Last night, I was talking to my sister. I was feeling down, but I couldn’t put my finger on what it was about. In talking to her, I realized something: I have been playing it safe. Yes, even though, as many of you know, I am writing (now editing) my second book, Your Light is Rising and I launched a Kickstarter campaign last week to support bringing the soul medicine of this book out into the world that met its target goal in less than 24 hours, last night, it dawned on me: I had been playing small.
I had been playing small and playing it safe. I had let Fear take the driver’s seat when I planned the Kickstarter campaign.
I want to share with you some of the “messiness” behind the scenes of taking a soul risk. My hope is that by sharing some of my own evolution and messy humanness that it may support you in listening within and honoring what you hear – even when you meet the waves of doubt, fear, and uncertainty.
To be honest, I struggle in this phase of publishing a book. I’d much rather be in the quiet space of writing where I am by myself, listening within, and writing. That’s safer. That’s less vulnerable. That’s the protected space of the womb.
And yet as we all know, you can’t stay in the womb forever! There comes a time for birthing and going on that journey to be out in the world.
Every day, we have the choice:
will we play it safe and keep going along
doing the things we have been doing,
or will we take a risk
to do something different?
Will we lean into our dreams
or pull back from how uncomfortable
it feels to take a chance?
– From the poem, Take the Soul Risk, in my book, Your Light is Rising
In this phase, I have to put myself out there and ask others to help. I have to be vulnerable. I can’t do it alone. I have to share about myself and share about the “work of my soul” that was three years in the making.
In this phase of publishing a book, to be really honest, I could easily get down on myself. I move more up into my head rather listen to my intuition and body. I feel the pull of “marketing” and growing the number of people who purchase a book. I wonder what I’m doing wrong. I compare myself to others. I could get fixated on all that.
And then something holy in me says, “Breathe, Lis. It’s okay. You’re doing okay. Trust me.”
How You Rise
Your precious energy is wasted
in constant self-correction and doubt.
Gather back all that energy
and put it into trusting
and sacred inner voice.
– From my book, Your Light is RIsing
It’s not the answer I want! I want specific answers! I want a plan! I want a trajectory toward my dreams! I want to know what I’m doing wrong and what I can do that’s better. I want to know the “why,” the “how,” and the “when!”
But that’s not what I hear.
Again I hear, “Just trust, Lisa. Take care of YOU – get outside, hang with your family, make nourishing food, follow what delights your heart. Ask others to be alongside you. Trust that I got you. And then surrender.”
I’m like “But, but, but….!”
Fear says “Pull back! Do this alone. Retreat. Give up. Don’t make yourself vulnerable. You’ll look like a fool. You’ll be too needy and too pushy.”
I am way too familiar with the voice of Fear. We all are. She comes in even when we don’t need her. She’s trying to keep us safe. We need her – but not all the time!
Last night, my sister asked me point blank, “Lis, why did you set the Kickstarter campaign goal so low? I was surprised when I saw it.”
To be honest – that moment, I knew why. I was afraid. I was afraid to set it for more because I was afraid of this: what if I don’t meet the goal? What if I ask people to join me and no one shows? What if I don’t get it? What does that say about me?
I was afraid of failing. I was afraid of rejection.
Fear had me undervalue myself and my time. Let me be totally transparent: I set the Kickstarter amount for $3000 because I was afraid to go for more. I didn’t take the “soul risk” to ask my people to come out and join me.
As of today, the Kickstarter has reached $4000. It sounds like a lot. And it is. But out of that $4000, Brian calculated it last night, I am just barely covering my costs. I take no “salary” to cover the hundreds of hours spent writing the book nor the labor of getting the book into your hands and into the world. There is no “extra” to use to buy author copies, market the book, and send books to potential networks, podcasts, or shows like the Ellen Show (I have a dream of walking with Ellen on the streets of NY and handing out hugs and poetry – OBVIOUSLY no hugs during a pandemic!).
I have big dreams, but I was afraid to go for them. I played it safe(r).
I’m sharing part of my own learning and evolution with you because I hope you can find some power in this story as well.
Because this is what’s happening now:
I refuse to play it so safe. And it’s time to take the soul risk.
