Connecting with your Higher Creative Self by Judy Sweeney


You often hear about people being in the zone. Painters being in another place, the paintbrush seeming to have a mind of its own; musicians so engrossed in the music they are creating. You only have to look at some of the great guitarists to see what I mean; writers sitting at the keyboard for hours without a break, not wanting to stop because the words just keep coming.

If only it was like that all of the time. Alas, that is not always how it is. Sometimes, we just sit and look at the screen, the empty sheet music page or canvas and nothing flows.

I am not a writer, artist or musician. I am a Clairvoyant and, in my work, I have to go to my highest self and above every time I connect to Spirit. The principals are the same. The following are some of the practices I use to centre and reconnect to my higher creative self.

  • Drink water, without hydration you cannot work to your highest potential.
  • Breathe. The breath is one of the most important and easiest tools we can use to open to our highest creative self.

Close your eyes and take in a deep breath, breathing in through your crown and into your heart.

Take another deep breath, in through your feet and into your heart. Take another deep breath in of love from the universe and feel your heart expand.

Breathe in love from the earth and feel your heart expand.

Breathe in the I AM love from the universe into your heart, breathe in the I AM love from the earth into your heart.

Feel your heart expand, the energy in your heart is your creative essence, let it expand.

Feel the love for the I AM self that is you, feel it, sit with it, be one with it and allow it to expand and flow through you to every cell of your being.

Opening your eyes when you are ready.


Affirmations are such a wonderful way of instilling self-belief.

  • I am a Creative Being
  • I know who I am and I know how I serve
  • I am open to my joy
  • I am peace and allow my joy to flow

Acknowledging Blocks

We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge. I also believe that we can change something by looking at the emotion that you are feeling. Sit with it, bring it into your heart, not your mind.

How does it feel?

What emotion are you experiencing?

Fear, anger, frustration, not good enough, fraud? All emotions are valid, even it they are not real.  i.e. you are always good enough etc.

Feel the emotion, hold it in your heart and say this until it lessens or goes away.

I CLEANSE YOU.   I CLEAR YOU.    I LOVE YOU

I CLEANSE YOU.   I CLEAR YOU.    I LOVE YOU

I CLEANSE YOU.   I CLEAR YOU.    I LOVE YOU


Prayer or Invocation

I always use a simple invocation before every reading, or healing. You can do the same thing. It doesn’t have to be a long drawn out prayer it can be very simple. As I work with Spirit, I always ask for God and the angels to be with me. You don’t have to do that if you don’t want to, but I will say asking your angels for help is one thing that you can do and the angels love helping you.

You can say something simple like:

“Thank you, angels for being with me while I write

Thank you, angels for helping me through this block

I call on all the Angels of Creativity to be with me today.”


About Judy Sweeney:

Psychic Medium, Reiki-Seichem Master & Spiritual Teacher

Judy is a well-known Psychic Medium and Workshop facilitator who is now in the beautiful and tranquil Tanilba Bay, Port Stephens.

With the move to Port Stephens she will be concentrating more on her Reading and Healing work with a focus on Light Language.

Skype and phone sessions are available for my overseas, interstate and distant clients, or if you just can’t get to me in person. Distances makes no difference to the quality of the session as everything is done with Spirit and your higher self.

With a quirky sense of humour and many years’ experience, including reading at festivals, the Mind Body Spirit, New Age Shops and her private rooms, you are guaranteed a high degree of accuracy, empathy, integrity and confidentiality.

Judy’s Website: https://www.lightworkerworkshops.com.au



Balance Your Solar Plexus to Combat Imposter Syndrome

Turn highly sensitive characteristics into a power tool for your writing career.


“I’m a fraud!”

“I’m not a good enough writer.”

“What am I thinking? No one will be interested in reading my work.”

Any of these self-deprecating mantras resonate with you?

Mantra. There’s a word. If you’re thinking it’s one that doesn’t quite gel with the negative connotation preceding it, then you’d be right. Words like ‘self-deprecating’. A quick squiz at Wikipedia will inform you that the word “mantra” denotes a sacred meaning, a numinous sound or utterance — ‘A group of words in Sanskrit believed by practitioners to have psychological and/or spiritual powers’.

