Self Discovery Journaling Day 5: A Scene From Your Future

Self Discovery Journaling Day 5

What is it that you can’t stop thinking or dreaming about?

What are you most looking forward to experiencing in your future?

For today’s journaling session, you’re invited đź’Ś  to tune into a moment in your future and write all about it.

This session is going to be alot of fun. If your beliefs don’t match your vision, there’s also a little alchemy exercise at the end to help you shift what’s blocking you. Happy Journaling! đź““  Follow me to view the journaling guidelines.

New Energy Practice: Create A “Good Things” Journal

good-things-journal

The new year is here, and it’s time to invite in new energy.

For this “new energy” practice, I encourage you to create a “good things” journal. Usually, when people think of journaling, they think of writing down their negative thoughts. You know, like venting. But for this practice, I’m encouraging you to create a “good things” journal.

It’s where you write down all of the good things that happen to you throughout the day.

For example:

  • Got a free coffee
  • Laughed so hard my stomach hurt
  • Picked up some beautiful blooms from the market
  • My son walked for the first time today

You get the idea ~ right?

It’s a great practice to focus on all the good that happens, and it feels good to go back and read it over. So give it a try, and let me know how it goes.

Also, I have a little gift for you. Here’s a free 2017 Daily Alignment Guide for you. No sign-up needed. Just a little something to say Happy New Year & to help you invite in the new energy. Enjoy!

Renee B.

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Advice For Aspiring Writers From Renee “Soul Writer” Brooks

writer

Make no mistake about it, if you are drawn to writing, it is because you were called to it.

I always say,

If an art form grabs hold of you, it has obviously chosen you as the perfect medium for some of its greatest expressions. 

It’s important for you to recognize what a beautiful gift you have as a writer.

It doesn’t matter if you are writing to get your ideas out into the world, if you are college graduate that is just breaking into the scene, or if you have a desire in your heart to share your experiences with the world through your writing – either way, you are on a very important path.

I recently became aware of a project TheLadders is running where they are reaching out to writers and asking them what advice they would give for new graduates attempting to break into the field. TheLadders is a career resource for professionals across all vocations and at at any stage of their careers.

With that said, I compiled a list of some things for you to remember as an aspiring writer.

These are things that I hope you can take along with you on your journey to becoming a writer.

It doesn’t matter what your background is or why you chose to write, all that matters is that you made a choice. Writing is a way of life, expression, and passion, and my wish for you is that you receive as many opportunities as you can – to fulfill your calling and express your unique point of view.

I choose to write because there is a space inside of me that I feel has something to say. There is a place of peace, compassion, and wisdom inside that is just begging to be heard.

I have also learned alot of life lessons that I love to intertwine into my books, passages, and articles that I write. I realize that my words are seeds, and I have the power to encourage, inspire, and uplift people or discourage, frighten, and dampen their spirit.

I choose to write to inspire people to never give up on their dreams, to fall in love with their creative ability, and to  live the life they truly desire.

With that said, here is a list of important things to remember as you progress along your journey. I hope you find value in the ideas that I present to you here, and that you are able to take them along with you as you morph into the writer that you really want to be.

10 Things For Aspiring Writers To Remember

Thing To Remember #1: Develop Your Own Voice

  • This is so important. It is not beneficial to follow the route that everyone else believes you should go. Develop your own flow with writing, stay true to yourself, write about things that you really care about, and not just to get attention, or likes, or comments.

  • The attention will come, just have patience and develop your own unique voice.

Thing To Remember #2: Write About What You Are Passionate About

  • Passion is the key when writing. Your passion is what is going to fuel you. The more you write about what you love, the more it will translate to your audience. They can feel the time and dedication that you put into your work. So participate in projects and write about things you are passionate about.

Thing To Remember #3: Believe In Yourself

  • So you’ve done the groundwork that you needed to. You got your degree, you took the class, you practiced your writing, or you sharpened your skills, but does that matter if you don’t believe in your ability? Some people do all the “right work”, but when it comes to really expressing themselves they freeze, and it’s because they don’t believe in their own ability.