I am saying to Fear, “Fear, I see you. You are trying to keep me safe. But by trying to keep me safe in this situation, you are keeping me playing small. So, Love (yes, I’m calling Fear ‘Love’), it’s time to take a seat. I’m going to let Courage come forward and direct my actions. I’m going to let Trust be the water we drink. I’m going to let Hope be my fuel. I’m going to let Love be my guide and companion. And I’m stepping up to take the soul risks I hear the Divine putting on my heart. And then…I’ll surrender. I’ll offer it all up to the Beloved to hold.”
Maybe the Universe is asking you
to trust even more deeply
to surrender even more fully
to not know and still
take a leap into the darkness
and find that not only do you have wings
but a thousand angels and ancestors
are with you.
– From my book, Your Light is Rising
I listen. I trust. I walk into the unknown. I remain there, trusting. I remember that there are “a thousand angels and ancestors” with me. I follow my joy. I take care of my body and soul. I reach out to people. I surrender. And I believe that by doing this, all will be well – no matter what – because I am following a truth – a call – deeper than the ups and downs of this journey.
– From my book, Your Light is Rising
And this is what I hear from the Beloved:
…It’s possible to follow your heart
and do what you really love –
to being that dream –
yes, the one you’ve put off for so long now
and the one that I’ve been calling you to –
with my abundance and blessing paving your way.
– from the poem, It’s Possible, in my book, Your Light is Rising
So, Dear Reader, I am reaching out to you as one of my “soul risks.”
Would you join me? I have written poetry about compassion, community, and courage since I was a little girl. I have a dream of bringing my book, Your Light is Rising, into the world to heal our soul exhaustion and to stir the Soul Courage within us to listen to that sacred voice within us and follow what we hear.
Writing a poetry book isn’t that popular. As an Indie author it is even more difficult to get the word about your book.
I need the soulful and kind encouragement of this community. Whatever action your heart is moved to take, I am grateful.
How can you help?
- Send me kind words of encouragement. You can leave a comment here or email me. My “love language” is “words of affirmation.” And it warms my heart and kindles my courage when you cheer me on.
- If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy of Your Light is Rising in my Kickstarter campaign, please do!
- If you HAVE ordered your copy, you can edit your pledge and get a few more for family and friends!
- I’d love to see you at the virtual poetry experience in January. Consider signing up for that (it‘s on two levels in the Kickstarter, Strength and Peace). It’s going to be a lovely, cozy time right in the middle of winter. Cozy up in your comfy clothes, get a warm mug of tea or hot chocolate, and let me help kindle the light within you with poetry and practices that are soul-moving and nervous-system-nourishing.
- Share the campaign with a friend and let them know why you are supporting this book or what moves you to do so.
- Are you a part of groups or communities that could use this soul nourishment? Are you on a platform that would resonate with this soul nourishment of this book? Share the campaign with them. Or connect me and them!
- Do you have any fun, creative ideas for spreading hope and sharing the soul medicine of this book with the world – online or in person?! I’d love to hear them! One of my friends suggested posting my poems on public lamp posts. I love the creative ideas! I could use them!
The bottom line is: I need you. WE need each other in this world. We aren’t meant to go at life alone. The truth is, we rely on one another.
I genuinely try to embody what share with clients and readers. This is the next step of having “soul courage” on my path to not “go at life alone,” to build community, and to believe in the soul medicine of this book. My purpose on this earth is to EMBODY DELIGHT. To BE a light. To honor the Divine within me. Our world is so divided right now. In this global pandemic, we are all experiencing overwhelm and exhaustion. Your Light is Rising is a ray of hope sparking our inner soul courage and re-inspiring us to find our joy, connection, and peace — individually and collectively.
And I can’t wait for this book to be in your hands. Thank you for the love and support you give me and also for sharing this soul medicine with the world.
I believe that YOU, too, have a LIGHT to shine, a WILDNESS to embody, and a MEDICINE to share.
I am about journeying with you – being alongside you – as you take the next right “soul risk” in your own life. And I hope that me being vulnerable and transparent supports YOU in going on the adventure your soul calls you to be on right now. Thank you for letting me share with you!
As a “thank you” to you — my ten year old daughter and I love doing art together. We made a phone screen-lock wallpaper for you as a daily reminder for you to go for your dream, to let your light shine, and to take the soul risk. Click on it and save it to your phone!