Remember… You Are a Writer

It’s been an intense week. 

Regardless of your political affiliation, here in the U.S. and worldwide we’ve been through the wringer and come out changed. We’re all going through a lot right now. There’s much to process, contemplate, and recover from.

In the midst of all this, the important thing is to remember who we are. That we each have a purpose to fulfill.

A calling.

If you’re hanging out with me in this little corner of the Universe, you’re called to write. To create with words, pen on page, fingers on keyboard.

A tremendous gift, writing is.

It has the power to open minds and hearts.

To express deeper truths.

To shine lights into the recesses of our humanity and unearth hidden gems and wounds.

To heal, inspire, strengthen, catalyze, and change.

To heal us individually as writers.

And even though it may be tempting to turn away from your writing right now, please don’t.

If not for others, for yourself. Because writing will remind you who you are, and what you were put here to do.

When my mother in law died in 2015, I clung to my writing as if it would save my life. It was my constant in a sea of pain and turmoil.

If you find yourself in that place now, as I do, let writing be the raft that carries you to shore.

I know that not everyone is hurting right now. It is likely that some among us are happy with this week’s outcomes. And that is your right. 

But let us keep the focus on the larger vision. Our writing. Our truths. The messages we each have to share with the world. Because that’s why we’re here.

Keep writing.

With love,
Jenna

Are You Waiting for Permission to Write?

In the teleclass I taught last week: “Called to Write: Align Your Daily Actions with Your Soul’s Deeper Purpose“, something that resonated for my lovely group of attendees was the idea of no longer waiting for permission to write

(If you missed the live class, you can still sign up to get the recording by clicking here.)

I waited for years to start writing fiction.

Inside, I felt like I had to get some kind of stamp of approval before I was “allowed” to write. That I needed an expert or agent or mentor or master writer to see my potential and encourage me to pursue writing. That otherwise I was chasing a fool’s dream or breaking the rules somehow. 

Change Your Mindset

I think many writers or want-to-be-writers do this. It’s tied to perfectionism. A belief that we have to be “good enough” before we start. That there’s a qualification level we have to reach before we even begin.

But how can we learn how to do anything, until we actually start doing it?

One of my mentors, Hal Croasmun of ScreenwritingU.com, talks about how he makes a point, every two years, to learn a new skill, so that he always remembers what it’s like to be a beginner. This helps him develop the programs he runs for new writers because he can put himself in our shoes. I’m willing to bet he doesn’t wait for permission to learn karate or poker or horseback riding. I’m betting he picks something that interests him, and goes for it.

Why can’t we do the same with writing?

Perfectionism, again. This has to do, in part, with the black and white nature of writing in this digital age. Back when I wrote drafts on paper, I didn’t hesitate to scratch things out. I knew I was writing a first draft. (I can even recall telling my father that I didn’t think I could ever write without real paper! How times have changed…) There’s something about seeing our words looking so final that makes them seem like they should be final draft, publication quality. Which is entirely unfair to our early stream-of-consciousness drafts.

Underneath the perfectionism is also fear, the lurking originator of perfectionism and other writerly issues, which tells us to play it safe and protect ourselves from potential failure, ridicule, and rejection. It’s a powerful force that works against us and our writing.

But again, how can we learn, grow, and develop ourselves as writers without actually doing the work?

We cannot.

We have to change our mindsets from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.

And we have to stop waiting for permission — for some kind of pre-approval that will guarantee our success — otherwise, we are really just kidding ourselves.

Don’t Wait for Permission

Here’s the thing.

You do not have to wait for ANYONE to validate you or tell you that you are good enough or deserving enough or talented enough to write.

No one has to “see” or recognize your writing as “good enough” before you can write. There’s no outside evaluation or assessment of “potential” needed or required.

YOU ARE A WRITER.

You are a writer because you are CALLED TO WRITE.

You know you are called to write because you have been persistently nudged, cajoled, and pestered by your deeper, higher, wiser self to write. 

That means, by definition, you have been invited by the Universe to write.

And therefore, you have all the permission you need, right now.

diamonds

Coaching CircleReady to fulfill your calling as a writer? Join the January 4th session of the Called to Write Coaching Circle and start getting your words out in the world where they belong. Find out more and register here: http://JustDoTheWriting.com. Save $30 on your first session with coupon code NEWYEARWRITE and lock in our 2015 rates as long as you keep your membership active.

 

writing

Are You Called to Write?

I believe in callings.

I believe that each of us has something that we were put here to do, and when we find what it is, we must do it with all our hearts.

And… it isn’t always easy to get clear on what our calling is.

Why?

The noisy, busy world we live in and the noisy, busy minds we are encouraged to cultivate by the mainstream makes it hard to hear ourselves and the deeper whispers of our souls.

