Office Worker with Mountain of Paperwork

Creating amid chaos

One of the things writers mention often in the Writer’s Circle is their physical environments. Particularly clutter — how to deal with all the paper and more. I’ve promised to have a guest post soon from one of my favorite clutter experts, so stay tuned for that.

In the meantime though, I wanted to bring up this question of clutter from a couple of different meta angles: sensitivity, energy, and life purpose.

Craving the relief from chaos

For a sensitive person, clutter is an energy drain because it’s overstimulating (one of the biggest challenges for a sensitive person). It affects your energy to work in a messy room because there’s so much more to pay attention to.

Mind you, that doesn’t stop me from doing it when push comes to shove, and in fact, my office is messier than I’d like it to be right now. At least on the surface. Underneath though, it’s fairly well-organized, so it’ll be a quick trick to whip it into shape.

Avila Beach Master Plan

One of my “huge” drawings from back in the day. :)

When I create in chaos, I’m reminded of my old urban design days, where I used shuffle piles of huge drawings late into the night, struggling to meet whatever deadline I was targeting. My office mate used to say she loved to watch me “clean up” when I finished a project, because no matter what was coming down the pike (even if there was another deadline looming), I had to stop and put everything away before I could continue.

And I do find that I can work in a cluttered space for a time, but then I crave a certain kind of relief for it, a spaciousness that leaves room for my brain and my creativity to operate more optimally.

The energy of clutter

On an energetic level, sensitive people are more tuned into the stuff around them. I’ve always felt that we “carry” the stuff that’s around us, and as it stacks up, we begin to feel more and more burdened by it. And why wouldn’t we, if we’re carrying such a heavy load?

The cool thing about dealing with clutter is that we can work with it on a couple of different levels — both the practical mundane level and the energetic level. For instance, on the practical level, you can sweep it into a box and hide it temporarily (you’re only allowed to do this if you schedule time on your calendar to deal with it :) ) or you can stop what you’re doing and take the time to put it away.

Or you can approach your clutter on an energetic level and use energy clearing techniques to get the stuck energy broken up around the stuff so that it becomes easier to put it away. Someday I may teach my “space clearing energy skills” class again, but for now, try clapping your hands over the piles of clutter and see if you can dissipate the stuck energy that way.

Are you writing or speaking enough?

Many of the clients I work with have a “Lines of Genius” gift marking, which means they are called to be a “gifted author and speaker with a special message for a large audience,” or they have a “Messenger” life purpose. Very often, people with this gift marking or purpose will be cursed with piles of paper and endlessly shuffling them around, feeling like they’re spinning in circles.

The solution? Write and speak.

Put the clutter away, clear the decks, and start writing. Schedule the time on your calendar to deal with the clutter incrementally, but don’t let it stop you from writing, or it’ll just get worse. :)

diamonds2

writerscirclepostOne of the things we love about the Writer’s Circle is that it really helps you put the focus on your writing, first. If you need a little nudge in that regard, the next session starts soon, and we’d love to have you join us. You can find out more and register at http://JustDoTheWriting.com.

diamonds2

Your turn

We’d love to hear from you in the comments. Is clutter holding you back? How does it feel to you energetically? Is there anything it’s getting in the way of you doing?

Warmly,

 Jenna

 

Woman Turning Off Alarm

If this was your wake up call, what would it be?

Seems like every time I turn around, someone I know is going through something big:

… Friends with cancer.

… My father facing health challenges.

… A neighbor’s house catching on fire.

… My cousin’s husband dying.

… Even my own roll-over car accident a few years back now.

The circle of those affected feels like it’s getting closer to me, like a tightening loop.

And it’s got me to thinking…

 

…Is there anything I’m not paying attention to that I want to be?

Am I going to wait for my next wake-up call, or what if I just paid attention now?

 

Change the rules that keep you in the dark.

Last night, we saw The Croods. I loved the message at the end: “We changed the rules that kept us in the dark.” (I love that they really spelled it out; it’s a kid’s movie after all.)

And that got me to thinking even more.

How am I keeping myself in the dark, operating out of fear rather than reaching out for tomorrow? Or living for today for that matter?

As writers and creatives, one of the biggest challenges we face every day is our fear. No wonder we act like we’re confronting our own mortality. On some level we are.

But I don’t like this question.

I’ve never liked how people say, “If you knew were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today?”

Maybe there’s something too cynical about me to fully appreciate that question, but there are things I commit to doing on a regular basis that I’m darn sure I wouldn’t do if I knew I’d be dying tomorrow, but I can’t live like that on an ongoing basis. Things like exercising and flossing and making sure my kid’s lunch is made, that yeah, I don’t think I’d pay attention to if the world was going to end.

On the other hand, I’m okay with it in the big picture.

But what about the big picture of our lives? I’m down with looking at that and making sure that what we’re doing matches with where we want to be now and where we want to end up.

Writing.

