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My Message Is Love
32 minutes | Apr 29, 2019
#39 - How To Meditate (Even When You Don't Want To) - Zack Shay Spirituality in Business Series
Hello and welcome!Today’s episode is called: How To Meditate (Even When You Don’t Want To)… and it’s me (Aoife O’Leary) in conversation with Zack Shay as part of her Spirituality In Business series!Today is also my 406th consecutive day of meditation.I have had a habit of meditation for many years, but it had previously been on and off - dedicated for a while, no meditation for another while – you know how it goes!With that kind of practice, though, it became really obvious to me how much better my life works with a practice of daily meditation than without.It still took me years to actually commit to a non-negotiable daily practice. That begs another question: why do we resist or not do the things we know will benefit us?And further… why is being still and silent in life considered strange in life, while being busy in like a badge of honour!?Anyway, the practice of daily meditation has been a game changer in my life and I was delighted to have the opportunity to talk with Zack Shay as part of her Spirituality in Business series and tell her all about it!We also talk about:- How to stop hustling and lean into the feeling- How to bring playfulness into your business and life to help it expand and grow- The choice I made that allowed me to truly commit to daily meditationI hope you enjoy this interview and I would be more than happy to answer any questions you have about meditation or anything else – feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org********Did you like this episode? And do you want to create a change in your life?Go here to find out how: http://www.mymessageislove.com/life-coachingYou might like these episodes too:#31 – Feel Like You’re Made For More Than The Life You Are Living? This Is For You…#26 – Sensitive And Creative? STOP Blocking Yourself!#20 – Live From A Place Of Love (Even On Bad Days)*********If you’re a writer and want to write a non-fiction or self help book? I’ve got a gift for you! A FREE writing course designed to help you do just that!You can get that here: http://www.mymessageislove.com/free-writing-courseIf you’d prefer to work with me 1:1 on your writing you can find out more about that here: http://www.mymessageislove.com/work-with-meFor any other enquiries, email me at: email@example.comAoifeMY MESSAGE IS LOVE*********Note:You might like these episodes too:#30 – What Is Book Coaching Anyway?#28 – Want To Write A Self-Help Book? Start Here…#7 – 7 Reasons To Write Your Book*********
30 minutes | Mar 14, 2019
#38 - Brilliance: Clear You Inner Obstacles & Let Your Authenticity Shine - Interview with Amy Lombardo
Hello and welcome!Today’s episode is called: Brilliance: Clear Your Inner Obstacles & Let Your Authenticity ShineA few questions for you:· What would it look like for you to live really authentically and be absolutely brilliant in whatever way you desire?· Do you feel disconnected at all from this potential, this brilliance?· What inner obstacles are blocking you?· What would it meant to clear those blocks and let your authenticity shine?I have a special guest interviewee today, and we’re going to talk about all of these things.Amy Lombardo is an author, an expert in personal growth curriculum development and a life coach. In her work, Amy specializes in blending ancient wisdom with modern coaching techniques to deliver programs – and results - that are heart-centered and powerfully practical.In 2016, Amy created the Brilliance Academy for Personal Transformation and Social Change to train and certify aspiring coaches in her integrative approach to empowerment.Her debut book, Brilliance: A Coaching Guide to Clearing Inner Obstacles and Letting Your Authenticity Shine, is in stores on March 26, 2019 and is available on Amazon.Enjoy this conversation that rolls around topics like:- the benefits of deep inner transformational work why it is worth moving through any initial discomfort to do it.- Amy’s guidance about what to do if you feel disconnected, or like you are “ticking over” in life and that the idea of “brilliance” is for other people.- What do to if you feel like you have a message you want to share in life, but feel anxious about promoting or marketing yourself or your work.- How to approach making a difference in life in a world that can seem so big and when it can feel like we are each “just one person”.You can find out more about Amy and her amazing work at http://www.amylombardo.com.Amy’s book “Brilliance: A Coaching Guide to Clearing Inner Obstacles and Letting Your Authenticity Shine, is due out in stores on March 26, 2019 and is currently available for pre-order on Amazon. (https://www.amazon.com/Brilliance-Coaching-Clearing-Obstacles-Authenticity/dp/1928055478/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1543184721&sr=8-1&keywords=brilliance+amy+lombardo)Thank you so much for being here and for watching/reading/listening.*********Want to write a non-fiction or self help book? I’ve got a gift for you! A FREE writing course designed to help you do just that!You can get that here: http://www.mymessageislove.com/free-writing-courseIf you’d prefer to work with me 1:1 on your writing you can find out more about that here: http://www.mymessageislove.com/work-with-meFor any other enquiries, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.orgAoifeMY MESSAGE IS LOVE*********Note:You might like these episodes too:#30 – What Is Book Coaching Anyway?#28 – Want To Write A Self-Help Book? Start Here…#7 – 7 Reasons To Write Your Book*********
20 minutes | Dec 13, 2018
#36 - Why Meditation Will Make You A Better Writer
Hello and welcome! Today’s episode is called “Why Meditation Will Help You Be A Better Writer.”It’s a buzzword, right? Meditation. You hear lots of people talking about it and swearing by it and saying it’s been life changing.Well, I go along with all that.I do swear by meditation and it has been life-changing for me. In this episode I’m going to tell you more about that. I also want to explain meditation in a way that is clear, gives a sense of how and why meditation might be important, and even life changing, for you and last of all I’ll give you a no-nonsense guide to how to give it a try.Now, straight off let me tell you that you don’t have to be a dedicated yogi or anything like it to do meditation. In fact, meditation is a practical support to mind mastery, relaxation, mental health and creativity – including, of course, writing.Meditation brings you into the present moment. It takes you out of the busy-ness of your mind and helps create stillness and in-the-moment awareness.Know what happens then? You find out what is really important. You start to hear “the signal within the noise”. You get clear about things like how you really feel that you realize you felt. Basically, you open to guidance that you wouldn’t otherwise hear.Mindfulness is an extension of that – it’s true presence, being in the moment in a visceral way. Honestly, how often do we do that? How often are we viscerally present? Not a lot, right? We spend so much time spaced out in our thoughts or thinking about what we are going to say next in a conversation rather than really, fully listening. Or we read a magazine while we are eating or we watch TV kind of half-heartedly.Meanwhile, we’re missing all the juice of life that is there to be savoured – especially in the “ordinary” like eating or talking or other normal parts of living. This “ordinary” is so often where that juice of life really is - especially for us writers and creators.Also, as creators, it’s so important for us to have clarity of mind, clarity of expression, be a true channel for what life is expressing through us. Those moments when we lose time, when we are so in the moment of what we are doing, so connected to those sparks of creativity, all that flow is part of being in alignment and connection with that energy and force of life – and this connection is what we foster through meditation.So let me quickly tell you about my own journey with meditation:For years and years I felt at the whim of my emotions – fearful, full of self-doubt, driven, passionate, anxious. Sometimes up, sometimes down…. Strong but scared. Very tiring.I was a meditation dabbler… for periods of time I was consistent, for periods of time I wasn’t, for periods of time it felt positively blissful, for periods of time it was a real pain. Sometimes it has felt bloody impossible to simply focus my breath for even one breath. Also, for periods of time I meditated in a kind of a transactional way, thinking “I’ll do meditation and that way I can line up with life and get what I want”. So yeah… all of that.Then this year on 1st Jan I became vegan. I had been vegetarian since I was 15 but for some reason being vegan felt like a big decision, and one that I took seriously as a commitment. Honestly, that choice changed me in multiple ways – one of which was meditation.I was doing daily meditation – ish. Then somewhere around March, following a gentle metaphorical kick from my friend – thanks John – I committed to a morning practice that included 20 minutes silent meditation. Every single day. Even if I had to get up at 5am to fit it in. Just sitting still and focusing on my breath -whether that was easy or hard or whatever. Committing to being present and connecting with the bigger part of who I am, who we all are.I did this as a commitment day in day out, not noticing much change. Then after a little while, I realized through noticing how I was reacting to – or not reacting – to events happening around me, that I had changed without even noticing it.For example, on school I was always panicky around exams, but when I did two exams this year for something I’ve been studying, I was calm and relaxed and sat chilled out before sitting for each of them. Easy breezy. And got exactly the top results I wanted. At times when people around me were angry or in situations where I would previously have felt anxious and emotional, I felt calm.When situations emerged for me to speak my truth, I did so before I even realized that I had.I also noticed that I have stopped wanting anyone to change or expecting anyone to be different.I attribute all of this to meditation, which I’ve been doing daily for about 9 months now.Ultimately it brings so much peace in life and, as an added bonus, feelings of deep love. But let me stay on track here.I want you to know that meditation is a tool that is available to you. It’s not necessarily easy for everyone at first, but when you commit to it – and really commit to it – the benefits are endless.We are so cavalier with our thoughts and our minds. We let thoughts run riot and unchecked in our heads, unaware or ambivalent to the fact that our thoughts have so much creative power in our lives.Thoughts lead to feelings. Feelings lead to actions. Actions lead to results. Results lead to beliefs. Beliefs lead to habits. We can do all of this automatically or we can be awake in our lives.Meditation is a way to wake up and be truly present to how and what we are creating.I guide my thoughts throughout the day, but there’s still a lot of nonsense that goes on in this mind sometimes, and I’m guessing your mind and my mind might be a little alike. Having a busy, creative brain is really cool, but sometimes my brain goes into idle thinking that is definitely not what I want to create from.Meditation is a practice that brings me, and can lead you, away from the busy-ness of mind to repeatedly return to your breath. This leads you to return home to the present moment, the now, out of all the noise and the thoughts and the self-identity and distractions of the world and home to the truth of who you are.Ultimately, it leads you to feel better, happier, calmer. It’s really cool.So with all of that in mind, I’m going to give you some simple options about how you might start meditating, the various types of meditation available – even if you think you don’t have the time or your mind is too busy or whatever else you may believe to be true right now!So there are multiple types of meditation – for example:Silent meditation – where you sit in silence for a set amount of time and focus on your breathMantra based – for example TM (Transcendental Meditation), where you focus on a sound or a word.Guided meditation – where someone leads you through a visualization or a sceneand so many more…However, this is your super simple guide to meditation so I won’t get too complicated. I’ll just break it down really simply and give you a starting point. Then you can dive in as deeply as you want from there yourself:So…1. Commit Everything begins with a decision. Decide to commit to mediation. If you’re nervous, you can just think “I’ll give this a go…” and decide to stay committed even if it feels silly or uncomfortable…2. Get comfortableFind a quiet space in a room that is not too warm and not too cold – or out in nature if you’re lucky to live somewhere with a gorgeous climate.Sit in a way you can easily maintain for a little while – sitting upright in a chair is good so that your back is straight, sitting cross legged is good if you are used to that. If you prefer, and are sure you won’t fall asleep, you can lie down.Make sure you won’t be disturbed – phone ringer and vibration off3. Start small Start with a few minutes of meditation only if you like – as little as 1 or 3 or 5 minutes.You can close your eyes, rest your hands gently in your lap. Breathe gently and focus your attention on your breath as it moves in and out of your body. Just notice and be aware of your breathing.You can choose a point to focus on in your body – your heart or the point between your eyebrows or the top of your head. You could focus on the point at your nostrils where the air enters/exits your body if you prefer.Sometimes I like to place my hand on my heart and imagine my energy expanding out into the room I’m in.Experiment with any/all of these things and see what feels best to you.4. Be patientThink of a car going at 120 miles per hour, when it’s going to stop, it takes time for it to slow down and stop. When your mind has been used to racing from thought to thought, it might take some time to slow down enough to be able to be still and quiet. Be patient with yourself in this. Buddhists often talk about “monkey mind” referring to the frantic nature of our thinking. This is natural – our minds are meant to think. However, in meditation you want to remove focus from your thoughts.One trick is to experience your thoughts as clouds – meaning that you see them, but just allow them to pass by without attaching to them.The world has trained us otherwise – to be reactive, to be ego-identified, to be dramatic and offended or angry or whatever. Most of us are not used to stepping outside this and being still. So please be patient with yourself as you retrain yourself and change this.Remember that it really doesn’t matter how often your mind wanders – it will wander. All that matters is that you keep bringing it back.5. Find what works for youThere are days that I feel really resistant to meditating. I now see these as the days I need to most of all! Usually, when I feel very resistant, I use music as a lead in, just as you would start to gently sing to a baby you were trying to calm down to encourage sleep.If you like you can choose music to mediate to – but ideally choose music without words (wo
29 minutes | Nov 29, 2018
#35 - How To Become A Creative Entrepreneur. Interview with Tracy Durrant.
For more about Tracy Durrant and her work, visit http://www.tracydurrant.comTo order Tracy’s book, “Plan It Now! Quit The Burnout Business and Become A Creative Entrepreneur” go to: https://www.tracydurrant.com/books-plan-now/********* Want to write a non-fiction or self help book? I’ve got a gift for you! A FREE writing course designed to help you do just that! You can get that here: http://www.mymessageislove.com/free-writing-course If you’d prefer to work with me 1:1 on your writing you can find out more about that here: http://www.mymessageislove.com/work-with-meFor any other enquiries, email me at: email@example.comAoife MY MESSAGE IS LOVE ********* Note: You might like these episodes too: #8 - Writing A Book Is Easier Than You Think!#31 - Feel Like You Are Made For More Than The Life You Are Living?#34 - Becoming A Freelance Writer - A How-To Guide to Pitching Articles & Getting Published *********
19 minutes | Nov 15, 2018
#34 - Becoming A Freelance Writer – A How-To Guide To Pitching Articles & Getting Them Published.