And that’s often how a calling comes through, as a whisper.

It took me a number of years to come around to realizing that my deepest call is to write. I spent my 20s and 30s sorting myself out in that regard, changing careers, soul-searching, and more (like helping other people get clear on their life callings!), only to come back to the insight that my 6th grade self already had hit upon: I want to write.

Are you called to write?

If you’re here, reading a website named “Called to Write”, I’m going to assume that you also feel that call. That you have the inner compunction to put words to the page in some form. You may or may not be doing it yet, or maybe not yet quite the way you want to be doing it, but I’m guessing that one way or the other, you’ve been feeling the call to write for some time.

When I conducted a survey a little while ago, 71% of you said that you felt called to write without a doubt. That’s huge. And fantastic!

And, interestingly, 71% of you also said that you struggle with procrastination.

Isn’t that fascinating?

The very thing we feel called to do is the very thing we tend to avoid.

And it’s entirely normal.

One of my favorite things Steven Pressfield says in The War of Art (aka “Jenna’s Bible”) is this:

“The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”

In other words?

The bigger the dream, the more we fear and avoid it.

The good news

The good news is that it’s not as hard as it feels to help yourself write the way you want to. You just need to understand what’s really going on behind the calling, behind the resistance, and along the life journey we’re making as writers so that you can start to match up what you’re doing on a daily basis with your deeper calling.

I’m leading a free teleclass next week to help you do just that.

It’s titled: “Called to Write: How to Align Your Daily Actions with Your Soul’s Deeper Purpose”.

In the class, I’ll be talking about:

  • Symptoms you may be experiencing if you’re not living your calling — and what to do about them.
  • Mistakes you may be making that might be stopping you from pursuing your calling.
  • How to know you are called to write — no more second guessing what you were put here to do.
  • Things you think may be signs you shouldn’t write but are not accurate — and you should ignore!
  • Surprising facts about how you can fulfill your calling to write more easily than you expect.
  • The mythic journey you must complete in order to fulfill your calling.
  • Action steps to align your daily actions with your soul’s deeper calling.

If you’d like to join me, please register here: http://programs.calledtowrite.com/teleclass

 

 

Finding happiness in the pursuit

The Happiness of PursuitThis week I’m reading Chris Guillebeau‘s freshly published book: The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest that Will Bring Purpose to Your Life.

I’ve been a longtime follower of Chris’s blog, The Art of Non-Conformity, and he even did a Q&A post for our site about his last book, The $100 Startup.

What I love about Chris’s approach to Life, the Universe, and Everything is his go-get-it attitude about the things that matter to him. He’s designed a life and completed a quest that works for him and his personality. This new book is about his quest to visit all the countries in the world by the time he was 35, and about the many people he met along the way that were pursuing quests of their own.

In talking with others and looking at his own experience, Chris gleaned a number of useful lessons and insights about creating and pursuing quests.

And although the focus of the book is generally on more external pursuits, I can’t help thinking there’s are great lessons to be learned for our writing lives as well. There are certainly some useful parallels to draw between quests and writing, as you’ll see below.

Let’s talk about some of the lessons that have stood out to me so far in what I’m reading:

1. “When you sense discontent, pay attention.” Discontent is a powerful informant about what’s not working in your life . . . but it’s not enough on its own to spark a quest or change. Chris says, “If you want to get the embers burning, you have to blend dissatisfaction with inspiration, and then you have to connect the dissatisfaction to a greater purpose.”

This is his equation for transmuting dissatisfaction:

Dissatisfaction + Big Idea + Willingness to Take Action = New Adventure

I’ve definitely found discontent to be a great source of information in my own life about what’s not working and what I’d like to change, but it was my willingness to do something about it that really made the difference, particularly in my major career shift from urban design to coaching and ultimately to writing.

2. “A true calling involves trade-offs.” A dream that calls you — whether it’s creating something or traveling the world — will require a deeper investment or even sacrifice — but it will feel worth it to you because you’re called to do it.

Making the time to write often involves a sacrifice or trade off for me, but almost always feels worth it. And I’m certainly willing to make hard choices about fulfilling other dreams of mine in order to make them happen (from staying home with the kids to traveling the world).

3. Refuse to give your fear decision-making authority. Making headway into new territory will trigger fear. As Chris says, “Embracing new things often requires us to embrace our fears, however trivial they may seem. You deal with fear not by pretending it doesn’t exist, but by refusing to give it decision-making authority.”

Any big dream will trigger fear — and Chris is absolutely right that we cannot allow it to dictate our decisions. 

4. Have an emotional awareness of mortality. Chris differentiates between an intellectual awareness of mortality versus an emotional one.

