Categories
Books life lessons

Inspirational John O’Donohue quotes.

I received ‘Walking in Wonder’ by John O’Donohue for my birthday. Krista Tippett proclaims in the foreword, ‘This book that you now hold in your hands is a treasure.’ and I concur. Reading this book felt like finding a fifty dollar bill in the pocket of an old coat; unexpected delight followed by a lucky feeling.

The book is split into 9 Chapters. Each chapter is filled with deep thought, quotes from John’s teachers and conrads, and poetry, delicious John O’Donohue poetry that is seasoned with wisdom like a salty Michelin star tenderloin. Let me share some of John’s inspired words from this work with you.

You can actually go back into yourself to great things that have happened to you and enjoy them and allow them to shelter and bless you again… it’s sad when people don’t use their good memories and revisit again and again the harvest of memory that is within them and live out of the riches of that harvest rather than the poverty of woundedness.

John O’Donohue.

Instead of recalling past moments that were truly sublime, I am often sidetracked by disappointments. And so, after reading the above quote, I indulged myself. I closed my eyes, tilted my head back and remembered. And guess what happened? Joy and amazement right there in my living room. I found a pen and started writing my memories down. I could not help but say aloud to myself, ‘Wait, did that really happen?’ ‘I never dreamt that I would be there, doing that, with them.’

It is true and undeniably beautiful how good memories can make one feel like the richest person alive.

I think that we are infinitely greater than our minds and we are infinitely more than our images of ourselves.

John O’Donohue

Greater than our minds? More than our images of ourselves? Of course we are. There is so much we do not know about everything, so how can it be that we know everything about ourselves. I have a feeling that the purpose of ageing is to uncover more of who we are, to do what we as youths were frightened to dream, to dare to go beyond the images of ourselves that keep us from being fully alive.

The duty of privilege is absolute integrity.

John O’Donohue

I’ve got to tell you, this one stung.  It is my understanding that John is trying to tell his reader that to be true is the responsibility of the free, to waste  liberties on lies and falsities is a great error. Be it pretentious, light-weight living or the martyrdom of people pleasing, the privileged should have no higher goal than authentic living. John’s words encourage me to live deeply.  May we not be wasteful by following misleading voices and misdirected versions of ourselves.

Without integrity there can be no true integration.

John O’Donohue

Again John reminds his readers of the power and necessity of integrity. We can find no real connection without turning up for ourselves and as ourselves. He illustrates how false image stifles relationships and how deep connection with others is dependent on deep connection with ourselves. 

When who we are and who we like to be are the same person, this is the point of great discovery; the place where we can unveil truth after truth after truth.

Time is always full of possibility. It would be a great gift that an old person could give themselves, The gift of recognising the possibilities that are in that time and use their imagination.

John O’Donohue

John teachers ‘old age is a time of great freedom’. Not only do we gain more time for ourselves as we age but we also are freed from many of the concerns we may have had about our lives. The years teach us to let go. 

I like this thought. Ageing isn’t a shame, it’s a glory. The later years are not a time to stop dreaming, but rather a time to revel in the possibilities that have not been available till now. May we rid our minds of the notion that old age is wonderless, profitless, or to be scorned.

If you want to read “Walking in wonder’ you can pick up a copy here. Also Krista Tippett hosts an excellent podcast called ‘on being’ her conversation with John can be found here.

Here’s to reading that replenishes.

Categories
Poetry

5 poems to lift your spirit.

When it comes to poetry Mary knows best.

‘Poetry is a life cherishing force. For poems are not words after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pocket of the hungry.’ –Mary Oliver.

On many occasions, poetry has caught me off guard.  It starts with  casual scrolling or flipping through a book until my eyes take a punt on a group of words. I should know better by now, poetry is living and one can not simply read it. Poetry wants to look you in the eye while it scoops you out with a spoon. It is both prophetic and nostalgic, painful and comforting, unexpected and timely. Poetry is a marksman, and when the right poem hits the right heart, something is activated.

Today I want to serve up 5 poems that could possibly do this within you, activate something. Whether it be bread, a blanket or breath you need, lean in, read slowly and receive.

Firstly, for the unconfident, the doubting, the unsure. ‘Variation on a theme by Rilke’ by Denise Levertov.

‘A certain day became a presence to me; there it was, confronting me–a sky, air, light: a being. And before it started to descend from the height of noon, it leaned over and struck my shoulder as if with the flat of a sword, granting me honor and a task. The day’s blow rang out, metallic–or it was I, a bell awakened, and what I heard was my whole self saying and singing what it knew: I can.’ –

For those struggling with times of uncertainty. ‘The way it is’, by William Stafford.