Hello and welcome to today’s episode which is called “Becoming A Freelance Writer – A How-To Guide To Pitching Articles & Getting Them Published” I get a lot of emails from those of you who want to submit articles to publications or be featured on podcasts or other media in relation to your work, particularly while you are working on your book.So this week’s podcast is all about that.I’m going to go through some steps to take, what research is important to do, the strategy behind your pitch letter and tips that have worked for me and for people I have worked with and various campaigns I have worked on. I’ll tell you a little bit about my background and the experience I have with this kind of thing and then we’ll jump in.But before all of that I want to say a couple of things about the mindset you might choose to adopt in approach to all of this.It can be so uncomfortable for many of us, myself included, to put ourselves “out there” in the world. It might be a fear of being judged or rejected, a fear of being more visible in the world or any other number of things. Sometimes, it’s simply not very nice when you share someone that means to you with someone and they say no.So here’s what can help:If you believe in what you are doing and sharing, stand in the truth of that – regardless of the outcome you may get.Next, focus on what you can give, on how you can help. When you genuinely feel like this and this is your focus, other people can feel it too. A generous and giving approach feels good to all involves. The opposite is when you are needing a particular response, trying to get something. That doesn’t feel good for anyone.As much as possible, be unattached to the response. Adopt attitude of possibility and curiosity. Do your best and be interested in how you can learn, adapt, change, improve your pitching and your suggestions.Again… don’t get disheartened when you get rejections. Notice I said “when” not “if”, because rejections will happen. Years ago I did acting training and actors get a brutal amount of rejections from auditions, but my teachers used to say to me. Remember that if you go in an do the audition of your life, blow everyone away, but Hamlet is cast and he’s 5 foot 4. If you’re 6 foot tall, they’re probably not going to cast you as Juliet.Sometimes what you are offering is just not what people are looking for for what they are working on at that particular time, no matter how good it is. That’s ok.Be patient, be persistent and your work will pay off.So, 60 seconds about my background in all of this. My training is actually in Journalism. I’m a qualified Journalist. I’m working, through My Message Is Love, as a book editor and book coach, a copy coach and an occasional copywriter. I write copy for myself and others, and I’ve worked on PR campaigns for my own projects over the years and for other people and companies and bands too. So I’ve have lots of experience pitching and getting articles featured and multi-media placements and all of that and today I’m going to help you with all of that too.So here is my advice for you:1. Get clear in yourself and your own brand.Know what you are all about. Know what you stand for, know what you have to share with the world, know who your work is for, know how you can help, know the story behind why you came to do what you do, know what is unique about you and what you do, know what your “zone of genius” is (that’s a term from the book, “The Big Leap”, by Gay Hendricks) and it refers to the areas where you shine, skills that come naturally to you, but that you absolutely love to do.Having this clarity is fundamental. The clearer you are in relation to yourself and what you want to promote and share, the clearer other people will be in relation to you and the more likely they will be to want to connect with you.So before you begin any pitching, be really clear about how you want to present yourself to the world.You can answer these questions in relation to your art or project or business or brand – or whatever it is you want to promote: What do you do? Who is it for? Who is best helped through your work?What do you I stand for?What is the story behind how you came to do what you do? (Your “why?”)What is unique about you and what you do?What is your “zone of genius”, those areas where you shine, skills that come naturally to you, but that you absolutely love to do? That’s your starting point. Get really clear and make sure all of this rolls off your tongue in conversation and that it’s obvious that you are absolutely grounded in what you are doing. If you believe it, we’ll believe it.2. Prep work - make your list.Start by making a list of publications and podcasts you would like to be featured on. Don’t think at this stage, just put everything down on the page.When you’re making your list of where you’d like to be featured, include the specific name and title of the people who are in charge of the area where you want to be featured – for example the contact name for the overall editor of the health and wellness section or something like that.Don’t rule out smaller publications and podcasts. When you’re featured in smaller publications, you build experience and your body of work. When you’re featured in smaller podcasts, you get practice doing interviews and can really improve as an interviewee.Also, a lot of these kinds of things can come down to relationships and connections. As people, we love to refer people we know, so mutually beneficial relationships are always a good thing.3. The researchResearch the people and publications you are targeting really, really well. Dig into their past issues and episodes, check for most regularly featured themes, see if there is an overall style of writing that they seem to favor, be alert and analytical.Research the contacts for the area you want to be featured in. Research the past articles your contact has written so you have an insight into what types of articles they’re interested in or if they have causes or hobbies that they are passionate about that you can weave in to your suggestions for articles in some way.Know which publications will most likely be interested in what you have to offer and which ones won’t and make an educated choice about where is best for you to target.Publications have a strict adherence to a brand ethos and will be very careful about who they feature, so do your research and make it a no-brainer that they feature you! 4. Drafting your pitch emailThere are a few key rules here:- make it personal- make it beneficial to them and their audience- make it easy to contact you- make it concise- make it clear that they can trust youSo let’s go through those key rules one at a time.“Make it personal” means to make it absolutely clear to the person you are contacting that you know all about their publication, who it’s for, what they are looking for in terms of articles and so on.Get a direct contact. I can’t over-emphasize the difference this makes. You can research people on social media, especially on LinkedIn. If necessary, make a phone call to or email the publication or podcast or wherever to confirm you have the right contact.Make it clear to them that you have a real interest and understanding and have done your research.“Make it beneficial to them and their audience” means that when you are suggesting articles or features you can create you are doing it with them - with the publication - in mind.Introduce yourself to them briefly and share what you are about in one or two sentences (as we went through in point 1).Suggest two or three ideas only of how you feel you could contribute for them in a way that will be really of interest and benefit for their audience.Generally, publications like when you can come up with a slightly different slant on something they are talking about. You can say something like “I notice some of your biggest features are in relation to X and Y. I have an idea for Z that introduces a new perspective on this.”Another thing you’ll notice from features in magazines is where an article is based on an overall theme and three or four perspectives are introduced through the stories of people who work in different areas of that.For example, an article might have a theme of introducing the business of coaching and might feature perspectives and life stories from a book coach, a fitness coach, a mindset coach and a financial coach. That sort of thing. So you could team with 2 or 3 friends or colleagues to pitch something like that to a relevant publication.“Make it easy to contact you” means to be sure that wherever you are asking people to link to or wherever you are asking people to call WORKS. Perfectly.If you’re including a link to your website, make sure it’s in the best shape possible and that all links work. Make sure that your best content or most worthy stuff - basically what you want them to see first - is prominently displayed.“Make it concise” is a rule that shows you respect the person you are contacting, that you respect their time and that you are, again, thinking of them and getting to the point of what you have to offer.It’s so much more valuable when people want to find out about you and go doing their research on you because you have piqued their interest and curiosity than including paragraphs and paragraphs about yourself that they haven’t asked for.Everything I have mentioned, really, ties in to “make it clear that they can trust you”. When you show you are well researched, that you have your ducks in a row in relation to your own projects and that you are thinking of their audience and that all the links you send them to work… that inspires a level of trust in you and your ability that is crucial when you are pitching.5. Remember to follow upEmails get lost. Other projects take over. Deadlines take priority.
23 minutes | Oct 31, 2018
#33 - It's Time To Write Your Novel! Interview with Megg Geri
Want to write a novel?This episode is for you!! Today I’m interviewing Megg Geri, novel writing coach and author of “How To Write A Novel in 30 Days”.Megg talks about things like:• the key elements necessary for a great novel• how to create characters that really “come to life” and that your readers can feel a deep connection with• the fears and stumbling blocks Megg notices most writers struggle with• when to begin building your author platform• Megg’s advice to authors who are at the very beginning and starting outMegg also has a special gift for you! Megg Geri’s Digital Surprise Kit - http://get.megg.me/digitalsurpriseYou can buy Megg’s book, “How To Write A Novel in 30 Days” here: getBook.at/megg********* Want to write a non-fiction or self help book? I’ve got a gift for you! A FREE writing course designed to help you do just that! You can get that here: http://www.mymessageislove.com/free-writing-course If you’d prefer to work with me 1:1 on your writing you can find out more about that here: http://www.mymessageislove.com/work-with-meFor any other enquiries, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.orgAoife MY MESSAGE IS LOVE ********* Note: You might like these episodes too: #2 - Writers Write - How To Find Your Reliable Creative Flow #7 – 7 Reasons To Write Your Book #8 - Writing A Book Is Easier Than You Think!*********
14 minutes | Oct 18, 2018
#32 - How To Be Productive And Make Progress When You’re Multi-Passionate And Hyper-Creative
Hello and welcome!Today’s episode is called: How to be productive and make progress when you’re multi-passionate and hyper-creative. Have you got a beautifully bionic creative brain – bursting with new ideas all the time, full of creativity and compelling you to go in multiple directions at once?Well, hello, my kindred spirit and friend! Today’s episode is for you!So… I can empathize. There are so many interesting and cool things to potentially spend time on in life, but the problem therein is if you go off following every idea you have, here’s what happens: not much.You can’t make proper progress with anything, that leads to you feeling unfulfilled and that so often leads to losing faith in yourself, feeling overwhelmed, getting demoralized…Saying:“I start things but I don’t finish them”“I have too many ideas and I don’t know what to focus on”“I’m completely overwhelmed”and so on…Well… today I am going to share what has worked for me and what I trust will be helpful for you too!First of all I’m going to tell you what you want to hear and then what you don’t want to hear.What you want to hear is that you can work on all the ideas that excite you.What you don’t want to hear is that you can’t do it all at once – you have to choose – or at least you have to choose if you want to progress and be effective.See, I have done that thing before of working on multiple projects at the same time and here’s what happens: everything moves at a snail’s pace and that is completely disheartening for people with fast-paced, creative brains like ours.Also, no project gets the attention and focus that it truly deserves – the absolute investment in it – and that’s just not a good idea, to do something that means to you in a non-committal way.So here are five simple tips about how to be at peace with your multi-passionate nature AND how to be productive within it:#1Embrace this creative, free-flowing part of yourself.Welcome it, enjoy it! Let it flow.Here’s what really helps me: I keep a notebook with me all the time and I fill each one up as I go about life - with new ideas for blogs/episodes for My Message Is Love, with music related ideas for new songs or videos, with ideas for a health-based project I’m working on. I jot down ideas for programs or businesses or even ideas for other people I know and their projects!! All of it!Putting all the ideas that come to me in a notebook really helps me feel like I’m going with the flow of creativity and noting whatever feels significant to me.Then what I do when I come to the end of a notebook is I take out the pages and I file the ideas for each project in a separate folder-specific project in my desk. So whenever I am devoting time to a specific project all the ideas I have been having are there in the same place.It’s so simple, right? But it means I can embrace and allow my daily creative free flow, I file the pages in project-specific folders and all the ideas are there for when I want to dive in to them.If you choose to do this, you can have different coloured pens to write the name of the project your ideas are for at the top corner of each page, so if you need to refer back to something you can easily find it.I never feel overwhelmed because I always know exactly what my priority is right now and that’s what I focus on – but we’ll get to that in point 3.So…Would this work for you? Or would it suit you better to use something digital like Trello or Evernote so that you can keep notes on your phone?What could you put into place to keep your ideas organized?#2Get rooted and grounded.Trying to do lots of things at once so that nothing really gets done and you feel frazzled (been there!) is a very unfocused way to be.What helps is really grounding and trusting.Meditation helps. Being in nature helps – especially walking on grass in bare feet or wading in the sea helps. Sitting on the ground and breathing.Life is happening right now in the present moment. Being off in another land in our minds can be fun, but can also feel a little ungrounded sometimes.Bringing attention to the present moment and really being here – you can even repeat to yourself, “I am here” – changes your energy and puts you in a better position to focus and to execute.As Louise Hay said: “The point of power is always in the present moment”So… what one step could you take to bring yourself more groundedness and rootedness in your life?#3Find the essenceSo you’ve got a whole load of creativity and interests, that’s great.But there is, I will bet, a signal in the noise. There is your mission behind doing whatever it is you are feeling called to me.This has been key for me. I used to feel pulled in all different directions with ideas, until I got this bit:Find the essence of what you want to express and create.So for me, my message is love. That’s it.My mission is to be, and to help you to be, a channel for Love in the Universe through being you and doing what you love and feel called to do – especially through writing.That’s very clear, right? This is the core element in anything and everything I do.All the projects I have and the work I do are based around writing, music and life.Obviously I can’t give each of these my full focus at the one time, so I have priorities within them. I work on My Message Is Love every day. I work on music every week. They give me a nice balance.Other projects, I work on usually in blocks of time periodically – just like I would if I was attending a course or something.This way I get to enjoy the variation, but I am very clear about what gets the lion’s share of my time and energy. Everything else is saved in folders for when it’s that project’s time to take centre stage – whenever that may be.I can’t tell you the peace of mind this clarity brings!So what is the essence of what it is you are feeling called to create?You may need to do a little free writing around this, stream-of-consciousness writing where you just let the pen flow. Start with phrases like: “What is really important to me in life is….” or “What I know I can help people with and share with people is…” and see if you can tease out what is driving you, what the essence behind what you are called to create is.#4Know that not every idea you have is meant to be followed through on – even when it’s a good one! I know that could be hard to hear because I used to resist this so much! But consider that maybe some ideas are meant to spark other ideas for us. Maybe we’re meant to enjoy being in the magic of life and creativity. Maybe some ideas are tapping in to the energy around you at a given time - I don’t know!But what I do know is that not feeling the need to follow through on every idea can actually feel like such a relief. You are then free to choose what you want to prioritise and work on now.Trust. That whatever you are meant to do will get done. That you are in the right place at the right time, and that everything is ok. No pressure.Maybe the other ideas get saved for later, maybe they get let go… but when you take the pressure off needing to execute on it all, you give yourself freedom to really execute on what matters most.So… what could you let go of?#5Clarity and CompletionClarity comes from doing, from experience. If you think of it, the reality of anything is almost always different to the plan for it or expectation of it.So you won’t know how you really feel about something until you are in the flow of it, in the experience of it.Here’s something else… as you gain clarity and experience and make progress, your confidence builds, you learn, you change and what you want changes and what your ideas lead to.You need a free and curious mind to do best creative work – so make sure to be open and to enjoy this process.It makes sense to focus and see the momentum build. Completion is so good for the mind and for building trust in yourself – and you can learn to execute and complete projects even quicker! Then you actually do get to do more!I find that 2 projects at a time is the sweet spot for me – any more and I get overwhelmed. I usually have one priority project and a second that I work on less. It seems to keep me interested but I also get to focus. And I can change the balance from week to week.So two questions for you…- Where do you have clarity about what you are creating or want to create?- Where do you want to gain clarity?Ultimately, he key is this: when you are welcoming your ideas and you trust yourself – you can know that whatever is showing up is showing up in perfect time and perfect way. As you save your ideas you can know they are there for whenever it is their time to take center stage - if they ever do. Not every idea needs to be acted upon –some ideas are a stepping stone to other ideas and creativity. That’s the nature of creativity - to flow. When you focus on what means most to you, you get more clarity, make progress and everything you do will support everything else. In the next few weeks I will have a podcast episode about creating habits – how to create the great new ones and easily dump the old, outdated ones. So definitely watch out for that!In the meantime, I hope that was helpful! Please do let me know how you get on…As always, I wish you LOTS of happy writing,Aoife xo********* Want to write a non-fiction or self help book? I’ve got a gift for you! A FREE writing course designed to help you do just that! You can get that here: http://www.mymessageislove.com/free-writing-course If you’d prefer to work with me 1:1 on your writing you can find out more about that here: http://www.mymessageislove.com/work-with-meFor any other enquiries, email me at: email@example.comAoife MY MESSAGE IS LOVE ********* Note: You might like these episodes too: #13 – How To Not Care What People Think About You (Or Your Work)#14 – Make A R
18 minutes | Oct 4, 2018
#31 - Feel Like You Are Made For More Than The Life You Are Living? This Is For You...
