Boundary setting for sensitives and writers

For sensitive people, setting boundaries is one of the trickiest skills for us to master.

We’ve learned to have feelers out around us constantly, aware of everything and everyone, as a strategy to not be blindsided by challenging people in our lives. We’re porous, and open, and affected by other people’s energy, emotions, and even thoughts and feelings. Many of us have tendencies to be “fixers” — quickly responding to other people’s needs, wants, and problems — in part to relieve our own distress at having them being “needy” in our physical and energetic space. And we don’t miss much, because we’re constantly aware of what’s happening around us.

We also happen to be excellent at helping people process painful experiences. We can be deeply empathic and highly supportive during difficult times. We can put ourselves in other people’s shoes fairly easily (and our audience’s and characters’ shoes, if we are also creatives and writers). 

Setting boundaries, for people who are so accustomed to being open, can feel like a slap in someone else’s face — to us. Typically WE don’t like having boundaries set, because it feels like being pushed away, and many of us long for deep closeness, so we don’t like to set them for other people. At the beginning of setting boundaries, it CAN come off as harsh, because we’re not innately accustomed to it, so we often err on the side of overkill. It takes practice to even it out.

And the hard reality, though, is that until we learn to set proper boundaries, we are uncomfortably and inappropriately affected by other people, and often overly involved in their “business” too.

As sensitives with other things to do in the world besides just dealing with being highly sensitive (*grin*), like writing, or creating, or pursuing your own life dreams, you’ll want to set boundaries on multiple levels, so you can stay on track with your own path, and not get pulled off course by other people’s agendas, needs, wants, visions.

1. Set physical and practical boundaries.

If you’re working or living in a shared space (or even if others have access to your physical space), you’ll find yourself being affected by other people’s energy, intentions, and assumptions, unless you clearly establish the ground rules or boundaries for what’s okay and what’s not.

Usually this looks like establishing parameters around when and how you want to work or focus in an uninterrupted way, when and how you’re willing to be interrupted (or not), when and how you want alone time, how and when people are allowed to drop by, and more.

So, for example, in my house, my family knows that writing time is sacred. With some trial and error, we’ve established that when I’m writing, no one talks to me, no one interrupts me, no one asks me questions, and no one comes into the room (though as I type that I’m pretty sure my 5 year old son sneaked into my writing room yesterday to get something but since he didn’t bother me, I didn’t mind).

I do make an effort to keep my other work time corralled to daytime hours when my son and husband are away from the house (I work in a home office) but if they ARE home, we have rules there too. I close my doors and lock them. I come out at expected intervals — I let them know when I’ll be taking a break and when they can ask me questions. OF COURSE if there was an emergency they would interrupt me and I would be totally fine with that. But otherwise? No.

And yeah, it’s sometimes hard with a 5-year-old, but he’s learning. I also don’t expect him to stay away without help. If there’s not someone else home, I do my best not to schedule things during that time.

Similarly, on a practical level, I know when I’ll answer the phone and when I won’t. When I’ll check my email and when I won’t. Et cetera.

A lot of this has to do with communication, and a willingness to keep fine-tuning it over time. And yeah, it sometimes goes off the rails. But the point is to get it back on track as smoothly and seamlessly as possible.

2. Set mental and emotional boundaries.

But what happens when you find people invading your mental and emotional space? What happens when you can’t stop thinking about what your boss said, or your friend Tammy’s “emergency”?

I find this issue shows up in two primary ways: being overly involved with other people’s needs and being overly involved with other people’s opinions.

Other people’s needs

When it comes to other people’s needs, we have to remember not to allow ourselves to get “hooked” by other people, and to respond to them appropriately, in our own right time and space.

Part of this is learning to trust and respect that at the end of the day, other adults are responsible for their own needs, just like we are responsible for our own needs. We can lovingly and supportively say, “Yes, I’d be happy to help you. I’ll be available at X time to do that.”

We can also say, “No, I’m sorry, I wish I could help you, but I’m not available.”

And by the way, in case you’re wondering, it’s totally okay to not answer the phone or respond to messages or emails until it works for you. Sure, some things need a timely reply. But that doesn’t have to mean instantaneously.

Children of course are a different matter, because as adults we are responsible for meeting many of their needs. And we are also responsible for helping them learn to take care of themselves and respect other people’s needs and boundaries too.

I’m not going to pretend that I never get hooked by other people’s dramas. I sure do. But I do my best to disentangle myself as quickly as I possibly can.

