It’s that time again – author interview time! I will be honest, my day job was extremely busy at the end of April and I have only just gotten the audio of this engaging and supportive interview with the lovely Samantha Bennett up.  Since Good Friday when this was recorded until today, there has been a lot of stuff happening. A lot. A boulder’s worth of things (see below).

But enough of that. On with the show! For those of you who don’t know Samantha, she is an author of two books, Get It Done: From Procrastination To Creative Genius in 15 Minutes a Day, and her latest. The title needs a new sentence of its own. Start Right Where You Are: How Little Changes Can Make A Big Difference. For Overwhelmed Procrastinators, Frustrated Overachievers, and Recovering Perfectionists.

It’s going to be my longest hyperlink all year! So let me start with a breath. Inhale for four, hold for seven, exhale for eight. That’s how our interview starts, and that is just one of the many super-practical, easily implementable tips that Samantha shares in the interview. You can hop on over and listen right now, or keep on reading to find out a little more before you commit!

Samantha has spent many years helping creatives to get unstuck, through her Organized Artist company, and with great intrepidity has put together a career’s worth of sensible and supportive advice into a book. And the right Little Changes Action Step that end each chapter. Things you can try for yourself to make changes in the area of your life where things aren’t working so well for you.

When I was reading the book in preparation for the interview, I started turning down the corners of the important pages. (I know. I am an absolute vandal. Do not loan me your favourite book.) After a short time I realised I had turned down the corner of every chapter, and with only around a 15 minute allotted interview time that was never going to work. But it highlighted to me that this is the kind of book that you read through once, then you keep handy, like a favourite pack of Angel cards or similar. You pick it up and wherever it falls open, that’s the right page with the right wisdom for you.

What I like about this book is that it is funny. For people like myself with a seemingly inexhaustible appetite for self-development, it is refreshing to stumble across paragraphs such as ‘”What does my inner wisdom want me to know right now?” You could end up with with a clear desire for a grilled cheese sandwich – or perhaps an idea for a whole new direction in life.’

What I also like is that some of the meditations and concepts are on the website for you to enjoy as an audio or short video.

Of this vast panoply of good ideas, I am going to choose the ones that fell open for me. Happy Naked Grown Up Time, Time Boulders and the You in the Centre of You. In no particular order, except that Happy Naked Grown Up Time got your attention I’m thinking?

Time Boulders are things like a massive day job, new baby, sudden illness of self or other – the sorts of intrusions on time that are definitely and legitimately going to impact on how much time there is for creative pursuits. But – these time boulders won’t last forever. And this is the reassurance I cling to with my current creative schedule in a life (positively) impacted by my massive, amazing, challenging, enthralling day job. One day this too will pass, and I will have a different, post-job life. More noodling time, more white space and bigger margins of my life to devote to writing. (Hang it, I might even have a whole page!) But still. I’ve got 15 minutes a day. We’ve all got 15 minutes a day. Or in my case, oodles of time on the weekend. My novel can still progress, slowly. What can you do in 15 minutes a day to forward your creative dreams?

Another key theme in the book is The You in the Centre of You. It’s a core concept for life really.

“When you are centered in yourself, you are the still center around which the wheel of your life spins.”

Sam also uses the term “The Net” to express the fundamental inter-connectedness of all things (as Douglas Adams would say). “You are an inextricable and essential part of an Infinite Net of energy. You are one intersecting element in the larger picture of the whole universe. You are both much less significant and much more powerful than you may have been led to believe.”

And Happy Naked Grown Up Time? Get a copy and read it yourself!

Listen here for my interview with Sam.

Samantha Bennett is also the co-host of the Beautiful Writer’s Group, with Linda Sivertsen. I have been Beautiful Writer for 2.5 years.

CommittedToday I signed up for the Australian Writer’s Centre 6 Month Write Your Novel course. I know what you’re thinking – more online courses!
However, this course follows on from the other two courses with the Australian Writer’s Centre which have gotten me from stuck to serious. I have gone from wondering what it might feel like to create characters and situations, to feeling confident, competent and actually as if I might enjoy this fiction writing lark! For most of my life I have given into the feeling of clumsy terror when faced with having to write creatively. No longer!

For those of you who don’t know what I’m on about, my new writing project has the working title “Without Consent” and it is a fictionalised version of my memoir Not My Story. As I am now working more than full time, running a not for profit agency, writing time is precious.