It wasn’t too long ago that I got the message, “Write like your life depends on it.”

And I’m writing every day now, which is a heck of a lot more than I was doing at the time. Which was rarely, if at all.

But am I writing like my life depends on it?

Not yet.

So am I going to wait for the next cosmic two-by-four, or am I going to do something about it?

Well, you already know the answer, right?

Do something.

Saturday I got out a pad of paper and started redesigning my schedule to put the focus on more writing. It’s not quite where I want it to be, so I’m going to do some more work on it today. And then I’m going to begin the process of shifting my schedule more and more in that direction. It’s okay with me if it takes a little while to shift; it’s a kind of gradual herding things into the right corrals. But it works.

Having fun.

The other persistent message that I simply have to do something about is FUN.

I’m good at working hard, you probably know that about me by now.

And I’m fairly good at really luxuriating when I give myself the chance. (I just love taking days off and putting my feet up and watching movies and eating great food and treats.)

But I just don’t give myself the chance very often.

I come from a long line of self-sacrificers and workaholics and the buck is going to have to stop here, now.

The funny thing is, I’m still not sure what I truly want it to look like, this fun thing. Writing is fun, but it’s also work.

I think it’s more about lightness of spirit and regular adventures. I hesitate to schedule time for fun. But I also used to hesitate to schedule time for writing, and look where that got me!

What if fun was worth making time for?

That sounds like a ridiculous question even as I write it.

But sometimes my brain needs an excuse to think of things in a new way.

Being appreciative and being present.

And last, I think my perhaps my biggest one, is about appreciation and presence. I’m so good at appreciating things in other people, but not so good at appreciating them in my own life. This is huge, and hard to admit. I’ve got more work to do here.

My recent tech shabbats have shown me about the power of being present and not checked out into my own little world. So I’m getting there. And there’s more. There always is.

What about you?

If this was your wake-up call, what would it be?

What is the voice of your spirit asking you to pay attention to right now?

What have you been neglecting but you know, deep down, you want to attend to?

If the Universe was going to give you a whack upside the head with a cosmic two-by-four, what would it be trying to tell you?

Your turn

We’d love to hear from you in the comments. Anything you’re tolerating? Ignoring? Things you know you want to do but aren’t? What if you chose to tackle them head-on? I’m sure I’ve got a few more of them. Seems like it’s time for an inventory.

Warmly,

 Jenna

Coming Attractions

~> Monday, April 8th. Through April 8th, my OnDemand webinar, “10 Practical Tips for More Consistent Productive Writing“* with the Writer’s Store is on sale. Use the code ONDEMAND413 at checkout to save 50%.

~> Thursday, April 18th. Register by April 18th for the next session of my Writer’s Circle (starts April 22nd). Build a solid habit of daily writing and finish all your writing projects: http://JustDoTheWriting.com.

 

What I'm Up To

~> Writing. I’ve finished my read-through of Progeny and now I’m starting in on the editing and polishing in earnest. I’m also beginning to outline my next project, tentatively called Do Over, which will be a sweet little time travel romance. Can’t you just see it already?

~> Unplugging. Friday sundown to Saturday sundown. Join me!

~> Reading. Finished How to Train Your Dragon: How to Cheat a Dragon’s Curse* with my son. Now we’ve started in on A Boy and His Bot* by Daniel H. Wilson. I also finished Crucible of Gold* by Naomi Novik (loved it!) and then plowed through a re-read of Do The Work* by Steven Pressfield in one afternoon. Next up is finishing Adventures in the Screen Trade* by William Goldman and then tackling Making a Literary Life* by Carolyn See. Or maybe the other way around. I never do like rules. :)

 

Thanks for reading.

 

* Affiliate link
trap

The trap we all fall into

I spoke with a sister writer yesterday and we talked about the many, many challenges we face when it comes to completing projects, let alone getting them out there into the world.

As moms and working women, we said, there’s always so much that has to be done, so many dishes to wash, noses to wipe, and deadlines to meet. Then if you start factoring in other people’s needs and wants (especially when you put them first) it’s all too easy to let your precious soul’s work slip to the bottom of the pile.

I’ll get to it later

If you’re like most people, you’re probably going through the day thinking that you’ll get to it later — whatever your “it” is, that creative work you’re endlessly postponing for another day, whether it’s writing or painting or drawing or finally getting the word out about your work — but that later never comes.

Or maybe you’ve promised yourself that you’ll work at the end of the day, but quite frankly, you’re exhausted.

The trap

The trap is that you’re aiming to clear the decks first, thinking your brain will finally have the space it needs for the creative work.

You figure you’ve got to get to Inbox Zero or handle all those administrative tasks or answer so-and-so’s Very Important Message first. Then you’ll be able to focus.

But.

Those things are like tribbles from Star Trek. They multiply at an exponential rate of growth, and if you persist in putting them first? They will literally devour your time.