I will also add here that family is always the trickiest when it comes to setting boundaries. Always. We have such deep-seated patterns when it comes to our family members, and it’s not easy to have distance and perspective on them, which by the way, is part of what boundary-setting both requires and creates.

Other people’s opinions

Another way issues show up with mental and emotional boundaries is when we are overly invested in other people’s opinions, wisdom, and advice. This is a tough one for me. It’s far too easy for me to turn to other people for input and not remember to turn inward to my own inner guidance for the answers I need.

Why on earth would we do this?

There’s actually a good reason.

Most sensitive people, from an early age, are told NOT to be the way we are. We learned to distrust ourselves, because even though we usually saw the truth of what was going on around us, when we spoke up about it, we were told not to. Not to say it, and not to even notice it. And since we were kids when that happened, and we equated our own survival and being loved with disowning a core part of ourselves, we learn to try not to be who we are.

So that incredibly valuable, deeply wise part of ourselves gets repressed, in order for us to survive.

The work here is about learning to look within for answers and developing our intuitive muscles to hone our sense of inner guidance.

At the same time, we will also want to consult with experts and authorities from time to time, but we absolutely have to remember that on the human level we are still equals. Even if the other person has more advanced information than we do, we can set a mental boundary that says, “And what do I think? What feels right to me?” Being self-referencing in that way and remembering not to give our power away to other people is extremely empowering for sensitive people.

And yeah, sometimes someone will say something that just nags at you and it’ll take a little while to process and release it. That’s okay, just don’t let it derail you. Use your energetic tools (see below) to disconnect and move on as efficiently as you can.

3. Set energetic boundaries.

At a third level, sensitives also benefit from learning to set energetic boundaries. Sometimes that’s the easiest place to start, because when we can shift other people’s energy away from us, we’re less affected by the actual “on the ground” things that are happening.

Energy skills are a way of working with the energy field around your body to clear out the crud you pick up from other people (ever feel like “PigPen” walking around out there in the world?) and filter what comes into your space. It’s a practice that centers around some simple visualization skills to get you into your body and shielded. Again, once you put those into place, you’ll find that the other inter-personal work gets a lot easier to accomplish because you won’t get hooked as easily other people.

One of my favorites is a trick I call the “Grocery Store Cure” (described in my Protection & Boundaries self-study class) to block the energy of the people standing overly close in line at the grocery store. It’s a subtle thing, but it makes a lovely difference in creating a sense of space and place for myself.

Where’s your focus area?

The bottom line is that boundary setting isn’t a skill that comes naturally to most sensitive types, and it takes deliberate attention and communication around what’s working and what’s not working so you can make some adjustments. It’s worth it in the long run because you’ll feel better and be more on track with your own life.

So take a quick inventory of these key areas: physical and practical, mental and emotional, and energetic, to see where you might need to focus your own fine-tuning. Let me know what you discover in the comments.

Warmly,

 Jenna

 

It’s the vibration, sweetie!

A long while ago, one of my lovely private clients asked me to write a post about food again. It’s been an even longer time since I’ve written anything about food, but the last time I did everyone ended up contributing all kinds of fabulous food ideas in the comments on the article. It was called “Eat your veggies, raise your vibration.”

Here are a few excerpts from that article:

“As sensitive souls, we are deeply affected by what we take in. This includes information, sensory input, the energy and emotions of other people, what we drink, and what we eat. How we might be affected negatively by what we eat is obvious when it comes to foods we have allergies too, foods that include chemicals (like MSG), or things like alcohol, sugar, highly processed foods, and caffeine, but we can be affected by food positively as well. In fact, what we eat makes a huge difference in our ability to function masterfully. This is because there is a vibration to everything we eat, and it affects our own personal vibration in turn.

“High-vibration foods carry a natural, positive, uplifting energy. You can feel it when you eat them. They are fresh, whole, natural, organic, “sunlight” foods, grown with sustainable, clean farming practices. Vegetables and fruits in particular are naturally high-vibration foods.”

Eating high-vibration foods

Here are my tricks for HOW I check the vibration of what I’m eating.

#1 Color

When we make our son’s lunch or prepare our family’s dinner plates, I look at the array of colors.

If I see a full spectrum of colors — and always something green — I know I’m on the right track. I feel nervous when I see a “brown dinner” on my plate, because I’ve learned that afterward I’ll feel flat and ugh-y.

