I am finding within this experience of presence to my intent to *collaborate with love*, that there are so many moments of wonderful surprise!
Each moment invites me into a new space; it is my choice to accept or decline the invitation.
So, far, I have been accepting each invitation, surprising myself with my willingness to allow ample time to explore, and to reach out and connect, asking for specifics in resonance with my heart whispers.
Writing that sounds a little “woo-woo”…so here is an example of “how” this looks and feels in my life currently.
I listened to my heart whisper to create a collaborative eBook with this Facets community. It took courage to “pitch the idea” to the community, and trust to curate and edit each individual reflection into a cohesive message that inspires and encourages.
If a long-time reader did not respond to my request, I reached out to them in an individual email, asking for their participation. (I risked possible rejection and criticism, but I really wanted each voice to be heard).
One reader, Mignon Supnet, responded to my individual request with a reflection to be included in the eBook.
After the eBook was published, Mignon wrote an article promoting it on her site.
I went to Mignon’s site to share gratitude for the article and discovered this wonderful book she has written, titled Spirit 101.
I asked Mignon if I might promote it in any way, and she so generously gifted me a copy.
In a creative spurt, my mind said I really don’t have time to read it. However, my heart said yes, please; once I opened the book, I was hooked. Mignon’s style invites exploration of the material; she has this ease and joy, and the stories she shares are genuine reflections of her experience. I put everything aside for the afternoon and I read. I was that hooked (and I really didn’t have time, but I made it!).
I share this with you so that you can see how each step let to the next step; a delicate dance of opening to give and receive. We both opened to this new space, eventually creating an entirely new space together (this interview). That is the gift of collaboration with love!
Thank you, Mignon, for all of the above! It is an honor to share energetic space with you!
I have a few questions to ask before the “official” interview, to share this example of “how” trust and presence works in collaboration–may this short reflection inspire others as they consider stepping into something “new”:
J: If you didn’t receive my personal email invitation to participate in the community eBook, would you have participated?
M: The timing of your email came exactly at the moment I needed to see it. There were some things I was questioning at the time and the questions you posed somehow connected with the struggle I was going through. Responding to your email helped me make sense of my concerns. It was one of those moments when Source delivered to me just what I needed to trust and believe again.
J: How did you feel when you noticed I went to your site to share gratitude for your promotion article, and found your ebook and asked you about it?
M: Ecstatic! Thrilled! Elated! I could go on-and-on! My book comes from the heart and my hope is that if my message can be of benefit to someone, that somehow that connection happens and my words are found.
J: How did you feel when I asked you for an interview?
M: Total awesomeness! I see the work that you do through Facets of Joy and I can just imagine how incredibly full your schedule is. I felt very honored with your invitation.
Now, the “official interview”:
J: The name of your site is Books, Blogs, and Bits. May you share with us a bit about the meaning of the name, and your overall vision for your site?
M: You know, I was sitting there pondering the name when this came to me and I thought it was perfect for what I wanted to do. My intention for the site is for it to be a place where I can introduce and highlight books, authors, and other artists.
Books—because there are so many incredible books out there and when I find one, I’d like to be able to share that find. Blogs—because I’m a big believer in lessons and learning from each other, I also wanted the site to be a place where perhaps new authors could go to find out what is working and what isn’t. The perspectives will be based on my experiences—at least until the community grows and more people are willing to share their experiences. Bits—to capture whatever else may come that would be worthwhile in sharing.
J: You clearly have a love of books. May you share with us a bit about this love?
M: I’m blessed to have great family and friends, but I have challenges in expressing myself verbally. I tend to internalize a lot and often times, I find it difficult to talk about concerns or problems until I have had a chance to sort it out myself. Books have no judgment towards its reader, just a purpose to share information. I love that. Books offer and never takeaway. Books have always been friends to me. Companions always at the ready. With each book I read, whether it is non-fiction or a work of fantasy, I always learn and grow a little more. Books expand my mind and fulfill my need to understand, plus it is a great escape. To be able to experience other places & other worlds with simply the turn of a page—I think is exhilarating.
J: May you share with us, what are your “top 3 favorite” books so far? Or, at least, what would the requirements be for a book to land on your “favorite list”?
M: I would say that some of my favorites are from my good friend—Nancy Brooks. I love the range of her characters and how different they all are. Yet, they all have to find some common ground to be able to work together.
In order for a book to land on favorites list, a book must stick with me. I’ve read books in the past where as soon as I’m done reading, I start forgetting. But yet there are those, where I start missing the characters and I think about them (as if they were real!) or I read a lesson that would resonate with me so much that it makes me want to read more and learn more about the topic.
J: On your about page, you mention that a few months ago, you dove feet first into the world of self-publishing. I have a few questions about this, please:
1. What prompted this “dive”? For the longest time, I’ve been saying to my husband that I wanted to build a business that I could do at home. I had all these conditions that had to be met and at the time I had no idea what kind of business would meet my requirements. Then one day, I get an email about e-publishing. I read it–it got my attention. I listened to the webinar and the more I listened the more I said, “I can do that!” After the webinar, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I even tried to talk myself out of it. I think for about a week, I tried to ignore it, but this inner voice kept persisting, kept nudging at me until I decided “ok, I’ll do this.” That was in late August of 2012. I studied, followed the steps, and now I have a book published! It’s been wonderful. I’ve still got a lot of learning to do, but I’m enjoying the process.
