Refocusing

I’ve found that where I was focusing my energy previously wasn’t exactly where I wanted to be.

This surprised me. I thought I wanted to be a coach or mentor to those who are on journeys of healing and trying to gain self-love. It’s something I studied, and something that I do informally in a few venues, and I love the feeling of knowing I’ve helped someone. More, I love seeing them gain insight and make positive changes in their lives.

Deciding I wanted to coach was a change in itself. When I originally conceived this website and business, the plan was to do energy healing and guided readings. Then I realized that when I did healings and readings, I ended up informally counseling my clients anyway, so I looked into becoming a counselor. That would have required a degree I was unwilling to invest in, so I looked at life coaching/mentoring instead. And that became something I found myself more drawn to than energy healing or readings.

So the next chapter of this business was meant to be coaching, or holistic mentoring. I created an eight-week coaching program, and realized that interested me more than ongoing, less structured mentoring. Then I created a talk to go with that program, and realized that what I really wanted to do was become a transformational speaker.

So now I’m focusing more on speaking, and that’s what I feel the most drawn to at this point. That and teaching theater to children, which doesn’t seem to connect with the other things, but that’s how passions are sometimes. Transformational speaking to large groups is on hold for now while I work with smaller venues, including schools where I discuss my message of self-acceptance and living one’s truth using one of my young adult novels as a springboard.

Many of these changes have occurred in just the past month, as I’ve looked at and refined my goals for 2018. Maybe I shouldn’t have tried to do the full year in advance.

Life isn’t a static thing, and sometimes that means plans change even when you don’t expect them to. My eight-week program, which is now a six-week program, is still part of my work, and I’m building the speaking side of things. And I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next.

My Bucket List

There are a lot of things I hope to do in my life. Some of them are not necessarily probable, but I’m hoping for them to happen anyway. Other things are ones that I can make happen, if I believe in myself and keep trying.

I want to resurrect my writing career. For several years, I was a published author, writing two very different types of things under two separate pen names. A few years ago, a combination of poor sales and some personal life things derailed the writing, and now I’m facing the first year since 2009 in which I don’t have anything under contract with, or even being considered by, a publisher. For the time being, I’m taking it easy and writing just because I enjoy it, but I hope to resume writing for publication.

I want to do public speaking presentations on my message of self-acceptance and the power to change. I was trying to build that from nothing other than some Facebook Live videos, but I found myself having difficulty finding venues to contact and, more importantly, believing in myself enough to contact them. (Yes, sometimes I have trouble believing in myself. I am, as I said a few posts ago, still on my journey.) So now I’m focusing on contacting libraries and schools to do presentations there, while I continue working on the other aspect of what I hope will become a career in transformational speaking.

I want to travel. I’ve done a little bit of traveling in my life, but there are so many places I’d like to go!

I want to sing onstage, with live musicians. So far the closest I’ve gotten to that is karaoke, which isn’t exactly the same thing.

Those are the big things on my want-to-do list. What do you have on your bucket list?

Being Happy With Yourself

There isn’t anything wrong with wanting to change things about yourself. All of us go through times when we recognize the need to change, and life is an ongoing process of growth and change anyway.

But when you decide you want to make a change, first take a look at what you’re changing and try to accept it, or even be happy with it.

Being happy with who you are doesn’t automatically mean there’s nothing to change. It just means that you’ve chosen to recognize that you are a good person with good qualities, and that you’ve chosen to love and accept all parts of yourself, whether or not you want to hold onto those parts.

The first step to making a positive change is to have a positive reason for wanting to do so. If you’re trying to change something about yourself because you don’t like it and don’t want it, you might not be as successful as if you want to change it because you see something better waiting for you on the other side of the change. “Don’t-wanting” the way you are now puts your energy into staying that way, even if that isn’t what you intend, whereas wanting something different will put your energy into the new thing.

Even the aspects of yourself that you want to change are part of what makes up you as a person. You as a person deserve love and respect, and so do the things you want to change, even if they aren’t going to remain part of who you are.

On a Journey

People often talk about being on a journey in their lives. I refer to my own life as a journey fairly often.

The thing that people sometimes forget is that the journey isn’t over until your life is. There’s no such thing as reaching a final destination as long as you are still alive. You’ll get where you want to go and then realize there’s another place, and another, and so on.

Too many times online, I’ve seen coaches and others talk about how they’ve taken a journey in their lives, and they imply or outright state that they’ve completed that journey. Now, they very well may have completed *a* journey in their lives, and I don’t intend to minimize that in the least. Every bit of progress someone makes is something to be celebrated.