  • They don’t believe their perspective, their experiences, and their unique voice has value. You have to believe that if writing called you – you have something very important to share with the world.

Thing To Remember #4: Have A Vision For Your Writing & Support It 100%

  • So why is it that you want to write? Do you want to make a living writing? Do you want to be famous? Do you want to come up with a new big idea to share with the world? Do you want to write for movies or plays? What is it? What is your vision for your writing? Do you want to just get new opportunities and see where it takes you? No matter what your vision is, just be sure to support it and believe in it 100%.

  • By support, I mean don’t doubt that you can rendezvous with circumstances that will take you in the direction of your dreams. So stay positive, be patience, and move forward with confidence.

Thing To Remember #5: Honor Your Inspiration

  • This is very important. There is nothing like feeling the spark of inspiration, and it’s important that you recognize when your muse is speaking to you. Make sure you write down your ideas. Just because you aren’t using them in that moment, doesn’t mean that you will not use them later on.

  • Also, when things are written out, you may be able to see some new connections, and be inspired even more to something new.

  • Never discard your ideas – write them down and honor your inspiration.

Thing To Remember #6: Recognize Your Value

  • As a writer you are a healer, a therapist, an inspirationalist (is that even a word), a life coach, a designer, a magician, and so much more. Through your writing and sharing, you are holding people’s attention. Your thoughts, stories, and ideas can help inspire another. It can help heal another. It can help them move on from an abusive relationship, or help them recognize the good where they thought there was none. You are the holder of a very important gift – recognize and value that.

Thing To Remember #7: Be Open To New Opportunities

  • When you are writing about things you love and living your passion, you will have people come out of nowhere and ask you to be a guest on their blog, participate in new projects, or they may just want to interview you. Remember to be open to those new possibilities. Sometimes blessings come in the craziest ways. So it’s so important that you are open to new opportunities.

  • You want to make sure however, that you are saying yes to the things you like to participate in. Don’t write about anything that your gut or your heart feels is not befitting to your character, but do stay open to the fact that opportunities may present themselves in many different ways.

Thing To Remember #8: Surround Yourself With People That Inspire You

  • There is nothing better than seeing people do exactly what you want to do in your life. Surround yourself with those people. Everytime you meet someone new that is living their dreams – appreciate it. Everytime you come across a blog or a page of someone who has made their living as a writer – appreciate it. You know why? Because you are getting a glimpse of exactly what you are capable of. It’s important to find your Yes. Your Yes, is a person that exemplifies the life you would like to live. Find your YESes, and surround yourself with them.

*Read the Who’s Your Yes article*

Thing To Remember #9: Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself

  • You are your own worst critic. It’s true. Understand that writing is a process. You are absorbing, learning, and growing everyday. You don’t have to be perfect.

  • Recognize your growth, reward your accomplishments, and don’t be so hard on yourself when ideas and opportunities don’t come right away. Give yourself time to find your style and take your time when searching for projects to participate in.

  • You have the ability to create and it will come to you. Just be patient with yourself and don’t take it so hard if you don’t meet certain goals. Life will always throw you another opportunity – recognize that.

Thing To Remember #10: Explore & Journal

  • Be sure to journal about your experiences as a writer. You can look back and see your progression. It’s fun when you notice that you have developed tremendously.

  • Expand your view of the world. Go to museums, explore your interests, dig into your dreams. The more data and experience you collect, the richer and more refined your writing will be.

  • There is so much waiting to burst forth from you. There are so many opportunities for you to rendezvous with, and so many new ideas just waiting for you to translate them.

  • Open your mind and your heart, explore the things you love, write about your experiences, and you will open a space within you that rains inspiration.

Thank you so much for reading. I hope these tips/advice can help you as you grow to master your craft.

Renee B.

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The Sense Of Failure

 Sense Of Failure

Where Does Our Sense Of Failure Come From?

I’ve been thinking about this concept for a couple of days now.