Hello and welcome!Today’s episode is called: Feel like you’re made for more than the life you are living? This is for you…I’m noticing a theme being very present for some of the people around me in life and online – and it’s definitely one that’s been present for me too from time to time.I hear people talking about their lives with dissatisfaction, saying things like:· I thought I’d be further along by now.· I’ve been working so hard but it doesn’t seem like I’m making any progress.· I can’t seem to create the changes I want in my life – nothing works.· I’m lost. I don’t know what my next step is.· I thought it would be different.Kind of an “is this it?” sort of a feeling.Maybe this is how you’re feeling now in your life, or maybe you know somebody who feels like this. Either way, you’re tuning in to a podcast called My Message Is Love, and my mission with My Message Is Love is to be, and to help you be, a channel for love in the Universe. Love, in this case, being a creative, expansive energetic force.So if you here and you resonate with that and you feel like you’re made for more than the life you’re living, then you ARE – and you can create that life. Everything begins in our imagination and from where we are right now. They’re the first two important parts – to acknowledge and be present with where you are and how you feel right now, even if that’s uncomfortable, and to envision where you want to go next, what you want to create… what you CAN create. We are more powerful than we feel – or than the Western World media and social systems want us to believe - and it is our energy, not money, that is the true currency in the world.Your energy includes your voice, what you stand for in the world – what you communicate through your life, your writing, through what you love to do, what means to you.So how do go about this? If you feel like you are made for more… how do you go about creating the change you’re wanting?Well, I’m going to share what works for me, as I continue to step more fully into being myself in life and being proud of the person I am, in the hope and trust that some of it will be valuable for you. I used to be so hard on myself, where nothing I achieved was enough, where I continuously worried about what others thought about me and tried to control their perception of me. I worked so hard at all I did and nothing I ever did or achieved was good enough for me.Skip to now, where regardless of how life looks on a daily basis in relation to any project or situation, I feel at peace and happy in my self almost every day of my life.This, unfortunately for us all, is not something that is truly valued in life. Imagine if I posted something like “How I made a million dollars in a week”, that would be a headline all over the place – that’s the sort of thing the world values. Fair enough. The truth is, though, that nothing at all feels like it matters unless we are happy in ourselves.So here we go!I’d love to hear how this resonates with you, by the way, so feel free to leave a comment on the blog – http://www.mymessageislove.com/blog-articles/made-for-more – or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Give yourself a break.Be kinder to yourself in the words you use to yourself and release the pressure you are putting on yourself.So often we would not tolerate someone else speaking to us the way we speak to ourselves. It’s time to cut that cruelty out and be loving in how we treat ourselves.It’s a matter of being here now.If you think of this moment… all time up to this moment, all of the people who have lived, all the actions they’ve ever taken, everywhere in the whole entire world … all of that has led to this moment right now. Life is as it is. So fighting against all that is going to feel really frustrating. Think of it: “I wish this moment wasn’t as it is!” That is pretty futile, because this moment is what is - is. Life IS.So your power lies, ironically, in surrendering to that. Accepting that you are where you are for better or worse. You may need to feel the feeling associated with that. You may feel upset or angry or that it’s not fair how your life is. Be honest about your feelings and feel them. Get professional help if you need to.Ultimately, you will get to a place when you can say, “Ok, so I’m here. Now… what’s next?”2. Get connectedIt’s kinda hard to create big change on our own. So many moving parts!But there is an infinite organizing energy at work – one that never ceases to amaze me!So when I spoke about how my mission with My Message Is Love is to be, and to help you be, a channel for love in the Universe…Love is that force of nature at work, of love at work, of expansion, of growth, of creativity. Named by different people as Universal Source energy, Divine Love, God… Whatever you call this energy doesn’t matter, it’s how you perceive and experience it that is key.When you feel more in connection with this Love, you enable it to work through you in your life and to help you create your deepest, purest desires.How do you do this?Prioritize making this connection.Take time in meditation, learning to quiet your mind and be stillSpend time in nature – in a forest or by waterDo what makes you feel in connection – gardening, playing an instrument…The idea is to quiet the thinking, reasoning, analytical brain and to create the space to just be.Eliminate “noise” and distraction from your life - newspapers, TV, gossip, alcohol etc. Notice in this moment how resistant you are to that suggestion…When you make a habit of cultivating this stillness and connection, you are more open and able to hear the guidance Life is whispering to you.You’re also moving away from the sense of being just an individual and opening to the idea of being part of life in a broader way, of a Oneness with life.We’re getting intuitive guidance all the time in life – when you feel the nudge to check out a course on the internet, or that “no, I’ll go this way” decision when you’re driving… That’s all the “bread and butter” type guidance – the basics.There is so much more available to you, but it means believing that is possible, and it means being open to receive it.When you’ve created the habit of being in stillness and being connected, here is where you can open to guidance about what you feel called to do or create, if you’re not sure what it is already.The truth is that it’s often less about WHAT we do and more about HOW we do it, it’s about us being ourselves – and that expression is the important part.If you feel you’re made for more, but can’t imagine what, look to your childhood – what did you love to do? what could you “lose time” at? Or what did you wish you could do that you never got the opportunity to?Give yourself that opportunity now! What things would you like to try now – doesn’t matter how random? Do them!3. Nurture yourselfTake care of yourself! Self-care is not something you do when you’ve ticked off everything else on a list, it’s what you do fundamentally to care for and support yourself on every level.You are worth caring for in a deep and thorough way and because, nothing in your life will work to it’s optimum unless you do!So I’m talking about everything from hydration, diet (lots of fresh vegetables), exercise, sleep to connection with people you love and who are good for you to be around, to play and adventure and fun and stimulation, new experiences. You know what you need. Take care of yourself. Only when your cup is overflowing can you easily give.4. Clear out the oldClear out what doesn’t serve you.These things can tend to naturally come to the surface to be released when you begin to take time in quiet, but you know what I’m talking about…Old hurts and resentments – heal them.Old thoughts and beliefs that no longer serve you – let them go.Worn out things, clutter, items you don’t need – throw them out.Habits that you no longer need – change them.You get the idea.Anything that isn’t for your highest good now is keeping you stuck in the past and you don’t need that. Shake it off.Now this, to my mind, is the “work”… this is the cutting out what is familiar and easy but does not serve you.It’s catching your habitual feelings and thoughts and shifting them. Again and again. It’s a pain. It may feel like it’s pointless. Then one day you will notice that it has all worked.We get so committed to our “stories” so if you’re new to this, know that they can be stubborn when you decide to change them, but you’re the boss of you! Be consistent and it WILL work.5. DecideDecide that you are going to create the changes you want in your life.Commit.Commit to going deeper into questioning, into learning, into doing. The answers are within you.You may want to write a book, share your life experience, make a documentary, start a business or disappear somewhere silent to meditate…Well, whatever it is, start by committing to it!This is your life and it’s happening NOW. Honour that, honour yourself, honour the desires you have.6. Take a stepWhen you have done the calming down, connecting, deciding and clearing out, it’s action time.Action is so much more effective when it is energetically aligned – when you are acting from a place of clarity and inspiration, rather than taking action to try to get a specific result.Do what you feel called to do.That might mean:You start by setting some time aside every day or every week to write. You book a desk in a co-creative space to start working on your business.You get your family on board to leave you alone for an hour every day to something creative.You invest in yourself and your vision by hiring a coach.You go to watch a basketball game or two before you take the step to sign up for a team.Your intuition will tell you what is the next
9 minutes | Sep 19, 2018
#30 - What Is Book Coaching Anyway?
Hello and welcome!Today’s episode is called: “What Is Book Coaching Anyway?”Writing a book is not a small endeavor.It's true.It's more than just the research or the writing of words or the doing the work or the putting yourself ‘out there’.Writing a book is potentially life changing.Why?It is because writing a book demands that you to look deeply into yourself and it calls for you to share your message and your creativity fully and energetically and unapologetically. It calls for you to overcome any fears or resistance - anything that has stopped you before now. It leads you to up-level and to go all-in.It's a transformational experience.(Read also: Writing A Book Is Easier Than You Think)It’s not just life changing for you, though. Think about the people whose lives can be helped through reading your book and through your work. Think of all the people you can reach through your book. Think of how their lives can be impacted through your writing and your work.When you have a deep desire to write a book you can feel it pulling at you and calling to you. You can feel the call to take the step and pour your time, your energy, your passion, your heart and your soul into writing.This core desire and yearning is a driving force that will ultimately fuel your writing process - and you have to really want to write a book, because there is time and energy involved in doing the work and following through. It can be an intense process.As I said, though, it is not a small endeavor. You have to want it.It demands a willingness from you to go deep, to be honest, to have faith and to trust. It demands being open to your intuition and inner guidance and being willing to follow this intuition and be guided. It demands creating a sacred space to create and setting boundaries that support your creativity.It’s normal to need a little help.When you're writing a book, it's normal to find yourself a bit stuck in parts. It’s normal to feel a tangible resistance around what you are writing or the writing process itself. It's normal to get so immersed in what you are doing that you can lose sight of where you are going or feel overwhelmed.This is where book coaching comes in.A Book Coach is someone who works with you throughout your writing process to support you, to help you troubleshoot any sticky parts, to keep you moving through any resistance and to keep you honest - honest both with yourself and honest in your writing.A Book Coach is someone who understands this process, having worked through it with authors before, and is someone who is perfectly placed to helping support you as you write your book and share your message with the world.Here's an example of how it works:At the outset of writing your book, you work through the practicalities of your book writing – what your book is about, who your book is for, what your message is, what is unique about your story and your message. You get crystal clear about where you are going in your writing process and how you want this to feel.Next, you map out your outline and get to work, generally have a coaching call at regular intervals throughout the writing of your book. On these calls, you work through whatever you need to in relation to writing your book.For example, this might mean going deeper into what you’ve written since your previous call, so you can work out what is key and what can be discarded or adjusted. It might mean focusing some attention on what’s next on your writing agenda.You might want to work on your tone of voice or the structure of the book if either needs to change in some way.Sometimes coaching calls can be a place to work through any fears or resistance you feel – helping to tease emotions out and get you back feeling good and in flow with your writing again.Coaching calls are a great way to prepare for areas where you anticipate feeling a little stuck – maybe more sensitive or personal topics or ones you feel resistance to writing. When you work on these areas in advance, not only do you get your ideas clear and focused, but you get your brain and energy lined up and pre-processing, which can serve to make the actual writing part much easier.You can also take some time to focus on building your author platform, the platform for your book, and to talk about how you can prime your audience to receive your book.Not least of all, book coaching gives you valuable accountability, keeps you on track and motivated and gives you an ally throughout your book writing process.Finding your creative flow.When you are willing to do this work, you find your unique creative flow. When you support yourself, you give yourself space for your writing to flow freely. In fact, when you anchor in to your creative process and what works best for you, you will be beautifully surprised by what opens up for you and where your writing leads you - and by how easy it is!Finding the right book coach.When you are intending to hire a book coach, a few things are important:- Make sure your book coach is experienced and is someone who you can trust. Find a book coach who has gone through this writing process before and who is able to properly support you throughout your writing journey.- Make sure your book coach is someone you feel a connection with. If you are working with a book coach on an ongoing basis on something as personal as a book, it’s important that this person “gets” you and “gets” the message you want to share with the world. Since you are reading this blog, I know that you are a creative and sensitive person, so it is important for you to be working with someone on an ongoing basis who you feel supported by and who you resonate with.- Do your research and feel free to set up calls with book coaches you are drawn to. Ask any questions you have. Make sure that you are on the same page and that you are a good fit for working together.- When you commit – commit! Go all in and really give your writing process 100%. Do the work. Show up. It’s an absolute blessing to create in this way and writing truly is sacred and special – so enjoy the process.I hope this is helpful for you!I get asked so many times about book coaching that I can barely believe it has taken me so long to write a blog about it!I am a Book Coach and if you are looking for a Book Coach I would be delighted to talk with you!You see, writing a book is deeply rewarding and transformational process. If you know it's for you, the time to start is NOW! Why wait?If you're ready to get started, CLICK HERE to find out how to work with me.Thank you for being here. I hope you learned something that is really helpful for you!I wish you lots of happy writing!Aoife xo********* Want to write a non-fiction or self help book? I’ve got a gift for you! A FREE writing course designed to help you do just that! You can get that here: http://www.mymessageislove.com/free-writing-course If you’d prefer to work with me 1:1 on your writing you can find out more about that here: http://www.mymessageislove.com/work-with-meFor any other enquiries, email me at: email@example.comAoife MY MESSAGE IS LOVE********* Note: You might like these episodes too: #16 - Book Creation - A Simple Step-By-Step Strategy #22 – How To Build An Audience For Your Book (Even If You Haven't Written It Yet!) #25 - Why You NEED Beta Readers For Your Book (... And How To Get The Best From Them)*********
12 minutes | Sep 6, 2018
#29 - How To Get The First Draft Of Your Book Done