I do have writing time on a weekend, but how it actually plays out is something like this:

  1. Saturday morning! Yay! First, I’d better get my finances sorted (that takes care of most of Saturday morning)
  2. Then, I’d better do a quick review of my week last week, a preview of next week, sort my diary, flight times etc (cheeky little Sydney trip coming up) And that’s the rest of Saturday morning taken care of.
  3. In between I am putting on loads of laundry, vacuuming because even I can’t stand it, hanging laundry out, bringing it in – you get the picture.
  4. Then my daughter emerges from her teen morning sleep in – time to take her shopping and buy her lunch. That takes care of the afternoon, until I drop her at work.
  5. Then, it is really, really important that I update my tagline on my website. And get my banner re-designed. Up until 6pm, done.
  6. Then, my husband comes home and requires some loving attention. As he’s worked 12 hour days for almost every day, we need to re-connect. Date night it is.
  7. Fast forward to Sunday, Father’s Day and it’s time for morning walk and coffee, cooking for lunch, going to lunch, coming back from lunch. That’s up until 3pm sorted.
  8. A lovely clear space! Here I go, writing time! Except now I need to update my email sign-up on my website and facebook page (yes I do!!) 3-6pm, smashed out.
  9. Finally when there is almost none of the weekend left, it’s time to write a blog…

So you see, 26 weekends will pass in this way, with an unwritten novel. Instead, I am channeling my Girly Swot tendencies to get my homework done on time and SIGNING UP to this course. Yes, I do commit to a) completing my manuscript and b) preparing it for submission to publishers. Gulp!! These are the course conditions you sign up to, and with great intrepidity, I have done so today. You also have to have at least 20K words of the first draft written to sign up to this course. And I have!!! So stand by for the slog, sweat and tears.

Now, blog finished, I can spend the next three hours getting my e-newsletter sorted and sent…. Procrastination is a many headed beast… Can you relate?

full moonThe full moon is allegedly a time to take action. Hurray for action! I’ve been thinking about action; when it is easy to take action, when it is like wading through treacle to take action. And what we can do about it when the inspiration isn’t coming.

1. Barrier to tacking action item one: way, way, WAY too much on the plate
I don’t know about you, but I have a genius for taking on too much. It’s like I was born with my hand, shot up in the air and the cry of “I’ll do it!” on my lips. When I find myself (again) in this predicament, the first thing I do is change my mindset. I remind myself that I have CHOSEN to take on this multitude of tasks, and no-one is persecuting me. Having adjusted my mindset, the immediate conflict passes; I work my way through the list and pay attention to those moments when I could volunteer to do things – and don’t!

2. Barrier to taking action item two: bright shiny things
Have you ever done a personality test? I love them; Enneagram, DiSC and Myers Briggs being my favourites so far. I like the Myers Briggs prayer; for the E(xtrovert) (I)Ntuitive F(eeling) P(erceving) type prayer;

God,help me to keep my mind on one th-Look a bird-ing at a time.

My biggest, brightest, shiniest thing is facebook. After being on it for a while I feel like I do after reading a trashy mag – a bit grubby and unwholesome, filled with empty calories. My best technique is to wake myself up from the trance of facebook; if I have come looking for a message to follow up, I keep muttering about it over and over to myself; and get that message, copy it and get on out of there!

3. Barrier to taking action exhibit 3 – fear
This barrier is, nine times out of ten, a sign that a new stage of growth is just around the corner. When I feel that fear I almost always know it’s time to take action, pronto, and that something really good is almost there.

These are my top three barriers – what are yours?

Jill AngeloSomething that keeps coming up in the Abundant Businesswoman’s Summit is how to make decisions.
Being an entrepreneur means being willing to make decisions with some speed, but hopefully with some wisdom. It doesn’t always matter if you get it right, but it matters that you don’t get stuck in the state of indecision, or analysis paralysis.
And while a good decision is better than a slow decision, we would obviously prefer to make a good decision, quickly.

I was really struck with Jill Angelo’s interview, how she felt she could tune into the voice of the soul in order to make a decision;

The ego is the rushed, anxious voice that says “do it now”. The voice of the soul is “let’s give this a try”. It is much easier to navigate through when you can hear the voice of the soul.

What do you think? Can you hear the voice of the soul?

You may remember, for those of you who were listening on Day 2 of The Abundant Businesswoman’s Summit, that Kathleen Hanagan talked about muscle testing.

I wrote a short blog on this technique, but since then I am delighted to be able to share an information sheet that I found on the internet and loved; I asked the author, Tessa Casson was willing to share this with you all as a downloadable pdf

I hope they help – let me know how you go! And yes, you can still sign up to the Abundant Businesswomen’s Summit. It’s free!

julie-flippin new photo 2012One of the recurring themes in the interviews from The Abundant Businesswoman’s Summit, is just how much starting a business can activate a whole range of fears and anxieties we never knew we had!

Today’s speaker Julie Flippin offers an insight into a cutting-edge tool to quickly move beyond anxieties and fears, and into confident action. Emotional Freedom Technique, or tapping on Meridian Points.

Julie has offered a tapping sequence for the fears of the new entrepreneur; see here for more information about tapping and see the Bonus Handout which includes the tapping script.  If you want to access the audio, you just need to sign up to the Abundant Businesswoman’s Summit.  I look forward to “seeing” you there!

Let me know how you go with it!

Veronica Drake PhotoDuring my interview with today’s speaker from the Abundant Businesswoman’s Summit, Veronica Drake, I kept feeling this wonderful sense of calm. There is something about Veronica’s presence which travels across the ether – or so I found. Veronica loves life.

