Monday, May 28, 2012

7 Top money resources for creative entrepreneurs

"When a deer drinks from a stream, the earth does not weep at the loss of
water. The value is cyclical. The earth is thankful for the deer, the deer is
thankful for the water. And the stream keeps flowing."


And so, to the final post of my Mindful Money series.

What great feedback I've had from so many of you  on the Mindful Money series. Thank you all for reading and sharing, I'm glad it's been food for thought, and helpful to you. If you have missed any of the series, there is a list at the end of this post so you can catch up!

Do know that whilst I am philosophising about it here, I am still very much learning to put it into action now myself. I ebb and flow in my levels of confidence or cowardice. But I am learning. Slowly!

I know of so many women and men starting businesses right now, turning their passions into something they can make money from. Whether you are selling your wares at a market, your services, or establishing a more professional platform for your business, I think getting right about money - what to charge, how to cover your costs and time, and feel good about making a profit - is the biggest challenge on the road. Once you find peace with the money side of business, everything else falls into place.

Our relationship with our money is directly
connected to our relationship with our

The money freak-out thang is like a log damming up the river, once it's gone, everything else flows. After all, you're in business doing what you love, with passion and integrity. You want to be of service, to make a difference, to bring joy and love into people's lives - so the customer service aspect and the product aspect are there already to a degree - all you have to do is get confident in sharing your work with the world - and then taking right payment for it.

Oh it's so easy in black and white - but such a challenge in reality.

That's why there are a whole lot of people, some who have had great success in online business, and many, many self-styled prosperity coaches out there who want to HELP you, FOR A FEE!!! Many are cashing in on our insecurity, promising what they can't - and don't - deliver. I am always a little suspicious of people who make money out of telling other people how to make money!! They tend to be the ones who charge high prices, just to prove that they're worth it. A lot of them BUY their own ego bullshit.

I have done a lot of investigating, sampling and reading. I have found a number of products and e courses out there with major hype, and major prices (the Spark e course is one, at $150 for an ebook? Seriously?)

Here are my pick of the crop. Some free, some paid - but ALL offer SOME great free resources. I have used them all myself, though not necessarily for the prices they sell for (I got a number of them from the great 72 hour bundle deal I was talking about earlier this month).

But before you spend REMEMBER this: NO ONE CAN DO IT FOR YOU! They can give you tools, systems, flashes of insight, and methods for blasting through blocks - but the courage, the action, the application - is all YOURS!

So my top picks:

1) Leonie Dawson's Business e course. I found her e-book the single most useful tool in kickstarting my blogging, writing,online business, and selling my art. The e-course version, with built in support and feedback  is starting  on June 1st. She's also giving away a free e-book at the moment which has many handy biz and money tips and tricks which is well worth getting your hands on!

2) The $100 Start Up - a great new book from Chris Guillebeau. Highly readable in tone, it shares stories of successful passion based entrepreneurs who started on a shoe string, gleaning wisdom and practical tools from their experiences. I'm really loving it and recommend it very highly. He has a range of courses and e books for our types!

3) Maria Forleo's sassy b school looks seriously good for hands-on practical training in online business. I am really tempted, this year's intake includes a LOT of big names who I follow. But the $1999 fee is more than we have to invest right now. You can still get nuggets of her business insight through the great free videos she does, which I highly recommend.

4) The Art of Earning  is super-good for challenging the stories you tell yourself about money. I'm re-reading it at the moment and it is chock-full of major "AHA!" moments! I love that she sells it as a pay what you can deal.

5) Etsy does a great free blog and newsletters dedicated to pricing, selling and entrepreneurship. This post is great on pricing strategies

6) I'd Rather be in the Studio - is a great practical business e-book for artists and creatives of all colours. Full of very practical advice for setting up systems for getting strong business and money systems in place, building up mailing lists and keeping clients. It is a no bull shit book.

Oh and I have just discovered...

7) Designing an MBA has a great blog on the topic of money, profit, pricing and business for creative entrepreneurs as well as e courses and e books - and if you sign up to her mailing list gives away a great e book for free

Do share your favourite books/ e courses and teachers!

This is part of the Mindful Money series at Dreaming Aloud. Take some time to check out the other posts on...

Naming Your Price

Friday, May 25, 2012

12 books to change your life

Books are my life!