So even if my plate is filled with yummy broiled organic chicken, roasted organic cauliflower, and organic gluten-free pasta, I’m not comfortable until I’ve added sliced red bell peppers, a green salad, some broccoli, green peas, or even some fresh strawberries. Mostly likely at least three of those.

Other colorful items I love to see on my plate: dark greens like kale and chard (especially when they’re “dressed up” with a special dressing or nuts) and broccoli; vibrant orange sweet potatoes, carrots, persimmons, and oranges; lighter greens like peas, zucchini, asparagus, lettuces, Brussels sprouts; and reds like red bells, strawberries, and beets.

Ideally I like to see at least two to three other colors besides brown on my plate.

#2 Freshness

On top of that, I like to make sure I have something very fresh — like barely steamed broccoli or snap peas that are still deliciously crunchy, fresh strawberries, red bell peppers, etc. served with whatever we’re eating. It doesn’t always happen (we’re busy people with a small child), but we do our best. We shop weekly and really put the focus on the vegetables when we do, so that there’s always something quick to steam, chop, or pan cook.

#3 Origin, Quality, & Care

Where our food comes from and the quality and care that’s put into the farming of it makes a difference too.

We’ve started getting a produce box from a nearby farm, and I love the adventure of it — figuring out what to do with all the odd vegetables that arrive (which is often roasted a chicken in a pan strewn with a veggie medley).

The deliciousness of the carrots from that box far surpasses anything I can buy in the store. And that is hugely motivating when it comes to eating well.

#4 Heaviness

I also like to look at the weight or heaviness of what I’m eating. If I eat a bunch of carbs (pasta, potatoes, breads, etc), I’m tired, sluggish, and less effective afterward.

I’ve given up gluten except rarely, and I generally just try to avoid grains and breads as a result. But I do find that if I really want something more substantial, I’m better off with lentils or beans than other “whiter” carbs. Then I have some substance without being dragged down by it afterward.

#5 Protein

I also make a point to prioritize protein. As a sensitive person easily affected by blood sugar swings, I’m much more stable and focused when I regularly consume protein. I lean toward organic when I can get it, plus free range or “pastured” poultry and meats if I can. (If you’re a vegetarian, this can be trickier, but I do like organic non-GMO tofu on occasion).

Again, I believe the quality of the source does affect us, but consuming protein for me also has a direct effect on MY vibration. If I junk food or lots of carb-focused foods, I just feel weighted down and heavy. If I focus on protein and veggies, I feel lighter and clearer headed.

Why this matters for sensitives and writers — and sensitive writers

Part of being able to write and create on a regular basis is functioning well. If we’re not taking good care of ourselves, our “creative well” gets depleted. Paying attention to our own energy as well as the energy of the food we eat makes a huge difference in our physical well-being, which in turn affects our ability to create and be our best selves in the world. What we eat matters.

Your turn

How are you eating these days? What tricks and tips do you have for eating well? Share them in the comments below.

Warmly,

 Jenna

p.s. If you are on the sensitive side of the spectrum, you may also be interested in my Energy Skills classes for sensitive souls. You can check them out here: https://calledtowrite.com/shop, but don’t buy them now, because they’ll be on sale next week!

 

Coming Attractions

~> Next week. Special Spring Sale on my energy skills classes. Stay tuned for details coming soon.

~> Thursday, May 16th. Register by May 16th for the next session of my Writer’s Circle (starts May 20th). Build a solid habit of daily writing and finish all your writing projects: http://JustDoTheWriting.com.

 

What I'm Up To

~> Writing. Progeny, my sci-fi action script with a spiritual twist, is done! At least for this round. :) I’ve just submitted it to my mentor and once he sends me notes back, I’ll be submitting it to a contest. I’m just thrilled to have reached this major milestone and I’m planning a day off to play hooky from everything in the very near future to celebrate.

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

~> Reading. Reading A Boy and His Bot* by Daniel H. Wilson with my son. Still read The Empath and the Archetypal Drama Triangle* by Elaine La Joie (also a good friend and colleague). I’ll get back to Adventures in the Screen Trade* by William Goldman eventually. :) I’m all caught up on Game Of Thrones now, it’s just terrific.

 

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

 

When you feel like you don’t belong

Something that often comes up for introverts and sensitives is a feeling of not belonging.