Some of us carry this sense of failure around with us like our favorite purse or suitcase. We don’t even realize that it has totally overstayed its welcome.

This sense of failure has us doubting ourselves sometimes and even causes us to bury our gifts and talents.

I am interested in trying to uncover where this sense of failure comes from.

As a writer, I am still haunted by the thoughts that I haven’t done a good enough job and that I’ve somehow failed at what I was called to do. I dig deep to try and figure out what the hell would make me feel that way after self-publishing 7 books, maintaining a blog, becoming a new mother, starting a dream interpretation business, and constantly working to recreate myself? Even with all of that going on, I still have this black cloud of failure hanging over my head sometimes.

In order to uncover the unconscious feelings behind this monster, we have to understand what we are dealing with.

Let’s Define Failure

Failure, according to the New Oxford American Dictionary, is defined as an unsuccessful person and a lack or deficiency of a desired quality.

Hmmm that is interesting.

An unsuccessful person? Unsuccessful according to whose standards?

Could our sense of failure be prompted by a totally unsatisfiable inner boss? Or maybe our sense of failure is prompted by unreasonable demands, comparing ourselves to other people, or a standard set so high that it would be impossible for anyone to reach. Or maybe the sense of failure comes from our inability to accumulate a decent salary for what we do. It could be anyone of those things above that cause us to feel like we’ve failed.

I think that there are several factors that go into our sense of failure. One of which I think has to do with the society we live in and how we are brought up.

Uncovering Our Sense Of Failure

From a young age, we are worked into a system that is based on rewards. In school we get graded, get gold stars if we do well (according to their standards), and pats on the back if we are good listeners. The athletes of the school get medals and trophies if they display physical stamina and strength. We thrive off of rewards, and those things cause us to feel a sense of accomplishment.

Move forward to the job field. Our bosses give us raises if we perform and meet our quotas. They give good reviews if we are displaying the behavior of a “good employee”. Some companies even give rewards in the form of monetary compensation and promotions to their “best employees”. Again, utilizing the rewards system.

But what about when we are out of school and not under the rule of an authority figure? What about the artists and the independent consultants that don’t necessarily work with that particular grading system or don’t get rewards to say they are doing a good job?

The Journey Seems Unquantifiable

As writers, if we don’t get approached by a publisher, get monetary compensation, get enough likes on one of our posts, or get approached to be featured on other blogs, or other forms of recognition, we seem to equate that with “I am not good enough” which then translates to, “I have failed”. Which is not accurate to any degree whatsoever.

Getting paid for what you do is a skewed sense of success, but so often we define our success by how much we get paid.

Getting published is a skewed sense of success, but so often we think that that’s what makes us worthy of being called successful.

Getting validation by thousands of followers is a skewed sense of success, but too often we think that more followers equates to our worth. More likes means that we are worthy to express ourselves.

These are all skewed perspectives.

What if we don’t get paid for our writing? What if we don’t have thousands of followers? What if the people who read our blog don’t hit like? Does that mean that we are worthless? Does that mean that we are unsuccessful?

Yes It Does

If you are looking at success by those particular standards.

We have to broaden our idea of success. Success has nothing to do with how many likes you get on a post, money, or if you are approached by “someone who is popular” about your art. Those things are all things to be grateful for – yes, but they are not what should determine if you are valuable or not.

We need to take the time to realize that we have actually created something and offered it to the world. Do you know how many writings go unread? Do you know how many paintings never see the light of day or that music is discarded because people believe that they aren’t good enough. That is not you though. You actually have shared your artistry with the world and that should be enough to notice your value, but to some of us it’s not.

Waiting around for someone to validate how good you are leads to nothing but heartbreak when we don’t get the recognition that we feel we deserve. Waiting around for someone to recognize your value and offer you a job or monetary compensation is not healthy either. What if those things never come around? Does that mean you are worthless?

Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth. {Author Unknown}

I’m An Artist Too, and I Understand How You Feel

You should be getting credit for the work you put out into the world, especially if it’s uplifting.

You should be getting paid for sharing your artistry with the world.