No really! I write them, review them, sell them professionally... and, of course, read for pleasure. I tend to have at least eight on the go at once!

You might have noted in my Books for the Soul page that I refer to myself as a book medicine woman. If someone has a need, I usually know the book that will help them. I inherited this from both sides of my family: we are shameless book pushers! I share a lot of books with my special people...



There are a few of my books that I will not lend out. I recommend them, sure. But they are always either on my desk, nightstand or my mind...

And so, dear friends, I want to share them with you too...

Each of these books marked a gateway to transformation for me: creating a paradigm change and new way of seeing the world. They are classics, the bibles of a generation, many of them are best sellers. Others are less well known.  I re read each at least once a year. Each time I am at a cross roads, needing answers, or uninspired by life, I come back to them.

Now, most of these are self-help, hippy-dippy books! That is my specialty! So let your inner hippy out, align your chakras, beat your bongos and off we go in our tie-dyed glory to find our true selves!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Beyond money

Welcome back to Mindful Money Week!

One of the ways we can make peace with money is by it taking a less prominent role in our lives, in moving beyond money.

The more you are plugged into the external economy and the outside world, the more cash you need to fulfill your needs. The more self sufficient and plugged into informal money-less economies the less you will need. 

We are all plugged into the external economy to a greater or lesser extent and its impact can be damaging and scary, emotionally and financially for families, especially in these turbulent times.

How can we make our families more resilient, so we can ride the economic rollercoaster with maximum joy and confidence?

The sustainable money circle
  1. know how much you have
  2. know how much you need
  3. know your skills
  4. know your networks
  5. know your value 
  6. set up your income streams
  7. do your work
  8. collect your income
  9. use your income
  10. rest and reflect

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Guilt doesn't live here any more

I was at a friend's house, admiring a craft book she had received as a gift. She said something which sounded like a foreign language to me. "I feel really guilty every time I see it, I asked for it for my birthday,and someone spent money on it, and I haven't made anything from it."

Perhaps you recognise this feeling? Guilt used to be one of the most pervasive emotions in my life. I felt guilty about everything. But in particular my entire existence and its impact on everyone.

Yes, I had a very strong case of the guilties. Symptoms of which include: apologising for everything all the time, low lying anger and resentment, feeling shit, self flagellation...But I realised in that moment, with exception of my deeply embedded maternal guilt, that guilt does not live here any more.

It was a truly liberating realisation. I had a think about what had changed. And it came to me.

Guilt is a sense of your own unworthiness. It is a blocking, rejecting act. The antidote to guilt is gratitude. It is pretty much impossible to feel guilt if one is grateful for something.

Gratitude is an opening of your hands and heart towards what has been bestowed on you.Gratitude, as I wrote in Wild Sister magazine, is a relatively new practice for me, and it's working magic!

So next time you feel guilty. Take a step back. See yourself shrunken and small and feeling its lack. Then find something to feel grateful for in that situation. And watch the greatest disappearing act of all time: POOF! Your guilt has gone!

Monday, May 21, 2012

The blessing of money

Do you consider yourself blessed?

We live as energetic beings in a body and world of form. To be fully healthy and balanced we cannot deny either part. And yet we do!

Often those of us who walk the path of spirituality, can get to feeling really uncomfortable about the world of form. We feel, or are told, that it is a "lower" realm, of "base" interests, which can trap and defile us. It is our job to transcend it. We must shun money, worldly possessions. We have camels and needles quoted at us ( often by hideously wealthy patriarchs...)

Oh sister, I've been there. And you know what, it's partly true. Ultimately all material things will pass away, you are not your wealth. We humans have the constant ability to confuse who we are with what we do and what we have. but once you have become vigilant of that delusion, the reality is that we are here, living our lives in form.

Money is a part of that world of forms.Shunning it cuts you out of the game, it disempowers your vast potential to do good. You see, if you don't make money, then you're always worrying where the money that you need to live will come from, so all your energy and anxiety goes there, rather than into all the good, all the creative miracles you could be creating in the world.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Our matriarchal inheritance

This post is part of Mindful Money week. Do check out my previous posts.