The problem, in my opinion, comes when people talk about their journey as though it’s finished. As though they no longer struggle with anything at all. For some of them, that might be true, but we are humans. To say one no longer has any difficulties in one’s life, and that one has created a perfect life, does a disservice to those of us who still struggle sometimes. Who are still on our journeys. Who wonder why we can’t finish our journeys the way the people online say they have. And that’s why I consider it a disservice, because it’s setting a bar so high some people might be too discouraged to even start to try to reach it.

My journey has been going on for years now, and I’m not at the end of it. I have accomplished things. I’ve made a lot of positive changes in my life and have been able to let go of some things from my past, and some of the story I tell myself about who I am and what that means. But there’s still more work to do, and that will always be the case. I will always be on a journey.

And I like it that way.

A Leap of Faith

Today is my last day at my part-time job.

Leaving wasn’t an easy decision to make. I’ve been working in an afterschool child care program, and I’ve gotten to know almost all of the kids, and I like all of them. I also know that having big changes as far as the adults around them can be difficult for some kids. I like my coworkers as well. In general, this has been one of the best jobs I’ve had.

But there have been some issues, mostly involving my health, that have made the job no longer viable. Also, I’ve been feeling like the job is holding me back from some things I would rather be doing. Things that might or might not be sources of income, but I at least want the opportunity to try.

I won’t be entirely leaving the job. I’ve been invited to continue the drama club I started, where I teach the kids about acting in general and theater in particular. I did a session of it in the fall and put on what turned out to be an excellent play with a group of about ten kids, and I was really looking forward to doing it again, so I’m thankful to be given the opportunity.

I’m a little nervous about leaving the job, but I know I’ve made the right choice. Other than continuing the drama club, I don’t really know what comes next, but that’s what a leap of faith is. You leap, and have faith that you land in the right place.

Not Writing

 As I said in my first post, I’m a published author. One might think that would make it easy for me to keep writing.

For a long time, it did. I could write the first draft of a full-length novel in six weeks or less, and I often had more than one writing project going at a time because writing excited me so much that the ideas never seemed to dry up.

Until they dried up.

For a few years, I loved getting published, but then realized my sales weren’t great. Since my publishers expected me to sell books, and I at least hoped to even if I didn’t completely expect it, the poor sales caused me to lose some of my motivation for writing. I got hung up on trying to write things that would sell, instead of things I wanted to write.

In fall 2014, something happened that triggered memories of some traumatic things that had happened to me when I was younger. And the thing that happened was, itself, traumatic. That started causing me to have flashbacks and panic attacks whenever I tried to write a certain type of scene in my adult romances. Between that and the sales issue, I gave up writing anything under that pen name.

But not having that pen name caused me to put too much pressure on myself to write the young adult fiction I did under my other pen name. That pressure caused me to start writing poorly, which led to books being rejected that might have been accepted had I paid more attention to quality rather than whether it would bring me money.

2018 is the first time in nine years that I’ve had nothing under contract with any publishers. And it’s kind of freeing not to have to stress about whether my books will sell, whether I’m marketing correctly, and so on. Of course I’m still marketing and promoting the books that are already on the market, but that doesn’t feel like as much pressure as writing new things and trying to get people to buy them.

Meanwhile, I’m writing for fun again, which is how I started. I’ve completed a novel and several short stories, and even though I catch myself sometimes tensing up over whether I can write something good again, for the most part I’m enjoying myself.

Someday, I hope to have more things published. But for now, I’ve given myself permission to write because I want to, rather than because I feel like I have to, and I think that’s making a huge difference in what I write.

Telling Yourself Stories

Most of us have certain beliefs about our lives, right or wrong. The beliefs might have been formed from past experience, or because of what others have taught us.

Those beliefs become a story we tell ourselves about who we are. And that story can really hold us back.

I know I have several stories I tell myself that aren’t very beneficial. Stories about the effect my past has had on me, and why that means I can’t do certain things. Stories about limitations I don’t actually have, and about how weak I am for having the limitations I do have. Stories about what kind of person I am.

The thing is, nearly all of those stories exist because of other people. They’re things I’ve heard from others, or they’re based on things others have done to me.

Once we learn to recognize the stories we tell ourselves, though, we can start to change them. If I tell myself I’m lazy, and then recognize the source of that story, I can flip the script and remind myself of all the things I’ve accomplished in my life. I can dismiss the parts of my story that came from others, or that are part of my past, so that I can create a new, better story for my life.