‘There’s a thread you follow. It goes among things that change. But it doesn’t change. People wonder about what you are pursuing. You have to explain about the thread. But it is hard for others to see. While you hold it you can’t get lost. Tragedies happen; people get hurt or die; and you suffer and get old. Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding. You don’t ever let go of the thread.’

For the rejected, disappointed, discouraged. ‘Unwelcome’, by Lauren Lott.

‘Lonely heart unforgotten, take peace and wrap it blanket tight, or use it to cover your ears, so you can not hear those tall stories that tower, and tell you you’ve been left behind. You have not been cast aside, but repositioned, picked out for something rare and meaningful.’

For those seeking permission or creative courage. ‘Breaking Surface’, by Mark Nepo.

‘Let no one keep you from your journey, no rabbi or priest, no mother who wants you to dig for treasures she misplaced, no father who won’t let one life be enough, no lover who measures their worth by what you might give up, no voice that tells you in the night it can’t be done. Let nothing dissuade you from seeing what you see or feeling the winds that make you want to dance alone or go where no one has yet to go. You are the only explorer. Your heart, the unreadable compass. Your soul, the shore of a promise too great to be ignored.’

For those needing hope, healing or forgiveness. ‘Last night as I was sleeping’, by Robert Bly.

‘Last night as I was sleeping, I dreamt – marvelous error!- that a spring was breaking out in my heart. I said: Along which secret aqueduct, Oh water, are you coming to me, water of a new life that I have never drunk?

Last night as I was sleeping, I dreamt -marvelous error!- that I had a beehive here inside my heart. And the golden bees were making white combs and sweet honey from my old failures.’

Categories
Publishing

3 Things Indie Authors wish everyone knew about Indie Publishing.

Firstly, let’s define independent publishing. A hybrid between traditional publishing and self publishing, indie publishing is when a writer hires professionals to assist them in the making of their print/digital/audio book. The indie author not only creates the content but also becomes the creative director/manager seeing the project through from concept to sales.

To some, taking on the role of creative director/manager does not suit them as they wish to only write. However, the days of simply writing a manuscript and turning it over to a publishing house to do the rest are gone. Even traditionally published authors have to market and promote their work. Nevertheless, traditional publishing has its appeal, particularly for those who do not want to do the hard work of producing.

Before I started publishing, I held restrictive doubts based on a mixture of fear, incompetence and pride. I was afraid of embarrassing myself; of failing publicly.  I was worried that I would not be able to learn and execute skills needed to complete and produce a quality product. I was concerned about adopting the stigma that sometimes follows independent and self publishing.

As I became more educated, these doubts lost their power. Slowly I began to see that independent publishing was not only possible, but also the most beneficial for me. If you are already an indie author, you are familiar with the benefits. You know that often the decision to publish independently is based on the fact that indie publishing outshines other publishing options when it comes to 3 things.

1.Creative control.

Personally, I desire not just to write poetry books, but to create them. I want to make the final decisions when it comes to book size, cover design, typesetting/interior design, and creative marketing. As an indie author having creative control means I can create the books I dream of  creating to serve my  targeted audience without the need to gain permission or  please gatekeepers. I can choose who I wish to collaborate with, building the right team of creatives to make my vision a reality. For those writers, who have felt contained creatively, indie publishing is a dream. 

2. Profits. 

When it comes to profits, Independent Authors benefit from full ownership of rights and higher royalties. They have significantly higher profit potential as they can  create numerous products from one manuscript. For example, print books ( paperback, hardback, large print, workbooks) , ebooks, audio books, translations, merchandise, radio plays, podcasts, apps and other online experiences can all be made by turning the same content into multiple streams of income. Indie’s can also decide the price of their books, when to offer discounts, whether to set up pre-orders or run patreon campaigns offering book extras for loyal readers.

3.Time.

Being able to publish multiple titles per year, indies publish fast to market. This is liberating, as compared to a traditional publishing, which on average takes  between 9 -18 months to publish one book. With the exception of international best sellers, most trade books have a 3 month shelf life and trade publishers are often unwilling to reprint more copies if the book has not reached a certain number of sales in this time. Indie authors have the power to rebrand and market their books over and over bringing in sales long after it has first been released. 

It is important to assess what kind of publishing is best for each project. When it comes to my poetry, indie publishing has proven to have been a great decision. If you would like to know more about indie publishing/book creation I would love to help you. I encourage all who have a ‘book dream’ to go forth and create.