Hello and welcome!Today’s episode is called “How To Get The First Draft of Your Book DONE!”I talk so often with people who feel deeply called to write a book.They tell me that have been thinking about it FOREVER, they might have extensive notes made – even if that’s just in their mind, they may have started writing… they really want to write their book.They say to me “I wish I could KNOW exactly what I need to do to get the first draft of my book DONE!”Well, your wish is my command!In this episode, I am going to outline a 7 step process – 7 things you absolutely need to know to get the first draft of your book done. I’m including an action step for each one and I have a free writing course for you too.Let's get to it!Step 1. Know your messageBe clear. In order to get the first draft of your book done, you need clarity and direction.Your message is like your mission statement. It’s the absolute crux of what you want to say.You might have a ton of stuff you want to share through your book – lots of knowledge to impart, loads of interesting stories to tell, but the message of your book is the through-line throughout everything you write, throughout your whole book.It’s what you want your reader to take away from reading your book.So consider this… @@What is the message of the book you are going to write?@@It could be something like this: “It’s ok. I know things are tough for you now, but this WILL pass. It will get better. You’ve got this.”Or it could be “You have all you need within you to get where you want to go. You are your own guru.”So what is the core message of the book you are going to write?Action step: Complete this sentence: “If there is 1 thing I would love for my reader to take away from reading my book it is that __________________________”Step 2. Know who you are writing forAgain, this point relates to clarity and direction. When you know who you are writing for and you know what your message for them is, you’re off to a fabulous start.So… be sure that you really know who your ideal audience is and know how you can help them.Ultimately, this involves having a deep understanding of who your ideal readers are, what the circumstances of their life are, what they are wanting to learn from you/what problem they want help solving.Really get to know your ideal readers and find out what language they use, what thoughts they think, what their deep feelings and motivations are. Understand what they need from you and how can you help them.Action step: Interview as many people as you can who are part of your ideal audience. Ask them questions, but mostly listen. Really get to know and understand themStep 3. Know your ‘why?’This is so important. Your “why” is your driving motivation, your fuel.It’s important to have a strong 'why?' Why are you doing this work for you? I know you want to help people, but that’s not the whole part of it. Why do you want to write this book? How does it benefit you?Knowing your deep why is something you can come back to when you hit demanding and/or challenging stages in your writing process. It can also serve as a sort of “north star” throughout your writing process, helping you stay focused and on track.Action step: Answer this: Why do you want to write this book?Step 4. Know what you want to includeWrite down everything you cannot write your book without including.Have a notebook and bring it with you everywhere you go and make a note of all the ideas that spark something within you in relation to your book.You can be selective in time, but when you are starting out you want to be wide open to ideas and inspiration and creativity in relation to your book.Once you set this creativity in motion, your mind will spark with ideas at random times and you’ll find inspiration from all sorts of things. Be prepared and make note of it all.When you have created this habit and you are in the flow of creativity, you will be receiving ideas all the time, making getting your first draft done much easier and much more fun.Action step: Buy a notebook and begin jotting down your ideas.Step 5. Know what stories you want to shareWhat personal stories do you want to share to help illustrate the points you are making in your book?Make sure you are sharing with your reader in mind. How is what you share going to help them more deeply understand your message or where you are coming from? How is what you share going to be inspiring for them?Knowing what you want to share – and why you want to share it – is really important and helps to allow you to be in a writing flow.Here’s something else to be clear about: Be clear about what you don’t want to share and where your boundaries are. What you don’t share is, arguably, as important as what you do share. (Here's a BLOG I wrote about story writing that will help.)You want to share in a way that is helpful for your reader, rather than sharing just for the sake of it. You also want to set boundaries about what you are share and stand behind.Taking the time to make these decisions will really support you in your writing flow and will support you in getting the first draft of your book done.Action step: As you note important messages you want to include within your book make notes beside them about what stories you want to share illustrate these points – and how they will help your reader.Step 6. Know your step-by-step strategyThere is a simple step-by-step strategy for writing a book, and this helps you by giving you a structure for your writing.This strategy guides you to outline your chapter titles and map out exactly what to include in each chapter.It’s basically the nuts and bolts of writing a book.I’ve created a course to walk you through this strategy for writing your book in clear and simple detail. The good news for you is that this course is completely Free – no strings. It’s called “How To Write A Self-Help Book”, but it adapts well for any non-fiction or memoir too, and you can get it HERE.Action step: Sign up for – and complete – the “How To Write A Self-Help Book” CourseStep 7. Start Writing!The only way to get the first draft of your book done is to start it! Start writing!!You writing is really important, because believe me when I tell you that you can make a real difference with your writing. You CAN help people and your voice IS unique in the world. So please do start!Action step: Write - even set a timer for 5 minutes today and do it! Write.There is so much more I could share with you, but I think that is plenty to get started!However, if you are absolutely ready to write your book and would like my help, I work 1:1 as a book coach and book editor. CLICK HERE to find out more about how you can work with me.Thank you so much for reading, and as always, I wish you lots and lots of happy writing.Aoife xo********* Want to write a non-fiction or self help book? I’ve got a gift for you! A FREE writing course designed to help you do just that!You can get that here: http://www.mymessageislove.com/free-writing-course If you’d prefer to work with me 1:1 on your writing you can find out more about that here: http://www.mymessageislove.com/work-with-meFor any other enquiries, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org********* Note: You might like these episodes too: #7 – 7 Reasons To Write Your Book #14 - Make a Real Difference With Your Writing#15 - 5 Secrets To Attention Grabbing Stories*********
12 minutes | Aug 22, 2018
#28 - Want To Write A Self-Help Book? Start Here...
Hello and welcome!Today’s episode is called: “Want To Write A Self-Help Book? Start Here…”You want to write a self-help book. Well, first off, I applaud you! I love your generosity of spirit and your caring, desiring to use your experience and knowledge to help others.I have read and learned from so many self-books, and have been involved in the writing process of quite a few self-help books at this stage, so I am excited to share this episode with you and tell you about why writing a self-help book is a little different and what you need to consider.So, first off, when I say “self-help” book, this is a pretty broad term – and it can include books that involve more of a memoir aspect, or more of a “how to” aspect or something else.For example, I read a lot of metaphysical books or books about neuroscience and psychology, and some of them could loosely fall into the “self-help” genre.With that being said, here are the five elements that I believe make writing a self-help book a little different.So let's take a look at them today:1. The Element Of Transformation.Generally, in a self-help book, the author is guiding the reader through a transformational process and aiming to inspire or guide the reader to believe that they can create a change in his/her life.So it’s about an experience.You, as the author, are establishing yourself as an expert or an authority. Don’t be put off by that word, ‘expert’, because you only need to be a few steps ahead of the person you are teaching in order to help them. In fact, if you were too far ahead of them in your journey, it may be difficult for them to relate to you.If you're not comfortable with the words "expert" or "authority", a better word for you might be, "experienced". You are setting yourself up as being experienced in this topic you are writing about.Whatever word feels right to you, it’s important for you to stand strong as a writer and to share with truth and with confidence. This can help your reader feel confidence in you and have faith that you can guide them through the transformation you are outlining in your book.This leads us to the next element:2. The Element Of ConnectionThe best way to create connection and engagement is through stories. You can tell your own stories or you can tell the stories of your clients.Share with honesty and integrity, with vulnerability - but share with strength. Share simple truth. (You can read more about how to make a difference with your writing in this BLOG)Share stories that support the message you want to share, the emotions you want to generate.You may want to share stories that communicate your understanding of a situation your reader may be in and that help your reader generate the belief and faith that they have the ability to create the change they are wanting.We are emotional creatures. As Abraham-Hicks says, “Words don’t teach, only experience teaches.” Well, through your words and your stories – your experience - you can create an experience in your reader, you can inspire them.3. The Element of TrustConnection involves the elements of deep engagement and trust. It’s important that your reader trusts you.How you tell your stories is an important factor in building trust. (Here's is a link to a BLOG I wrote about writing compelling stories.)You can share your truth in a way that inspires your reader. This generally means that whereas you may share honestly about some difficulty or adversity you experienced, you keep your focus on the overcoming of it, with a view to inspiring in your reader that they can too.I hope that makes sense.By all means, share what you feel called too, but if it’s a self-help book you are writing, the focus is ultimately on your reader, and what your reader takes from a story, how it supports them. Remember the element of transformation?So consider this as you tell your stories. How can you share in a way that your reader trusts you, trusts that your intention is to help them through your writing and trusts that you can guide them through a process of change. 4. The Element of IntegrationIt's important to take into account that as you share and expand upon your experiences and ideas throughout your book, your reader is learning and growing.You see exercises included in self-help books as a norm, with good reason. Usually, there is an exercise section at the end of each chapter.The reason for this is so that your reader has the opportunity to really integrate your teachings and guidance.Take time with creating this section of your book – really consider what questions might be most helpful to ask your reader and how you can ask similar questions from different angles.Also, bear in mind that we all learn in different ways – auditory, kinesthetic, visual. So you can incorporate these elements into your exercises too.For example:Auditory = provide a meditation or a link to a playlistVisual = encourage your reader to draw a picture or create a vision boardKinesthetic = get your reader to do some journal writingYou get the idea... If you don't want to include an exercise section at the end of each chapter, you might consider linking to additional content on your website - maybe including videos, interviews, recipes, quizzes or whatever is relevant to your book topic…Ideally, the exercises you provide will allow for a real deepening of understanding and questioning, even, on the part of your reader.If you don't want to include exercises, that's ok. However, it might be good to consider how you can really be sure your reader is integrating your teachings or writing to their best benefit. 5. The Element of FaithUltimately, in a self-help book, the ideal is to inspire your reader, so that they find the faith in themselves to create the change they are longing for.I like the idea of “borrowing proof”. For example, a reader may not have first-hand proof that a transformation is possible from their own personal experience, but through your stories and experience and, where relevant, the stories and experience of your clients, your reader can “borrow the proof” that transformation is possible, until such time as they have their own, personal proof.Cool idea, right?Of course, throughout your writing, you can speak to your reader in a way that shows you have respect for them and you have faith in them and in their ability to change. They can then borrow that too!So those things – the elements of transformation, connection, trust, integration and faith – are particularly important when writing self-help books.There's lots more I could share, but, obviously, there's only so much I can share here.To help you further, I have a few resourcesI have a free writing course, called “How To Write A Self-Help Book”, that will walk you through the step by step process for writing a self-help book.In my next episode, I will be sharing “7 Steps To Get Your First Book Draft Done”, so be sure to watch for that. If you are ready to jump in and write your self-help book, and you want 1:1 support, I would love to help. You can find out more about how to work with me HERE or you can email me HEREThank you so much for reading. I so deeply appreciate you being here with me. Wishing you lots of happy writing,Aoifexo P.S. Here are those links again: For the free writing course, “How To Write A Self-Help Book” CLICK HERE To find out more about how to work with me 1:1 CLICK HERE************ Note: You might like these episodes too: #7 – 7 Reasons To Write Your Book #8 - Writing A Book Is Easier Than You Think!#15 - Secrets To Attention Grabbing Stories *********
9 minutes | Aug 9, 2018
#27 - 7 Secrets to Kick-Ass, Heart Centered Copy
Hello and welcome!Today’s episode is called: “7 Secrets to Kick-Ass, Heart Centered Copy”Whether you’re a writer, an entrepreneur or a creative in any form, you’re probably going to need to write copy at some stage – for your website or your blog or articles to publish to promote your work or your brand.Writing copy can feel daunting – how do you find those magic words to capture the essence of what you do and really connect with your ideal audience?Well, There are guidelines for creating really great copy, no matter what kind of copy you are creating. Let’s face it: regardless of the type of copy you’re creating, you want your copy to be a few key things - interesting, engaging, easy to read and able to clearly communicate your message in a way that resonates with your ideal audience.You want to create copy that makes your audience eager to find out more about who you are and what you do. You want copy that makes people want to learn from you and work with you. You want copy you can really stand behind and be proud of.So what are these magical guidelines for creating your own, kick-ass, heart centered copy?Read on…!1. Identify the core message you want to share.The first thing to do is to get really clear about the intention behind the copy you want to write and identify the core message you want to share. This is a bit like finding the kernel of everything - the one sentence version of your copy. What would you like people to learn or take away from reading your copy?So, for example, in this copy, my core message to you is that you can write your own kick-ass copy – and that I can help by giving you some guidelines.2. Keep your ideal reader in mind.Ultimately, someone reading your copy has this in mind: “what’s in it for me?” If someone is reading your copy, they’re not doing it so you can feel good, they’re doing it out of their own interest, or because they feel they can get something from it/you.So write with the benefit to them at the top of you mind… how can you help your ideal reader through what you are sharing?For example, in this copy, I am putting my focus on giving you tips about how to write better copy - copy that can help you share your creativity or your work or your brand. My focus is not on all the reasons you should listen to me, or anything about me at all, really. I’m focused on you.3. Get clear about the key points you want to share.What are the key points you want to make in relation to the copy you’re writing?Make sure you are clear about what you want to say and then communicate it in a logical, easy to follow way.Feel free to include some elements of storytelling, either as an intro to your copy or to illustrate a point, but do so in a way that is relevant, interesting for your reader and engages with them.For example, in this copy, the points are numbered and specific and concise and everything you need to know to get started with your copy. There is a whole lot more I could tell you about creating copy, but more about that later.4. Remember that less is more.It’s better to work with one overall idea and communicate it well than overwhelm people with too much information or leave them confused.Take out any filler or fluff and really get to the meat of your message, so to speak. Keep your copy concise and easy to read. Simpler is better.For example, in that very point, I’ve told you what is important in as clear and concise a way as possible.5. Make it personalWhen you’re creating copy for a personal brand it’s important to show your personality.Sharing stories that illustrate the points you are making can really help your reader understand your message more and feel more connection with you.If stories aren't so appropriate to your copy, you can still be sure to write conversationally and with warmth - to write as you speak. Let your reader feel like you are speaking to them as you would a friend.(Also: check out another blog I wrote: 5 Secrets to Attention Grabbing Stories)For example, in this copy, I’m writing to you in the same way I would speak to you if we were chatting about copy while having a cup of tea.6. Make your copy visually appealingSimply put:DO: Format your copy clearly so it is easy for your reader to follow.DON’T: Create packed up, long paragraphs of text. These feel overwhelming to a reader.DO: Allow for lots of white space between paragraphs – visually this gives a feeling of space and ease of reading.DON’T: Use language that is too complicated or academic (unless, of course, that is appropriate). Write simply and clearly and draw your reader in.DO: Create headings that explain what is coming next in your copy. If someone has a little time they can skim the article and then come back later to read it in full.So, for example, in this copy, you can see how the headings are all in bold, there is lots of white space and the paragraphs are short. This is all designed to make this blog as easy for you to read as possible.7. Write for where you are nowIt’s so easy to get caught in procrastination, wanting to make copy perfect before we share it. However, the creative flow involves flow – and flow involves not just creating, but also sharing your creativity with your audience.Write for where you are now in your journey. Life is ever changing and your copy will be a living, breathing thing that you can update as you go.Here’s what I say to anyone who is prone to getting stuck in procrastination: get started. Clarity comes through doing, through taking action – as do progress and momentum.Finally, I am writing for where I am now, completing my creative flow, and sharing with you, trusting that this will be helpful for you.So there you go..!They are your 7 secrets to kick-ass, heart centered copy.Please believe me.... writing your copy can be easy, can feel fun and can really communicate what lights you up in a way that lights you up! When you write in this way other people can feel your passion and enthusiasm too – and they are drawn to you.Writing is my jam! I have lots more secrets about how to create your own kick-ass, heart centered copy to share with you in my course: "Create Your Own Kick-Ass, Heart Centered Copy".Thank you for being here. I hope you learned something that is really helpful for you!I wish you lots of happy writing!Aoife xo********* Want to write a non-fiction or self help book? I’ve got a gift for you! A FREE writing course designed to help you do just that! You can get that here: http://www.mymessageislove.com/free-writing-course If you’d prefer to work with me 1:1 on your writing you can find out more about that here: http://www.mymessageislove.com/work-with-meFor any other enquiries, email me at: email@example.comAoife MY MESSAGE IS LOVE ********* Note: You might like these episodes too: #1 - Read This And You Will ALWAYS Be Inspired To Write #15 – 5 Secrets To Attention Grabbing Stories #24 - The Psychology of Social Media Content For Your Book, Business or Brand*********
11 minutes | Aug 8, 2018
#26 - Sensitive And Creative? STOP Blocking Yourself!