"It is important for women to get wealth in our hands.
As western women we have the opportunity to claim our birthright, to create wealth, doing something that we love. 
It is our birthrite but not necessarily our destiny." 
Sage Lavine

FACT: The majority of women for the majority of western history have had no money of their own. They have been excluded from the power, status and freedom that money brings.

FACT: Women have been systematically prevented - by laws, morality, religion and social mores, from having the right to earn, be financially independent, inherit or save.

It is little wonder that we women can be scared of money and feel under-confident around it today.  This is our story. Our ancestors' story. This is our collective unconcious.

Our bodies have been bought in marriage with dowries, domestic servitude, prostitution and slavery. The fear of destitution has kept women in unhappy, abusive marriages for centuries.

We have given ourselves to mothering and householding, some of the most demanding work around, for free, for generations uncounted. Our sense of lack of deserving for putting real value to our work is endemic and has been reinforced from every side.

Now you may well be a feisty independent woman, with your own bank account and income and a partner totally committed to your blossoming. Scrub that! If you're reading this blog I know you are!  (Even if your inner confident girl is curled up and having a little sleep right now.)

So what's all this got to do with you? You've never been a slave or disinherited for being female...

But wait - most of us still, to some extent, hold the underlying inheritance, cultural, and epigenetic, of women's financial weakness.

Hell, research consistently shows that women are less likely to go for promotion, ask for a rise or apply for the highest paid jobs. In the wage earning community women. Women still earn 79% of every man's dollar. FOR THE SAME JOB.

This is not about man-bashing. I am a deep lover of men. (Some men especially, Mr DA ;) xxx) Nor is it a whine, blaming everything on history.

But it is part of our cultural and historical conditioning, an innate part of our thought processes. If we don't see this clearly, then we blame ourselves for our weakness, our stupidity.

And does that empower us?

Nope, it puts us back in our box. Like the abused blaming themselves for the abuse perpetrated against them.

Name your price

Do you know the Universe's favourite joke?

It's a one liner. Told ad infinitum. Even though I don't seem to find it hugely amusing.See if you recognise it!

This little routine goes something like this:

Me: I want to write a book (teach a course, paint a picture...)

Universe: Great, let's get to it.

Me: Ta -da! Hurray! Get me! I just wrote a book!

Universe: congrats! Now name your price!

Me: But oh, I don't want to make it too expensive, it's not really worth much!

Uni: Great! Name your price!

Me: But I've spent hundreds of hours on it. If I priced it on a per hour basis I'd need to ask for a lot more.

Uni: Great! Name your price!

Me: Look, this is the going rate. I'll charge that.

Uni: Great! Name your price!

Me: But I'm not that good. I'm only starting out.

Uni: Great! Name your price!

Me: OK, this is my price.... (A few minutes/ hours/ days later).... Ummm, no I'm worth more than that!

Uni: Great! Name your price!

Me: Yes! I am going to charge my worth. This is great product. I am a good person. X charges X for theirs, and they are rubbish. Up it goes!

Uni: Great! Name your price!

Me: But then everyone will think I'm greedy. And that it's over priced. They'll see that I'm a sham. They'll feel ripped off. They'll hate me. Yes, that's it, they'll hate me, and they'll tell everyone what a bad person I am. And then no one will buy it. And then we'll never have enough money...

Uni: Great! Name your price!

Do you recognise this?

And so with a mixture of deft research, bravado, self undercutting, guts and terror, weeks of sleepless nights and feeling sick you name your price.

And then the world ends. Everyone hates you. You never work again...

Oh no, scratch that! What really happens is this... Your customer buys, and pays. Or doesn't. They come back. Or perhaps they don't. End of....tell me again where the drama is?!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mindful money week

This is the introduction to the Mindful Money series at Dreaming Aloud. Take some time to check out the other posts on...

Naming Your Price

Do you have peace with money? Or does it make you feel uncomfortable when even the thought of it comes up?

Money holds a lot of emotional energy for most of us.

Everywhere I see people struggling with it:
  • Those who scorn money and won't admit that they need it, and then get angry at the world because they are struggling. 
  • Those who live in enforced deprivation.
  • High flying gurus who are cashing in on $1000 an hour coaching fees, flogging over priced products to the desperate,  promising miracles they cannot provide. The spiritual movement seems as guilty of this as pure capitalists.
  • The majority of the world who sell their souls for the highest wage they can get, in work that sucks them dry, that they don't believe in.
  • Women who when asked to name their price for their work prefer to give it away for free than value themselves.
  • The mega rich who squander their wealth.
  • Those who use it to manipulate and abuse.
We're in a very unhealthy state about money - as individuals and collectively. 

