From time to time in this space, Balboa Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. These are the words of Stephanie Van De Ven, author of “The Birdy Book Series”. For more info on Stephanie or her book, check out her website, Facebook and Twitter. Download the Balboa Press free publishing guide to receive more information on self-publishing your book with Balboa Press.
How many times have we tried searching outside of ourselves for happiness, love, and acceptance? We choose to spend countless hours at the mall, or countless hours trying to find the perfect new outfit or piece of jewelry or whatever our guilty pleasure is– and it’s a fantastic thrill for a few days until it wears off… then what? We continue on this energetic roundabout wondering why this isn’t helping and question how come you just don’t feel better? It’s because we are choosing not to search within ourselves to tap into our inner guidance and spirit.
Have you figured out what you’re replacing spirit with?
For me? I was shopping all the time, spending my dollars where I shouldn’t – and convincing myself that if I purchased the latest crystal, rock, gemstone, spiritual mala bead, necklace, yoga pants or positive affirmation accessory that I would somehow be more spiritual! I honest-to-goodness convinced myself of that. What was I thinking!?
I wasn’t even happy!
It was a classic case of sensory searching and spiritual deprivation.. that is – trying to find happiness with other things, instead of within yourself, within your spirit.
What worked for me?
- Donate-feel-great. I donated the bulk of my clothes in my closet and shoes (which was VERY hard to do) to a local charitable organization that resonated with me. I thought I would be devastated. I was not – in fact it was the opposite. I was elated. I felt peace. I was providing families who had nothing, arriving to Canada with clothing to wear. I didn’t know them, but I felt connected to them all.
- Write-it-out. I consciously choose to write down as many reasons as possible as to why I was shopping so much. What was it about the experience, the pleasure, the aftermath that seduced me so much? My list was pathetic. It was materialistic. I didn’t like reading it back. I was embarrassed. It helped! It was cathartic! Then, I provided a solutions list for myself.
- Sol-YOU-tions. I made a secondary list. (I love lists) and on this particular list, I gave myself solutions to the crummy feelings I had on my “reasons list” (above) For example: Reason: Shopping allowed me to kill time when I felt lonely.
Solution: Meditation and doing yoga with a friend OR alone actually helped bring me peace and fulfilment.
Result: Connecting with spirit. Finding myself. Learning more about myself. Feeling great.
The more I committed to doing yoga and meditation, and listening to myself despite the dogmatic views and opinions of others – the happier I became. Now let me be clear here – it didn’t just take three steps to becoming more happy and peaceful. It took a lifetime of learning, being open, and trusting that all is how it should be. BUT – the steps I took were exactly that: Steps. In the right direction. For self-reflection and self-care.
Click here to read part 2.
Steph Van De Ven currently runs her own PR & Marketing business & is also a Children’s Book Author of The Birdy Books with Balboa Press, which focuses primarily on positive poetry, mindfulness, kindness, affirmations, and consciousness for kids. Her passion is writing and her mentors include Dr. Wayne Dyer as well as her favorite uncle in Amsterdam who introduced her to the world of spirit very early in her life. She’s intuitive, meditates as often as possible, loves yoga & you can find her online at: www.thebirdybooks.com and follow her on Instagram: @Steph_vandeven_author.
Balboa Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BalboaPress, by tweeting us @BalboaPress, or by emailing blog@ balboapress.com. We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. Balboa Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space.