Hello and welcome!Today’s episode is called: “Sensitive And Creative? STOP Blocking Yourself!”Sensitive and creative? Me too!I know what it’s like to walk into a room and immediately sense the emotions, moods, humors and relationships of the people present within it. It’s one thing to understand that as an adult, but it’s really overwhelming for a child.I was a sensitive child. I was brought up in a family and in an area with the workers of the world – the teachers and nurses and office workers and shop workers. The workers.I always knew that I wanted to sing. As a child I was always singing and that was fine, but something seemed to change as I grew up. When I was an older child or young teenager and people asked what I wanted to do with my life and with full enthusiasm I would say, “I want to sing” I could sense that that answer was the “wrong” one.Well-meaning adults would tell me that singing was something that was fine to do for fun, but it wasn’t realistic to think that I could be a singer and that I needed to do something else for a real job.I noticed that when I would be saying “I want to sing” I felt all excited and enthusiastic, but after whatever conversation that followed, I would feel down.As a child I didn’t know that whatever advice an adult gave was an extension of their beliefs projected on to me. I didn't know that just because something was true for them didn’t necessarily mean that it was true for me. I didn’t know that I didn't have to take those beliefs on as my own.I didn't know so I believed them.I did what they said. I stopped singing.I went to college and a couple of years later ended up working in sensible jobs, mostly in offices, absolutely miserable. I would find myself crying on the way to work and on lunch breaks and feeling anxious most of the time. All of this led me to think: “What is wrong with me? Why can’t I just be like any normal person and just get on with life? Why do I have to be so emotional?’’It didn’t help that this was the advice I got from, again, well-meaning friends and family: “Stop being so emotional. Just get on with it!”So I did my best to get on with it but things just got worse. I felt worse. I got more and more down.Thankfully, this led to a fair bit of introspection and, ultimately, I came to understand what had happened: I had given up on my dreams.I had placed more authority on what others felt (a common trait among sensitives) and had abandoned what I felt and what I wanted.I came to realise that a few years had gone by with me being unhappy and getting unhappier not doing what I really wanted to. It dawned on me that if I didn’t do something about it years more would go by in the same way.So I decided to sing.I took a first step and another step I kept going. I was scared and unsure but I kept moving forward and my life changed.Over the next few years I played shows all over the States and Europe, recorded albums, made videos, had crazy-cool experiences in my own band, singing my own songs and now I am about to begin a brand new adventure – my solo project.So here’s why I am sharing all of this…Since I’m beginning this new project, I’m back at the point of following new dreams and setting new goals. It’s exciting and fun – and yet the same old, familiar doubts and fears and thoughts seem to emerge. Now I know differently, though. I think something I learned from author, Sonia Choquette, when those scary thoughts come up. I think: “That’s just my barking dog!” and I move forward.I move forward because there are some things I now know:Ignoring yourself to create outer accord creates an even greater discord within.When you are not respecting and being true to yourself you are, in effect, saying, “I don’t matter here. My feelings, needs and wants don’t matter. What is more important is you want and how you feel. That is more important to me and than me.”When you don’t allow yourself do what you want to, you are hurting yourself. When I was refusing to allow myself sing, I was trying to fit in with what people around me expected of me. I was trying not to stand out or risk being rejected. In that attempt to fit in I was enforcing the ultimate self-punishment – not allowing myself do what I loved.When I talk to authors and budding authors – people who are yearning to write a book – they so often tell me that they feel blocked by their thoughts and fears and doubts.They’re missing something, though.You see, they think it’s all about them. We think it’s all about us. We think we are small.We think we are just one person trying to carve out time, energy and determination to write a book or do whatever it is that means to us.Really, it is much more than that. Life is so much broader than that.Our impulses and desires are life. They are life force energy wanting to be expressed through us.Life is creating through us, for us and for the growth and expansion that will be involved throughout our creating and for others who will receive our work and whose healing and expansion will be triggered and encouraged by it.I know – it’s a deep concept. It’s the absolute truth and very practical, though.So I say STOP blocking yourself!Right now!Here are 8 simple steps to help you with this:1. Reclaim your dreams! So many of us have lost touch with what we truly desire because we have deemed our desires ridiculous or unachievable – and it hurts too much to want something we don't belief we can get.Here's the thing, though - beliefs are just thoughts we keep thinking and give weight to. These beliefs lead to patterns of behavior and are further reinforced by situations created from these patterns of behavior - like when you may have had cold water poured on your dreams by people you trusted.Reclaim your dreams! This is your life and it is happening now and life is for living. Going for things you want is part of the fun!2. Make a decision. Decide to change. Decide what you want. Decide to go for it. Decision is powerful and precedes action. But you have to decide. So decide.3. Commit to your decision. Write it on your wall, post it in your car and your wardrobe and your bathroom. Tell people who will support you.Act in accordance with it.If you like, you can start with setting time aside each day to envision what you desire. When you do this, just watch the energy begin to pull you towards it, gift you with ideas and encourage you to bring your vision into form.4. While you’re at it you may as well decide a few other things: Decide to enjoy this. Decide to be light about it. Decide that the work is play. Decide to enjoy the process.Our minds are powerful things and you may have heard of “confirmation bias”, where we tend to confirm things that we believe to be true. So what would you rather be confirming for yourself? Decide!5. Focus on the picture not the frame. I’ve spoken about that before in this blog: How To Not Care What People Think About You (Or Your Work). Focus on your work and why you’re doing your work. Your message or your art. That’s where the real joy and the pleasure is.6. Baby steps. Break what you are doing into small and manageable steps. Do what can you every day.7. Stay consistent. You can help yourself by getting support – I can help (CLICK HERE to find out how to work with me 1:1) or get an accountability partner (you can read more about that HERE).8. Have your own back. Be kind to yourself. Applaud yourself for every step you take. Stay on your own side. Remember the work is play. Remember you are wonderful and courageous and that you do matter and your desires and dreams do matter. Life is for living!It’s a beautiful thing to be a sensitive soul in the world. We get to feel and experience all the gorgeous subtleties of life.What’s vital, though, is that we learn to set and maintain healthy boundaries and that we take good care of ourselves.I hope this blog has been really helpful for you and I would love to know what your desires and dreams are!! Please post them in the comments.Wherever you are on your sensitive and creative path I am cheering you on! You are my kindred spirit friend!Thank you for being here and thank you for listening and reading.As always, I wish you lots of happy writing!Aoife xo********* Want to write a non-fiction or self help book? I’ve got a gift for you! A FREE writing course designed to help you do just that! You can get that here: http://www.mymessageislove.com/free-writing-course If you’d prefer to work with me 1:1 on your writing you can find out more about that here: http://www.mymessageislove.com/work-with-meFor any other enquiries, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.orgAoife MY MESSAGE IS LOVE ********* Note: You might like these episodes too: #13 - How To Not Care What People Think About You (Or Your Work) #14 – Make A Real Difference With Your Writing #23 - How To Get Comfortable With Being Vulnerable - Interview with Author Melissa Venable*********
11 minutes | Aug 8, 2018
#25 - Why You NEED Beta Readers For Your Book (... And How To Get The Best From Them)
Hello and welcome!Today’s episode is called: "Why You NEED Beta Readers For Your Book (... And How To Get The Best From Them)"So you’ve been writing your book. You have your first draft done. Maybe you even have your first draft edited.So... when you have your first draft written, what is next?Well, this is the part where you begin to share your book with others to get their feedback. It’s Beta Reader time!But…· What is a Beta Reader?· Who would make the best Beta Reader for your book?· What should you ask or expect of a Beta Reader?· Why do you need a Beta Reader at all?· How would you even find Beta Reader… and do you have to pay them?Well… in today’s blog I am going to answer all these questions and more!So let’s jump right in!What is a Beta Reader?You’re probably familiar with the term “Beta” meaning that something is still in testing mode, not let launched.Well, a Beta Reader is someone who will read your manuscript while it is in draft mode and give you feedback, in varying degrees of detail, which is usually decided between the two of you.A Beta Reader is not the same as an editor. In general, a Beta Reader will be reading through your manuscript, giving feedback about specific sections or chapters, whereas an editor would go through your book line by line, making specific corrections (depending on the type of editor, obviously).Who would make the best Beta Reader for your book?Well, ideally you are looking for a Beta Reader who would actually be interested in reading or buying your book – someone who would be part of your target audience. However, there is also value in including people who are not naturally part of your target audience, but who are keen readers and clear thinkers.You want to engage Beta Readers who are reliable – people who will read your manuscript within the time periods you outline and who will provide feedback in the ways you request.Ideally, your Beta Readers will naturally enjoy reading, have a great command of the English language (or whatever language you are writing in) and be unafraid to provide you with clear, honest, blunt but fair constructive criticism.What should you ask or expect of a Beta Reader?This is something that is not set in stone.What information would be helpful for you to know at this stage of your project? Do you want to make sure the information you are providing is easy to understand for your reader? Do you want to confirm that your ideas flow and that build naturally upon each other? Do you want to find out if your book is engaging or if your reader’s attention wanders?Get really clear about what information you most need and set up your Beta Reader agreements around that.What time frame do you want your readers to complete reading and critiquing your manuscript within?There are two options that I recommend most, depending on your preference:1. You can ask your Beta Readers to read a chapter of your book at a time and then fill out a short questionnaire at the end of each chapter to identify which sections were clear or confusing, how they enjoyed the chapter, what you could do to improve it and so on. Some writers like this approach because they have naturally segmented the feedback in chapter-by-chapter form from each beta reader.2. Provide your full manuscript in Google Drive and give your Beta Readers access to it so that they can make comments and ask questions throughout. This can be less demanding of a Beta Reader and suits a writer who prefers to edit in a less segmented way.Ultimately, it depends on what you feel is the best way for you to get the information and feedback that you want.Setting Time Constraints and Giving DirectionDefinitely time constraints are key. You want any Beta Reading to be done within a fair, but timely, fashion.Make sure to instruct your Beta Readers. Be clear. Say to them “I would love to know if my ideas are clear and if the book feels actionable overall – if it puts you in a place where you are clear about your next steps to move forward. Can you give me your feedback on this?”Why do you need a Beta Reader at all?It’s absolutely crucial to get objective, critical feedback about your writing.When we are writing reading our own words – especially over and over again –we are so familiar with our themes and topics that the points we are illustrating make perfect sense to us. That does not necessarily mean that the same is so for our readers.A Beta Reader can pinpoint where more detail and explanation is needed in a point you are making for added clarity or where a more concise approach would do.Also, our eyes can gloss over simple, seemingly obvious, grammatical errors that are there in front of us in plain sight.Believe me, I write this blog every week and I check and check again and STILL I find myself publishing a blog to only later find errors I hadn’t noticed previously – and I am pedantic when it comes to things like this.For a (good) Beta Reader these discrepancies jump out.How many Beta Readers do I need?It’s important to have multiple Beta Readers for your book – definitely a minimum of 4 and maybe as many as 6 or 8 readers. The final number is your choice. Sometimes, even with the best of intentions, life happens and a Beta Reader may not decide to, or be in a position to follow through for you. Best to have multiple readers in case this happens.You’ll notice that when you have a few readers giving you feedback you can start to notice patterns in what they say. You can identify which sections or chapters are resonating most with them or which are confusing. This gives you great insight into how your writing is being received by your reader and you can make adjustments accordingly.Similarly, if you get completely different feedback about a section or sections of your book you can dig deeper to ask why this is happens and see what you can adjust within these sections, as necessary.How would you even find Beta Reader… and do you have to pay them?So, first of all, you probably know some of the most obvious choice for your first Beta Readers. Who are the people you talk to about writing your book? Either in real life or online?For example, my sister would be my first choice for a Beta Reader for me. We talk about writing all the time, we are both avid readers and writers. I trust her judgment and I know she would be honest. Additionally, I have online friends who are business owners and readers – and who would make excellent Beta Readers.Which people do you have like this in your life? Engage 1 or 2 of them to be your Beta Readers.Ideally, you want to also include Beta Readers who do not know you personally. A great place to find people like this is in – again, online or offline – writers groups and forums. Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups… Wherever you find writers you have potential Beta Readers for your book.Online or offline writers communities are great too and there are some dedicated Beta Reader sites you can check online – namely www.scribophile.com and www.wattpad.com and www.goodreads.com. (I don’t have affiliations with any of these sites and provide their names purely for information.)Generally, Beta Readers are unpaid, but you can offer some payment if you want – or see if there is some way that you can trade services. Maybe if your Beta Reader is a fellow writer you can return the Beta Reading favor at some stage.Ultimately, this is all your choice and something you can talk to your Beta Readers about. It’s good practice to thank them in your book acknowledgements section anyway!Receiving CriticismFinally, it can be difficult for some writers to receive criticism of their work. One way to lessen this is to ask your Beta Readers to give their impressions of how the book manuscript felt to them. For example: “At this point I felt really engaged… At that point I found myself confused…”You can ask them for their honest feedback and accept this as their impression or experience of what you wrote and be open to learning rather than feel criticised.You can always ask your Beta Readers for more information if you wish.Remember that their work is going to make your book all the better. Best to be open and receptive to constructive criticism.So there you go! Your complete overview of what a Beta Reader is, why you need them and how to get the best from them!I hope that this has been really helpful for you.As always, I thank you so much for reading and I wish you lots of happy writing!Aoifexo********* Want to write a non-fiction or self help book? I’ve got a gift for you! A FREE writing course designed to help you do just that! You can get that here: http://www.mymessageislove.com/free-writing-course If you’d prefer to work with me 1:1 on your writing you can find out more about that here: http://www.mymessageislove.com/work-with-meFor any other enquiries, email me at: email@example.comAoife MY MESSAGE IS LOVE ********* Note: You might like these episodes too: #10 – Self Publishing vs Traditional Publishing. Your Questions Answered! #22 - How To Build An Audience For Your Book (Even If You Haven't Written It Yet!)#24 - The Psychology of Social Media Content For Your Book, Business or Brand*********