2. Do you have any mentors, or people whom inspire you to create in such a way? Nancy is a big inspiration to me. She is able to create so effortlessly and with so much creativity, I love getting lost in her world. To see her in the midst of a creative process puts me in awe at times. I have also found a wonderful on-line community of other authors and the gentleman who put this group together—Geoff Shaw is incredible. I consider him a mentor. I’ve never met him in person, but maybe one day I will. He inspires me to want to do my best work, but to also give back—like he does. Mr. Shaw has a huge following, but he responds to every email I have ever sent him—that means a lot!
3. Self-publishing takes trust in the process, courage, faith…what would you consider is the source of that for yourself? I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have any fears. In fact, when I finished my book and all I had to do was to press that last button to make the book ‘go-live’—I hesitated. I actually had to step away from the computer for a few hours—my fears were getting the best of me. All sorts of doubt came rushing at me making me question what I’d gotten myself into and wondering if I was doing the right thing. The courage and faith to follow through came by way of my sons.
My kids knew I was working on a book, but they’re little so I never really told them what it was about. That day that I stepped away, my little one (3 yo) sat in my lap as I was looking at my cover and said “Mommy that’s your angel.” I looked at my little guy and I was speechless. He’d never seen my cover and more amazingly I’d never really explained to him what an angel looked like. Then shortly after that, my older son (8 yo), out of the blue says, “Mom it’ll be great.” I asked him what would be great and he said, “you, what you’re doing.” I was dumbfounded at that moment, I think my mouth dropped open!
My kids brought me to tears, but in a great way. I said many thanks to Source and I pushed that last button to finalize the publishing of my book. And now, I have to remind myself to stay on course and not give up—keep my faith, believe, and trust. I get friendly reminders when I leave myself open.
(note from Joy: Each time I read this, my eyes well up with happy tears…what an unexpected, beautiful affirmation from Source…and *that* is “how it works”…perfectly placed for each of us in a way we can best receive! Thank you, Mignon, for the gift of this reflection!)
4. And, when doubt surfaces (does doubt surface), what resources do you rely upon as you continue to create? Yes, indeed, doubt definitely surfaces. Sometimes more than I’d like. I feel like the littlest fish in an endless ocean and it can get overwhelming–especially since I am still learning and building. During these times of doubt, I look to my friend—Nancy. She’s on the same path and we share the same dreams. She’s further along in the journey and often gives me counsel. It’s also that inner voice that keeps telling me to push forward and not be deterred. I’ve learned to listen to that voice of Spirit rather than my own self – doubt.
J: The name of your book is Spirit 101. May you share with us a little about the meaning of the name, and the overall feel of the experience you wish the readers to have?
M: Initially I wanted the name to be “Spirituality 101”, but the more I thought about it, I realized that what I’m trying to convey is really the realization of one’s Spirit. That we have this ever present companion (our better selves) within us that deserves finding. Finding oneself, one’s Spirit, that part that makes a person unique–doesn’t necessarily mean that a person has to be spiritual, they just have to be open to finding themselves. Although, there is a natural growth into spirituality that happens when a person discovers who they truly are. 101 is because I wanted to focus on an audience who are more like me who are in the beginning stages of their journey and are trying to make sense of the transitions they are going through.
I’d like for readers to feel supported, understood, encouraged. I know that “waking up” is not easy. I wish I could say I’ve been through it all, but I’m living through the process myself. I’d like for readers to feel they have a friend in this journey.
J: What might the reader “takeaway” from their experience of the book, and how might this enrich their life?
M: I’m hoping that after Spirit 101, that the reader will take a chance and listen to their heart. Or like you say—listen to their heart whispers. The heart is where our Spirit resides and how our Spirit communicates with us. I have learned that following your heart can lead to moments of such peace and joy. Moments that would be lost when we don’t pause to allow for awareness to take place. These moments are treasures that can’t be replaced.
J: If the reader feels overwhelmed at the idea of exploring Spirit, what is one step that you recommend they take to ease into the study/practice?
M: Breathing. Breathing deeply, fully, and feeling and relishing that breath fill the body. Breath is life. It is cleansing, energizing, and also calming.
J: Thank you, Mignon. May I ask, what is the best part about *being you*?
M: Hands down, the best part about me are the people who surround me–my family and friends. I’ve been very fortunate in this part of my life and each person in my life is a blessing
J: And, one last question that I am asking in all interviews in 2013 – Please answer this question: If someone “really knew me, they would know these two things about me:
M: If someone really knew me they would know that I am a big goof and I don’t have a problem making fun of myself.
Mignon has graciously gifted this site with one copy of her book “Spirit 101“! To win this copy, please answer the following question in the comment section. The winner of the copy will be chosen at random from the names of those who comment. The winner will be chosen February 4, 2013 at 6p (pst) and contacted through email. ** The winner of the raffle is Loran. Thank you to all who joined in the conversation–this particular space is radiant with heart whispers and love…thank you for that gift! **
Question: May you share with us your “essence of spirit”…how would you describe the feel and role of spirit in your life?
Thank you, Mignon! Thank you, dear reader!
Much peace and abundant love,
Reminder: Linger. Savor. Relish.