Friday, June 25, 2010



This is part two of our discussion on the book.  Click on the link above to read the blog and participate in the discussion on Facebook;!/pages/From-The-Frying-Pan-To-The-Jacuzzi/130769310284553


Wednesday, June 16, 2010


How Does Any Book Come Into Existence?

Well, I guess I am getting a little too grandiose to think I can tell you how ANY book comes into existence! Get a hold of myself here. Obviously, I can tell you how this book came into being.

I have enjoyed writing at least as far back as high school. For about the last twenty years, I made it a point to self-publish every thing I wrote which included numerous short stories, a parenting book, I Want To Raise My Children Differently, and a book for men, Feeling Your Way, A Man’s Way. During this same time period, I also discovered the book, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Julia suggests that, as artists, we can best serve the creative Spirit by getting out of its way. Ultimately, she was saying that what we create isn’t ours, but belongs to the Artist, with a big A, the Creator, with a big C!

I had some difficulty taking in this notion. I still wanted to see my name on the book cover and take credit, but the more I read and reread Julia’s wisdom, I began to get it. When I allowed myself to write "off the top of my head" without censoring and pausing to critique, I experienced the "writing" flowing through me at a very rapid rate. I also found the courage to put my writing out there for other people to critique and edit which was humbling, insightful, and also rewarding. Saved me a lot of time as well.

I also began hearing Julia’s wisdom coming from other authors and workshop leaders and began to conclude that her wisdom was NEW until I realized that the same wisdom is in the twenty-five hundred years old Tao Te Ching and the Judeo Christian Scriptures. The wisdom is as old as time itself. Letting creation happen instead of trying to make it happen or force it to happen. The book of Genesis is a classic example, "Let there be light....and there was light."

So I had experienced this free-flowing creative energy before in my SHORT stories, and with a novel that still remains on the "storyboard," but this was the first time experiencing this creative process with a lengthier manuscript which went from one word to completion in a very short time.

The inspiration for the book came when I was actually considering shifting from full time private practice to getting a "job," and was simultaneously reading Neale Donald Walsh’s Conversations With God. My initial motivation was to write a book that would sell and bring in extra income for those times that my practice was where it was then–SLOW. But I couldn’t come up with a topic in which I could unequivocally claim some level of expertise.

Well, once I opened myself up to the creative process, it "hit" me pretty quickly that I had been working with couples as a licensed therapist in private practice for twenty five years. I also became aware of what it is, in particular, that I bring to my work with couples, and I heard myself talking to my clients, to workshop audiences, and to the students I teach, about the historical shift in our society that perhaps has its roots in our country’s move for independence and perhaps even farther back than that. An historical shift that brings about a zero tolerance of abuse of power. It dawned on me that this zero tolerance for abuse of power was at the heart of couples’ conflicts and perhaps ironically was the catalyst to their determination to make the relationship work rather than ending it. Couples don’t come to their relationships knowing how to share power but they were now hell-bent on learning how. And I was actually teaching them how during their conjoint therapy sessions. I became aware that I was even incorporating these insights and awarenesses into my parenting classes.

Within a few days of deciding to write this book, which even then I knew was not my book, but simply the book I was to write, I found myself lying on a blowup mattress inside a large tent at the beach near Camarillo. As I looked up at the sky through the opening at the top of the tent, the chapter titles seemed to funnel their way through on to the page of my notebook. I do not know the exact date, but this event occurred sometime in July, 2007. In the meantime, Family Court Services told me I had to make a decision whether or not to accept their job by August 13. So I set August 13 as the deadline to have the chapters of the book drafted, perhaps not complete and pretty, but DRAFTED. Writing off the top, with little or no consideration whether the content would fly or not, I met my deadline. By October of 2007, I had several copies of the book in booklet form which I distributed to people to read and then give me feedback. By June of 2008, I had self-published the book in a very cool looking spiral bound workbook which opened flat on whatever surface you placed it. A table, a bed, the sand at the beach, the floor of a tent, where ever. I began selling copies of the book from my office.

In January of 2009, I discovered Create Space which is an Amazon company and began to reformat the book for commercial publishing. In August of 2009, my practice was so SLOW, that I had all the time I needed to complete the project, and it was ready for sale on Amazon in September 2009.

You can participate in a discussion group by going to Facebook or leave a comment here.

*What is holding you back in your creative endeavors or creative desires?
*What would it take for you to set aside your inner critic which begins criticizing your art long before you take the first stroke?

Isn’t that just amazing how our inner critic keeps us from even the very first step?

*What does your inner critic say to you that keeps you from letting THE CREATOR work through you?

We’re not talking religion here. We might even be talking quantum physics. Regardless of your belief system, there are fountains of energy in this universe that are far beyond even our beliefs. That realm far beyond could be called mystery or faith or the spiritual.

Let’s turn to our relationships.
*How do we block our creative energy in our relationships?
*How does our inner critic keep us from "dancing" and being our creative self in our relationship?
*How do we stop ourselves from sharing power with the big Artist or the Creator when it comes to letting the big guy or the big woman work in our relationship?
*How can we let go and stop seeing it as my relationship or even our relationship and see that our relationship is a reality way beyond either of us?
*How do I stifle or try to control the creative energy in my partner?
YES, saved the best for last!