8 minutes | Aug 7, 2018
#24 - The Psychology of Social Media Content For Your Book, Business or Brand
Hello and welcome!Today’s episode is called: “The Psychology of Social Media Content For Your Book, Business or Brand.”Creating social media content is one thing, but it's another to create content that does what's it's meant to - i.e engage! Content that is really valuable and interesting for your audience, that is fun and that connects and resonates with them, while being fun for you to create at the same time!Sounds like a lot, but trust me - today's blog will help!I'm going to dive into the fundamental human psychology behind content creation and give you lots of ideas for what kinds of content you can create to connect with your audience and build your book platform, business or brand.Now, there is a lot of information in this blog so definitely read everything with a mindset of “How can I make this work for me?” or “How might I adapt this to work for me?’ to get the most out of it.Before you begin any social media content creation strategy you MUST get really clear about two things:1. Want do you want to say? (i.e. What do you stand for?)2. Who you want to connect with?This here could be a whole blog all it's own!Really getting clear about what you want to share and who you want to share it with will mean you are better able to create a social media strategy that is focused and cohesive. This makes everything you're doing more charged and clear - whether for your target audience or for other people who don't fall in to your main demographic.Trust me on this and do take the time to answer those questions.Next is a huge key to audience connection:It's about the principal modes of learning. Basically, we all learn in different ways and there are 3 key modes of learning: visual, auditory and kinesthetic.These are pretty self-explanatory – we learn by watching how something is done (visual) or we learn by listening to an explanation of how something is done (auditory) or we learn by doing something ourselves (kinesthetic).Obviously, we learn through a mix of all 3 of these modes of learning, but ordinarily each of us is more dominant in one than the others.For example, my preferred mode of learning is auditory. I’m a musician and songwriter so that probably stands to reason. I love to put on a training video and then do something like clean a room or something. I don't bother watching the training, but I find that when my body is focused on a robotic task like tidying up my brain really focuses intently on what I am listening to and I learn really well.Do you know what your preferred mode of learning is?You may be wondering how this relates to content creation...Well, it means that it’s important to create a few types content so you can connect with the widest possible amount of your audience. This serves the duplicate purpose of providing variety and a demonstration of your authority in relation to your topic.So what types of content can you create to connect with your audience?Some examples of Visual content are...· Video clips of interviews or demonstrations or similar· Photographs (or yourself or of something that is meaningful to you or your audience)· InfographicsSome examples of Auditory content are...· Video clips with audio· Podcast interviews or interview clips· MeditationsSome examples of Kinesthetic content are...· Quizzes· Polls/Surveys· Fillable PDFsSince this is a writing site, let’s talk about how you might create content for your audience if you are a writer…Ideas for Visual content· Video interviews with an author you respect or a clip of yourself speaking about your writing process· Photographs of yourself writing or doing something relevant to what you write about (for example hiking if you write about something health related)· Infographics (Here's an infographic I created, “6 Simple Steps to Kick-Ass Heart-Centered Writing”, which you can download for free.)Ideas for Auditory content· A clip from a podcast interview with you or someone you admire· A meditation if that is relevant to what you do and write aboutIdeas for Kinesthetic content· Quizzes (Especially related to your topic)· Polls/Surveys (Ask your audience what types of information or content they most need from you)· Fillable PDFs (like the one linked HERE)The Rule of 7.Lastly, I want to mention "The Rule of 7" which you may be familiar with as a Marketing and Investing term. I’m not sure who came up with this, but the key idea behind it is that we need to be exposed to something (for example: a piece of content) 7 times before we take action on it.I definitely notice that phenomenon in myself. The more I see something pop up in my Facebook feed, for example, the more my curiosity is piqued and when I've noticed it a few times I am more likely to click on it or sign up or whatever the case maybe.So, the rule of 7 is all the more reason for you to not only create a variety of content, but to be consistent in creating and sharing.What it's all about!This is all the tip of the iceberg, but really when you are creating content to share, the intention is generally twofold:1. To share, generously and truthfully, what really means to you in the world.2. To create a connection with your audience. You may want to inspire your audience or educate your audience or share about someone else’s valuable work with your audience or promote or sell to your audience. Ultimately, all of that is about connection.Connection begins with sharing and you can share in a way that is in integrity with who you are.For example, selfies are a wonderful way for your audience to feel connected with you. They get to see your face, to get a sense of the person you are sharing selfies is a really effective way to connect with your audience.Some people hate selfies, though. If you're one of them, don’t feel under pressure to take them. Much better to share something that is really meaningful to you, for example, a picture of something you are reading at the moment that you love or you could write your favorite word of the day on a piece of paper and take a picture of that and post it.Trust that your audience, your true audience, will appreciate and resonate with what is meaningful to you.There’s so much more to all of this that I can share with you, but hopefully, this has been a great start for you and is really helpful!Try it! See how it feels, watch your results and you can always make changes.As always, thank you for being here with me for My Message Is Love!Happy Writing,Aoifexo********* Want to write a non-fiction or self help book? I’ve got a gift for you! A FREE writing course designed to help you do just that! You can get that here: http://www.mymessageislove.com/free-writing-course If you’d prefer to work with me 1:1 on your writing you can find out more about that here: http://www.mymessageislove.com/work-with-meFor any other enquiries, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.orgAoife MY MESSAGE IS LOVE ********* Note: You might like these episodes too: #7 – 7 Reasons To Write Your Book#11 - Social Media: A Guide for Introverts & Sensitive Writers#22 - How To Build An Audience For Your Book (Even If You Haven't Written It Yet!)*********
33 minutes | Aug 7, 2018
#23 - How To Get Comfortable With Being Vulnerable - Interview with Author Melissa Venable
Hello and welcome!Today’s episode is called: “How To Get Comfortable With Being Vulnerable - Interview with Author Melissa Venable.”Melissa published her first book “Finding FabYOUlous” last year and she joined me to talk about the book itself and also to talk about the process of writing and publishing.This interview is gold for an aspiring writer...!If you’d prefer to watch the video version of this interview, you can do that at this link: http://www.mymessageislove.com/blog-articles/interview-with-author-melissa-venableEnjoy!********AOIFE:Hi everyone. I'm Aoife O’Leary and I am the creator of MyMessageIsLove.com and My Message Is Love is a writer's website. It’s for you if you want to write a book, if you're already writing, if need editing or copywriting services. Also it's got life musings in it because: all the good stuff!I have a special guest with me today. This is Melissa Venable and she is a writer and she just published her first book, “Finding FabYOUlous”. I'm going to read the subtitle because it's so cool I want to get it right: “A self-help with sass guide to finding, celebrating and capitalizing on the fabulousness that makes you YOU!So, thank you for being here, Melissa, and huge congratulations on your book!MELISSA:Well, thank you! I'm excited to be here to tell you all more about it!AOIFE:Absolutely! So let's start! Tell us about the book and tell us what it's about and who it's for and I have a whole load of other questions too…MELISSA:It’s called “Finding Fabulous” but with y-o-u instead of “u” in the normal spelling and the reason I did that is because this book is all about helping the reader get back to the person they were truly created to be before society and the world and everybody else, you know, with their input started piling all of their roles and their desires on the person.So it's just peeling back those layers and getting back to the person that you were truly created to be. Finding your true passions, your true desires and bringing those to life and letting them do their work in your life and in the world, because I feel like when we do that that's when we're going to be able to have the most impact and make the biggest difference in our families and our own personal lives, but in the world at large.So that's what it's all about.AOIFE:Yes! I know from reading this book that you have a lot of your own life stories within it, so did you have this idea for the book a little while ago or many years ago or was it recent?MELISSA: You know I, gosh, that was one of the biggest challenges with the book - was bringing kind of my own life stories into it because I mean, I'm not gonna lie there's some yuck in there, you know? I mean, things that are not real pretty to uncover and to talk about and write about and then to have other people read about.But at the same time I've also learned that my biggest messes have turned into my greatest messages, you know, and my tests have been my testimony, so that's why I always refer to myself. I'm like, when I'm introduced to something I'm like “from trainwreck to trainer” because I've been the train wreck - I know what it's like to have a life without control and that's hard and that you struggle, but I've come out of that and I'm living a truly fabulous life now.But I'm also nothing special. if I can do it anybody can do it, so that's what I wanted to make sure that this book – that message that it got out: That if you've gone through stuff – as we all have - you can turn it around and you can get back to who you were truly meant to be. You can make right that situation and have a really fabulous life as well.So, I've had the idea to write the book for probably 4 to 5 years, but I had the idea but didn’t necessarily have the guts. So it took a little while kind of processing through some of that. It's like, you know, if I'm going to do this I’m going to have to be willing to share you know the train wreck moments so people can truly understand that I have been there done. My thing now is “been there, done that, wrote the book!”It takes a little bit of courage to kind of, you know, be willing to put yourself out there and be vulnerable in that way. So the idea was there probably 4 or 5 years ago but the last 18 months I really got serious about like, “No, you know what? I am going to do this. I think it can help people and so I'm going to do this.”So, yeah, it's been percolating for a while…AOIFE:Did you have a particular reader in mind when you were creating your book?MELISSA:Yeah, you know I think anybody will love my book, and I mean, I hope that's true, but really, the demographic I really hope to hit was probably in my mind. My ideal reader was somebody who is maybe midlife or maybe not quite that, but 35 to 55. Somebody in that age range that was going through some transitions in her life, who was thinking, “You know, there's got to be more to it than what I'm doing right now.”Maybe feeling just kind of a little bit of unease, you know? Maybe they're going through something hard and they need some hope and they need some strategies to get through that, or maybe they're just feeling a little discontent, like, “there's got to be more to life than what I'm doing now every day, day in and day out.” So I think that that's really who my book is geared to and I think who will benefit the most from it.AOIFE:Did you feel that writing with a particular kind of sense, rather than a particular person in mind, but a sense, did that change the direction or your the way you?MELISSA: It did, it just gave me clarity. I wasn't trying to write to the masses, you know. This book is not going to appeal to my 19-year-old son, though he'sread it, to give him credit. He has read it. But, you know, it’s probably not his thing.When I thought about the person that I truly wanted to speak into the heart of: a woman, maybe 40, maybe feeling a little discontent or having been going through something difficult - a divorce, a career change, something like that. So, the person I wanted to most give hope to - when I thought about that person it really helped me dial in the message and get a lot more clear on how I wanted to deliver that. So I think that was hugely beneficial and when I would start to get off track or feel like I was kind of going down a rabbit hole, I would start to bring myself back to who that person was and who I was writing to, and that would really help me get back on the on the right course for the book.AOIFE:So you had the idea for the book and then it was percolating in your mind and over the last 18 months was really when you knuckled down to do the work. So was there something that happened in the middle there? Or a decision point or what inspired you?MELISSA: Yeah I mean, I kind of think it was a midlife crisis. I turned 47 and something about turning 47 - I mean not like 47 is some magicalnumber - but it's like something in my head click, “Oh my gosh, I'm3 years away from being 50 and if I am ever gonna do some of these things that I say I want to do I need to getcrackin’”.And also I kind of hit a point in my life where … In mybook I talk about my struggle with an eating disorder, I talk about my struggle to get out of an emotionally and physically abusive marriage. I talk about those things. But I'm at a point in my life now that those things are far enough behind me that I can talk about them without the pain and without the angst that they bring up and in a way that I think is helpful now.Once I got to that point I was like, “Okay, now it's time. I worked through that and I'm beyond that now, so I think now is the time that I could take what I learned going through all that and package it in a way that can be helpful to other people - even if they are in obviously very different situations.”I just think it took a little while. I had to kind of get past that and heal from some of that on my own, so that then I could help others kindof go through that process too. In the last 18 months, I was like, “I'm there. I'm fine. My life is on a good trajectory now. I love my cat. Now is the time and I'm gonna be 50 in 3 years! Get crack-a-lackin' on this, so I think that it's just a kind of a culmination of those things coming together all at once.AOIFE:How was it to write these personal things and share these personal stories- because I have to say that's something that I still shy away from – and also, did you set boundaries around that for yourself or were there places that you were not willing to go? How did it all feel?MELISSA: I think, sure, there are probably still things that are not in my book and those are probably just things that are just going to be with me, you knowthey're mine. I didn't really think some of those would be beneficial to the reader anyway so that doesn't need to be included.I did have some boundaries of what I was and was not willing to share, but when I approached it I just kept thinking, “Yeah, this is hard. This was hard stuff that I went through and these steps I had to take and the therapy that I went through and all those things that I had to go through in order to have this experience.”I'm like if it's helpful, though, if it has the potential to help somebody elsethen I want to be able to include that. I had to get comfortable with being vulnerable because there is stuff in there that it's like, “Woooooo…. Yeah… now my parents have read this book!!”Yeah, but you have to be willing to be vulnerable and be open about it. I just kept thinking in my head - the thing that kept me on track – is if I feel like this is genuinely gonna have the opportunity to benefit somebody else, then I want to include it, so that just the kind of spin that I had the entire time.But yeah, it was a little hard sometimes, but now look the book is out and I'm getting feedback I am just so glad that I included some of those parts because I feel li
7 minutes | Aug 6, 2018
#22 - How To Build An Audience For Your Book (Even If You Haven't Written It Yet!)