I’ve noticed that this feeling of not belonging often comes up in higher stakes social situations, like conferences (whether for work or for pleasure) and parties.

I suspect that this feeling of not belonging is primarily triggered by feeling overstimulated and overwhelmed by the energy of all the different people in the room, as well as by the intensity of our own hopes and expectations about the event.

Not belonging is a kind of rejection

Of particular interest to me is that most sensitives (including me) will go through some kind of rejection process as part of dealing with their belonging issues.

Often this looks like telling ourselves, “I don’t belong here. There’s something wrong with me, I don’t fit in, I’m not as good as so-and-so at this, what was I even thinking to be here in the first place?”

But it can also look like this, “These people are horrible, what are they doing/thinking/saying that for? I can’t believe how [fill in the blank] they are being. I don’t have these problems, I don’t belong here, I’m better than they are.”

It’s a clear pattern of rejection.

In the first case, we reject ourselves.

In the second case, we reject “them.”

Rejection like this is a form of judging

Inherent in this way of thinking is judgment.

We’re either judging ourselves or judging other people.

And why?

I notice that I’m much more likely to get into this kind of pattern when I’m feeling insecure about something.

“Compare and despair”

(Martha Beck’s phrase)

It also feels a lot like comparison.

Remember what we say about comparison? Someone always loses.

I think the same thing goes for judging.

I lose when I judge, whether I’m judging myself, which is so painful, or when I’m judging someone else, because I rob myself of the opportunity to see someone as human, flawed, and imperfect, just like I am.

Judgment versus discernment

As a counterpoint to my own argument, I feel compelled to add that judgment can be a useful tool when applied as discernment. We can and should be discerning about how we invest our time, energy, and money in the world, and who we spend it with. It strikes me that judgment (at least the kind of judgment we’re talking about here) is healthy discernment run amok.

Judgment makes it personal. Discernment makes choices.

Connecting at the level of humanity

A few weeks ago, I talked about how looking from the outside in never gives us the full story about other people, so we need to be careful not to make assumptions about things like how successful other people are or not, what they really think or believe or feel about something, or what their businesses, habits, homes, or relationships are actually like.

I’ve also been observing how much pain and struggle so many of us are experiencing right now, and while I don’t like to focus on the struggle, it’s real and true.

At conferences and parties everyone tries so hard to “BE SOMEONE” they are not, it’s much more difficult to connect to the truth of their humanity, just like it’s harder to connect to our own humanity when we’re focused on the image of who we are trying to be.

The painful beauty of events like Hurricane Sandy is that they connect us together through the simple truth of being alive, something I remember all too well from the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake and the 1991 Oakland Hills firestorm.

When we can find that place of connection, by staying grounded and connected with our own bodies and looking to see the deeper souls through the eyes of the people around us, we are always safe, we always belong, and there is no need to judge.

Share your thoughts

I always love to hear what you think on the blog.

Warmly,

Jenna

 

Coming Attractions

~> November 15th. Mark your calendar to join my free Writer’s Chat on Vokle.com. I’ll be sending registration details soon.

~> November 21st. Register by WEDNESDAY November 21st (a day early because of American Thanksgiving) for the next 4-week session of my “Just Do The Writing” Accountability Circle (starts November 26th). Build a solid habit of daily writing and finish all your writing projects: http://JustDoTheWriting.com

 

What I'm Up To

~> Ongoing. Working on rewriting my script, Progeny, with my mentor Chris Soth after finishing the ProSeries.* I’m currently editing “mini-movie 3” of my script before moving on to complete “mini-movie 4” and hit the midpoint of my script. I’m thrilled with the progress I’ve been making.

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

~> Reading: How to Train Your Dragon and still bits of Eragon with my son. Loving Homeland, though now that I’ve caught up to the current season it’s taking waaaaayyyy too long between episodes. I’m making do by catching up on Big Love and Sports Night. I saw someone call Joss Whedon “your parents’ Aaron Sorkin” and I couldn’t agree more.

 

* Affiliate link

 

 

Sensitives, what’s most important to you?

I’d love to have your input on a survey that will help me develop articles, offerings, and services for sensitive souls. I’ve been receiving input from you about wanting “more for sensitives” so I’m checking to make sure I’m providing what you’re looking for.

Thanks for your interest!