Here’s how he breaks it down:

  • Intellectual awareness: “I know that no one lives forever.”
  • Emotional awareness: “I know that I will someday die.”

I’ve always been vaguely annoyed by the notion to “live each day as if it’s your last”, because I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be emptying the dishwasher if it was my last day on Earth. But Chris’s notion here, of having an emotional awareness, points to something more meaningful for me.

It’s about having a sense of personal motivation to make the most of the time we are individually given, by adopting greater goals and pursuits that bring a sense of meaning and fulfillment into our lives. That version works for me.

5. Make your personal passions your quest. A quest, as Chris defines it, includes a clear goal, a real challenge, and set of milestones along the way, and something that involves some kind of investment or sacrifice. He doesn’t include writing a book as a quest, though he defines that as a “general life improvement” along with other things like getting out of debt, getting in shape, quitting smoking. Those, he says, are not necessarily true quests.

The examples of quests given in the book range from his own (traveling to all the world’s countries), a woman’s goal of making a meal from every country for her family, a teen earning every Boy Scout merit badge, and a man using walking as an only means of transportation for 17 years (and not speaking either for that length of time as well).

More to come…

The rest of the book contains what looks like more delightful examples of other people’s quests, along with some in depth chapters I’m particularly looking forward to reading.

There’s one called “The Love of the Craft”, which I think will be right up my alley, with some writing examples, including Seth Godin.

Can writing be a quest?

It occurs to me that writing could still be a quest by Chris’s definition — perhaps by setting a goal of some kind around it, like a certain number of books or screenplays written by a certain date, or like Seth Godin, writing 365 days per year. What do you think? Take a look below for an opportunity to submit your answer about how writing might look like a quest for you . . . and get a chance to win a copy of Chris’s book!

About Chris

Chris GuillebeauDuring a lifetime of self-employment that included a four-year commitment as a volunteer executive in West Africa, Chris visited every country in the world (193 in total) before his 35th birthday. Since then he has modeled the proven definition of an entrepreneur: “Someone who will work 24 hours a day for themselves to avoid working one hour a day for someone else.”

Chris’s first book, The Art of Non-Conformity, was translated into more than twenty languages. His second book, The $100 Startup, was a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, selling more than 300,000 copies worldwide. His latest book, The Happiness of Pursuit, will be published by Crown / Random House in September 2014.

Every summer in Portland, Oregon, Chris hosts the World Domination Summit, a gathering of creative, remarkable people with thousands in attendance. Chris is also the founder of Pioneer Nation, Unconventional Guides, the Travel Hacking Cartel, and numerous other projects.

Read Chris’s favorite writing tips here: http://chrisguillebeau.com/good-writing-tips

Meet Chris

You can meet Chris on his tour of 40+ cities in North America. Find out more here: http://chrisguillebeau.com/events

Win a Copy of The Happiness of Pursuit

You can win your own copy of The Happiness of Pursuit by entering our contest to win one of two copies we have available for a giveaway on our brand spanking new Just Do The Writing Facebook page, here: https://www.facebook.com/justdothewriting/posts/677372385688130

Or, pick up your own copy of The Happiness of Pursuit, on Amazon *, Barnes & Noble, and indie bookstores in hardback, paperback, or ebook form.

Thanks for reading!

 

* Affiliate link

 

Creating amid chaos

One of the things writers mention often in the Writer’s Circle is their physical environments. Particularly clutter — how to deal with all the paper and more. I’ve promised to have a guest post soon from one of my favorite clutter experts, so stay tuned for that.

In the meantime though, I wanted to bring up this question of clutter from a couple of different meta angles: sensitivity, energy, and life purpose.

Craving the relief from chaos

For a sensitive person, clutter is an energy drain because it’s overstimulating (one of the biggest challenges for a sensitive person). It affects your energy to work in a messy room because there’s so much more to pay attention to.

Mind you, that doesn’t stop me from doing it when push comes to shove, and in fact, my office is messier than I’d like it to be right now. At least on the surface. Underneath though, it’s fairly well-organized, so it’ll be a quick trick to whip it into shape.

Avila Beach Master Plan

One of my “huge” drawings from back in the day. :)

When I create in chaos, I’m reminded of my old urban design days, where I used shuffle piles of huge drawings late into the night, struggling to meet whatever deadline I was targeting. My office mate used to say she loved to watch me “clean up” when I finished a project, because no matter what was coming down the pike (even if there was another deadline looming), I had to stop and put everything away before I could continue.

And I do find that I can work in a cluttered space for a time, but then I crave a certain kind of relief for it, a spaciousness that leaves room for my brain and my creativity to operate more optimally.

