Sixteen years ago today (11.11.1999) my first book Soul Purpose was published. Soul Purpose was my baby and it’s hard to believe that sixteen years have sped by and she’s now all grown up. I set out intending to write an empowerment book for woman and ended up writing a book for myself. Every writer knows that the book you write will eventually change form in the process of the writing. This is exactly what happened to me. The more I got into the writing the more personal the book became. In the end I ended up disclosing things about myself, and my life that I hadn’t planned on sharing.
This morning despite a packed day ahead of me I made the effort and got up an hour earlier so I could spend quality time to celebrate the sixteenth anniversary of Soul Purpose. I held Soul Purpose in my hand and was reminded of how wonderful the cover of blue butterflies was and how much I still like that cover today. My photo on the back took me back to the photo shoot on a blustery autumn day in a seaside town and the orange tie-dye coat I wore for the shoot.
Next I sat quietly with Soul Purpose on my lap in my office with my eyes closed and connected with what an achievement it was to write and publish Soul Purpose and how ahead of its time the book was. This was a stretch for me because often that little voice of the inner critic in my head can pipe up and taunt me to stop embarrassing myself about a book that in the inner critic’s eyes failed. Don’t I realize that the book went out of print?
But today I put that voice to one side and instead I appreciated and thanked the former publishing house, Piatkus Book now part of Little Brown publishers for taking a chance on me, an unknown, first time author from South London. Back then we didn’t have twitter or the level of social media that exists today. The idea of building an authors platform was in its infancy. The marketing machine behind the book was non-existent. So whilst I sold hundreds of books through my workshops and seminars the book didn’t get the same airplay in bookshops and online.
So sitting with all of this I decided to celebrate by opening the book to a random page as a way into the text. I opened Soul Purpose to this extract and read the following,
“When I run workshops and seminars on empowerment I often use an exercise called the ’power circle’. Each woman shares a time in her life where she acted powerfully. The examples bring home the truth of how amazing we are: stories of women saving other women’s lives, transforming their lives against great odds, standing up for themselves, taking huge risks, acting on their intuition, the list is endless. These are not necessarily company directors, these are Earth Angels, spiritual beings, ordinary women like you and me. So often, it is acting on the sixth sense of intuition, which lies at the heart of these women’s stories.”
When we empower our lives we grow like trees. Our power is the root of the tree. The leaves represent our courage, the abundance that awaits us, our limitless creativity, intuitiveness and resourcefulness. We are natural born leaders. When we are in touch with our power we move through the world with greater ease, confidence and sense of our own worth.
When we come together as powerful women our energy vibrates and touches other women around us. By holding hands in sacred circles we share our power collectively. When we strip away our masks we can be ourselves and move beyond our self- imposed limitation.
(Holder, J. 1999)
The irony of this extract was I’m recently back from the Emerging women conference in San Francisco where at the start of the conference we all sat in a similar kind of Power circles and connected with eight other women in our groups through story telling and sharing. Sixteen years later it is clear that the same rituals are still vital and important to our spiritual and emotional well-being.
Leafing through Soul Purpose this morning I was struck at how timeless the wisdom is that I connect with in the book. Wisdom that has stood the test of time and still stands true for me sixteen years later. The themes of the book include many aspects and elements of life that are still important and valuable to women’s lives today, perhaps even more so. Themes like authentic leadership, nurturing and investing in your creative life, honouring your relationship with your body, valuing your personal connections with nature and the moon, deepening into stillness, creating and nurturing sacred space in the hectic space of your life and the value of going back to your roots.
Soul Purpose is a book about slowing down. Of deepening our roots and connection with our inner lives. It’s about noticing and connecting with the smaller details and beauty of life. It’s a book about healing and forgiveness.
Despite going out of print Soul Purpose has stayed alive through readers who over the years have continued to send me email messages and out of the blue reminders of how important Soul Purpose has been to them on their own personal spiritual and creative journeys. Every other reader who gets in contact lets me know that Soul Purpose is a book they keep by their bed. My readers tell me this is a book they get intimate with. This has been a very humbling and touching experience to know that despite the book no longer being available for sale it’s words have continued to make a deep impact.
I am currently in the process of bringing Soul Purpose back into print. I’ve drafted a new introduction and foreword and we’ve had a new cover designed. I know that the content of the book as the tag line of the title (self-affirming meditations, rituals and creative exercises to revive your spirit) suggests is what is needed in the current climate of speed. Its restorative message is medicine for the modern soul.
As today is a new moon in Scorpio energetically it feels like the right time to deepen the roots, further prepare the soil and plant the seeds for the re-appearance of Soul Purpose on the bookshelves in 2016.
- What project or idea from the past might you dust off and breathe new life into today?
- What past achievement might you acknowledge and remember today?
- What new idea will you put in writing as a way of laying down roots on today’s new moon in Scorpio?