst because there is more and more flow coming into the lake from all over the place. The village in the valley is always in danger of drowning.

And what happens when  your flow is just a few muddy puddles and some thirsty dog comes along and tries to drink it all?

Drinking up all my flow

Back to waiting…

I am not the most patient person in the world. I know right, you never would have guessed. And I am only admitting to about half the things I’ve done and still do. This is a character trait of long standing. Two decades ago, a colleague gave out small cross-stitched saying for Christmas and mine read…

Give me patience, but please hurry.

She summed me up brilliantly. I’m the kind of person who will still be working and living life full on till the day I die. How about you? I love working, because I love the work that I do, and I love life, this world is so freaking huge and complex and entertaining, how can you sit still and wait? There are people to see, places to go, things to do.

Look at history, if everyone had waited, would we still be living in caves, grubbing in the dirt, foraging for dinner? I don’t think so. And look at now, millions killing themselves prematurely with overwork, rubbish at relationships and dissatisfied with life.

In the cage

How do we find the balance between strive and surrender?

Some days I believe as humans we are fundamentally lazy, wired to take the easiest and shortest route to whatever base desire pops up. Often happens on days when the pirate of procrastination steals my day and leaves me dazzled with a handful of cheap and shiny distractions. I see it in apathetic, isolationist attitudes on trains, streets, in meetings and workshops—leave it to someone else to do something about it, or to work for it, achieve something. It’s seems easier to whinge than work.

Then there are those days when I’m brought to tears or face cracking smiles by the (wait for it) awesomeness (yes, there it is) of creativity, compassion, generosity and resilience of individuals, teams and communities who make their mark, make a difference and make things change. And yes, there are days when I put myself in the awesomeness tribe.

I don’t know the whole answer to finding a concordant me—that aligned harmony that I get when I am of one mind, heart and soul. Jury is still out on that one.

Though if you have been waiting and not doing anything for a while…

Why wait?

Just saying…

What am I waiting for right now?

At the moment, I’m waiting to break the habit of a lifetime, the habit of being busy for its own sake, mired in the mess that’s in front of me.  I’m not really waiting, that’s the problem. I’m trying to do something to learn how to wait better. To go with that dam(n) flow. Working class work ethic, entrepreneurial leanings and unquenchable curiosity are making it difficult, but not impossible to chillax and enjoy what I have. I have a wonderful, remarkable life, isn’t that enough?

Some days I get it right, and some days I feel like I will be the oldest person still wondering what I’ll be when I grow up. I guess I’ll have to wait till then. Nah, probably not.

What are you waiting for? Or do you need to get curious and get going? Time’s ticking people.

You could go with the flow and do something at the same time by downloading the journal exercise  “I Love, I Value, I Choose”. 

Thanks for reading.
And if you’d rather listen to me read the blog, head over to SoundCloud HERE


If you’d like some sneak peaks at my next book, sign up to my Book Friends list in the  website footer to get my irregular newsletter.

Finishing, fun and fitting in – lessons from cockatoos, cats, and dogs

Finishing the first draft of my second book is magical—for a moment—then it’s kind of, well, nothing. Having set aside the whole day to write, I’d been feeling a little weird all day, kind of shaky, gut churning.  And when I finished, well there it was, finished. And I immediately started to think about the  whopping amount of revision I would have to do, the next hill to climb. Sigh… Continue reading

Can you want something too much?

By something, I don’t mean that fabulous pair of boots you saw last week that will go with every outfit you own. I mean like wanting something that makes your head go crazy with excitement and anticipation every time you think of it.
For me, that’s wanting to write full time, in my own time, in my own space. To have people read my words, so that they land somewhere and mean something, make a difference to the way people think, feel, act and believe. Continue reading

Are you a gongoozler in your life?

Valerie Khoo and Alison Tait (from the podcast “So you want to be a Writer”) issued a word of the week challenge the other day. Use “gongoozler” in a blog post somewhere.

So how does gongoozler fit into a blog on living a conscious, joyful life? Tips on life, loss and my literary dreams. It fits very easily. Gongoozler means an idle spectator. And if you know me, or have read any of my blogs, you know that I consciously gave up being a gongoozler a few years ago. I decided enough is enough, time to learn to feel and heal, no more letting someone else drive, or working myself to death for someone else’s dream. I made a choice to change, to be a fully committed participant in my own life, and to follow my own dreams of writing. Continue reading

What’s your bold potential?

When I read the campaign theme for this year’s International Women’s Day I thought, brilliant! Be bold for change – be bold for change and take action – take action for gender parity – forge a better working world – a more gender inclusive world.

Why do we still need this, haven’t we achieved gender equality? That’s a big no! At the rate we are going, the gender equity gap won’t close entirely until 2186 – another 169 years.

Progress is still too slow for realising the full potential of one half of humanity within our lifetimes.

Continue reading

Getting better versus being good

As we madly set our goals for the year, could you consider choosing a getting better goal rather than a being good goal?

What I mean is, if you think about your goals in terms of getting better at something, rather than being good at it, then with every small change or action – whether we get it perfect, complete or not – we’re achieving our goal anyway – we’re getting better at it. Continue reading

Breathe in deeply, breathe out, repeat.…

So, I’m a published author, I made that dream a reality. What else is possible?

Breathe in deeply, breathe out.

If I can write and publish a book after dreaming about it for decades, then I believe anyone can. If I can survive sharing with the world the deepest hurt of my life and how I found my way home—what else is possible?

That’s what I kept asking myself just before I fell into a big emotional puddle the other day. Up to my neck drowning; again. Tears close to the surface, fear and anxiety rising, the joy disappearing under a tidal wave of overwhelm.

Breathe in deeply, breathe out.

Continue reading

What a difference a day makes

Yesterday this post was titled ” an ocean, a rowboat, and one paddle”. It was all about how if I’d know how traumatic it would be to publish a book, I might have changed my mind. You may never have got to read Breathing While Drowning: One Woman’s Quest for Wholeness.

It’s been almost a year since I finished the manuscript. The writing was an emotional roller coaster all on it’s own; reliving the 20-year-old journals I wrote to my daughter Jacqui Bree before and after her death at the age of four.

But if I thought that was tough…

Continue reading