And right now, you are letting them do that.

It’s time to stop.

How?

Let’s face it. Life happens. Life can be busy. It doesn’t have to be, but it often is, in this culture, in this era.

There will always be more email.

There will always be more to do. More information. “Opportunities.”

And we get to choose how we respond to that stuff, or not.

Do you want to organize your life around it?

Or do you want to organize your life around what is most sacred to you?

Your deepest, soul-level priorities.

What does that even look like?

For me, that is my writing and my family, period.

So guess how I spend my mornings?

I wake up, and I snuggle with my son. When we feel ready, he goes to play with his dad and have breakfast while I write for 30 minutes. It’s not a huge amount of time, true, but I do it 6 days a week.

I’ve also corralled my business, for the most part, into regular, day time hours. Rarely does it spill over into the night or onto the weekends. Why? So I can be with my family in the evenings and focus on my son.

Doesn’t mean my life isn’t hectic. Doesn’t mean there aren’t still things I want to change. But I’m working on them incrementally, moving them to the place I want them to be. Just like a writing project, bit by bit.

The key

The key to all this comes from a few simple notions.

1. Your creative work is what you were put here to do and is therefore of the utmost importance to you, your life, and your soul’s fulfillment (and even as a role model for your kids).

2. In order to fulfill that work, you must design your life around it and make sure its priority level is reflected in the day-to-day choices you are making.  (I can help you with this in my mentoring programs.)

3. Then you must protect that sacred work time — I call mine my sacred writing time — like your life depends on it. It does.

Your turn

I’d love to hear from you. How do you protect your creative or writing time?

Warmly,

 Jenna

Coming Attractions

~> THIS FRIDAY: March 8th at 11 a.m. Pacific — Your Creative Next Steps. If you enjoyed my Creative Productivity TeleClass Series and you’re wondering about the next steps to put what you learned into practice, you’ll want to join me for this free information call next week. I’ll walk you through identifying your next steps and fill you in about details about how I can support you along the way through my 1:1 mentoring programs. Sign up here: http://jennaavery.com/nextsteps

~> March 21st: Register for the next Writer’s Circle session. Register by March 21st for the next session of my Writer’s Circle (starts March 25th). Build a solid habit of daily writing and finish all your writing projects: http://JustDoTheWriting.com. We’re running four groups of fantastic writers right now and it’s a ton of fun. Come join us!

 

What I'm Up To

~> Daily writing. DONE! I’m done with the rough draft of my rewrite of Progeny!! (And now the real work begins.)

~> Reading How to Speak Dragonese* with my son. Reading Crucible of Gold* by Naomi Novik and Adventures in the Screen Trade* by William Goldman.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

* Affiliate link
mood

Live by desire, not mood

I read a wonderful post today by Jennifer Louden called, “Mood vs. Desire.”

She eloquently makes a case that we must “Learn the difference between mood and desire” if we want to feel more alive and fulfilled.

She states:

“You are always in a mood…. if you are in a light hearted mood, life seems easier. Tired or feeling put upon, you see your choices in a whole different light…. Desire, on the other hand, is life force running underneath everything. The Divine at play. A reflection of your deepest values. Desire is the most current flavor of your calling.

“We get mood and desire confused…. Mood is influenced by what you ate for breakfast, how your morning meeting went, if your partner and you are getting along, how you slept. We say ‘I’m not in the mood’ thinking that means we have no desire. No.  Mood covers desire. Desire runs under mood, sometimes deep under, but it is always there.”

This is a lesson that many creatives and sensitives (and Enneagram Fours in particular) are confronted with regularly.

So many of us want to wait to be in the right mood to create, write, work, or even to complete household chores.

In the case of writing, what we’re finding in my Writer’s Circle is that when we write on a daily basis, whether we’re “in the mood” or not, we’re much happier on the other side of it than when we don’t.

It’s all too easy to think that we’re too tired, too stressed, or too unhappy to reach for what we deeply want, but when we do it anyway, we answer our soul’s calling and say “Yes” to life.

Ignoring that deeper calling and acting only on mood is one of the biggest mistakes we can make, yet so easy to fall into. It requires will, discipline, and strength to make the hard choices, do the work, and prioritize our deepest desires. But it’s so worth it.

Your turn

Tell me what you think in the comments. You know I love to hear from you.

Warmly,

Jenna

 

Coming Attractions

~> September 27th. Register by September 27th for the next 4-week session of my “Just Do The Writing” Accountability Circle (starts October 1st). For serious writers and for writers who want to get serious about their writing. http://JustDoTheWriting.com

~> October 4th. My next Life Purpose Breakthrough Group. SOLD OUT. http://LifePurposeBreakthrough.com

 

What I'm Up To

~> Ongoing. Working on my script, Progeny, with screenwriter Chris Soth after finishing the ProSeries.* There’s always more.

~> Sacred writing time. My schedule is in flux right now but I’m writing regularly nonetheless.