You should be reaching more people, and those people should be hitting the like button and commenting, especially if your words or artistry has inspired them.

But too often, these things don’t happen. I just don’t want you to get discouraged and to give up because you fear you have failed. It’s not an accurate perspective.

We downplay our accomplishments because we feel we have nothing to show for it, especially as artists if our artistry hasn’t reached the audience that we would like it to. We have nothing shiny to show to our friends. We have nothing to put on display. We have nothing to show for it, but that doesn’t mean that we are not successful.

Think of how many people may have read a post you wrote who were inspired to just live another day. What if you saved a life today?

As Artists, We Have To Redefine Success

It is critical to our well-being. We cannot have this skewed perspective about success and then expect to feel fulfilled when we are not meeting those standards. It’s impossible.

Instead we have to start seeing success as the improvements we are making to better ourselves. Every step, every change, every acknowledgement that we offer ourself should be going up as a gold star on our wall towards success. Every time we feel joy and freedom when we are creating in our field should be a gold star on our wall towards success. We have to build ourselves up and stop waiting for people to come around and validate that we exist and that we are relevant. I am talking to myself as well.

I Will Leave You With This Story

I look at my son, who is 5 months old now, as he tries to crawl, and when he falls down slightly frustrated with his progress, I never once say he has failed. I see the tenacity in him, and I know the next day (after a good night’s sleep), he will wake up refreshed to try it all over again. I see the smile on his face when he recognizes that he has moved a little closer towards his goal (my plate of food or the tv remote with the light-up buttons). He has such wonder in his eyes. He never thinks about what he wasn’t able to do the day prior. I think he has something in him that knows he has this ability, and he works everyday towards doing what he innately knows he can do, and he will get there.

That, in essence, is how we should feel. We know deep inside who we are and what we are capable of. We will never be completely done, but each day offers us a chance to get better and better at our craft, whether we get the recognition or not. Each day offers us a chance to be able to see how we have progressed in our artistry, whether we get credit or not. Each day offers us a chance to feel more joy about what we do and how we do it. That criteria should be the criteria for success, and we cannot fail at such a thing, because we are never done.

I have a new song for you all to check out. It’s called Masterpiece by Jessie J, and it is the perfect song for those who feel they have failed in life. Essentially, we are all masterpieces and we aren’t done being created yet. I even think of a play on words for this title. I think of Master Peace… I am still working on my Master Peace as well (the ability to master my inner world and to feel one with that).

Thank you for reading!

What do you feel you have failed at in life? If you redefine failure and success, are those thoughts still valid?

Also, if you like this post, don’t forget to hit like, share, comment, and subscribe.

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Truth Be Told Tuesday: Year End Post

Truth Be Told Tuesday

I have to come clean.

I am so glad that 2014 is coming to a close.

I’m really looking forward to a new time…

The start of a new year is permission for people like me to move past the feelings of failure, disappointment, and sadness. To maybe – somehow – try to cultivate a different frame of mind to get to the answers and fulfillment that we really have been seeking. So I am so happy to say PEACE OUT to 2014.

I hope you all enjoyed my posts this year…

I have to be completely honest, most of the posts that were written this year were written from the perspective of someone with a broken-heart, crushed dreams, and resentment. They were written from the perspective of someone trying to hold the pieces of her broken-heart together while she squeezed out tidbits of her passion.

While the demons of fear, anger, and disappointment sat on her shoulder begging her to hang it up, she told them, “no, if I don’t have anything else, I have myself and my writing and you will not take away my voice.”

I have so much more to learn…

The truth is… I feel like I don’t know a damn thing.

As a writer, I feel like there is so much more to learn. As a mother, I feel like every time I get something right – my son changes. As a person, I feel like I am drowning in this pool that we all call life. I have alot of walls to break through, guards to let down, and paths to navigate through. I have learned a hell of alot, but learning isn’t the answer.