You can take the survey here:

[polldaddy survey=”16DC16B517FAB63B” type=”button” title=”–>Click here to take the survey!<–” style=”inline” text_color=”006666″]

 

 

While you’re here, you might also be interested in the three for one Summer Sale I’m running right now — Thursday through Saturday, where you can get all three of my self-study energy skills classes for sensitive souls for the price of one. You can check out the sale here: https://calledtowrite.com/SummerSale

 

 

 

 

 

The deep vulnerability of being seen creatively

If you’ve ever felt called to doing something artistic or creative, you’ve probably also realized by now that it can be pretty uncomfortable to share that work with other people.
 
There’s a deep vulnerability that comes with sharing our voices, art, words, acting, performing and other creative expression that can be so unnerving that many people never quite get past the word “Go” and instead sit on the side lines, reluctant to put themselves out there.
 
  • I see it with coaches who don’t feel ready to make offers yet or put off setting dates for their workshops and classes.
  • I see it with writers who never quite seem to finish their writing projects or stall when it comes to developing plans to get their work into the world.
  • I see it with actors who are terrified of going to auditions and postpone calling their agents until they “feel ready again.”
  • I see it with artists who hide their work away in their studios and never make a sale.
  • I see it with entrepreneurs who can’t decide what their niche is or never seem to get all the details just right before they launch.
I have something to tell you.
 
This is all driven by fear.
 
Fear that you aren’t good enough, won’t measure up, don’t have something new to say, that what you say won’t be liked, think you’re being presumptuous to think you deserve a place at the table and more.
 
How do I know this?
 
I know because I feel ALL of those things myself. Every single one of them.
 
The key is to not to let the fear stop you. I like to help you look directly and compassionately at the fears and old wounds that hold you back so you can move forward more comfortably and courageously. Usually those fears aren’t so scary when we nudge them out into the light.
 

An experiment

If you want to experiment with this, write down a fear that’s swirling around in your head right now (I’ll wait, and yes, I really do want you to write it down in black and white on paper).
 
Okay, now ask yourself, “Is this true? Do I know this for sure?”
 
Then ask, “How can I reframe this belief?”
 
Here’s an example:
  • The fear: “My script isn’t good enough.”
  • Is it true?: “No, I don’t know that for sure.”
  • Reframed: “I’m going to focus on the strengths of my script and do my best to make sure they shine.”
 
 
I wrote a blog post today about the difference between a spotlight Life Purpose marking and a spotlight Gift Marking. That question keeps coming up.
 
The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter which marking you have or if you have one at all, really.
 
If you are called to the spotlight and you aren’t doing it — no matter how scared or reluctant you feel about it — you are going to feel unfulfilled, stuck, confused, spinning in circles, lost, and apathetic until you do it.
 
At the end of the day, one way or another, you need to do your spotlight work.
 

Expand your Spotlight Comfort Zone
With practical and spiritual tools to help you get there
In a safe, sensitive-friendly 6-week study group

If you want to summon your courage and step into YOUR spotlight, join my upcoming Spotlight Study Group, where we’ll have a safe, sensitive-friendly, small, intimate coaching group to clear up the fears, doubts, old wounds, and other obstacles to claiming your place in front of your audience — where you belong.
 
Starts May 1. Early registration ends Sunday, April 15th. Details are here.
 
 
Questions? Email my team.
 

A spotlight life purpose or a spotlight gift marking — what’s the difference?

With all the conversation I’ve been having lately with clients around being called to spotlight — and usually feeling darned reluctant about it (if this is you, better read to the end of this) — one question keeps coming up:

What’s the difference between having a spotlight Life Purpose marking and a spotlight Gift Marking?

Let me explain.

In hand analysis terms, there two primary markings that show you have a “call to the spotlight” — meaning that you must express yourself to your audience and receive their applause, approval, and appreciation in exchange for sharing your work with them: a Star of Apollo gift marking and a Right Apollo Life Purpose.

Star of Apollo Gift Marking

The first is the Star of Apollo gift marking — a small asterisk on your palm on either hand, right below your ring finger — that tells us you have a gift for “Fame and Fortune in the Arts,” or being paid and being seen for your artistic expression.

With an Apollo Star, if you aren’t doing your spotlight work, the Universe has something to say about that and gives you a good swift kick in the butt in the form of “tomato fears” —  aka creative apathy, creative confusion, and creative blocks.

The solution? Do your spotlight work.

Right Apollo Life Purpose

The second is a “Creative Expression in the Spotlight” Life Purpose marking — a high ranking finger print on your right ring finger — meaning that in order to fulfill your life purpose, you must creatively express yourself to your audience.