Hello and welcome!Today’s episode is called: “How To Build An Audience For Your Book (Even If You Haven't Written It Yet!)”According to a survey in the New York Times, 81% of Americans say they have a book in them, but precious few follow through to write one. Just think how many people want to write a book in the whole world (and how precious few will actually write one.)If you are one of the precious few who will, firstly I want to tell you that you definitely should write a book - and here are 7 reasons why!Next, I want to tell you that I salute you and I want to help you!I want to tell you something that is an absolute MUST, regardless of what kind of book you want to write, how you want to publish, who your audience is... it's this:You need to build an audience for your book. You need to build your author platform.Your author platform (or writer platform or book platform) is absolutely crucial - for you, for your audience, for prospective literary agents and publishers, for places you will want to be reviewed and published.It’s something that, as a writer, you will be building and adding to on a daily and ongoing basis. It’s basically a key part of your life’s work.In this blog I’m going to give you an outline of what an Author Platform is and the basics of what you need to focus on to build your Author Platform.So...What is an author platform and what does it involve?Well, your author platform involves your skills and experience, your body of work, your social media, your interaction with your audience - and more.The key elements of an author platform are:1. Your body of workThis includes the writing you have had published, speaking engagements you have done, collaborations you have done, courses you ran in relation to your subject and reviews/testimonials you have garnered.2. Your websiteThis could include an active blog and possibly other examples of your writing. It could include testimonials and reviews or interviews you have done. It should also include an opt-in box to collect email addresses and build your audience.3. Your social mediaYour social media is a fabulous way to build your audience - to interact with people and to share about your life and your work (building your brand). Make sure to keep this up to date and active.4. Author BrandEverything you do online and in person will become what people associate with you and what you are known for.It makes sense to consciously decide what you want people to associate with you, what you want to spend your time writing about and what you want to be known for.Make sure you set a really clear intention about all of this that will be a through line in all you do. When you do this the opportunities come to you will be aligned with what you want for yourself, what you are passionate about and what you want to spend your time working on.Consider:What do you want to share in relation to your authorship?What do you want to stand for?What do you want to be known as an expert for?A key part of building your brand involves what you regularly post about your work and your life - generally on social media.Your brand involves what you share about yourself, yes, but you want what you share personally to be always congruous with what you stand for as an author. Be sure to make relevant posts that you would be happy for potential publishers, collaborators and book industry people to see.Yes, of course, you can share some photos and quotes full of fun and lightness, you can share your goofy side, you can share whatever you want! All of this helps people connect with you, but for your author brand, be sure that what your share is in line with your brand and your message.Bear in mind that any publications you pitch, any collaborators you want to work with, any literary agents and publishers you approach will be researching you - and this is why it’s key to have your Author Platform set up properly.Prep WorkIn order to create an author platform you need to be crystal clear about what you want to say in the world, what you want to write and what you want to be known for.So here's some prep work for you to begin with right now - answer these questions:What is the work you want to do?What do you want to write about?What do you stand for?Core AudienceIt’s also important to get clear about your core audience.The more direct and targeted your message is the more potent it will be for them.Consider:Who is your ideal reader?Who can you really help through your work?What are they struggling within their lives?How can you connect with them?There’s something so appealing about clarity and you can feel the difference from authors - and brands, musicians and other creatives - who know what they are about, know what they want to say, know who they want to connect with and get on with doing it.It’s worth taking the time - even an hour - to make these decisions, to set strong and clear intentions. This sets you up perfectly to begin building your author platform.Ultimately a strong author platform is a launching pad for all sorts of possibilities - as yet unseen for you - for connections and collaborations, reviews, features and publicity, speaking engagements and so on.There's so much more about all of this, but I can't go into it all in one blog.Building your author platform is an important thing I focus on with my 1:1 clients. In fact, I created an Ebook “Build Your Book Platform” all about it - including everything from how to get started with speaking engagements, how to create a simple and manageable social media strategy to support your brand.If you'd like to find out more about working with me, please CLICK HEREI hope this blog has been really helpful for you! Feel free to post your takeaways in the comments below and I am absolutely cheering you on with your writing and with all you do!Happy writing and book platform building!Aoifexo********* Want to write a non-fiction or self help book? I’ve got a gift for you! A FREE writing course designed to help you do just that! You can get that here: http://www.mymessageislove.com/free-writing-course If you’d prefer to work with me 1:1 on your writing you can find out more about that here: http://www.mymessageislove.com/work-with-meFor any other enquiries, email me at: email@example.comAoife MY MESSAGE IS LOVE ********* Note: You might like these episodes too: #7 - 7 Reasons To Write A Book #10 - Self Publishing vs Traditional Publishing. Your Questions Answered! #16 - Book Creation - A Simple Step-By-Step Strategy*********
13 minutes | Aug 6, 2018
#21 - How Do You Want To Feel? (Goal Setting That Is Fun & Works!)
Hello and welcome!Today’s episode is called: “How Do You Want To Feel? (Goal Setting That Is Fun & Works!)”A few months ago, I set about setting some goals and I ended up winding myself up into a feeling of being a little nuts! I am going to share how I did that, how I untangled it out and what I decided to do for new years goals instead.Traditional methods of goal setting that never worked for me:First of all - here’s how I used to set goals in the past (that I absolutely never reached):- I would follow the advice of some respectable person who seemed to know what he/she was talking about.- I set a desired outcome that I thought was a good idea.- I reverse engineered a perfectly planned and structured schedule. I often outlined a detailed calendar, created financial projections and other stuff too.I basically used to create a perfectly organized plan I would get an A+ for in a Business Organisation class.Here’s why I never reached any of those goals: I forgot to take into account one crucial part of the puzzle – ME!The Personality PartI am an emotional creature. When I’m lined up with what I’m doing (when I love it, when it absolutely means to me, when I’m clear) I work consistently and energetically and I will learn and do whatever I need to in order to create. I LOVE to create. When I’m on form I’m on fire.If I’m off form, I have ways to get back on form that usually work nicely, but some days I am just off form and that’s that.I used to think these off form days were bad days when I wasn’t “pushing through” or was “giving up on my plan” or whatever. Now I realise that being “off form” is also guidance. Maybe it’s guidance that I’m not aligned with what I’m doing or maybe it’s guidance that I’m resistant. Maybe it’s guidance to take a fresh look or to pivot or maybe it’s just guidance that I’m a human being and I need to rest.I realized that I was in the habit of creating perfect plans from a logical perspective, with things I thought made great goals, but I couldn’t stick to them because they weren’t emotionally charged enough for me, Aoife. I wasn’t including me in the picture.Life is happening now. I’m not big on the idea of pushing through days of my life just so I can keep moving towards an end goal. I know that works for some people It doesn’t work for me.I still want to achieve, though. So what to do…?The 2018 goal setting experience – and ultimate resolution:Well, let me tell you about my 2018 plans.First - I am ready for change! I feel like I hibernated in 2017 and did a lot of creation and was introspective and laid a lot of groundwork. In 2018 I want more connection and collaboration and social stuff and fun. Sharing and joy and things like that.So I thought about what I want to do… I made a list and some of the things I listed were:- I want to do interviews and collaborations for My Message Is Love and I want to start a podcast reading these blogs.- I want to record myself singing my songs and playing guitar and share these video. I’m excited to see where all this leads me (maybe recording, maybe live shows, maybe collaborations, maybe a new band…)Pretty cool, right? Still, it felt FLAT.Now I was confused. What’s wrong? I’ve got these epic, aligned things I want to do and still it feels FLAT.So I sat with it for a minute, then I asked myself Why? Why do I want to do these things and not some other things? What do I think I will feel by doing all of this?Answers flooded through…- I want My Message Is Love to feel more social, connected and enjoyable (and hopefully more beneficial for everyone). I want to connect and collaborate with kindred, creative, passionate spirits and enjoy their conversation and learn from them. I want to help others through me having lots of fun.- I’m excited to record music by myself for the first time and be in the absolute joy of that expression. I’m excited and open to where this leads me - maybe recording, maybe live shows, maybe collaborations, maybe a new band…Better, right?You can feel that the emotion behind this – that it’s all more charged.Then it dawned on me!THESE THINGS ARE THE GOALS!The feelings are the goals! Connection, Creativity, Expansion, Fun, Flow...The feelings are the goals and any action is just the play with which to more deeply enjoy the feelings!How cool is that?!So that felt great for a while and then I felt my energy kind of drop again and a heavy feeling come over me. I was wondering why…The subtextI took another minute to get still and quiet (I’m well used to working with my energy now and I’m good at teasing answers and truths out quickly)…I realized that I have a subtext of some limiting beliefs in relation to these and all the other desires I have and it goes something like this:THE DESIRE: I want to do interviews and collaborations for My Message Is Love and I want to start a podcast reading these blogs.THE SUBTEXT: How can I possibly do all of that plus edit and promote? I'm not good at promotion anyway…THE DESIRE: I want to record myself singing my songs and playing guitar and share these video. I’m excited to see where all this leads me (maybe recording, maybe live shows, maybe collaborations, maybe a new band…)THE SUBTEXT: I’m not a good enough musician yet and I haven’t figured out lighting and I hate all of that work anyway…You see what I mean?Although, not pretty, this subtext showed me a previous pattern:I have desiresI get excited about themI feel unsure I have the ability to create them (even though I've created WAAAAYYYY less likely and bigger things in my life)This causes a contradiction within that feels heavyI get disheartenedI pull back.Honestly, it’s uncomfortable to write this stuff. I’m being really honest, though, because I hope it will help someone, and regardless, I’m sure it’s helping me to be so clear.Becoming conscious means that I can create change.Not allowing myself to dream and believe I can have what I dream is basically giving up on life, isn’t it? Think about it!Do you ever do this too? Isn't it uncomfortable to admit it?The light bulb moments!So I stopped and made a decision to change these default habits of thought and as soon as I did that – as soon as I stopped and said “No. Here’s where change happens”:★ I remembered that I have a choice to believe the moany-cow thoughts or to choose to think differently and in a way that supports me.★ I remembered what I have written in multiple blogs from the poem Desiderata by Max Ehrmann, that I am a child of the Universe.“You are a child of the universe,no less than the trees and the stars;you have a right to be here.And whether or not it is clear to you,no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”★ I remembered all my words about having a healthy sense of entitlement to all that life has to offer and a generosity of spirit in giving back. Being like a tree or in Tree – state. Read more HERE ★ I remembered that I can choose to feel only an individual or I can choose to remember that there are solutions and possibilities far beyond my limited thinking and that I am most open to them, and most powerful, when I get out of this loop of head-based thinking.… and then I happened upon a livestream by the amazing Larissa Roberts, who said "It's less about [goals and] manifesting and more about deciding 'This is what i choose. Show me the way.’”★ I remembered that so often we, people, tend to create goals, intentions from a place of lack, of wanting what we don’t have rather than focusing on the feeling of what we desire and leaning into it.★ I remembered: Life is for living. The work is play.It occurred to me that writing comes so easily to me. Why? Because I feel my way through it... Same with editing... I read, I feel my way through the reading and the edits show themselves to me. It can be the same with goal setting and with anything else!So at the end of all that, here is my 10 step unconventional process for goal setting at the New Year - or any other time - to create whatever it is you want in your life and enjoy the whole process:1. Do what it takes to loosen up, lighten up and open up energetically (meditation, a walk or workout, candles, music, a quiet space…)2. Prepare to be brave and honest3. Focus on what you want to feel and experience for the New Year or whatever time ahead4. Go deeper with these desires, "milk" them - why? what is it you want to feel more of in your life? Consider where you already have these feelings in your life.5. Consider how you can bring more of them into your life6. Listen for whispers. Are there any subtexts or beliefs you have that you could hear now? Lean into them. There is guidance here and you can clear these resistances and reassure yourself and recommit.7. Be open to any inspired nudges or intuitive guidance8. Is there any action you can take right now? Or put in your calendar? Something that feels like a great next step?9. Stay open to possibilities - maybe there are more ways to fulfil your desires that you have been believing or seeing.10. Stay in the feeling place of what you desire and have faith in life and in yourself. Be open to change if you want to change.The work is play!Hopefully this - confessional - blog has been helpful for you.Enjoy your goal setting, thank you for being here and I wish you lots and lots and lots of happy writing!Aoifexo********* Want to write a non-fiction or self help book? I’ve got a gift for you! A FREE writing course designed to help you do just that! You can get that here: http://www.mymessageislove.com/free-writing-course If you’d prefer to work with me 1:1 on your writing you can find out more about that here: http://www.mymessageislove.com/work-with-meFor any other enquiries, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.orgAoife MY MESSAGE IS LOVE ********* Note: You might like these episodes too: #7 - 7 Reasons You Shou
13 minutes | Aug 5, 2018
#20 - Live From A Place Of Love (Even On Bad Days)