~> Reading: Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows with my son. We’re also watching Merlin, which he loves.

 

* Affiliate link

 

 

 

 

calendar

5 secrets to harness the power of your calendar

If you’ve got a calling (a Big Dream, vision, goal, or project) that you’re not getting to — put it on your calendar.

Simply scheduling time for the thing you SAY is important to you is how to make it happen.

(And by the way, this is true even if your project is getting clear on what your big project IS.)

Here are 5 secrets you may not be aware of when it comes to the power of your calendar and how you use it.

Secret #1: Commitment isn’t enough.

Simply deciding to do something and hoping it will happen doesn’t fly. Yes, it’s important to DECIDE and COMMIT — but you also have to actually do it.

Show me the money, baby!

There’s far too much talking about what we want, and what we’re going to do (or why we can’t and it’s too hard). At the end of the day, doing it is what counts. 

Put it on your calendar.

Secret #2: “Your calendar never lies.”

. . . as Tom Peters says in his essay, “Pursuing Excellence” in the inspiring compilation book End Malaria, piloted by Michael Bungay Stainer.

What you SAY is important versus what you actually DO is telling about where you’re focusing your energy and setting your priorities.

If you want to learn to paint, for instance, you’ll need to make time for it. If you say that business development is key to moving forward with your creative entrepreneurialism, you’ve got to make a concerted effort to make that happen. If you want to write, you must make it a priority in your life and on your calendar.

If you’re not scheduling time for it, you’re not serious about making it happen. At least not yet.

Look at your calendar and see how it reflects your priorities — or not.

Secret #3: Make a divine appointment with yourself.

There’s something miraculous about scheduling time on your calendar for something important — it’s like making a sacred appointment with yourself. If you don’t show up, there’s a nagging sense inside that you’re supposed to be doing something else.

While nagging might generally not be a good thing, when it comes to your soul pestering you about fulfilling your divine calling, I’m okay with that.

Use your calendar as a tool to help you to get back on track with what you were put here to do.

Secret #4: Learn from what you don’t do as well as what you do.

When you don’t show up, you learn something about yourself and your project. You can test your commitment and ask, “Is this something I truly want to do, or is it something I think I should be doing?”

If it’s the latter, it’s time to reevaluate. A true calling is never a should.

If it’s the former, treat your lack of action as information and explore what would make it easier next time. Take a look and see where and how you’ve scheduled it — is it in the right place on your calendar? Is there something you’re doing beforehand that’s spilling over?

For example, I’ve learned that I have to write first before I do anything else. I’ve also learned that I have to go to the gym on the way home from taking my kid to school, or it’s never going to happen. This is about smart scheduling.

Pay attention to what’s working and what’s not — then make adjustments to make it easier.

Secrets #5: Discipline isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

I know I look disciplined to the outside world, writing weekly blog posts, consistently offering classes and programs, and screenwriting regularly. I gotta tell you, it isn’t discipline.

It’s a weirdly fascinating combination of calendared deadlines that are publicly announced and an inner knowing that unless I say I’m going to do something and make time for it, it ain’t gonna happen. I also make it much harder NOT to do it than it is to do it. More on that next time.

Use your calendar to inspire you to take action. 

Your turn

Share your thoughts. I always love to hear from you.

Warmly,

 Jenna

 

Coming Attractions

~> June 5th. My Spotlight Study Group completes. I’ve heard that there’s interest out there from others in participating in such a group — if that’s you, please email us to be notified about when/if I offer it again.

~> June 7th. Last day to register for the next 4-week session of my “Just Do The Writing” Accountability Circle. This is for writers who want help staying on track and consistent about doing their writing, day in and day out. http://JustDoTheWriting.com

 

What I'm Up To

~> Ongoing. Mentoring with screenwriter Chris Soth through ScreenwritingU. Working away on a new project before I tackle the rewrite of my first one.

~> Fall. Heading to Hollywood for a ScreenwritingU event to meet with producers and agents.

~> Sacred writing time. Early mornings and Fridays.

~> In between shows and books right now. I think I have Sex and the City: The Movie and Another Earth hanging around to be watched, but Scott Myers has me interested in watching (500) Days of Summer. So we’ll see what happens next. :)

 

 

 

When you’re dragging your feet around being seen by your audience, remember this

If you know you are meant to be in front of an audience, sharing your creative work, but you’re dragging your feet about it, I want to remind you of something.

Your call to the spotlight is not optional.

It’s not going to work if you do it halfway, like never quite finishing the book and getting it published, designing the talks but never delivering them, or writing the blog posts but never pressing the publish button.

Here’s why: Your soul won’t let you get away with it.

I see the tug of war over being seen publicly as a battle between your soul’s deeper knowing and your inner critic’s limiting beliefs.

Who do you want to win?

The cost of listening to your inner critic, the one that says it isn’t safe, that you’ll make a fool of yourself, that people won’t like what you say, or that you have nothing new to say, is that your soul will be unfulfilled.