We scrimp and save, we waste and splurge mindlessly. We borrow what we cannot afford. We undervalue ourselves, then steal to make up the difference. Or we drive too hard a bargain which impoverishes others.

Richness, and poverty are incredibly subjective terms. Many people who are financially wealthy feel they don't have enough.

We are mindless about money. Often it "makes us feel" guilty, angry, greedy, needy. We become obsessed by it. Or try to have nothing to do with it.

What's that all about? Why all the emotion?

Money is just paper, just numbers... or is it? It seems to hold humanity in its thrall.

Money can become our shadow.

Our civilisation is being brought to its knees by our mindlessness to do with money - the banking crises and credit crunch, bankruptcy in nations and individuals.

So this week we're going to spend exploring money - how we make it, how we charge it, how to feel good about it, how to value ourselves, how to move beyond money...

In order to become mindful, we need to be honest. The only way to see a shadow is to shine your light on it and look.

This can feel uncomfortable.


Yes, really!

So take a deep breath. And let's get to work.

I'm really excited about this!! I vision it as a way that we can support each other in becoming healthy in our earning - and spending. So that we can make our peace with money. So that we can transition to a new sense of value, of economics, of worth in our own lives - which can seed itself into our culture.

This may well become an e course in the future - so consider it a work in progress, which you get to see emerging, for free - and get to contribute to the creation of!

I ask this of you in return - in the spirit of giving and receiving which we are exploring. If what you are reading touches you - please give something in return, whatever feels really good to you - no expectations, no obligation. And absolutely NO guilt!

Giving back could mean ...
  • Share the posts whether on Facebook/ Twitter or by email (see the buttons below this post for a quick and easy way) 
  • Join the discussion. Add your comments, your questions, your experiences.
  • You can support my work financially by donating, buying from The Happy Womb or Etsy, or buying via any of the affiliate links I share on this site.

Thank you...

This is the introduction to the Mindful Money series at Dreaming Aloud. Take some time to check out the other posts on...

Naming Your Price

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The ugly duckling is in business

I have always identified with the ugly duckling. See these fluffy grey feathers? They've never quite fitted in. I've never been one thing or t'other.

Now let me tell you a secret: there is nothing more draining than being what you think you're supposed to be and then feeling you don't measure up. That you're always not quite good enough. When it turns out you just haven't seen yourself clearly. You've been using the wrong classification chart to identify your inner beast.

Excuse me for being thick. But I've just realised something which is a complete revelation to me... I am an entrepreneur.

Well, duh!

You could see that, right? As clear as the nose on my face, I'm guessing.

But me, I was thinking that I was a writer, who painted, and taught, and made chocolates on the side. And I wasn't good enough at any of them, a bit of a failure all round (welcome to my little inner carnival of self doubt.)

I have been in denial. And that has clipped my wings.

I have been repressing something that I am actually very good at: selling! Ha! Bet you didn't expect that! Truth be told, I didn't either. In fact I've been almost allergic to it in recent years.

Then within a week from all sides the scales were peeled from my eyes. Two weekend conferences in a row I, in the words of Maria Forleo, "hustled my buns off", selling Juno by the bag load, as well as lots of cards, books and dials. And I loved it. Felt absolutely on fire. Totally alive and connected. I'm really good at this...I chuckled to myself. I made money and my dear customer ladies went away happy, connected, inspired...

Then four people in a week mentioned entrepreneurship: my friend Sharon outed me first over tea and cake. Then Maria Forleo's awesome videos, the e book I'd Rather be in the Studio, and Kind Over Matter's wonderful new e book Zen and the Art of being a Work at Home Mama (which she is doing as a pay what you can deal!) 

She identified herself as being a forth generation entrepreneur and I thought, dammit, I'm a third generation one, of course!