It isn’t easy to do the work required to tell yourself a new story. But it’s definitely worth it.

It’s 2018!

Happy New Year! Okay, it’s a few days late, but even so, I hope your 2017 ended well and your 2018 is off to a great start!

2017 went by really fast. A lot changed for me, including a new direction for my business. Originally, River Flow Healing was meant to be a business through which I did energy healing, guided readings, and intuitive counseling. But those things never quite felt like a fit for me, even though energy healing and channeling, which is similar to the guided readings I had planned, were things I did years ago with a fair degree of success.

This time around, though, something was off. I tried doing guided readings, but I wasn’t connected enough to what I needed, and the store in which I tried to do them didn’t feel right for me. I struggled to find energy healing clients, though the ones I did find benefited from the healing work I did with them. And I couldn’t actually call myself an intuitive counselor without running afoul of licensing regulations.

As I pondered this, I started working with a woman doing what I ended up calling “holistic mentoring.” Rather than providing therapy or services based in years of study, I guided and counseled her using skills from the courses I’ve taken along with my own experiences and the work I’ve done on myself. She told me how much it helped her, and I realized that was what I wanted all along: To help others. The ways I’d been trying to do it didn’t work, but it was still very much what I wanted.

I started following some business coaches and transformational speakers online. Listening to the speakers and their messages, something resonated in me. This was another part of what I wanted to do. Not only help individuals by working with them as I had with the woman, but speaking to groups of people who might be helped by hearing my message. Speaking publicly wasn’t something I’d done a lot of, but I knew my message and what I wanted to share with others.

So from the ashes of River Flow Healing rose Kim Ramsey-Winkler, transformational mentor and speaker. Energy healing, both practicing and teaching, is still part of it, but not the primary focus. And I finally feel like I’m on the path I’m meant to be on.

I haven’t completely formed my 2018 plans yet. Sometimes having everything planned out backfires. But I do know I’ll be doing a presentation at the Provincetown Public Library in Provincetown, Massachusetts on February 21 at 6pm. I’m firming up other speaking engagements, and seeking more. I’m open to clients and am getting the word out about my services. I have a short e-book I’ll be releasing later this month, and a longer book planned incorporating my message, which I hope to have available by the end of 2018.

Kim Ramsey-Winkler isn’t my only identity. Under the name Jo Ramsey, I write young adult fiction, and I have a couple of projects planned under that name, though I don’t currently have anything scheduled for release. (It’s the first year since 2009 that I haven’t had any releases under that name…) My new pen name, KC Winter, writes adult erotic fiction, and I’ll be releasing my first novel under that name in July of this year. Both names write stories that include messages of acceptance, self-love, and living beyond one’s past, which are also the messages of my speaking and mentoring.

That’s what 2018 looks like for me, at least right now. Nothing is ever set in stone, and sometimes it’s better to roll with changes. So we’ll see where the year goes!

Approaching the New Year

It’s almost 2018!

 

 

 

 

In 2017, I didn’t accomplish all the goals I set, and now it’s too late. But that doesn’t mean it’s too late to accomplish those goals at all. Only too late to accomplish them in 2017.

2018 is a whole new year, and I’m looking forward to it. I’ve set some goals, and am on the way to meeting some of them already. But I’m also keeping in mind that the goals might change along the way, and that’s okay. I can’t predict the future. I can say now that these things are what I want to do, and this destination is where I want to go, in the coming year, but in, say, March, or August, or even next December, I might change my mind.

That isn’t to say I’m going to change my mind about working toward goals. But I might change my mind about what some of those goals are, or what the best ways are to get there.

Many people at this time of year start setting goals or resolutions for the new year. The problem is that some of us get hung up on “having to” meet those goals. We forget that change can always happen. Something might change in our lives that leaves us unable to meet a goal, or we might change course in our personal life or career. Or we might simply decide that something no longer serves us. And all of that is okay.

If you’re setting goals for 2018, consider including a goal to revisit your goals periodically. I plan to do mine quarterly. Set aside time at least a few times this year to look at the goals you’ve set, see how much you’ve accomplished, and see if any goals are ready to be removed, either because you’ve met them or because they’re no longer on the path you want to follow. Remember that nothing is set in stone in our lives, and that includes the goals we set.

Next week, I’ll share a few of my 2018 goals.