To be more specific, your level of happiness, satisfaction, and sense of fulfillment in your life is directly connected to the degree to which you are doing what you were put here to do.

So if you have a call to the spotlight (or to anything, for that matter) — regardless of how much you dread it — you’re not going to feel complete until you do it.

I can tell you truly that I have never been happier than I am now with all the writing and speaking I’m doing.

I can also tell you that I have never been more scared. But despite the fear, it feels right, and that’s how I know I’m on the right track.

Your turn

What calling are you avoiding or not embracing as much as you truly know you want to?
Tell us in the comments.

Want help expanding your comfort zone around being seen by an audience? Join my small, healing-focused group designed to help you feel ready to share your gifts with the world. 1 spot left.

Warmly,

 Jenna

 

Coming Attractions

~> May 1st to June 5th. My new Spotlight Study Group for sensitives, artists and hermit types who are ready to take their call to the spotlight more seriously and clear up the obstacles getting in their way. One spot left. Details.

~> May 10th. Last day to register for the next 4-week session of my “Just Do The Writing” Accountability Circle. This is for writers who want help staying on track and consistent about doing their writing, day in and day out. Details.

 

What I'm Up To

~> Ongoing. Writing in the ProSeries class at ScreenwritingU. Now we’re working on our query letters so we can start promoting our scripts.

~> June 12th to 15th. Heading to Hollywood for a ScreenwritingU event to meet with producers and agents. Can’t wait!

~> Sacred writing time. Early mornings and Fridays.

~> Still reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with my boy. I’ve been keeping up with Castle and Once Upon a Time while I’m waiting for Downton Abbey to be available again. Oh, and waiting with baited breath for Avengers Assemble. Can’t wait to see Joss Whedon working his magic with superheros!

 

 

Sunlight Penetrating Tree's Branches

How to find your calling as an artist

Several people have mentioned recently that they know they have a calling in a creative direction but that they aren’t sure where to start to figure out what it is.

This is something I specialize in — helping you get clear not only about your life purpose, but also honing in on the specific expression of your life purpose that you can do in your daily life.

Life purpose versus the specific “thing” you do

For example, if your life purpose is to be a “Messenger” or “Mass Communicator,” the specific expression of that might involve being a broadcast radio announcer, a book author, a keynote speaker, or a journalist.

Similarly, if your life purpose involved “Creative Expression in the Spotlight,” we’d want to get clear about whether you’d rather be a stage or movie actor, a painter doing studio exhibits, a creative writer, or a dancer, for instance.

Most coaches will tell you that the way to do — once you know your broader life purpose — is to figure out what you are passionate about.

The problem with starting with what you are passionate about

The question of getting clear on what you are passionate about is one that fascinates me.

Why don’t we just know what we are passionate about? Is it simply that it’s been drained out of us by our cultural programming? Are we numb to the world because of the pressures we face and the constant onslaught of choices and information?

A while back I said that I think we might be asking the wrong question, to ask what we are passionate about. I say that because — particularly in the business coaching industry — there’s a kind of “well, all you have to do is what you are passionate about and all your problems will be solved” mentality. *blinks brightly*

No pressure there.

I mean, people come to coaching to find their life’s direction — if they knew what they were passionate about they’d already be doing it. And just point blank asking, “What are you passionate about?” triggers a bunch of remote answers that don’t have a lot to do with anything meaningful and makes people feel like they’re just stupid or blocked.

Which they are.

Blocked, I mean, not stupid.

Here’s the funny thing.

Deep down, some part of you that you’re not tapped in to — your soul — does know.

And it’s your job — just like it is for each one of us — to learn how to connect with that deeper inner wisdom and guidance that’s available to you and listen to it.

Listen to it like your life depends on it.

It does.

But wait a minute, Jenna, I can’t hear that voice!

I know. It’s hard to find, right?

It takes practice. Patience. Quiet time.

Journaling.

Listening.

Make space in your life for that deeper voice of wisdom to speak, and you will hear it.

And yes, you are avoiding it by numbing out, being so busy you can’t think, and constantly being online. Those things don’t help.

Go outside. Touch the ground. Make something REAL. Put your hands in that big planter filled with mint and breathe the scent.

Look at the sky and let your soul touch the clouds.

And do it again.

And again.

Then tell me what you found out.

xx

Your turn

I’d love to hear what you think! Your comments are always welcome.

Warmly,

 Jenna

 

Coming Attractions

 

~> April 19th, 2012. Last day to register for my next Life Purpose Breakthrough Group on May 17th. Only 1 spot remaining. These groups consistently sell out, so if you’d like to join me, reserve your spot ASAP. Register here.

~> April 19th, 2012. Teaching a live webinar for Writer’s Digest, “10 Practical Tips for More Consistent, Productive Writing.” Register here.