The energy of clutter

On an energetic level, sensitive people are more tuned into the stuff around them. I’ve always felt that we “carry” the stuff that’s around us, and as it stacks up, we begin to feel more and more burdened by it. And why wouldn’t we, if we’re carrying such a heavy load?

The cool thing about dealing with clutter is that we can work with it on a couple of different levels — both the practical mundane level and the energetic level. For instance, on the practical level, you can sweep it into a box and hide it temporarily (you’re only allowed to do this if you schedule time on your calendar to deal with it :) ) or you can stop what you’re doing and take the time to put it away.

Or you can approach your clutter on an energetic level and use energy clearing techniques to get the stuck energy broken up around the stuff so that it becomes easier to put it away. Someday I may teach my “space clearing energy skills” class again, but for now, try clapping your hands over the piles of clutter and see if you can dissipate the stuck energy that way.

Are you writing or speaking enough?

Many of the clients I work with have a “Lines of Genius” gift marking, which means they are called to be a “gifted author and speaker with a special message for a large audience,” or they have a “Messenger” life purpose. Very often, people with this gift marking or purpose will be cursed with piles of paper and endlessly shuffling them around, feeling like they’re spinning in circles.

The solution? Write and speak.

Put the clutter away, clear the decks, and start writing. Schedule the time on your calendar to deal with the clutter incrementally, but don’t let it stop you from writing, or it’ll just get worse. :)

diamonds2

writerscirclepostOne of the things we love about the Writer’s Circle is that it really helps you put the focus on your writing, first. If you need a little nudge in that regard, the next session starts soon, and we’d love to have you join us. You can find out more and register at http://JustDoTheWriting.com.

diamonds2

Your turn

We’d love to hear from you in the comments. Is clutter holding you back? How does it feel to you energetically? Is there anything it’s getting in the way of you doing?

Warmly,

 Jenna

 

If this was your wake up call, what would it be?

Seems like every time I turn around, someone I know is going through something big:

… Friends with cancer.

… My father facing health challenges.

… A neighbor’s house catching on fire.

… My cousin’s husband dying.

… Even my own roll-over car accident a few years back now.

The circle of those affected feels like it’s getting closer to me, like a tightening loop.

And it’s got me to thinking…

 

…Is there anything I’m not paying attention to that I want to be?

Am I going to wait for my next wake-up call, or what if I just paid attention now?

 

Change the rules that keep you in the dark.

Last night, we saw The Croods. I loved the message at the end: “We changed the rules that kept us in the dark.” (I love that they really spelled it out; it’s a kid’s movie after all.)

And that got me to thinking even more.

How am I keeping myself in the dark, operating out of fear rather than reaching out for tomorrow? Or living for today for that matter?

As writers and creatives, one of the biggest challenges we face every day is our fear. No wonder we act like we’re confronting our own mortality. On some level we are.

But I don’t like this question.

I’ve never liked how people say, “If you knew were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today?”

Maybe there’s something too cynical about me to fully appreciate that question, but there are things I commit to doing on a regular basis that I’m darn sure I wouldn’t do if I knew I’d be dying tomorrow, but I can’t live like that on an ongoing basis. Things like exercising and flossing and making sure my kid’s lunch is made, that yeah, I don’t think I’d pay attention to if the world was going to end.

On the other hand, I’m okay with it in the big picture.

But what about the big picture of our lives? I’m down with looking at that and making sure that what we’re doing matches with where we want to be now and where we want to end up.

Writing.

It wasn’t too long ago that I got the message, “Write like your life depends on it.”

And I’m writing every day now, which is a heck of a lot more than I was doing at the time. Which was rarely, if at all.

But am I writing like my life depends on it?

Not yet.

So am I going to wait for the next cosmic two-by-four, or am I going to do something about it?

Well, you already know the answer, right?

Do something.

Saturday I got out a pad of paper and started redesigning my schedule to put the focus on more writing. It’s not quite where I want it to be, so I’m going to do some more work on it today. And then I’m going to begin the process of shifting my schedule more and more in that direction. It’s okay with me if it takes a little while to shift; it’s a kind of gradual herding things into the right corrals. But it works.

Having fun.

The other persistent message that I simply have to do something about is FUN.

I’m good at working hard, you probably know that about me by now.

And I’m fairly good at really luxuriating when I give myself the chance. (I just love taking days off and putting my feet up and watching movies and eating great food and treats.)

But I just don’t give myself the chance very often.

I come from a long line of self-sacrificers and workaholics and the buck is going to have to stop here, now.

The funny thing is, I’m still not sure what I truly want it to look like, this fun thing. Writing is fun, but it’s also work.

I think it’s more about lightness of spirit and regular adventures. I hesitate to schedule time for fun. But I also used to hesitate to schedule time for writing, and look where that got me!