With a life purpose marking, it is a required part of your life purpose fulfillment.

In other words, you won’t feel satisfied and you won’t have fulfilled your life purpose until or unless you have an audience to whom you are expressing yourself creatively. People with an Apollo purpose MAY have challenges with tomato fears if they are not pursuing their life purpose and/or are falling into their life lesson.

The solution? Do your spotlight work.

The bottom line

They both matter.

They both count.

Gift markings can go away IF you do “enough” of the work.

Life purpose markings NEVER, ever change.

Therefore, in some ways, you can say that a life purpose calling is more powerful because you will never feel fulfilled until you are expressing to your audience.

On the other hand, the gift marking has a certain kind of urgency to it too — don’t do it, and pay the price. In some ways it’s harder for people who have it as a gift marking than it is for people who have it as a purpose marking because of the penalty.

If you are called to the spotlight and you aren’t doing it, you are going to feel unfulfilled, stuck, confused, spinning in circles, lost, and apathetic.

At the end of the day, one way or another, you need to do your spotlight work.

If you want to summon your courage and step into YOUR spotlight, join my upcoming Spotlight Study Group, where we’ll have a safe, sensitive-friendly, small, intimate coaching group to clear up the fears, doubts, old wounds, and other obstacles to claiming your place in front of your audience — where you belong. Starts May 1. Early registration ends Sunday, April 15th. Details are here.

 

Stop your tomato fears from stopping you

When you’re venturing out into the world to be seen by an audience — into the spotlight — your fears of ridicule and judgment are apt to rise quite high.

It’s enough to keep you in perpetual procrastination mode, never quite finishing your book, website, screenplay, speech, or ________ so you can truly put yourself out there.

Change your underlying story

The path to the spotlight requires changing your underlying story about your “tomato fears” so you don’t feel held back by them.

Among the many tomato fears, like creative apathy, creative confusion, and creative blocks, you’ll likely face fears like these two:

The “It’s all been said before” syndrome

This comes up when you think you have nothing new to say, there’s nothing new under the sun, and hasn’t it all been said before?

These messages and questions will keep you quivering in silence unless you adopt a new mindset.

Try these ideas on for size:

  • Remember that YOUR audience is waiting to hear from you.
  • They may never “get” what it is that you’re here to share unless YOU share it.
  • Even if you’re sharing something that’s not “new,” your unique take on it may be exactly how they need to hear it to finally “get” it.

The “Who do you think you are” syndrome

This is fear rearing its ugly head in the form of, “You’re not special. Who do you think you are?”

Try this on instead:

  • Understand that this is your divine contract to deliver and take your ego out of the equation.
  • Recognize that interacting with your audience is a sacred exchange of energy. Treat it respectfully and reverently.

(These are excerpts from my Sensitives in the Spotlight class which will be available in my shop later this year as a self-study class.)

Change your questions, change your life

One of my favorite quotes from Tony Robbins is, “To change your life, you have to change the questions you ask yourself.”

Your philosophy and the questions you ask yourself about being in the spotlight and sharing your creative work profoundly shape your experience.

Change them, and change your life.

Your turn

I’d love to hear what you think! Your comments are always welcome.

Warmly,

 Jenna

Expand your Spotlight Comfort Zone
With practical and spiritual tools to help you get there
In a safe, sensitive-friendly 6-week study group

If you want to summon your courage and step into YOUR spotlight, join my upcoming Spotlight Study Group, where we’ll have a safe, sensitive-friendly, small, intimate coaching group to clear up the fears, doubts, old wounds, and other obstacles to claiming your place in front of your audience — where you belong.
 
Starts May 1. Early registration ends Sunday, April 15th. Details are here.
 
 
Questions? Email my team.
 

 

Coming Attractions

~> FRIDAY, April 13th, 2012. (Extended an extra day!) Last day to register for the next session of my Writer’s Circle session starting on April 16th. Sign up here.

~> April 19th, 2012. Last day to register for my next Life Purpose Breakthrough Group on May 17th. Only 3 spots remaining. These groups consistently sell out, so if you’d like to join me, reserve your spot ASAP. Register here.

~> April 19th, 2012. Teaching a live webinar for Writer’s Digest, “10 Practical Tips for More Consistent, Productive Writing.” Register here.

