I urgently had to get to the cafe yesterday where I do a lot of my writing. It was busy because the wind outside was cold, the energy inside was enormous! I had no idea which project I was about to embark on as I opened my laptop and took a sip of my warm sweet latte.
I started with S.E.L.F (my writing tool that I have begun) and reread the piece that I wrote whilst on my road trip;
Sharon had been hiding in the cellar, she was petrified that the world would judge her and so she locked herself away. The lack of light had stunted her growth and she had regressed into a little girl, she thought this was her power and so this was the persona she threw out to the world. However it was time for her to grow up and become a woman and so she decided to open the door from the cellar. As she climbed the thirteen steps the light hit her and immediatly she grew. Like a new born she couldn’t see properly for a while, it took time for her eyes to adjust to this different perspective. It took months not weeks before she could stand tall again but one day she looked into the mirror and recognised the reflection, she smiled her eyes wider than ever before.
Immediately it evoked huge emotion and I realised that it was time to plan my Sexpo talk. The characters that I arrived at from Jung’s Individuation Process are so dear to me I cannot wait to share them. If just one person at the talk can relate, understand, smile, laugh or even hate one of my characters or me I feel I will have done my job. I just want to entice people’s emotional openness.
As I have said before I have never spoken to more than about ten people in a room so this is going to be an amazing experience. At first I was nervous but now I can’t wait, it won’t be perfect and I’ll stumble but I’m starting to realise that is my strength. I don’t mind people watching me clown around trying to find my feet if it makes them smile, laugh and feel better about themselves. I reckon even if people are laughing at me it means they are growing and have taken me into their heart. If they are anything like me, their brain will catch up eventually.
Sharks & Lovers can be downloaded here
Just like most writers I have many projects on the go and sometimes find my head spinning with which one to concentrate on.
I thought I would take a little time to talk about my S.E.L.F book project as this has been left on the shelf for far too long.
When I started writing my novels I used Jung’s Individuation process to breakdown situations from the perspective of Self, Ego, Shadow, Persona and Animas. Then the characters grew and their opinions became stronger. I didn’t realise at the time of writing that even the sub characters fell into these five categories, (they were probably the parts of my self that I didn’t much like!).
Jung has always been my hero and teacher. His philosophies are always where I turn when I feel I am lost and don’t understand. Knowledge surely has to start with your self.
So my theory is that writing using Jung’s process can help gain many perspectives on situations, people and problems. It breaks things down into manageable bite size pieces and gives insights into many views. It really has been therapy for me and if it can help me I’m pretty sure it can help other people too. That is why I have written my S.E.L.F Writing Solution.
Having spoken to my wonderful therapist friend Renate she has given me lots of suggested reading which I cannot wait to start. She always manages to make you look at things differently which is sometimes a welcome relief. So I will be swotting up on Salvador Minuchin, Virginia Satir, Erik Erikson and Irvin Yalom and many more.
Watch this space for a very different book from Frankie, hmmmm now which one is she!?
Renate Hoffmann can also be found on LinkedIn. Thank you Renate
“What is good? – All that heightens the feeling of power, the will to power, power itself in man. What is bad? – All that proceeds from weakness. What is happiness? – The feeling that power increases – that a resistance is overcome…” Nietzsche
I have overcome a resistance, a resistance to being me. I feel empowered by this and just being me is making me extremely happy. When I stumbled across this quote by Nietzsche this morning, I thought Yes! Yes! Yes! This is how I feel. I have a mental power that I have never felt before. Power to me use to mean men in suits, the educated, political power, super powers. I certainly never thought I would associate this kind of power to me but I have grown enormously since starting to write.
Whilst I was writing my first book I attended a self-defence course. The two guys running it were menacing to look at, however by the end of the day they had shown a softer caring side. We spent the day learning how to get out of various grips and holds. When a muscle-bound 6 ft 10 inch guy tries to drag you away and you can easily escape his clutches, the power shifts in your favour. It was exhilarating. The main lesson I came away with I wrote in my notebook as soon as I got into the car, ‘Don’t resist’ to be able to break away from something that holds you, you first have to go with it. I knew this was true in many areas of my life.
I had been carrying a huge resistance to being me, this fight had to stop. However to be able to let go of the past I knew I had to revisit it. Two steps forward and one step back. I was still moving forward just very slowly. At times whilst writing I was so submerged in the characters I would go to the shops as them, Harry often strutted around the ‘burbs’ of Melbourne checking out the totty. At other times Milla would drag her feet along the pavement to the local supermarket and buy a huge bag of sugary sweets. Some days writing would feel as though I was sinking very slowly to the bottom of the ocean. My hands and arms spread wide in surrender to my thoughts, no emotion just pure surrender. It was a calm feeling not thrashing around drowning, just a surrender to my sub-conscious. As my feet touched the sandy mud at the bottom I would rise quickly, vertically to the surface, the bubbles of my exhaled breath tickling my body. When my head broke the surface of the water, the blue of the sky was endless. I could feel every tiny sun beam penetrating the pores of my face and the water around me was warm. It was a hug from the universe, it was progression.
My book Sharks & Lovers is available to download here:
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Ten years ago, I started a psychology degree at The University of East London; I didn’t exactly fall easily back into education. I was also holding down a full-time job in the city at the same time. I seemed to spend most of my waking hours on the cramped London Underground scribbling down experimental ideas and endings of essays. I did however fall in love with the work of Carl Gustav Jung. So in February this year when I found myself contemplating life and the universe I decided to get back to Jung. Drawing on his teachings, I started my own individuation process and what came out of it was the beginning of a book. Characters that have obviously been living in my wildest imagination, I love spending time there so it’s not surprising I have made some friends along the way!
For those not familiar with Jung’s ‘individuation’ it is self-exploration. Looking into your persona, your self, your ego and your shadow, don’t worry the shadow I’ll save for a rainy day! Finding what lurks in your subconscious is not always pretty. Paring back past the persona that I project into the world, I started to look behind my eyes at my self. I needed to deal with some huge feelings of guilt and loneliness, love and hate, self-doubt, confidence and power.
I also started a new fitness regime called Tough Training; exercise for me had always been about losing fat not building muscle. I was drawn to the name because I knew I needed to be tough again. The advert of the muscly trainers was very impressive. At the end of my first session I couldn’t believe how mentally exhausted I was after an amazingly physical workout. After stumbling back to my car my face was still a shade of crimson. I sat there looking down at my feet and could not remember which pedal was the accelerator and which was the break. How can I forget something that I do everyday? Surely, this skill is ingrained in my sub-conscious, never mind my consciousness. Then of course, I needed to decide which foot to use. What a metaphor of my life, I had forgotten when to accelerate and when to slow down and even how to do it. I then realised I had been driving an automatic car for nearly 2 years now. Could the lack of physically changing gear be decreasing my mental ability to shift gear?
As the weeks went by and I delved deeper into my psyche I lifted weights heavier than I ever thought possible. Training was developing new skills to deal with my emotional state, not just my physical well-being. I was learning when to reset, accelerate, focus, and recognising when to catch my breath. These invaluable tools were making me mentally not just physically stronger.
My book Sharks & Lovers is available to download here:
Amazon Kobo iTunes