~> April 25th, 2012. Second date, same class, different graphic, different venue! A live webinar for The Writer’s Store, “10 Practical Tips for More Consistent, Productive Writing.” Register here.

~> May 1st to June 5th. My new Spotlight Study Group for sensitives, artists and hermit types who are ready to take their call to the spotlight more seriously and clear up the obstacles getting in their way. Details.

 

What I'm Up To

~> Ongoing. Writing in the ProSeries class at ScreenwritingU. I have a fancy marketing campaign printed out and on my wall now. It’s a thing of beauty!

~> Sacred writing time. Early mornings and Fridays.

~> Still reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with my boy. Can’t watch Downton Abbey right now since it’s backlogged on Netflix. Up to other things in the meantime.

 

 

A spotlight life purpose or a spotlight gift marking — what’s the difference?

With all the conversation I’ve been having lately with clients around being called to spotlight — and usually feeling darned reluctant about it (if this is you, better read to the end of this) — one question keeps coming up:

What’s the difference between having a spotlight Life Purpose marking and a spotlight Gift Marking?

Let me explain.

In hand analysis terms, there two primary markings that show you have a “call to the spotlight” — meaning that you must express yourself to your audience and receive their applause, approval, and appreciation in exchange for sharing your work with them: a Star of Apollo gift marking and a Right Apollo Life Purpose.

Star of Apollo Gift Marking

The first is the Star of Apollo gift marking — a small asterisk on your palm on either hand, right below your ring finger — that tells us you have a gift for “Fame and Fortune in the Arts,” or being paid and being seen for your artistic expression.

With an Apollo Star, if you aren’t doing your spotlight work, the Universe has something to say about that and gives you a good swift kick in the butt in the form of “tomato fears” –  aka creative apathy, creative confusion, and creative blocks.

The solution? Do your spotlight work.

Right Apollo Life Purpose

The second is a “Creative Expression in the Spotlight” Life Purpose marking — a high ranking finger print on your right ring finger — meaning that in order to fulfill your life purpose, you must creatively express yourself to your audience.

With a life purpose marking, it is a required part of your life purpose fulfillment.

In other words, you won’t feel satisfied and you won’t have fulfilled your life purpose until or unless you have an audience to whom you are expressing yourself creatively. People with an Apollo purpose MAY have challenges with tomato fears if they are not pursuing their life purpose and/or are falling into their life lesson.

The solution? Do your spotlight work.

The bottom line

They both matter.

They both count.

Gift markings can go away IF you do “enough” of the work.

Life purpose markings NEVER, ever change.

Therefore, in some ways, you can say that a life purpose calling is more powerful because you will never feel fulfilled until you are expressing to your audience.

On the other hand, the gift marking has a certain kind of urgency to it too — don’t do it, and pay the price. In some ways it’s harder for people who have it as a gift marking than it is for people who have it as a purpose marking because of the penalty.

If you are called to the spotlight and you aren’t doing it, you are going to feel unfulfilled, stuck, confused, spinning in circles, lost, and apathetic.

At the end of the day, one way or another, you need to do your spotlight work.

If you want to summon your courage and step into YOUR spotlight, join my upcoming Spotlight Study Group, where we’ll have a safe, sensitive-friendly, small, intimate coaching group to clear up the fears, doubts, old wounds, and other obstacles to claiming your place in front of your audience — where you belong. Starts May 1. Early registration ends Sunday, April 15th. Details are here.

 

Present

Gift markings: Use ‘em or pay the piper

Most people get a little giddy over hand analysisGift Markings.” I did!

When I first had my hands analyzed, we found about 10 gift markings. It was so exciting to see my innate talents showing up on my palms. And I wanted more — I felt sure some were missing from my list. :)

Ironically, I did find more over time, but it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. I’ll tell you why, but first, let me explain a little more about gift markings and how they work.

What are gift markings?

Gift markings are line formations on your palms and fingers that indicate a particular ability or talent that you are not using to its fullest degree. The marking is in your hands like a beacon from the Universe, saying, “More of this, please! And faster would be better.”

The line formations look like small asterisks (* called “stars”), single lines, or sets of parallel lines, and are in specific locations — “Mounts” on your palm or distinct line locations. The positions of the markings are important, and they tell us the nature of your gift.

There are 17 officially recognized gift markings by the International Institute of Hand Analysis.

Stars:

  • Star of Jupiter: Gifted leader
  • Star of Saturn: Midas touch
  • Star of Apollo: Fame & fortune in the arts
  • Star of Mercury: Clever communication
  • Star of Pluto: Deep transformation
  • Star in the Moon: Psychic flashes of intuition
  • Star of Neptune: Gifted empath
  • Star of Venus: Playful spirit
  • Star of Mars: Courage
  • Star of Wisdom:  The seer

Lines:

  • Medical Stigmata: Gifted healer
  • Lines of Genius: Gifted author and speaker
  • HAL 9000 line: Gifted problem solver
  • Persephone line: Deep intuitive transformation
  • Line of Clairvoyance: Psychic vision
  • Simian crease: Intense focus
  • Pure Heart line: Unconditional love

How to use your gift markings

One of the things that’s interesting about hand analysis is the redundancy. Very often, if you have a particular Life Purpose indicated by your fingerprints, your gift markings will reflect and reinforce your purpose, as will other line markings (there are many, including your life line, head line, heart line, fate line, and various other indicators).