It's in my blood: not just the creative genes which come from both sides three generations back. But yes, entrepreneurship. I see now that I have started about 10 businesses in the past 7 years: pregnancy yoga, chocolate making, freelance writing, wreath making, festival planning, self publishing... But each time I back off when the business needs come to the fore, the need to sell rears its head. I run for the hills: I'm just a little girl, I can't sell, my work isn't good enough, I'm not experienced enough, I don't deserve, please like me...

But something has shifted. I realised that they are all just voices. I wouldn't make my work if I didn't think it was good enough. But being my own biggest critic I'm burning up so much energy. Self doubt is like cutting off your own wings and then wondering why you can't fly.

You know what? The bullshit takes up too much time and energy that could be better spent making magic, having fun, making money...

So long bullshit!

My mind has shifted, and with it my energy too. I started my website as a place to sell my books. The books being the focus, not the selling or business sides. I resented the business bit for taking my time and energy away from the creating. But now I see, that's an integral part of the puzzle, of my identity, it's part of me, part of my work, part of my job. Because if people don't know about me and my work, if I don't tell them about it, I'm withholding something which they are looking for, wanting, needing.

Healing money, that's a whole other blog post. Taking back money from the broken model, from patriarchy if you like. Earning my worth as a woman on my terms, within a loving, sustainable business model. One which cares, which helps to feed transformation on a personal and social scale. Which supports me in being with my family and doing the creative work I love.

Hell yeah! The ugly duckling is in business!

This is part of the Mindful Money series at Dreaming Aloud. Take some time to check out the other posts on...

Naming Your Price

Monday, May 14, 2012

The nearest thing to telepathy...

What's the point in blogging anyway?

This has been going round my head a lot at the moment. On good days I'd list inspiration, information and a tribe/ community of like minded people. Blogging has changed my life, and those of so many others.

But preparing to teach blogging for the first time I find myself in an existential crisis of minor proportions: why would you write your most public thoughts for the world to read? do I have enough followers? How many is "enough" anyway? Do I spend to long blogging...or not enough? Why haven't any of my posts gone stratospheric recently? Do my earlier readers prefer the emotional and mothering outbursts of truthtelling whereas now I'm talking more about writing and art and working... How much is a blog MY space, and how much do I owe you, dear reader, to write what YOU want to hear?

All these thoughts and more...How I wish I had 50,000 page views a day, which (apparently!!) makes you considered a viable "platform" in publishing. How I wish I could be wittier, more succinct, have more of interest to say, to package it better...

I was turning into my own worst enemy.

And then I was sent my sister's blog and it was like fresh air and sunshine. And I got blogging again. Really got what it's all about. The sense of a persons inner world that you have no idea about. The wonder and joy in realising that you are not alone in your deep thoughts, deep concerns. Thoughts that you would never know most other people had - even those closest to you!

Sure it can be competitive, pushy, all absorbing. But isn't it marvellous, really? This free form of communication, heart to heart, soul to soul, around the world. It is the nearest we humans have gotten to telepathy. What an incredible medium it is! Long live the blogosphere!

What does blogging and the blogosphere mean to you. And how are you feeling about this blog right now? For a previous post on blogging and community see here

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Spring into summer

After a couple of weeks off, I'm painting again. Playing with new colours, loving the light blue of a spring sky and the vivid orange of summer.Bright green tendrils unfurling and butterflies flying. Tumbling wisteria blossoms hang like grapes. A swallow at rest. We are springing into summer.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Best children's music

I don't know about you, but most children's music is like fingernails down a black board to me. Take the Doodlebops. Or Barney. Or the cheap synthesiser versions of nursery rhymes sung by tone deaf cheese-mongers. When you are stuck in a car for hours, or putting kids to sleep, you need something which you can all sing a long to. Which makes you all smile and lifts your spirits. 

Read on for our pick of the best which are rarely off the CD player in the Pink House!

Best of real kids music:

CDsMr Roberelli- a NZ singer-songwriter, very reminiscent of Flight of the Conchords. Full to bursting of joyful and imaginative tunes, catchy feel-good songs you'll find yourself singing all day. You'll no doubt laugh out loud at the lyrics. It's about as far from nursery rhymes as you can get, with odes to knitting, Vincent Van Gogh as a speckled egg and a scarecrow song called Eileen on the Wall - geddit?! Our favorites include: Roman Sandals; Sweaty Betty ( that our daughter sings as "slutty butty!!") and Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda listened to the Buddha. Mr Roberelli won the 2011 Children's Song of the Year award from APRA, deservedly so. You can get it from the JUNO shop.