What if fun was worth making time for?

That sounds like a ridiculous question even as I write it.

But sometimes my brain needs an excuse to think of things in a new way.

Being appreciative and being present.

And last, I think my perhaps my biggest one, is about appreciation and presence. I’m so good at appreciating things in other people, but not so good at appreciating them in my own life. This is huge, and hard to admit. I’ve got more work to do here.

My recent tech shabbats have shown me about the power of being present and not checked out into my own little world. So I’m getting there. And there’s more. There always is.

What about you?

If this was your wake-up call, what would it be?

What is the voice of your spirit asking you to pay attention to right now?

What have you been neglecting but you know, deep down, you want to attend to?

If the Universe was going to give you a whack upside the head with a cosmic two-by-four, what would it be trying to tell you?

Your turn

We’d love to hear from you in the comments. Anything you’re tolerating? Ignoring? Things you know you want to do but aren’t? What if you chose to tackle them head-on? I’m sure I’ve got a few more of them. Seems like it’s time for an inventory.

Warmly,

 Jenna

Coming Attractions

~> Monday, April 8th. Through April 8th, my OnDemand webinar, “10 Practical Tips for More Consistent Productive Writing“* with the Writer’s Store is on sale. Use the code ONDEMAND413 at checkout to save 50%.

~> Thursday, April 18th. Register by April 18th for the next session of my Writer’s Circle (starts April 22nd). Build a solid habit of daily writing and finish all your writing projects: http://JustDoTheWriting.com.

 

What I'm Up To

~> Writing. I’ve finished my read-through of Progeny and now I’m starting in on the editing and polishing in earnest. I’m also beginning to outline my next project, tentatively called Do Over, which will be a sweet little time travel romance. Can’t you just see it already?

~> Unplugging. Friday sundown to Saturday sundown. Join me!

~> Reading. Finished How to Train Your Dragon: How to Cheat a Dragon’s Curse* with my son. Now we’ve started in on A Boy and His Bot* by Daniel H. Wilson. I also finished Crucible of Gold* by Naomi Novik (loved it!) and then plowed through a re-read of Do The Work* by Steven Pressfield in one afternoon. Next up is finishing Adventures in the Screen Trade* by William Goldman and then tackling Making a Literary Life* by Carolyn See. Or maybe the other way around. I never do like rules. :)

 

Thanks for reading.

 

* Affiliate link

The end of the world as we know it, part deux

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about “the end of the world as we know it.”

So many people’s lives are shifting in difficult, challenging ways right now. I do feel like we’re starting to come out the other side of it, though, don’t you?

I’m reminded that even when things look disastrous, beneficial change is usually occurring.

Somehow this will all work out

When it’s happening in my own life, I like to say, “Somehow this will all work out, even if I can’t see how yet.” I believe in myself and my ability to make good, long-term choices for myself, and to get the help I need to see myself through difficult times, so even when it feels like things will be tanking forever, I remember that somehow I’ll see it through.

The right and perfect path

When it’s happening in someone else’s life, and it looks like they are crashing and burning, I hold out the same kind of hope. I believe that they are on their right and perfect path, when even from the outside it looks like a train wreck. Rather than staring overly at the debris or trying to fix it for them, I do my best to view their situation from a place of higher, spiritual respect that they are doing the best they consciously know how to handle their situations.

Love them through it

Certainly their choices may impact my own decisions about how, when, and if I choose to interact with them. I may even choose not to have them in my life any longer, but I can still view them, their lives, and choices with compassion.

So as we see our loved ones losing relationships, not living their dreams, sabotaging their lives, or just plain going through a rough patch, remember to love them through it.

As you see yourself struggling with painful emotions and circumstances, love yourself through it too.

Notice your capacity for compassion

The challenges I have been through myself this year, too numerous to count, have vastly increased my capacity for compassion and understanding for others. At least for me, that’s what this “whole 2012 thing” has been about.

What about you? What do you notice about your own capacity for compassion?

Your turn

Click here to share your thoughts. I love reading your comments and insights.

Also, thanks so much to all of you who celebrated with me for my birthday, in the sale and otherwise. I am grateful for your presence in my community.

Warmly,

 Jenna

 

Coming Attractions

~> Start the New Year Off WRITE. Register by December 28th for the New Year’s session of my Writer’s Circle (starts December 31st) and receive a special, rare, bonus savings of $30 on your first session when you use coupon code NEWYEARWRITE (you can also use this code to purchase a gift membership for the writer in your life who needs a little extra support). Build a solid habit of daily writing and finish all your writing projects: http://JustDoTheWriting.com.

