Adrienne's work and teachings have been a great
inspiration to me! In August of 1998, about four months after my
father passed away, I read about one of Carol's
workshops in a Learning Annex catalog and
synchronistically found her book on a bookshelf at the
bookstore. The themes of her teachings were
familiar and comforting, as they confirmed the thoughts
and ideas my father had shared with me shortly before
his passing. Her books and workshops ignited my
spiritual curiosity, setting me on my soulful life path,
which led to the very creation of
SoulfulLiving.com! Carol's participation has been
an integral part of SoulfulLiving.com, at its soul
level! Thank you, Carol, with all my heart!
~Valerie, Founder and Soul, SoulfulLiving.com
Wake Up and Smell the Synchronicity
Many of us have a dream buried deep inside. Maybe our dream
is to write a book, make a movie, start a business—or get
married. While it may lie quietly within, every now and then,
we can feel it stirring—but usually we haven’t a clue
about how to get started making it happen.
I met Sue Christensen at Tom Bird’s writing retreat in
Sedona, Arizona last month. Sue, fifty-five, is a very
successful real estate broker, who lives and works in
Flagstaff, Arizona. I was impressed with her forthright and
good-humored attitude. She exudes positive energy. The first
day we met, Sue told me, "Every year for the last six
years, I have put down my goals at the beginning of the year.
Every year I have put down, Start my book, but I never
did anything about it. Oh, I did a little writing, but only in
the form of lists and ideas."
One Small Step Can Start the Flow
Sue did take one small first step, however. Out of
curiosity, she went to Barnes & Noble book store and
browsed a copy of Writer’s Digest, just to get
familiar with how people write and get published. This led her
to finding--to her amazement, she said--that there are
software programs for writers.
"Early in June, I was talking to my sister, Judy, and
mentioned that I had gotten a couple of these programs. A few
days later, Judy called to tell me to check out Tom Bird’s
web site. That phone conversation turned out to be a huge
thing for me. I was really clicking with Tom’s message to
would-be writers, so I printed out the material. Our friend
Mary Ann, who was already in Tom’s intensive writing
program, showed Judy and me what he was teaching her. Judy and
I had been talking about collaborating on a book ever since
our grandmother died. We had promised her that we would write
a book together, because she had always dreamed of writing,
but had never had the chance.
"The first night of the retreat Judy, Mary Ann and I
were talking about the experiences of the day. Tom had asked
us to visualize someone we knew in a picture frame and someone
we didn’t know and write about them. Both Judy and I were
amazed that we had both visualized our grandmother.
"I kept having more and more insights during the
retreat," says Sue. "All this time I thought I was
the Queen of Self-Satisfaction. Thinking I have my act
together because I have done very well in real estate, and
I am not married to my job. I thought I had life-balance
Sue’s dream was beginning to wake her up, but it was
taking a different shape than what she had expected. As she
did the writing exercises, her sense of what she wanted to
write about began to change. As the class explored ideas about
synchronicity, purpose, and intention, Sue says, "The
lights went on. I saw how I had been kidding myself. I thought
I had been taking time to relax and ‘smell the roses.’ But
really what I was doing was spending all my time with other
entrepreneurs, talking about how we could do more and get
better. The only thing I focused on was productivity. While
that’s been fun, I don’t feel I have been tuned into the
depth of enjoyment that’s there for me now. Now I am less
attached to the importance of making every sale and being
productive every moment. I’m much more aware of some of the
simple elements in life like a rich conversation or just being
quiet in nature.
"These spiritual ideas were all new to me. At the
retreat, I felt like I was the only person there who has not
had an awareness that there are signals and connections and
meanings that if you are watchful can show you meaning and
Give It Time
Sue clearly shifted something during her time away from
normal routine. After having been home for a week, she went to
a real estate conference in Orlando, Florida--one that she had
been avidly looking forward to for months. Now, however, she
was more interested in staying on track with her writing
schedule than she was in attending every single session as she
normally would have. As it turned out, the conference provided
a synchronistic meeting with a man who teaches a course that
she has wanted to take for years, but because of location and
timing she could never enroll. "I found out that he lives
and teaches right in my backyard," says Sue, "so I
can easily work with him. All of a sudden, I feel like the
whole universe is involved in one great conspiracy to bring
these amazing things into my life."
Negative Self Talk Dilutes the Intention
Sue had come to the seminar thinking she wanted to learn
how to write a novel. During the retreat, I noticed that she
kept referring to herself as a novice in regard to
writing. Several times she made the comment that she didn’t
want to do any writing yet, because she might do it wrong.
She didn’t want to create any bad habits in her
writing out of ignorance.