Until The Light of Morning is a collection of original songs accompanied by baby glockenspeil, guitar, and piano. and the ethereal voice of Essie Jain. Written to appeal to both children and their parents, the melodies are gentle and the words divine:

Fall into dreams
And the night sky will gleam
Lay down
As the moon is crowned
And the stars hang down over your head tonight

I put it on almost every night. It is hypnotic in its effect, gently lulling busy brains and bodies into sleep as it travels from modern nursery rhymes to pure instrumental, intended to mimic the slowing heartbeat. ....for a longer review that I wrote last year, read here.

Product DetailsElizabeth Mitchell - I highly recommend both You are My Sunshine and Little Bird. She is like Eva Cassidy for kids.I love the fact that her children sing with her in some of her songs, and that she uses many adult songs, including Bob Marley's Three Little Birds and Three is a Magic Number. I have fantasies of jamming with her family!

Product DetailsRosenshontz. A US duo that I loved during my childhood. Catchy, funny and meaningful songs. Favourites include Daddy does the Dishes, which became a catchphrase in our house!

Other music our kids love
But our kids are not just into children's music. Oh no! They have very eclectic tastes it seems. From all around the world and every genre! Their other firm favourites include:
Product DetailsThe Beatles - our evening family dances in the sitting room usually start to the Beatles: Back in the USSR, Obladioblada and Yellow Submarine.

They also adore The Beach Boys - we're talking 'bout good vibrations.
Product DetailsAnd then a little rock courtesy of Bird - a Thai rock group that we listened to ad naseum at full volume on the music videos that they played on our bus journeys round Thailand, pre-kids. They do great head banging to it! Ditto to a CD of Japanese rock that my husband got from the drummer, who he used to teach when we lived in Kyoto!

Product DetailsKila - is Irish music with a haunting musical saw. They couldn't believe it when they watched someone playing a musical saw on YouTube - they were totally captivated!

Bruce Springstein - The Seeger Sessions is great folk music to sing and dance to. I can't count the amount of times we have whooped around their bedroom to this at full blast. Their favourite lyrics are: Dan Tucker was a fat old man/ washed his face in a frying pan.

 They also love Indonesian Gamelan that they call bell music. We watched lots of gamelan performances during our stay in Bali - we have shown them videos of the dances and fire dance and love them.
Product DetailsThe Sun by The Cat Empire. We picked this up when we were back packing round Australia. They were busking on the street on Australia day. They have made it big since then, and our CD is worth a fortune! But we're not selling. The kids love the funky beats - and so do we.

What do YOUR family love? Do share your favourites. It's always great to find new music.

Joy pockets from London

What a weekend -I feel completely refreshed and reinvigorated - two days of making and meeting friends at the Light on Parenting conference, eating food I love, walking the streets of London and visiting all my favourite places from when I lived there, selling JUNO and my book - the best job in the world! listening to heroes speak and restoring my resolve to do better as a parent. This deserves a joy pockets all to itself!

Going to a conference as author, columnist and editor. Knowing I was leaving a husband and three children in a home I owned. I felt like a proper grown up!
Hearing a child crying and knowing I'm not responsible.
Flying. I will never get over the miracle of airplanes.
Ditto the Tube! Underground trains are the stuff of science fiction - and we get to ride them!!
The energy of the big city.
Walking at adult speed - truly revolutionary!!
Walking the fresh streets of London at 7 am on a Sunday.
Shaking my heroes by the hand. 
Thinking my thoughts, uninterrupted! (According to one of the speakers, Margot Sunderland, a pre-schooler has a need every 20 seconds!)
Feeling like ME again!
An i-pad stocked up with exciting e books to read on the journey.
Sharing a weekend with so many other visionaries, dreamers, researches, game-changers and open hearted people - for the second weekend in a row.
 Chicken tikka and onion bhaji sandwich at 10 am!
Meeting Saffia, our head editor from JUNO, and feeling like we've known each other all our lives.
Not sticking out for my accent - being mistaken for a Brit in Britland, land of my vowels.
The anticipation of a night's uninterrupted sleep.
The British Museum - receptacle of much of humanity's creativity and culture.
A memorial plaque on a park bench: "he never tired of London", nor do I!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

My top transformational teachers of 2012

When the student is ready, the teacher comes along.