You can think of your gift markings as the tools that help you implement your Life Purpose. Some hand analysts think your gift markings are more important or equivalent in importance to your Life Purpose.

While I disagree on one level, I also think that your gift markings can play a dominant role in your life experience, particularly if you have a lot of them or if you are not using them well.

Gift markings can change

Unlike your fingerprints and other dermatoglyphs, the line markings on your palms can change. This means that over time, gift markings can come and go. So you may be let off the hook if you start using your gift “enough.”

What is “enough”?

I’ve never had a good answer on the definition of “enough” from anyone so far, but my understanding is that if the gift marking is still there, you’ve got more work to do.

Are you in the penalty box?

As I said, gift markings are pretty exciting. Like me, most people long to have them, or more of them. This is definitely one of those “be careful what you wish for” situations, though.

Here’s why.

Every gift marking comes with a penalty. Other hand analysts describe it as being “on the student path.” In either case, it isn’t fun.

Whether you know about your gift or not, if you’re not using it, you’ll feel frustrated, thwarted, stuck, and dissatisfied with your life.

Bottom line: If you are not using the gift, you’ll face the consequences.

Penalty examples

For example, if you have a “Gifted Author and Speaker” gift marking (Lines of Genius) but you aren’t using it “enough”, you’ll find yourself spinning in circles and shuffling lots and lots of paper.

The antidote? Use the gift: Write and speak like your life depends on it.

Another case in point is one of my personal favorites and bêtes noires: The Hal 9000 line. Not only do I love the sci fi reference, but I have an up close and personal relationship with this one. The Hal 9000 line is the mark of the “Gifted Problem Solver,” and if you aren’t solving large, complicated problems (we’re talking world-scale here), you’ll create complicated personal problems to solve, like getting involved with a married man or creating financial challenges for yourself.

The antidote: Figure out the big world problem you want to solve and get cracking.

The multiple-gift marking conundrum

Only about 35% of the population have one gift marking, according to Pamelah Landers, author of “The Complete Guide to Gift Markings.”

Having 3 or more gift markings is downright uncommon.

Therefore, for those of us with multiple gift markings (more than 3), we can feel isolated. And overwhelmed.

Having multiple gift markings means having multiple masters. Not only do you need to be fulfilling your Life Purpose, working on your Life Lesson, and mastering your Life School, you’re also required to answer to the gift marking Powers That Be, each of whom seem to have their own agendas.

Luckily, as I said earlier, your gift markings tend to reinforce your fingerprint Life Purpose markings, and can give you a fuller picture of what your calling and how you can go about accomplishing it.

Truly, it’s a mixed blessing — all those penalties are no cup of tea, but they sure do give you a powerful nudge to get back on track with what you were put here to do.

Want your hands analyzed?

If you’d like to find out more or have your hands analyzed, consider joining one of my upcoming Life Purpose Breakthrough Group sessions or booking a private Life Purpose hand analysis session with me. All sessions are held by phone.

 

“One of the most effortless and deeply insightful processes I’ve gone through.”

I am amazed at how there is SO MUCH WISDOM within something so small and subtle as our fingerprints. It reaffirmed a lot I already knew about myself, but also pinpointed things I really need to pay attention to and magnify. Afterward, I spent a 4-day weekend absorbing & processing EVERYTHING. I journaled like crazy, wrote up 5 things I want to focus on, got 2 new books, and cranked out new content for my website/company I had wanted to build. For someone considering taking this course, there is no considering needed… it’s a MUST. It was one of the most effortless and deeply insightful processes I’ve gone through, and I’ve gone through MANY of them. Jenna is absolutely genuine, real, compassionate, and with just the right dosage of being intuitive for you and having wisdom for the whole group.

Given the time you had to go over everything for 4 people, Jenna, you did an amazing job of being comprehensive and intuitive that was just right for the time we had. It was so so so nice to have someone who just “got me“…and that’s a true sign of a true intuitive. I take my life purpose very seriously and have spent a lot of time honing it and trying to live it. But it’s time to really take it up a notch it and make it my FULL-TIME work. That is my vision and goal.
~ Lola Tsai, Vancouver, BC, www.lolaloveandlight.com

“The inspiration and clarity of the reading, along with your keen intuition, has helped empower me in better embracing my soul’s life purpose.”