~> May 1st to June 5th. My new Spotlight Study Group for sensitives, artists and hermit types who are ready to take their call to the spotlight more seriously and clear up the obstacles getting in their way. Register by 4/15 and save $100. Details.

 

What I'm Up To

~> Ongoing. Writing in the ProSeries class at ScreenwritingU. Starting the marketing module today!

~> Sacred writing time. Early mornings and Fridays.

~> Now reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with my boy. I’m thinking I’m going to have to knock off after that for a while because they do take a turn toward the darker side and he’s still just a little one. We’ll see. I’m also thoroughly enjoying watching Downton Abbey and Enlightened. Great shows, both.

 

 

 

Getting comfortable with being seen, heard, and read, Part 2

We resume our story where we left off, with a young woman who had sworn never to speak in public again.

She couldn’t quite get away with that, and even found herself drawn into the public eye giving presentations through her professional work.

But she always dreaded it.

When she left her regular job to go out on her own, she knew she had something to say, but wasn’t sure where to start.

She began with writing with an online newsletter, then added blogging, and eventually began writing articles that were picked up by other websites.

But she still found herself hesitating when it came time to hit the “publish” or “send” button. What if people didn’t like it? What if they disagreed or thought she was wrong? What if she was too “woo-woo” or different or controversial or …?

So she moderated her message, held herself back, and tried to toe the line.

Despite that contradictory dance of trying to hide out and be seen simultaneously, she began to build a following: She had something to say that her right audience wanted to hear.

And with the feedback from her audience, her voice grew stronger, even though she still felt nervous when she pressed the “publish” button.

Eventually, she felt inspired to teach classes and found a venue to offer free classes as a place to start.

And people came!

She was TERRIFIED!

But she held her ground, practiced her energy skills, and reminded herself that she could trust herself to handle anything that came up, even if she didn’t know the answer.

And it was great.

Of course, she couldn’t sleep that night and laid awake late into the night processing the whole experience endlessly.

But she did it again. And it was easier. And she laid awake less and processed less and enjoyed it more.

So she taught another class, and another.

Eventually she began offering her classes online for a fee. And then weekend-long workshops.

And it just kept getting easier and easier and easier.

Have you guessed by now? Did you know already?

This woman was me.

I’ve traveled a path from being terrified of speaking and writing in public to feeling much more comfortable with it. While it’s true that I still get nervous — I even ask myself, “Why am I doing this?” from time to time — I’ve learned that the level of satisfaction I feel when I share my message with my audience is so very high that it is entirely worth it.

As a sensitive person who loves to hermit herself away at home and write (just ask my friend Kris how hard it is to pry me out of my little cave), I’ve learned a number of ways of understanding and working with myself and my sensitive, introverted, empathic wiring so I can handle being seen, heard, and read.

I’ll tell you that as I stretch myself farther with my screenwriting and other writing, it is becoming increasingly uncomfortable again, but I will not let that stop me from reaching for my dreams and sharing what I have to say.

Your turn

What about you? Does this inspire anything for you? Your comments are welcome.

Warmly,

 Jenna

Expand your Spotlight Comfort Zone
With practical and spiritual tools to help you get there
In a safe, sensitive-friendly 6-week study group

If you want to summon your courage and step into YOUR spotlight, join my upcoming Spotlight Study Group, where we’ll have a safe, sensitive-friendly, small, intimate coaching group to clear up the fears, doubts, old wounds, and other obstacles to claiming your place in front of your audience — where you belong.
 
Starts May 1. Early registration ends Sunday, April 15th. Details are here.
 
 
Questions? Email my team.
 

Coming Attractions

~> NEW DATE: April 10th, 2012. My teleclass, “Sensitives in the Spotlight: How Artists, Writers, Hermits & Introverts can Navigate a Call to the Public Eye,” will be held on April 10th at 3 p.m Pacific Time (4 Mountain, 5 Central, 6 Eastern, Midnight GMT). Find out more and register here.

~> April 12th, 2012. Last day to register for the next session of my Writer’s Circle session starting on April 16th. Get my Free Writing Tips series too, and receive a coupon for a savings on your first 4 week session. Sign up here.

~> April 19th, 2012. Last day to register for my next Life Purpose Breakthrough Group on May 17th. Only 4 spots. These groups consistently sell out, so if you’d like to join me, reserve your spot ASAP. Register here.

~> April 19th, 2012. Teaching a live webinar for Writer’s Digest, “10 Practical Tips for More Consistent, Productive Writing.” Details soon!