 

 

What I'm Up To

~> Daily. Working on rewriting my script, Progeny, with my mentor Chris Soth after finishing the ProSeries.* Right now I’m reworking my overview of mini movies 5 to 8 before diving in to the second half of the rewrite.

~> Reading: The Guardians of Ga’hoole* with my son. Watching on Homeland, Sports Night, and Castle (my motivation for going to the gym). Reading Adventures in the Screen Trade* by William Goldman and Scriptshadow Secrets* by Carson Reeves. I highly recommend both of them. Also reading snippets of Devil Said Bang* by Richard Kadrey. Sandman Slim is a great character.

* Affiliate link

 

 

 

 

Live by desire, not mood

I read a wonderful post today by Jennifer Louden called, “Mood vs. Desire.”

She eloquently makes a case that we must “Learn the difference between mood and desire” if we want to feel more alive and fulfilled.

She states:

“You are always in a mood…. if you are in a light hearted mood, life seems easier. Tired or feeling put upon, you see your choices in a whole different light…. Desire, on the other hand, is life force running underneath everything. The Divine at play. A reflection of your deepest values. Desire is the most current flavor of your calling.

“We get mood and desire confused…. Mood is influenced by what you ate for breakfast, how your morning meeting went, if your partner and you are getting along, how you slept. We say ‘I’m not in the mood’ thinking that means we have no desire. No.  Mood covers desire. Desire runs under mood, sometimes deep under, but it is always there.”

This is a lesson that many creatives and sensitives (and Enneagram Fours in particular) are confronted with regularly.

So many of us want to wait to be in the right mood to create, write, work, or even to complete household chores.

In the case of writing, what we’re finding in my Writer’s Circle is that when we write on a daily basis, whether we’re “in the mood” or not, we’re much happier on the other side of it than when we don’t.

It’s all too easy to think that we’re too tired, too stressed, or too unhappy to reach for what we deeply want, but when we do it anyway, we answer our soul’s calling and say “Yes” to life.

Ignoring that deeper calling and acting only on mood is one of the biggest mistakes we can make, yet so easy to fall into. It requires will, discipline, and strength to make the hard choices, do the work, and prioritize our deepest desires. But it’s so worth it.

Your turn

Tell me what you think in the comments. You know I love to hear from you.

Warmly,

Jenna

 

Coming Attractions

~> September 27th. Register by September 27th for the next 4-week session of my “Just Do The Writing” Accountability Circle (starts October 1st). For serious writers and for writers who want to get serious about their writing. http://JustDoTheWriting.com

~> October 4th. My next Life Purpose Breakthrough Group. SOLD OUT. http://LifePurposeBreakthrough.com

 

What I'm Up To

~> Ongoing. Working on my script, Progeny, with screenwriter Chris Soth after finishing the ProSeries.* There’s always more.

~> Sacred writing time. My schedule is in flux right now but I’m writing regularly nonetheless.

~> Reading: Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows with my son. We’re also watching Merlin, which he loves.

 

* Affiliate link

 

 

 

 

Gift markings: Use ’em or pay the piper

Most people get a little giddy over hand analysisGift Markings.” I did!

When I first had my hands analyzed, we found about 10 gift markings. It was so exciting to see my innate talents showing up on my palms. And I wanted more — I felt sure some were missing from my list. :)

Ironically, I did find more over time, but it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. I’ll tell you why, but first, let me explain a little more about gift markings and how they work.

What are gift markings?

Gift markings are line formations on your palms and fingers that indicate a particular ability or talent that you are not using to its fullest degree. The marking is in your hands like a beacon from the Universe, saying, “More of this, please! And faster would be better.”

The line formations look like small asterisks (* called “stars”), single lines, or sets of parallel lines, and are in specific locations — “Mounts” on your palm or distinct line locations. The positions of the markings are important, and they tell us the nature of your gift.

There are 17 officially recognized gift markings by the International Institute of Hand Analysis.

Stars:

  • Star of Jupiter: Gifted leader
  • Star of Saturn: Midas touch
  • Star of Apollo: Fame & fortune in the arts
  • Star of Mercury: Clever communication
  • Star of Pluto: Deep transformation
  • Star in the Moon: Psychic flashes of intuition
  • Star of Neptune: Gifted empath
  • Star of Venus: Playful spirit
  • Star of Mars: Courage
  • Star of Wisdom:  The seer

Lines:

  • Medical Stigmata: Gifted healer
  • Lines of Genius: Gifted author and speaker
  • HAL 9000 line: Gifted problem solver
  • Persephone line: Deep intuitive transformation
  • Line of Clairvoyance: Psychic vision
  • Simian crease: Intense focus
  • Pure Heart line: Unconditional love

How to use your gift markings

One of the things that’s interesting about hand analysis is the redundancy. Very often, if you have a particular Life Purpose indicated by your fingerprints, your gift markings will reflect and reinforce your purpose, as will other line markings (there are many, including your life line, head line, heart line, fate line, and various other indicators).