“I have been sitting with the awe of the accuracy and enlightenment your fingerprint analysis has brought me! The validation and relief, as well as the inspiration and clarity of the reading, along with your keen intuition, has helped empower me in better embracing my soul’s life purpose. A wonderful gift and icing on the delicious cake I have been savoring in your course — thank you for your sacred work and gift of love!”
~ Helena Himani Das, Managing Animals Naturally, Inc.

Graduates in Cap and Gown

Too cool for school?

Understanding your Life School is an important part of fulfilling your Life Purpose.

Your Life School is like a broad training program that gives you the lifetime tools you need to achieve your Life Purpose and address your Life Lesson. Both your purpose and lesson play out within your Life School, so it’s worth paying attention to and mastering.

I like to compare your Life School and Purpose together to a college degree program. While you might major in English, just the way you focus on your Life Purpose, the English department is part of the broader School of Arts & Humanities, very much akin to the way your purpose plays out in the larger context of your Life School.

Each Life School has a particular challenge associated with it. In the realm of hand analysis, you’re always looking for the “just right” place on the pendulum swing from one extreme to the other. It’s like your own personal Goldilocks mission, should you choose to accept it. :)

How you can use your Life School information

When things start going south, it’s usually a challenge associated with your Life Lesson (because you’re not working on it) or your Life School (because you’ve strayed from the “just right” path).

For example, in my case, as a School of Service trainee, if I’m having trouble and it’s not associated with my Lesson, I usually find that I’ve over-given and gotten resentful (one extreme in the School of Service) or retreated too far from truly being of service to my tribe into self-indulgence (the other extreme), rather than walking the win-win path of it being good for me AND good for them.

I’ve gotten much better at this over the years, particularly in the work realm, but it came back to bite me when I had my son: I went too far into self-sacrifice mode and wasn’t doing enough to take care of myself. And voilà: Instant service backlash.

I’ve learned to use my giving-receiving radar to help me stay on track with what’s working for me and what’s not. And sometimes I have to be reminded to do so — hence the opportunities created by my Life School = more chances to learn.

How your Life School is determined

Your Life School is determined by the number of a particular type of fingerprint you have to qualify for a particular school.

There are four Life Schools: Service, Love, Wisdom, and Peace.

(A funny side note is that I was initially so distracted by wanting to be in school of Wisdom that I hardly noticed how accurately the School of Service fit me! Can you say “blind spot”?)

  • The School of Service is designed to teach you the path of consciousness and about true, joyful service that is good for you and everyone around you. It requires that you master serving yourself before you can be of true service in the world. Whorl fingerprint types are associated with the School of Service.
  • The School of Love is designed to teach you the path of the heart, and about balanced, authentic emotional expression that stays current in the moment. Love students learn to value, trust, and express their emotions regardless of the perceived impact or response from other people. Loop fingerprints belong to the School of Love.
  • The School of Wisdom teaches you to honor the path of “thoughtful action” and the ability to take meaningful, conscious action rather than sitting on the fence thinking and analyzing endlessly or taking overly reckless action. The fingerprint type associated with the School of Wisdom are Tented Arches.
  • The School of Peace follows the path of the body and the physical, and gives you opportunities to explore what it means to feel safe in your body and on the planet and learn to neither rush around in adrenaline mode nor fall into a spaced out place. Arch fingerprint patterns indicate the School of Peace.

It is possible to be in more than one school, which results in a combined school. For example, someone with the qualifying number of Loop prints might also have one or more Tented Arch fingerprints, putting them in the school of “Wise Relationships.”

Remember, your Life School gives you the context for your Lesson and Purpose, and the tools you need to help you accomplish them. So while being an artist or writer might be your Life Purpose, your Life School will bring a unique flavor or theme to your work that will help clarify what you’re up to and why.

If finding your Life Purpose and Life Lesson interests you, I invite you to join me for one of my upcoming Life Purpose Breakthrough Groups or for a private hand analysis session.

Jill“I was amazed at the accuracy of my hand analysis with Jenna.”

“I was amazed at the accuracy of my hand analysis with Jenna. It really was uncanny how the reading mirrored me exactly! I’m moving in new directions now, and the timing of my hand reading was exactly right — it highlighted the major issues I’m dealing with and pointed out some I hadn’t identified yet. Knowing I am in both the schools of Service and Peace, and my life lesson and life purpose, is incredibly valuable for me in taking my next step toward Authentic Work. A truly worthwhile experience.”
~ Jill Winski, The Artist’s Nest, www.JillWinski.com

“During my hand print reading… Everything Jenna said felt true to my experience yet surprising and deeply insightful.”

“When I hear something that resonates with my inner being I get shivers through my body. During my hand print reading with Jenna last night I had dozens of shivers. Everything she said felt true to my experience yet surprising and deeply insightful. This was the exact right time for me to receive this information. I feel excited and inspired by the clarity and new paths that feel available to me now.”
~ Sherris Cottier Shank, Gem Carver, www.GemScapes.com