 

What I'm Up To

~> Ongoing. Writing in the ProSeries class at ScreenwritingU. Closing in on the complete draft.

~> Friday through Monday. Sacred writing time while I complete my draft. The Do Not Disturb sign is up.

~> Still reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban with my boy.

 

Getting comfortable with being seen, heard and read

As artists, writers, and messengers, we have work we want to share with the world: Something to say, write, or show.

But for those of us on the more sensitive side, the intensity of being “seen” in this way can be completely overwhelming.

A story for you

Today I want to tell you a story about a woman who went from being terrified of being seen, to writing, blogging, teaching, and speaking her message in the world.

Here it is:

In her 10th grade English class, this woman — a girl, then — was asked to choose a poem, read it to the class from the front of the room, and speak about how it related to her own life.

It was the first time she had been asked to give an oral presentation on such a personal subject. She had never enjoyed speaking in front of the class before, but this took her anxiety level much higher.

When the day of the presentation arrived, she had practiced endlessly, but she was still so nervous and tense about the whole thing that as she sat in the hallway before class, she had tears streaming down her face. Her friends didn’t know what to do or say. Knots were twisting in her stomach, she was as pale as a ghost, and she felt like she could be knocked over with the slightest breath of wind.

When the bell rang, she mustered herself into the door and sat at her desk, her head spinning with pounding voices and everything she was supposed to say. She was so nervous that she couldn’t concentrate at all on the teacher’s or on the other students’ presentations. The class dragged on interminably and she was in agony waiting for her turn, watching the clock ticking closer and closer to what felt like a death sentence.

Then suddenly she realized there wasn’t enough time left for her to present — the bell was going to ring! She was off the hook!

A huge wave of relief swept over her. She was saved. The bell rang, and she left, practically levitating out of the room.

But then the next day at school, she had to face the same situation again. She cried in the hallway again. She sat through class on pins and needles, again. And the class ended without her having to speak, again.

It went on like this for days, literally. Even over a weekend. It must have been at least 7 consecutive school days of this torture, including the crying and her friends not knowing what to do with her.

It was truly, truly awful.

Finally when she did give her presentation — it went fine — and it was actually behind her, only then did she feel true relief from the anxiety that had built up inside her.

I’d like to tell you that she learned from that experience that public speaking wasn’t so bad. But she didn’t.

Instead, she swore then and there never to speak in public again.

It didn’t quite work out that way, with more schooling to come. But she was crystal clear that she would NEVER speak in public voluntarily. NEVER.

Until, of course, she realized that she actually had something to say. Something that was important to her. Words she wanted to share, verbally and on the page.

Her message.

That’s when things really changed for her.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this story, coming soon.

Your turn

Your comments are welcome.

Warmly,

 Jenna

Expand your Spotlight Comfort Zone
With practical and spiritual tools to help you get there
In a safe, sensitive-friendly 6-week study group

If you want to summon your courage and step into YOUR spotlight, join my upcoming Spotlight Study Group, where we’ll have a safe, sensitive-friendly, small, intimate coaching group to clear up the fears, doubts, old wounds, and other obstacles to claiming your place in front of your audience — where you belong.
 
Starts May 1. Early registration ends Sunday, April 15th. Details are here.
 
 
Questions? Email my team.
 

Coming Attractions

~> March 27th, 2012. Last day to register for my next Life Purpose Breakthrough Group on April 24th. Only 3 spots remaining. These groups consistently sell out, so if you’d like to join me, reserve your spot ASAP. Register here.

~> April 10th, 2012. My teleclass, “Sensitives in the Spotlight: How Artists, Writers, Hermits & Introverts can Navigate a Call to the Public Eye,” will be held on April 10th at 3 p.m Pacific Time (4 Mountain, 5 Central, 6 Eastern, Midnight GMT). Find out more and register here.

~> April 12th, 2012. Last day to register for the next session of my Writer’s Circle session starting on April 16th. Get my Free Writing Tips series too, and receive a coupon for a savings on your first 4 week session. Sign up here.

 

What I'm Up To

~> Ongoing. Writing in the ProSeries class at ScreenwritingU, which was recently named the #1 screenwriting class by InkTip. We’re finishing our “First Ten Pages” module. It’s amazing!

~> Daily and especially Fridays. Sacred writing time. The Do Not Disturb sign is up.

~> Now my son and I are reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and loving it.