What fascinated me about Veronica is that she has had some significant challenges in her life – and she has moved through these and brought her experience, knowledge, wisdom and positivity with her, in order to help women move past their own challenges into business success.

Her family of origin input about money sounded familiar to me “We can’t afford it”, “that’s hard-earned money”, “watch out for the big shot over there, don’t trust rich people”. And her reaction to it – to spend up large, even more than you have, to counteract this set of beliefs that you feel no longer serve you.

Abundance comes to those who know how to look after their money. Hoarding and splurging are not abundant states!

Veronica learned to embrace a more balanced money mind-set and that was an essential part of her learning on the way to financial abundance.

“How you do money is how you do life”, Veronica states.

How do you do money?

Remy Chausse PhotoOne of the hallmarks of starting a business seems to be fear and procrastination – getting immobilised.  So I felt it would be ideal to invite Remy Chausse on the Abundant Businesswoman’s Summit.  She specialises in getting unstuck – and like many of us with a passion, she needed to learn how to get unstuck herself. Having learned this, she has brought back her lessons on getting unstuck and is sharing this with the world.  Remy shared with me:

So the Get UNStuck Revolution came as a result of my own history… The one person I thought I could trust, the one organization I thought I could trust all betrayed me … I just got betrayed all the way around until one day I realized I was just frozen in a spiritual injury. Spiritual injury is something I define as something or someone that shatters your soul.  The hurt the betrayal goes so deep, that you are literally shattered inside.  And can I just tell you how much stuckness that can create?

In every way, Remy has moved forward from that place of stuckness.  She has created a range of books and courses to help women who are stuck like she was once, move forward with their lives.

I think that’s why we’re on earth, you know, is to find that place where we can help the most people, and we can’t help them if we can’t relate to their story, what they’ve been through.

Make sure you listen up, because Remy has a lot of practical advice to share too, on how to make a decent living as a heart-centred entrepreneur.

How are you stuck in your life?

Samantha Bennett Meet Samantha Bennett. She is my very first guest on the Abundant Businesswoman’s Summit. I just knew I had to have her on the series when I saw her company was called “The Organized Artist”. “Here’s a gal who can be creative AND abundant”, I thought. “What’s her secret?”

Samantha is an actor, writer and poet. She has found the secret to moving from having a “patchwork” of day jobs to support her life as a creative, to actually running her own abundant business. She created of The Organized Artist Company to help creative people get unstuck from whatever way they’re stuck, especially by helping them focus and move forward on their goals. She helps overwhelmed procrastinators, frustrated overachievers and recovering perfectionists everywhere with her publications and online training.
• In Samantha Bennett’s engaging, lively interview, you will learn:
• The #1 abundance building habit all entrepreneurs must develop
• Why your friends, family and even yourself are the last ones to go to for advice on how much to charge
• Why having the right coach is a MUST not just now, but as you grow
• How being authentic can pay HUGE dividends in getting your client list engaged and ready to buy from you

I am excited about the free gift she offers too – as you will be when you find out what it is.

For many years Samantha has taught creatives time management techniques, tweaked for the needs of the artistic entrepreneur. She has distilled her knowledge into her new book Getting Things Done which is released THIS WEEKEND. This book is just what we creative businesswomen need; “Getting Things Done” I couldn’t wait for the launch and have already bought it, devoured it and feel invigorated and motivated! It is engagingly written, and full of practical exercises you can do. It chunks down creativity so there is a clear, doable plan to get moving on those projects near to your heart. Highly recommended.

I am so excited to have Samantha on the Abundant Businesswomen’s Summit and you can join in, for nada and hear her interview. She manages to be both entertaining and incredibly pragmatic and helpful to get you moving into abundance.

Does it show that I am really excited about this series? I am so looking forward to it starting on 1st March 2014, and I would love to have you along!

InspirationI would call this a book review, but I haven’t actually finished the book yet.  I’m too excited by the concepts in the book to wait until I finish to write about it.  The book is The War of Art and among a number of mind-blowing gems is the importance of showing up, each and every day.  Rather than being hypnotised by the enormity of an artistic endeavour, just-show-up;

“Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying … Because when we sit down, day after day and keep grinding, something mysterious starts to happen…. power concentrates around us.  The Muse takes note of our dedication.  She approves… we become like a magnetized rod that attracts iron fillings.  Ideas come.”

As if that is not enough to help you get out of procrastination and into doing, this gem on insight and encouragement to just sit down and get on with it appears in Book Two.  You will have already read Book One which dissects Resistance in its many ingenious forms.  The Enemy Within; resistance as we all know it, Procrastination.

There is something so helpful to see Resistance mapped out in its many forms that we can all recognise – self-dramatization, self-medication, sex, celebrity gossip, facebook… As each form of resistance is named its power seems to crumble.

The book contains a warning of the daily nature of resistance and how it needs to be overcome not once or twice, but daily.  Forever.

And that is the War of Art.

You will note that I am sitting down, blogging.  I have only had to do a whole load of volunteer work and have coffee with my sister before getting this done.  All in a morning’s artistic work!