The real transformation comes when you can embrace new concepts, ways of being, beliefs, and new ideas, and I have not been able to do that too much in 2014. I have received insight that my childhood insecurities has beat up before it even got a chance to get through the doors. I have received messages that the ego crooks have stolen before I even got a chance to sift through and find the treasures within. I have launched more ideas and dreams than probably anyone you know, but the “straight and narrow” in me noticed that they didn’t line up with my upbringing – so out the door they went.

But 2014 was not all bad…

I got one of the greatest gifts of all in 2014. A gift that I didn’t think that I could have because it hadn’t shown up in my life for years. I gave birth to my first born – Noah. He has been my greatest gift and greatest accomplishment and his very presence helps me realize that dreams do come true – even if they do take some time.

As far as my writing goes…

I am in the process of writing my new book {Soul Guidance Finding Your Way Home}. There are moments in my life where all is well, and a stream of well-being just flows from me. It’s a place where there are no worries and no fears. Sometimes I think to myself – where the hell did that passage come from – because I didn’t feel anything close to that yesterday? But then I remember – we all have that place inside that no one can take from us.

My wishes for the new year…

I am looking to take my blog in a different direction. Although I have written some posts that have some good information and good stories, I would like to dive a little bit more into what people need. I feel like my calling is to be a soul writer, but I am going to focus more on content that can help others move past their difficulties, break free from restrictions, and release their pain. I keep getting the message that I am a healer and I want nothing more than to express my gifts in the most genuine, uplifting, and whole way possible. I don’t feel that I quite captured that this year.

My wish for the new year is that I come back to this platform – brand new. From a new perspective. Not a hurt, damaged, heart-broken individual trying to express herself, but from a new beingness. From the beingness of a healed, whole, gifted individual that has something to share with the world. I will not be back on this platform, until I find my way and am able to reveal my gifts to you in a way that can help heal, advance, and move us all in a positive direction.

For all the writers out there…

Don’t give up. Follow your dreams. I know sometimes it’s hard and things seem slim, but we will all find a way. For those who are making it big time and starting to really find the level of expression that they have always desired “kudos to you” and “keep it up”. I wish you all a very safe, happy, healthy new year. I will be back, but not before I can deliver my “whole self” to this platform. I don’t know how long that will take. Just keep me in your prayers and well-wishes.

I appreciate you all!

Thank you for reading!

Happy New Year!

finished-heart Nay

Truth Be Told Tuesday

Truth Be Told Tuesday

I have to come clean.

I can’t stand a critical person.

I have to be honest with you, I from time to time am a critical person – especially when it comes to certain details and getting things right. However, I am not talking about people that just comment on what they do or do not prefer.

I am certainly not talking about the kind of person that just speaks their mind about a matter that they are passionate about, or those who offer their opinions when asked. That is not the kind of critical person I am talking about.

I am also not talking about those who have something to say, and present it in a way that other people can understand. Sometimes critiques can help us move forward, learn from our mistakes, and better ourselves.

What I cannot handle however, is those who are miserable, that have nothing but negative things to say, and that go around offering their unsolicited nastiness to the world. I CAN’T HANDLE IT.

I happened to be on one of the forums on Amazon, and someone who wrote a review for one of my books had accidentally posted in the wrong forum about my book. She wanted to see if any other members had purchased the book, and wanted to talk about it. She enjoyed the book, and posted her opinions in that forum. Well, some inconsiderate individual attacked her presence there, my character, and my book.

He called my book an obscure – overpriced – indie title, and he made several subliminal comments to hint that I somehow paid the girl to go on there and hype my book up.

I CAN’T HANDLE that kind of negative, ignorant behavior.

First off, I am not the kind of person that would want someone’s “paid response” as a book review. That is ridiculous. I would much rather have the person have a genuine interest in the story that I wrote and actually go on to explain to others how much they loved my book.

My biggest pet peeve with the entire conversation was that the guy DIDN’T EVEN READ MY BOOK. He at most, skimmed over the synopsis, checked out the price, the description didn’t fit what kind of novels he was into, and then he went off on the poor lady – for no reason whatsoever. How can you have an opinion about something – that you never even read?