No, I’m not delusional (yet!) nor am I messing around with your head. I’m not attempting to spin a dark twist on an ancient practice rooted in the divine, either, but I did choose the word ‘mantra’ for a reason.

Still uncertain about my intentions? Read on, skeptic creatives, as I attempt to dissect our self-sabotaging inner-demons and pave a way to eliminate those bad boys forever.

Imposter syndrome (IS) is a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. In a nutshell, IS boils down to lack of self-belief and self-confidence. This upbeat, feel-good phenomenon isn’t just reserved for the creatives of the world. We’re not so special in that regard. It affects people in all walks of life. However, are you aware that creatives are almost always highly sensitive people who respond to the world in a more reactive way? Nuances like IS are always lingering beneath the surface, ready to pounce.

The nature of writing is an extremely personal practice. Through our words we purge our souls, bleed our hearts, drown in our experiences and flirt with our innermost fears and desires.

We draw on those cards; writers write about what obsesses them.

But finding the courage to go there doesn’t always equate with the fearlessness required when the time comes to share our gift with the world. For highly sensitive people, this is the moment when imposter syndrome strikes like an old relic you cannot shake.

You know what I’m saying. It’s that moment of truth. You’ve just spent countless hours banging on the keyboard and drinking endless cups coffee. You are a writer — committed to story and dedicated to producing your best work and all that entails as you’ve persevered through the long journey. You’ve plotted and outlined. You’ve developed and argued with your characters; you’ve spent more time procrastinating than you’ll admit, and there were times when you succumbed to resistance. Afterwards, you probably paid with a hefty side of guilt. You’ve gnawed, screamed and knuckled down. Then you’ve pushed through the creative blocks and rejoiced when those sweet, magical bouts of inspiration arrived to flow into your words.

Ah, the life of a writer — fascinating yet frustrating all at the same time. And rewarding, because all those hours accumulated to produce your baby, and now that you’ve cleaned, pampered and typed the last words on your preciousness, other people are going to read your work. People are going to judge your intellectual labor too. Cringe.

Brace yourself, dear writer, as you battle those rancid nerves and sometimes forget that you need to breathe. I’m not sure this feeling will ever completely subside but I can offer you a few tools to combat those inner brutes as well as provide suggestions for turning highly sensitive characteristics into a power tool for your writing career.

So, take a deep breath as we get into the guts of this article.

High Sensitivity is a Superpower

Science has confirmed the existence of high sensitivity (did we really need it validated?). In fact, research has showed about 20% of the population are highly sensitive by default. What I mean is that people don’t choose to respond to the world in a sensitive way, they just do.

Before you go brushing this trait away as a sign of weakness, think again. Studies reveal that highly sensitive people (HSP) are often intellectually gifted and are extremely empathetic creatures. They have a heightened sense of awareness too, with an uncanny ability to pick up on the emotions and vibes of those around them. Additionally, highly sensitive people are more likely to cultivate and trust their ability to become attuned and communicate with their higher-mind, AKA their inner-guidance system. Superpowers!

Being a highly sensitive person can mean pain. Quite literally. You may experience acute physical, mental or emotional responses to many situations. These triggers may be external or internal (damned those intrapersonal feedback loops!) While some people want to accredit high sensitivity to the shy at heart, this is not always the case. They can be introverted, extroverted or somewhere in between. However, the traits making you highly sensitive can also be a magical gift for being an amazing writer. Let’s look at how we can use sensitivity to enrich our creative writing.

Embrace your Super-Sensitive Qualities.

Observant

HSPs are aware of details. This characteristic is invaluable as a writer. Often, the small details in our stories can be overlooked or drowned in the bigger global story. Whether it’s story structure and plot or character development, paying attention to detail can provide the qualities and insights that will enable our manuscripts to shine.

Imagination

This mystical resource is critical to the success of every fiction writer. However, the best fiction taps into the minute details that brings characters and scenes to life.For example: An unexpected character thought, reaction, oddity or flaw; the paint flaking as a door opens; the slight limp in his swagger; the way her eyes glaze when she becomes whimsical. You get the drift. Without extreme sensitivity, these details might be impossible to capture.