Sue’s comments intuitively jarred me because Sue is
anything but a novice, whether or not she is an experienced
writer. I sensed she had a lot to say when it came to success,
sales, and business. Her personality and communication style
clearly indicate talent for public speaking. I mentioned my
intuitions to her one afternoon. She admitted that she loved
to tell newcomers to real estate how to sell, how to make big
money, and how they need not work nights and weekends—something
unheard of in that industry. I suggested that maybe she should
start writing about these ideas. Sales and making deals
are as natural to Sue as breathing. It was obvious to everyone
that she is a powerhouse of energy. As we discussed the ideas
and lists that she has stored away in her office, Sue’s face
suddenly lit up with a big grin. A book on how to make money
in real estate (and other types of sales), she realized, would
be the most natural, easy and exciting place for her to start.
Writing about what you know best is, of course, common wisdom
in the writing field. Going with the natural flow is also part
of the idea that we have had experiences in our lives for a
reason. Too often we are blind to our gifts and talents
because the ego thinks we aren’t good enough the way we are.
We should be different.
Two days ago--a month after the writing retreat--Sue called
to tell me she had just finished the first draft of her
manuscript, Making a Six-Figure Income on Your
Terms: A practical guide for life-balanced real
estate agents and sales people in any field.
"I thought I was supposed to learn about how to write
fiction--mystery with romance," she said, "The
reason I abandoned the idea of my real estate book in the
first place was because now the big guns in the industry are
looking for a seven-figure income. To me, that means
having to have a big overhead and all the management headaches
that come with a large business." Sue told me that when I
asked if she had done any public speaking on selling real
estate, she reconnected with some of the training and
lecturing she has done in the past—to great acclaim. "I
thought," said Sue, "Not everybody is making a
six-figure income, and if they are, they are usually
surrendering their personal lives, and spending far too much
time at work.
Keep Moving in the Right Direction
"That’s what made me realize that I do have a
message. I took your suggestion, Carol, to write out chapter
titles. That started me writing and, with Tom’s coaching
support, I finished the first draft this morning. I was amazed
when Tom first asked me if I had written anything. I drove
over to his house to give him the big stack of lists and
bullet points I had been piling up. The next day he said, ‘That’s
a great outline, but don’t look at it again. Just start
writing.’ He told me to write two hours every morning before
doing anything else. Today I looked at the chapter titles I
wrote down at the retreat, and they are the complete content
of the book.
Take Note of What Happens Around You
"I just bought a new picture frame that says,
"Notice the amazing things that surround you."
Having our group retreat picture in this frame is a huge
reminder to me to open my eyes and look for synchronicities.
"One more thing," said Sue. "I think
subliminally I keep reflecting back to your question about
public speaking. You told me to go where I feel strong. I was
having my nails done this morning and I found myself telling
the manicurist (who’s a friend of mine now), that I was
thinking of approaching some retail stores at the Flagstaff
mall, and offering to do some sales training. I nearly died
when I heard this coming out of my mouth!
"You often hear people talk about doing things ‘someday.’
I feel like now I will always be open to noticing these
messages from the universe. When Judy told me about the
writing retreat, she also asked me if I had read The
Celestine Prophecy. I got it and just burned right through
it. Everything that has happened in the last eight weeks has
stemmed from that one phone call."
Wake Up to the Whisperings of Your Dream
Take a moment to reflect on Sue’s story. Ask yourself,
what is the dream I might have buried deep inside me? To
explore creativity? To learn to dance? To go back to school?
To swim with wild dolphins? To start a community garden? To
read more books? To travel and write articles?
Don’t wait. Ask the universe to help you meet the right
people at the right time. Listen for the message in your next
conversation. Start now. Start anywhere.
Editor’s Note: The next writing retreat led by Tom Bird
and Carol Adrienne is in Las Vegas September 23-28, followed
by a weekend writer’s conference.
Sue Christensen can be contacted at RE/MAX Maximum Realty
in Flagstaff, AZ (928) 774-7755 ex 222. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sue is looking for a publisher for her book, as well as
opportunities to show sales people how to make more money and
still have a life.
Carol Adrienne, Ph.D., is an
internationally-known workshop facilitator and author whose
books have been translated into over fifteen languages. Her
books include The Purpose of Your Life: Finding Your Place
in the World Using Synchronicity, Intuition, and Uncommon
Sense; Find Your Purpose, Change Your Life, and The
Numerology Kit. She also co-authored with James Redfield, The
Celestine Prophecy: An Experiential Guide and The Tenth
Insight: Holding the Vision--An Experiential Guide.
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