Let me tell you something, I am a sensitive person, and I know that you have to have pretty tough skin to be in any kind of artistry. There will be people who disagree with you for no reason whatsoever. There will be people that try to drag your name through the mud, and bring you down. I understand that people just want something to comment on, and people are well within their rights to say what they feel. I get it.

But to attack a self-published Indie author, as if they are the scum of the publishing world is unacceptable. He didn’t form his critique based on visiting my website, reading my book, or even knowing me personally. He just saw an opportunity to release his frustration (probably with life in general) out on a woman who was just in the wrong place at a very wrong time. I felt so bad for that lady. I almost lost it, but I calmed down, and I didn’t even respond. The reason why is because it really wasn’t worth my time to try and explain to that man all the hard work that I have put into developing my writing, the countless hours I spent researching, the countless hours I spent editing, and all the other work that I put into writing that book – and all of my books.

Everyone starts somewhere. I don’t care who you are. You had help along the way, and also there was a time when even the biggest names in publishing didn’t have the resources that they needed to support their overall craft. Everyone starts somewhere. 

My point with writing all of this is to say, “be mindful of what you say about or to other people”. Before you write that critical post or judge someone, just remember that everyone does not have the same resources as you do, everyone does not have the same level of education as you do, everyone does not have the same support as you do, but everyone does have a right to express their artistry. Everyone is at different levels in the game.

People are certainly within their rights to comment on the work that we artists make public – I understand. That is why I’ve had to learn to kind of take all criticism lightly.

Just think twice before posting something critical about another person’s art. Maybe that person is really trying their hardest with the resources they have. Their artistry is their perception of the world and their experiences – sometimes we just don’t understand where others are coming from.

So ask yourself these questions before you post something critical: Is the comment that you are going to post helpful to the development of the person? Is the comment you are going to post relevant to the person’s overall achievements? Do you really know who the person is? Do you know how much time, work, and dedication they put into everything they do? Could it be possible that you just may not resonate with their work, and it may not be grounds to criticism them?

That is all I am saying – just think before you speak. Words do have power. Be careful how you use them. The guy went on to say several other things and would not let up on the lady. That is why it infuriated me so much. Even after she apologized several times for posting in the wrong forum, the guy kept on about her and my book.

The truth is… his comments hurt me.

It felt like all of the hard work that I had put into writing that novel went right out the door with just a few words by a very disgruntled man. I know that his comments can’t really do anything to me, but just to hear someone say those things and not even know you or your work is really disheartening.

How about you… has anyone ever criticized your work without adequate evidence to support their claims?

Do you have anything that you would like to confess for Truth Be Told Tuesday? If so, go to the top of the post and click “leave a comment” to share your story. If you prefer to post your response on your own blog, just add the words “Truth Be Told Tuesday” somewhere in your post and link back to this article.

I look forward to hearing your response.

finished-heart Nay

Music For Your Muse

Music For Your Muse

Do You Have A Song For Your Muse?

I sure do.

Music is one of the tools that I use when moving into my creative state. 

It’s alot easier to write a scene when you are right there feeling the same feelings that pertain to that scene.

Music also allows me to visualize the scenes more vividly. When I was writing my book Hooked On The Jones, the song “Spoiled” by Joss Stone put me right in the mood I needed to be in to write certain chapters.

When I was writing Journey Through Sattara, The song “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons provided the heart-pounding beat that I needed to conjure the feelings of triumph and power.

The Song That I Chose For My Overall Muse Is “Say You Love Me” by Jessie Ware

This song explains the relationship between my Muse and I perfectly. The ups and downs, the walking away and then coming back, the frustration, the feeling of great joy to have found what I love to do, and also the feeling of great sadness when I can’t express how I really want to. This song gets me every time. It’s almost as if my craft is speaking to me and telling me to dedicate myself to it fully. Like it’s telling me to breathe it, live it, and be it.

So what’s your favorite music for your muse? I would love to hear what song explains the relationship between you and your muse.

Thank you for reading!

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finished-heart Nay