Generosity

Writing is sharing information and giving to the world. This is particularly true for non-fiction writers. Our true intentions stretch beyond literal recognition or other desires. The act of being an author is generous. Non-fiction authors spend hours tapping into their most sensitive parts — downloading their brain, coordinating and cataloging their thoughts to produce their most useful information to benefit others.

Now that we’ve plunged into why imposter syndrome may be a prominent factor affecting writers and covered a few ways high sensitivity can positively impact our creative work, it’s time to break open the shell, reach within and circle back to those mantras. It’s time to explore the Solar Plexus, discover its key characteristics and how we can make the most of this powerful energy center.

The Solar Plexus is part of the sympathetic nervous system.

This complex system of radiating nerves and ganglia is found in the pit of the stomach. While it plays a vital role in the functioning of the stomach, kidneys, liver, and adrenal glands, this bunch of nerves is also responsible for anxiety symptoms.

That’s right; after the initial rush of excitement accompanying a book release, how often does that high suddenly fade into an internal slide into self-doubt and belief? If this scenario sounds familiar to you, then you’ll know it’s a bad case of imposter syndrome that’s making you feel like a walking scam.

Considering it is the Solar Plexus in our physical bodies that lies at the center of these discordant feelings, we’re going to push beyond the flesh, nerves and ganglia to explore this part of ourselves in a somewhat intangible sense. We’re going to get a little esoteric and discuss the Solar Plexus Chakra.

You’ve probably heard about the seven chakras that exist in our subtle etheric bodies. They are often referenced in the context of emotional healing or meditation. However, you may have found the concept confusing, or not quite figured out what place it might have in your life. But don’t fret, it’s not just the experts that can work with chakras; you can too.

The Solar Plexus Chakra is the third chakra. It is located just above your navel, resonating with the color yellow. This is the energy center associated with self-belief, self-worth, ego, courage, confidence, and personal power. It is vital for this energy center to be balanced so that we don’t experience negative emotional issues.

Let’s examine some of the main elements correlating with the third chakra before moving on to talk about a few alternative approaches we can take to ease our anxiety when it comes to those jarring feelings imposter syndrome can produce.

Key Meanings Associated with the Solar Plexus Chakra.

· Willpower and personal power

· Taking responsibility for one’s life, accepting self-control

· Mental abilities — the intellect

· Forming personal opinions and beliefs

· Making decisions, setting the direction

· Clarity of judgment

· Personal identity

· Personality

· Self-assurance, self-confidence

· Self-discipline

· Independence

Signs your Solar Plexus Chakra may be Imbalanced.

· Excessive control and authority over your environment and people

· Or the opposite in case of blocked energy: Feelings of helplessness.

· Being obsessed with minute details, seeing life through a filter of negativity which may cause you to lose sight of the bigger picture

· Being manipulative

· Misusing your power

· Lack of clear direction, purpose or ambition

· Self-sabotaging behavior and feelings

The Solar Plexus Chakra plays an important role in our self-confidence and self-worth. When this area is out of balance or blocked, we can experience feelings of depression or anxiety, lack of self-control and low self-esteem. These symptoms can also manifest physically and may include:

· Constipation

· Irritable bowel problems

· Reflux problems

· Binge eating

· Addiction

· Overweight or underweight issues

· Diabetes and stomach ulcers

As we move through life, it is important for us to maintain our health in all facets — mind, body and soul. Given the nature of our hyper-connected world, sometimes this can be a challenging state to achieve. If your personality leans toward the highly sensitive side, events like book releases can become overwhelming, particularly when facing deep-seated, self-worth issues fanned by the frenetic flames of imposter syndrome.

By focusing on clearing the Solar Plexus chakra, we can find balance in those moments when dissonance becomes a prominent emotion. Here are a few tools to get you back on track and back to the page.

Crystals for Third Chakra Balance.

Did you know that crystals vibrate with specific frequencies of color and light? There are many crystals and gemstones that help to balance and clear the Solar Plexus Chakra of blockages. Solar Plexus Chakra crystals include:

Citrine

Happiness and confidence, emits large amounts of positive energy. This crystal encourages you to maintain a positive state of mind to attract everything you want in life.

Pyrite

A crystal of positive energy. Helpful for negative thoughts fixed on misfortune and despair.

Yellow Calcite

Helps to increase your vitality and strength. It can give one new hope and a renewed sense of optimism.