Hello and welcome!Today’s episode is called: “Live From A Place Of Love (Even On Bad Days)”Love.It’s a word that is bandied about and so often used/misused in life. Or else used for things that are really not the same at all.I love dark chocolate.I love my brother.They’re kind of different things, right?!Also, love gets tarred with a kind of pink sparkles and glitter type vibe. Like it’s nice and sweet. But the love I am talking about is a force AND the only way to live, as it happens…What am I talking about?Well before I get started talking about living from a place of love, it would probably make sense to define what I mean by the word "Love"...Defining LoveLove is a powerful and expansive energy and force in the world that works through us and through everything in life. Love is for us to embody in ourselves and employ in our lives.Love is expansive.Think about trust and joy and creativity and kindness. Loving energies. They are opening and expanding. Loving feelings.So more than defining love, you feel love.Now, think about the opposite – fear, anxiety, pressure, stress.They’re contractive, right? Weigh you down. Close you in.Consider the physicality associated with these two opposite energies – love and fear. Contraction and expansion. One opens and allows possibilities. Physically, too, we open. Shoulders back, wide smiles, chest open. The other shuts down. Head heavy, shoulders caved forward, arms folded.In life, we have been conditioned to think that we find answers up in our brains, by figuring things out. Truly, the answers are in your body.You FEEL what is true for you.You FEEL love.This powerful force of love is one you choose, it’s one you commit to living from.It’s not always easy. We’re human beings – some days will be easier than others, but we always have a choice in how we respond to life.When you consistently choose to live from a place of love – of being honest, of opening, of stepping out of the drama and choosing defencelessness, life does change.How do you that? Here are some guidelines:1. Remember that you are the Universe and the Universe is you.Here are my favourite lines of poetry ever, from Desiderata by Max Ehrmann:"You are a child of the universe,no less than the trees and the stars;you have a right to be here.And whether or not it is clear to you,no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should."There’s no arguing with that, is there?Life is expressing through the trees and the stars – through the branches and the light in the sky. Life is expressing through the gifts of the Universe – life-sustaining things we so often take for granted (air, water, shelter, nourishment, love).Life is expressing through us – in how we express ourselves and through what we love to do, what brings us joy.Life is expressing through you.So let’s take a tree…A tree has a healthy sense of entitlement, it absorbs all it needs - all the nutrients from the earth and the air and the rain - and it expands and expresses itself abundantly, with beautiful branches and leaves and maybe flowers too.The same principle applies to you and to me.We are the entitled ones.We are entitled to the gifts of the Universe and it’s our job to be us the best that we can be – through growth and creativity and expansion and joy – and to give back to the world.What we tend to do so often in life is get caught up in daily details and melodramas. We get mired in them – we attach to them and then we make them mean something about ourselves and our lives.We get caught in our heads and in fear.When we are in this small, isolated, singular mindset it’s easy to feel small and contracted and disconnected from your inner power.When you choose Love, that loving energy, you can open up to new possibilities. When you are employing loving force in your life you can make choices. You can choose what you want to engage in (or not), you can choose how you do (or don’t) want to engage and you can choose your interpretations.Love affords you power and choice.It means resting into that tree-state of trust in life, feeling safe.I know, I know… it’s a nice concept - resting into that tree-state of trust in life, feeling safe – but that’s not the experience most of us have had in the world. I count myself in that.So how do you learn to feel safe?Well...2. How To Experience A Deeper Sense of Connectedness and Love In Your Life The first step is in making the choice to generate feelings of trust and safety and entitlement. We can claim them! (After all, we are the entitled ones!)How do you do that?You practice feeling into your body.The world has conditioned and has schooled us out of trusting our primal instincts – but it has not removed them.Your intuition, your inner guidance is there. You can turn your attention to it and build up your connection with your intuition so that you have a deep trust in it.Here are some steps:- Start by being willing, by being open to the idea of connecting with your inner guidance.- Ask questions and look for the anything you notice that pops out to you throughout your day. Do this lightly and with play.- Bear in mind that we are sentient beings. You may get guidance in ways that are different to what your brain expects. Just take the attitude that you are learning and the work is play.- Notice your senses. Do you hear a song or a conversation? Do you see a picture or have a vision of a memory in your mind? Do you have a feeling or a sense in your body?Just be open and practice and notice. Be careful not to attach or make something mean something at this stage. Just gently explore your intuitive guidance.Author, Sonia Choquette says that rather than asking polarising questions about right/wrong or yes/no, ask, “Is this true for me?” and see what response you get.Prepare to be surprised!3. Living Your Life From A Place Of LoveYou know the expression “Charity begins at home”?Well, the same principle applies with love. You must love yourself first.Loving yourself is more than bubble baths or buying yourself flowers or a new dress (or whatever the case may be for you).Loving yourself means being radically honest with yourself and listening to yourself. It means speaking your truth. It means setting healthy boundaries.Loving yourself means really treating yourself with love and care and respect and following through on this with your actions.An extension of that love is speaking to yourself with encouragement and kindness, having a healthy discipline, being careful who you surround yourself with, how you nurture yourself - emotionally, mentally and spiritually.It means creating a life that is worthy of you and that feels good.Then you extend this loving practice to all people and you bring this loving energy into everything you do in your life. Love is strong.Know that sometimes love says no. Sometimes honoring yourself and what feels true to you means disappointing other people. That’s ok.What matters is the energy you are living from. Which brings me to...4. Living Your Life From A Place Of Love (Even On Bad Days)When you create a practice of living from love on the good days, this becomes your habit and what you can default to on not so good days..Here’s something else:Sometimes the loving choice is to allow yourself feel low or down and not try to force yourself out of it.Living from a place of love means being honest and real in the moment. It means allowing yourself to feel your feelings – whatever they are.To me it’s a thing of “be like a toddler”. When a toddler is mad, he/she is MAD, but next second when he/she is happy, madness is 100% gone.When you allow yourself feel your feelings, without getting attached and without making them mean something more, they pass quickly.If you have been holding a lot of your feelings in, this concept could feel scary. In fact, if you’ve been suppressing things you feel for a while when you do start to allow yourself feel them you may feel crashed into by all the feelings you have been holding down and have not expressed. As you allow yourself to feel and to express them, though, everything settles down.The key on bad days is “No judgment.” Just have a day. My sister sent me this one time when I was going through a tough time and I love it:“I know you’re sad, so I won’t tell you to have a good day.Instead, I advise you to simply have a day.Stay alive, feed yourself well, wear comfortable clothesand don’t give up on yourself just yet.It’ll get better. Until then, have a day.”- AnonymousOn bad days, hold to the truth that this too will pass – even if you can’t feel it, just know it.If you’re in emotionally charged situations, calm before you speak or send an email or text - even if that means delaying your response or telling the person you can’t talk about it right now.Our actions and words come back to us, so if possible it’s better to communicate from a grounded place.Regardless, the bottom line is that we are who we are and that’s ok. Get any support you need – professional, friend or family member – and be kind to yourselfSomething else about the bad days: sometimes they are the release, sometimes they are the gift. They hold wisdom within them. When you feel ready, lean in to the fear or the upset and listen for the guidance they have to share. What might you be resisting? What change might you be wanting? What might you be angry at yourself or someone else for?Know that when you are ready you will find your way through.Everything is going to work out because it has to. Life goes on.Lean in to the truth that there are more possibilities than you are experiencing in the moment.I hope that was helpful for you today and that some things sparked for you and got you thinking in a good way!Here’s a Free PDF download for you to print/save (no opt-in necessary) called “Live From A Place Of Love (Even On Bad Days)”. It outlines all the key points from this blog.As
12 minutes | Aug 5, 2018
#19 - Procrastinating? Stuck In Perfectionism? Listen to this...
Hello and welcome!Today’s episode is called: “Procrastinating? Stuck In Perfectionism? Read this...”Procrastination. Perfectionism.You know what we're talking about, right? Resistance.“Imposter Syndrome”. Fear of Criticism. Incompletion.It’s all resistance.When life is working really well, when creativity is working really well, it flows. Now, there's work involved in that for sure. It might take a little bit to get there, but if you're stuck, if you're not even sitting down to do your work, that's generally resistance.Resistance is a pretty sneaky. It shows up as things like procrastination or self-doubt or not finishing what you start or whatever it may be for you.Resistance can feel pretty insurmountable. Especially when you have had these habits of behavior for a long time - they can feel almost impossible to break through.Believe me, though. It is absolutely possible to break through resistance - and It is possible for your writing to flow freely and easily for you and pleasurably too!So.... let's do this:First I'll talk about how I've seen resistance show up for the people I've worked with.Then I'll tell you my own resistance story and the 2 biggest things I learned.Finally, I'll give you 7 steps to breaking through resistance (and I'll link you to something else that will help...)Common Ways Resistance Shows Up:I’ve worked for quite some time as a book coach and I’ve resistance rear it’s tricky little head in different ways for different people - but here are the most common ways I’ve seen resistance shows up for people I have worked with:Procrastination - when when you find any number of reasons to avoid sitting down and writing.Perfectionism - where nothing you do feels good enough to share. Perfectionism may stop you from even starting, may keep you perpetually in “draft” mode or maybe allow you to complete a draft, but not share it with the world.“Imposter Syndrome” - This is where you feel like a fake or a fraud. You know the thoughts: “Who am I to think I could be a writer?” or “What have I got to say that is different?” or “Who would want to listen to me?”. Yep. “Imposter Syndrome”.Fear of Criticism - Fear of the judgement or criticism of others is a root cause of much resistance and ties in with the other types of resistance I’ve mentioned so far.Incompletion - Not following through. Have you got multiple project that you started but didn’t finish? Or several unfinished drafts of the one project hanging around? Incompletion.Know this: No matter how long you’ve been in these patterns or no matter how emotionally charged these resistance habits are for you they are just habits of behaviour - and I promise you that they can be changed.It doesn't matter how long you have been in resistance or how long you have been having difficulty with your creativity. All that matters is that you:commit to yourself and do the work to change and create new habits.believe that you can change - even if you have tried before. That was then so it’s totally different. This is now.My StoryAs you may know if you are reading this, I’m a book coach and a book editor, but I’m also a singer and a songwriter.Writing has always come easily for me, however, for years I was stuck in resistance in relation to singing and songwriting.I knew from the time I was really little that these were things I wanted to do in my life. I wanted to sing songs I had written myself, but I felt absolutely unable to.I was completely terrified by the idea of performing in front of people. I was consumed by the fear that I would not be good enough as a singer and a writer, but what really held me back most of all was the fear of being judged or criticised or laughed at by anybody for doing that I loved.All of this led to me really down and really low, because as the years went by I wasn't living life as I wanted to. I wasn’t allowing myself be the person I wanted to be. I wasn’t giving myself permission to do the things I wanted to and I didn't feel like I would be ever able to break through that.So the downward spiral continued - of not doing what I loved and feeling unhappy because I was not doing what I loved.This went on for years until - thankfully - at some time in my early twenties I was working at a job I hated in a cold, damp, ugly office. I had a boss who was pretty inappropriate to say the least and I turned up for work many days holding back tears. I was really unhappy.Ultimately, it dawned on me that I had spent the previous few years doing things I didn't want to and I knew that if I didn't stop and make a change this was going to be my next few years as well.In that moment I made a decision to do whatever I needed to to break through my resistance and fear so I could live my life doing the things I wanted to in the way I wanted to - singing and writing and expressing myself freely as I am.That was the start of quite a journey!I needed to become really honest about what I was or wasn’t doing in my habits, I needed to face my fears, I needed to show up for myself, I needed to do the work (to start at the very beginning of learning how to write songs and how to record and perform and all of those things. I had to overcome my resistance patterns (of procrastination and perfectionism and “Imposter Syndrome” and fear of criticism) to write and to sing.I did, too! Ultimately I traveled and toured in the States and in Europe with my own band, singing songs that I had written myself. I released albums and made videos and had my music and lots more and it was awesome!Here are the two biggest things I learned:Yes, it can feel hard or scary to do your creative work and share it with the world, and you do open yourself up criticism and whatever else you may currently be fearing - but it is much harder and much scarier not to do your creative work and share it with the world. I promise.Resistance shows up day-to-day in ways that feel so “normal” they feel impossible to change. Ways like procrastination, perfectionism, self doubt, not feeling good enough to do the very thing you most want to do, not completing and following through on the projects you start, the paralysing fear of the criticism or judgement of others… They feel so part of life it can feel unthinkable to really change them. I promise you, though, it is absolutely possible change.Ready to change?Here are 7 Steps To Break Through ResistanceRealise that nothing has gone wrong here. You are simply in habituated ways of being that do not serve you anymore. Piling on self-judgement and blame won’t help - it will just reinforce those feelings. Be kind to yourself. It’s ok. Now let’s figure out a new way to be.Get clear about what you really want in relation to your writing. FEEL why you want to write. What do you love about it? What excites you about having a finished project? Get really clear about and connected with these desires, with your motivation and inspiration.See fear as your friend and get curious. Nice and easy. Fear is giving you lots of great insight and guidance that you will use to move forward. Gently ask questions about what fear is trying to tell you, what valuable learning is held within the feelings of fear. Does your path forward look different to what you have been expecting? How can you change course?Notice what your habits are. Awareness is the first step to change. Do all this from a place of gentle curiosity. What are my habits here? Isn’t this interesting! Why do I do this? What can i learn here?Identify how you might create new habits - habits that support what you truly want to do and how you deeply want to be. Really have your own back in this.Put these habits in place. Try them out. Test them. Adapt them to improve them. Really commit to this.Expect changes and as they happen welcome them and enjoy them.This might seem like a lot of effort, but believe me, it already takes you a lot of effort and energy to procrastinate, to hold yourself back, to criticise yourself, to worry...When you release the resistance and allow your creativity to flow it becomes FUN and exciting and energising.It’s not just for you - it’s for your audience too, because:You matter in the world.Your voice matters in the world.What you have to say and what you have to share is important.Your words and work can truly impact the people you reach.(Read: Make A Real Difference With Your Writing)I am cheering you on in breaking through your resistance and I'm here to support you in any way I can!Thank you so much for being here!Aoifexo********* Want to write a non-fiction or self help book? I’ve got a gift for you! A FREE writing course designed to help you do just that! You can get that here: http://www.mymessageislove.com/free-writing-course If you’d prefer to work with me 1:1 on your writing you can find out more about that here: http://www.mymessageislove.com/work-with-meFor any other enquiries, email me at: email@example.comAoife MY MESSAGE IS LOVE********* Note: You might like these episodes too: #5 - 5 Ways To End Writer's Block (Without Bullying Yourself) #13 - How To Not Care What People Think About You (Or Your Work) #26 - Sensitive And Creative? STOP Blocking Yourself!*********
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