You can think of your gift markings as the tools that help you implement your Life Purpose. Some hand analysts think your gift markings are more important or equivalent in importance to your Life Purpose.

While I disagree on one level, I also think that your gift markings can play a dominant role in your life experience, particularly if you have a lot of them or if you are not using them well.

Gift markings can change

Unlike your fingerprints and other dermatoglyphs, the line markings on your palms can change. This means that over time, gift markings can come and go. So you may be let off the hook if you start using your gift “enough.”

What is “enough”?

I’ve never had a good answer on the definition of “enough” from anyone so far, but my understanding is that if the gift marking is still there, you’ve got more work to do.

Are you in the penalty box?

As I said, gift markings are pretty exciting. Like me, most people long to have them, or more of them. This is definitely one of those “be careful what you wish for” situations, though.

Here’s why.

Every gift marking comes with a penalty. Other hand analysts describe it as being “on the student path.” In either case, it isn’t fun.

Whether you know about your gift or not, if you’re not using it, you’ll feel frustrated, thwarted, stuck, and dissatisfied with your life.

Bottom line: If you are not using the gift, you’ll face the consequences.

Penalty examples

For example, if you have a “Gifted Author and Speaker” gift marking (Lines of Genius) but you aren’t using it “enough”, you’ll find yourself spinning in circles and shuffling lots and lots of paper.

The antidote? Use the gift: Write and speak like your life depends on it.

Another case in point is one of my personal favorites and bêtes noires: The Hal 9000 line. Not only do I love the sci fi reference, but I have an up close and personal relationship with this one. The Hal 9000 line is the mark of the “Gifted Problem Solver,” and if you aren’t solving large, complicated problems (we’re talking world-scale here), you’ll create complicated personal problems to solve, like getting involved with a married man or creating financial challenges for yourself.

The antidote: Figure out the big world problem you want to solve and get cracking.

The multiple-gift marking conundrum

Only about 35% of the population have one gift marking, according to Pamelah Landers, author of “The Complete Guide to Gift Markings.”

Having 3 or more gift markings is downright uncommon.

Therefore, for those of us with multiple gift markings (more than 3), we can feel isolated. And overwhelmed.

Having multiple gift markings means having multiple masters. Not only do you need to be fulfilling your Life Purpose, working on your Life Lesson, and mastering your Life School, you’re also required to answer to the gift marking Powers That Be, each of whom seem to have their own agendas.

Luckily, as I said earlier, your gift markings tend to reinforce your fingerprint Life Purpose markings, and can give you a fuller picture of what your calling and how you can go about accomplishing it.

Truly, it’s a mixed blessing — all those penalties are no cup of tea, but they sure do give you a powerful nudge to get back on track with what you were put here to do.

Want your hands analyzed?

If you’d like to find out more or have your hands analyzed, consider joining one of my upcoming Life Purpose Breakthrough Group sessions or booking a private Life Purpose hand analysis session with me. All sessions are held by phone.

 

“One of the most effortless and deeply insightful processes I’ve gone through.”

I am amazed at how there is SO MUCH WISDOM within something so small and subtle as our fingerprints. It reaffirmed a lot I already knew about myself, but also pinpointed things I really need to pay attention to and magnify. Afterward, I spent a 4-day weekend absorbing & processing EVERYTHING. I journaled like crazy, wrote up 5 things I want to focus on, got 2 new books, and cranked out new content for my website/company I had wanted to build. For someone considering taking this course, there is no considering needed… it’s a MUST. It was one of the most effortless and deeply insightful processes I’ve gone through, and I’ve gone through MANY of them. Jenna is absolutely genuine, real, compassionate, and with just the right dosage of being intuitive for you and having wisdom for the whole group.

Given the time you had to go over everything for 4 people, Jenna, you did an amazing job of being comprehensive and intuitive that was just right for the time we had. It was so so so nice to have someone who just “got me“…and that’s a true sign of a true intuitive. I take my life purpose very seriously and have spent a lot of time honing it and trying to live it. But it’s time to really take it up a notch it and make it my FULL-TIME work. That is my vision and goal.
~ Lola Tsai, Vancouver, BC, www.lolaloveandlight.com

“The inspiration and clarity of the reading, along with your keen intuition, has helped empower me in better embracing my soul’s life purpose.”

“I have been sitting with the awe of the accuracy and enlightenment your fingerprint analysis has brought me! The validation and relief, as well as the inspiration and clarity of the reading, along with your keen intuition, has helped empower me in better embracing my soul’s life purpose. A wonderful gift and icing on the delicious cake I have been savoring in your course — thank you for your sacred work and gift of love!”
~ Helena Himani Das, Managing Animals Naturally, Inc.