So goes the saying.

This has been a year of profound transformation for me - in terms of work, money, creativity and self-image. And I really wanted to share with you some of the teachers who have helped me along my path.

Each one has earned their place in my heart by providing a nugget of life changing wisdom, but many have given me a bucket load of tools.

1) Leonie Dawson - Joining her Goddess circle exactly a year ago is the number one thing that has changed my life. Her business course. Her free flowing creativity. Her liberal use of turquoise, sparkles and zany Ozzie English. Her piece "You have permission" - you can read it here and also download her free MP3 -it made me laugh out loud and cry into my Cornflakes - almost simultaneously!
You have permission to say no whenever you like, however you like, in whatever kind of voice you like, without feeling like only Mean Girls Say No and Nice Girls Say Yes. That’s bull. Yes and No have equal weighting – what’s important is if you use them when they are the best thing for you, not out of fear, obligation or guilt. 
You have permission to know that Yes is powerful, and so is No. The power comes from you using either from your highest spirit and truest integrity.
You have permission to suck at a wide variety of activities. It’s okay. You make up for it with your million other brilliance particles. 
2) Chameli Ardargh of Awakening Women. A soft spoken Scandinavian yogini. She is the embodiment of gentle, empowered femininity. I adore her way of thinking about meditation:
Meditation not about forcing the mind to be empty but simply becoming receptive to life force.  Feel yourself melting into receptivity like warm honey entering you. I like to think of it as taking Shiva as lover. 
Usually we reach and grasp outside for what we want. Instead follow the yearning back inside, find the feeling that it emerges from, feel that and it will connect you to Source. 
As women we have learned to take power on male terms in a male dominated world. We have had to build up armour to survive. We believe WE must do it, that we are alone. We become opaque not translucent. This blocks love and receptivity to receiving. Learning to receive puts us back into contact with the source and our own power.

3) Mark Silver transformed my view of making money. I came across him in Molly Gordon's free telesummit for self-employed people and he changed my world...
If you're charging your right price it means you can sustain your family, and keep doing the work you want to offer the world. Charging the right price keeps you sustained in your creativity. 
If your business is sustainable you are helping to sustain your community - small businesses are crucial for local economies. 
If your heart centred business is part of the economy, the more it gets visible, then that's money that's not getting spent somewhere else – healing our economy – we are the tiny seeds of change in our economy – helping to shift it towards something more life affirming.
4) Indigo Bacal, founder of the wonderful Wilde Tribe - her effervescence, her gentle wisdom, ability to ask profound questions, the collection of women and depth of interviews on the Wilde Tribe really touched me - I sent her a copy of my book in gratitude!

5) Sage Lavine, I am currently doing Sage's Purpose 2 Prosperity course, having got a great discount via Wilde Tribe. She gets at our underlying assumptions and beliefs about both purpose and prosperity and guides us through the creation of our own vision.
We are our grandmothers prayers answered. 
When we each say yes to doing our own unique piece of the purpose puzzle, our part, it un burdens us from our felt responsibility to save the planet, then we can join together and do it together.
6) Flora Bowley - for getting me back to painting using her brave intuitive painting technique on the Bloom True e course - which is also a wonderful life process. I did her e-course back in February and she's running it again in June. She has just launched her first book: Brave Intuitive Painting which adds to my love and understanding of her paintings and technique.
It is quite possible that a great breakthrough is waiting patiently for you just beyond your fear.
7) Jen Louden  I loved Jen from her books The Women's Retreat Book and The Pregnant Woman's Comfort Book. I chose her teaching course, Teach Now, to get me back in the saddle, and have not been disappointed. For me the greatest resource is the number of teacher interviews with master teachers like Parker Palmer,  Flora Bowley, Christina Baldwin and many more. She speaks to the different soul levels of teaching which is what had been missing from all my previous teacher training.
Try on the possibility that you are more a teacher than you have known, and it is more profitable and sustainable than you have previously imagined. 
 Imagine your lineage of teachers behind you – the teachers, books, courses, family – supporting and creating you as you are now – embrace their encouragement to you and the wealth of knowledge they have.
8) Peruquois I came across the deep feminine wisdom of Peruquois in her Truly Woman video series, via the wonders of Facebook and You Tube - a singer and teacher of immense power, her spiritual understanding of women's bodies and sexuality is unsurpassed.