Tiger Eye

Helps to release fears and anxieties. It is a great stone for giving courage and self-confidence. Particularly helpful for those who experience lack of self-worth.

Now that we’ve lined up a few crystals, you may be wondering how we’re going to use these gem-babies to help balance our energy center. I have two words for you — meditation and mantras. Yes, this is the part we turn those self-deprecating “mantras” into something positive. So, grab your crystals and let’s get started!

Meditation and Crystals for Third Chakra Balance.

Meditation is an extremely effective way to balance and clear your chakras. The following is an example of how to combine crystals with meditation and mantras when your Solar Plexus Chakra feels out of balance.

1. Hold your crystals in your non-dominant hand while sitting or place them on your body above the naval while lying down.

2. Inhale deeply and imagine a white light coming into the top of your head, allow the light to fill your entire body.

3. When you exhale, imagine any negative energy releasing from your body through your breath — consciously release any low energy vibes and stress.

4. Envision a golden ball of light below your naval spinning clockwise. Every time you inhale, imagine this light growing bigger and brighter. As you breathe out imagine all the blockages and negative energy leaving your being.

Mantras for Third Chakra Balance.

· I am a great writer

· Through my words, I have much to offer the world

· I can make a difference

· I believe in myself

· I am confident

· I am worthy of success, happiness, love (or insert desirable outcome here)

· I am grateful for the opportunities presented to me

· I am a creative writer

· I have the courage to keep going and conquer my fears

· I am everything I wish to bring forth

I’m certain you’ll agree these affirmations sound more like the sacred mantras Wikipedia told us about earlier, right? The greatest thing about practicing mantras is that you can offer yourself any positive outcome you desire. Your thoughts and words have power beyond the ones you release to the world in the form of your stories. They also form the essence of who you are, so choose them wisely.

Now that you’ve become more acquainted with imposter syndrome and high sensitivity and discovered ways to balance your all-powerful Solar Plexus Chakra, it’s worth remembering how important it is to practice self-care.

When you balance your Solar Plexus center, you will feel lighter and confident, and recognize your true potential. You are a creative being, here to spread love into the world through your words and creations. Keeping yourself balanced and cultivating your self-belief will not only improve your quality of life, but also reflect in your work.

Give it a shot sometime; what have you got to lose other than the demonic imposter syndrome?


Originally Published by The Ascent on Medium


Is Giving Up An option?

Some days I just want to pack it all in. I could do that. I could choose to walk away from the world of writing and publishing and grab a “normal” job with a dependable source of income. It is a real option; a path diverting from a journey begun a few years ago exists, and one that I’ve discussed with author friends who have toyed with similar thoughts. But is it really an option? And when do you know when it’s time to call it a day?

From the start, I made many mistakes that have accumulated into thousands of lost dollars. I wrote my first book, Millie’s Angel, without adhering to any one firm genre, resulting in “a little bit of this and a little bit of that” kind of novel. Which might work if you’re someone like Norah Jones, but I wasn’t someone like that. I’m still not someone like that.

It didn’t matter that that title attracted an award or a whole bunch of five-star reviews from reputable review services (that I’d paid for). It didn’t matter that I went ahead and invested a whole bunch of my savings into promoting the book because at the end of the day, I’d screwed up my target audience – and this was before I could get them to actually buy the book. I had totally failed on the original cover too.

It was a beautiful, award-winning cover created by a talented artist. I shelled out a good chunk of coin for the creation and I loved it. Turned out, I could love it till the end of rainbows and back, but that fact didn’t move the book into the right hands and generate sales.

The universe has a way of throwing the right people on your path when you need them. Think about it; there are billions of people in the world doing their thing – how is it not orchestrated by some stroke of higher intelligence when you encounter the important ones? The ones meant to touch your life in some way … for a particular reason.

He might blush when working on these words before you see them, but my editor Paul Vander Loos is a part of an intimate body of people to have influenced my creative world. I learned a ton early on during his work on Millie. He went above and beyond to clean up that first manuscript when most editors would have thrown it back at me in disgust.

Not Paul. He rolled up his sleeves and got down and dirty with my words, and probably wanted to throw me off a cliff on more than one occasion. When it was all done and delivered, I could barely believe how much patience this man must have possessed to have persevered through my manuscript. The lessons were invaluable, the appreciation more than he could ever realize.    