Too cool for school?

Understanding your Life School is an important part of fulfilling your Life Purpose.

Your Life School is like a broad training program that gives you the lifetime tools you need to achieve your Life Purpose and address your Life Lesson. Both your purpose and lesson play out within your Life School, so it’s worth paying attention to and mastering.

I like to compare your Life School and Purpose together to a college degree program. While you might major in English, just the way you focus on your Life Purpose, the English department is part of the broader School of Arts & Humanities, very much akin to the way your purpose plays out in the larger context of your Life School.

Each Life School has a particular challenge associated with it. In the realm of hand analysis, you’re always looking for the “just right” place on the pendulum swing from one extreme to the other. It’s like your own personal Goldilocks mission, should you choose to accept it. :)

How you can use your Life School information

When things start going south, it’s usually a challenge associated with your Life Lesson (because you’re not working on it) or your Life School (because you’ve strayed from the “just right” path).

For example, in my case, as a School of Service trainee, if I’m having trouble and it’s not associated with my Lesson, I usually find that I’ve over-given and gotten resentful (one extreme in the School of Service) or retreated too far from truly being of service to my tribe into self-indulgence (the other extreme), rather than walking the win-win path of it being good for me AND good for them.

I’ve gotten much better at this over the years, particularly in the work realm, but it came back to bite me when I had my son: I went too far into self-sacrifice mode and wasn’t doing enough to take care of myself. And voilà: Instant service backlash.

I’ve learned to use my giving-receiving radar to help me stay on track with what’s working for me and what’s not. And sometimes I have to be reminded to do so — hence the opportunities created by my Life School = more chances to learn.

How your Life School is determined

Your Life School is determined by the number of a particular type of fingerprint you have to qualify for a particular school.

There are four Life Schools: Service, Love, Wisdom, and Peace.

(A funny side note is that I was initially so distracted by wanting to be in school of Wisdom that I hardly noticed how accurately the School of Service fit me! Can you say “blind spot”?)

  • The School of Service is designed to teach you the path of consciousness and about true, joyful service that is good for you and everyone around you. It requires that you master serving yourself before you can be of true service in the world. Whorl fingerprint types are associated with the School of Service.
  • The School of Love is designed to teach you the path of the heart, and about balanced, authentic emotional expression that stays current in the moment. Love students learn to value, trust, and express their emotions regardless of the perceived impact or response from other people. Loop fingerprints belong to the School of Love.
  • The School of Wisdom teaches you to honor the path of “thoughtful action” and the ability to take meaningful, conscious action rather than sitting on the fence thinking and analyzing endlessly or taking overly reckless action. The fingerprint type associated with the School of Wisdom are Tented Arches.
  • The School of Peace follows the path of the body and the physical, and gives you opportunities to explore what it means to feel safe in your body and on the planet and learn to neither rush around in adrenaline mode nor fall into a spaced out place. Arch fingerprint patterns indicate the School of Peace.

It is possible to be in more than one school, which results in a combined school. For example, someone with the qualifying number of Loop prints might also have one or more Tented Arch fingerprints, putting them in the school of “Wise Relationships.”

Remember, your Life School gives you the context for your Lesson and Purpose, and the tools you need to help you accomplish them. So while being an artist or writer might be your Life Purpose, your Life School will bring a unique flavor or theme to your work that will help clarify what you’re up to and why.

If finding your Life Purpose and Life Lesson interests you, I invite you to join me for one of my upcoming Life Purpose Breakthrough Groups or for a private hand analysis session.

Jill“I was amazed at the accuracy of my hand analysis with Jenna.”

“I was amazed at the accuracy of my hand analysis with Jenna. It really was uncanny how the reading mirrored me exactly! I’m moving in new directions now, and the timing of my hand reading was exactly right — it highlighted the major issues I’m dealing with and pointed out some I hadn’t identified yet. Knowing I am in both the schools of Service and Peace, and my life lesson and life purpose, is incredibly valuable for me in taking my next step toward Authentic Work. A truly worthwhile experience.”
~ Jill Winski, The Artist’s Nest, www.JillWinski.com

“During my hand print reading… Everything Jenna said felt true to my experience yet surprising and deeply insightful.”

“When I hear something that resonates with my inner being I get shivers through my body. During my hand print reading with Jenna last night I had dozens of shivers. Everything she said felt true to my experience yet surprising and deeply insightful. This was the exact right time for me to receive this information. I feel excited and inspired by the clarity and new paths that feel available to me now.”
~ Sherris Cottier Shank, Gem Carver, www.GemScapes.com