9) Claire Zamitt - whose Feminine Power e-course materialised at exactly the time I was planning my own! I didn't do her course but have gained so much from hearing her talk in various free telesummits.
One of the core principals of feminine power: we cannot become ourselves by ourselves, we need to grow together 
We feel ourselves 10 months pregnant with something huge – transformation for ourselves, our world, our creativity.  
We feel the gap between the potential for who we are and our ability to realise it –we believe that power is outside of us – we believe that we are too busy, not educated enough, too trapped, but the real reason that we haven’t been able to bridge the gap is that we can’t access the sort of power and support that we need to achieve what we really want as women. Because we have been using masculine power.
10) Susannah Conway I came across via the incredible Only 72 deal (which is just about finished). She has single handedly reinvigorated my passion for blogging with her e-book/ course Blogging from the Heart and has helped me to see how to move forward, where before I felt stuck and despondent.
 A blog is a magazine of you, a place where you can curate your interests and visual inspiration.

11) Dreaming Aloud and YOU dear readers - the act of writing, creating and reflecting on this blog, the input from my readers and the friendships I have made along the way - thank YOU for all your wisdom.

I hope one, or many of these snippets of wisdom has been a light bulb moment for you. And that the offerings of one of these teachers might help you on your path too. Please do share it with all who might benefit from it.

Tell me, who have been YOUR teachers of 2011/12. Which of their words changed your life? Please do share them with us below!

Disclaimer: Lets talk money and credibility for a moment. I have found all of these people's work increbily powerful in practice in my own life. To me that gives them credibilty enough. They are experts at what they do. It is up to you to judge them and their work for yourself. I cannot be held responsible for your decisions.

They are all, it seems to me, honest people doing their work in service to the greater good of humanity. Some value this service quite highly in financial terms. I am personally working through many feelings about money and charging. I find some of their work costs more than I would be prepared to pay. I have bought courses with some, others I have just enjoyed via freebies on their sites, newsletters or on free teleclasses.  I am an affiliate of the Goddess Circle. I receive no benefit in kind from any of the others mentioned. All made it onto this list through merit alone. 

All paintings by me!

This is part of the Mindful Money series at Dreaming Aloud. Take some time to check out the other posts on...

Naming Your Price

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Kick start your creativity/ blogging/ tech prowess

Excuse me if I'm a little breathless!

I have just discovered the most amazing deal for all you writers, creatives and entrepreneurs out there. In fact bought it myself as soon as I saw it and have been downloading the e books, videos, courses and MP3s since.

I just HAD to share it with you because I could not believe the quality, the amount of top names involved, or the price...

Seriously people! These are the contributors...

And the price? €100!!!!!

Yes, seriously, 90% off over $1000 dollars worth of products to start or amp up your creative, full-of-soul business including:  
  • tools for better blogging, 
  • guidance on building a passion-based business, 
  • ethical selling, 
  • a personal MBA course,
  • turning your hobby into a business, 
  • how to create i-phone apps, 
  • building courage and confidence, 
  • ways to sell your work for artists and writers,
  • getting published... 

I have been looking at a variety of courses and e books like this for a long while now and the I found CHEAPEST was $149 for 1. This is only $100 for 18!!! One of the stars of the show is Susannah Conway's, Blogging from the Heart, which I have had my eye on for a long time. It's worth $149 by itself!

I am, as so many of you know, so passionate about running a full-of-heart business and this really is an incredible deal that I really wanted to share it with you. 

There are only about 50 hours left on this 72 hour deal so you have to act fast!  

Even better you get a real, hardcopy book AS WELL - shipped anywhere in the world!  

If you order via my links here you pay the same and I get a kiss of abundance from them. As you know, I never recommend anything I don't have and love myself. 


And even better - to say thank you and hurray, I want to give you a FREE e-version of my book Moon Time - a guide to celebrating your menstrual cycle. Just forward me your dated receipt via email and I will send you my e book

Join me in getting support and advice from a whole host of experts in their field, take that next step in launching your creative dreams.


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