I’m probably going to regret telling you this, but I was so wet-behind-the-ears and excited when releasing Millie, that I went ahead and made the DUMBEST decision ever and hired a publicist. Yes. As I write these words, I can still feel the sting of that one.

I invested about a thousand dollars without much of a result in return. She snagged me one radio appearance and an article in a magazine about balancing writing with a big family. She had wanted to use my background in domestic abuse as a publicity angle; a fact that didn’t sit well with me (but I went with it anyway). When a few of the bigger magazines sniffed around for my story, they had to bolt when they discovered I’d never chosen to press charges against my ex-husband.

It wasn’t long before I realized that brand new, unknown fiction authors do not need publicists. Unless they have a surplus budget and money to burn. I didn’t.

Not all was lost, though, because it was through that publicist that I was introduced to a lovely woman who would become one of my most solid author friends to date, Beth Prentice.

Beth knew more than me. I found myself engaged in weekly phone conversations, picking her brain about the industry and spending hours talking shop. It was through Beth that I’d learned the ropes that had eluded me, and, in the process, I discovered a true friend. She gave me the encouragement I needed to keep going, keep writing and keep believing in myself. As dumb as it was, I’d pay that publicist again in a heartbeat for Beth.

I then started to wrap my head around the industry a little more. It was enough to write my follow-up title to genre, deciding to hinge the series on the most prominent genre to flavor my first book: paranormal romance. Despite falling short on the original cover, the book fared well and attracted great reviews from readers, making an even deeper niche when I revamped the cover art some months later.

That’s another thing that had stumped me in the beginning – who were my readers, how do I find them, and most importantly, how do I keep them engaged between releases?

It started out pretty cheesy. I did what I saw most other authors were doing with their newsletters, delivering the generic style email every other week or so. I organized dozens of swaps, signed up for author cross-promotions, newsletter builders, author giveaways.

I thought that if I didn’t have something like the above-mentioned options to offer my readers, then I didn’t have an email to send. The problem with that is that your emails become ordinary pretty fast.

Since releasing those first two books, I’ve gone on to work with some wonderful people, collaborate and learn from some of the best in the Indie publishing industry, make a couple of strong connections and publish more titles. Yet, it wasn’t until recently that I really began to grow into myself as an author, and as a woman. I’ve discovered a part of myself I never knew was missing.

There is something about creating stories that strengthens your inner world. It’s like a journey of self-discovery and self-realization. Our deepest truths seem to spill onto the page through our stories, creating more than just a fictional tale, but a personal learning experience that fosters insight and growth.  

I currently have two completed manuscripts in a series banked on the hard drive and ready to go; the third underway (well, somewhat). I find myself caught in the “undecided” zone with this series, unsure about which way is best to let it fly. That’s the thing about this game; sometimes it’s hard to know which way to roll the dice – the place where we circle back to the question: do I keep going and invest more into the books or do I call it quits?

My readers, the ones that have stuck around, still receive my fortnightly emails. Only, these days I rarely offer them other book deals or giveaway opportunities. I’m offering them something different; something they can’t get in a builder-giveaway or another book sale lighting up their screen. I’m offering more of me.

As a result, I’ve weeded out the “easily offended” and stuffy variety of readers as well as the ones hanging around for the freebie or 99 cent deals, managing to forge an authentic relationship with others. This is despite offering them little in the way of new release fiction for the duration of 2019. I figure these readers are the ones I want around for the long haul, the ones that like who I am behind the shiny book covers and deals.

I had no idea if consistently creating newsletters without the offers would work, but I’ve found that approaching my readers in this way continues to pay off. I can feel their loyalty, their interest in the content I’m delivering to their inbox and their support through their responses.

Hopefully, when I’ve reached a place where I can breathe long enough to make a solid decision about what to do with my new series, these folks will be just as interested in the fiction I have to offer them. And all being well, I’ll arrive at a place where I no longer question if I’m on the right path, because writing has become a large part of who I am and I can’t imagine a life without creating books.

I guess I just answered the question most of us writers periodically ask themselves: is giving up really an option?

It’s not if you stay true to yourself, do what you are passionate about and honor your soul.