Every now and then I have the privilege of meeting an extraordinary creative entrepreneur and the conversation that results is particularly enjoyable. That’s what happened with Jody J. Sperling. I met him on TikTok and the rest is history.
Check out our conversation here: https://filbertpublishing.com/beth-on-a-podcast/
Enjoy! I hope you glean some fun book marketing techniques.
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Introduction to Polaris: Harnessing Intuition to Rediscover Your Life Purpose
Beth Ann Erickson
When I visited my grandparent’s home, I raced to my grandpa’s lap because I knew he would weave a tale and take me to places where I had superpowers, where everybody was kind, where trees could talk, and dogs could sing.
My grandpa was an extraordinary man who could make every mundane task an adventure.
For example, rather than head to his massive garden to pull weeds, he recruited all his grandchildren, armed them with weaponry (hoes and spades), and mobilized his troops to engage in a full-blown weed war. We spent the afternoon chopping and hacking at our enemies, stealing tangy under-ripe fruit from the nearby apple trees, and dodging enemy attacks.
It was a magical experience, interacting with a real-life Walter Mitty.
I grew up understanding the power of storytelling and yearned to be one of the lucky folks who could wield that power. Everything within me knew that grandpa possessed knowledge I desired and, for that reason, was inexplicably drawn towards him. When we were together, we felt like kindred spirits, storytellers to the bone. I knew hanging out with him would garner me clues to help guide me toward his secrets of engaging the magic of word-smithing.
Whenever I discuss Polaris, I can’t help but think about Grandpa and the gentle way with which he not only recognized my personal Polaris. But I sadly got to witness the results when his own Polaris was never allowed to guide him.
The thing is, he never properly engaged in his gift to the point where he received personal gratification from it. His entanglement in a rigid religious sect dictated that he not engage in “vain imaginings.” As a result, he never shared his stories with anyone but his immediate family… likely only me. He never felt the peace most people feel when they absolutely know they’re on the right track, living their dream, aware of their purpose in life.
Instead, his talent languished, and I often wondered why his eyes looked so sad whenever he was out of his outdoor element, interacting with his fellow religious “friends.”
In thinking about him, I feel a small sense of happiness knowing he got to engage in his tremendous gift with his grandchildren even though the religious organization he belonged to never allowed him to pursue storytelling in any other significant way.
And yet his dream never died. Every now and then, he’d pen a letter and submit a story to a publication. By the time a response arrived, out of fear for his immortal soul, he’d respectfully decline each offer.
He was a tremendously talented man, one who received these offers multiple times, each time an opportunity to develop his creative talents on a larger scale. But he steadfastly refused, selecting the life of a poor farmer of faith rather than follow the path he was born to walk. I’m continually haunted by the look in his eyes whenever he mentioned yet another opportunity for him to operate in his gifts, continually saying, “I know I’m not a very good farmer, I know I could provide for my family better if I accepted this new job. But my faith, and my wife, dictate I stay here. So, I stay here.”
I tell grandpa’s story because I meet so many people who remind me of him.
They are the folks who settle for second best in their lives (or third, or fourth, or fifth…) for a myriad of reasons.
Perhaps they feel like it’s the right thing to do.
Perhaps they’re working in a job that pays well but doesn’t fulfill their soul.
Maybe they feel like they can’t afford to work towards any of their childhood dreams.
Maybe they feel like their childhood dreams are fanciful and aren’t worth considering.
There are as many reasons for not fulfilling your ultimate life purpose as there are people who are not proceeding towards their personal Polaris.
And it’s for those exact people that I wrote this book.
I saw grandpa’s eyes when he talked about storytelling. I watched disappointment wash across his face when he talked about the publishers, local publications, and television execs who admired his talent and invited him to join their team. I noticed his fake smile when he said, “That’s OK. I’d rather milk the cows…”
To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with working in the agricultural industry. However, if it’s not your dream, if it’s not your raison d’être, if it doesn’t produce joy, if it’s not your dream, then it’s not right.
As I pondered my grandpa, I knew I never wanted to look in the mirror and see those eyes gazing back at me from my own reflection when I pondered what I wanted to do with my life. I also don’t want anybody to see that kind of sadness in their own face.
While it may seem impossible right now, you don’t have to tuck your dreams away. You can trust the inner guidance within you, always prompting you to head in a certain direction.
Your innate talents exist for a reason.
In fact, it’s more than possible to live your dreams, or at least a version of those dreams (we’ll talk about that later).
Simply stated, you can become the person you were born to be… no matter your age.
You don’t have to proceed towards the next phase of your life wondering what happened, how did you get so far off track, hoping against hope you’ll somehow do something, anything, to help you feel fulfilled… on your own terms.
I believe every person on this planet is here for a very explicit reason and it is up to that person to discover (or rediscover) that reason and proceed forward, completing the one task they are here to complete.
The good news is this: Discovering (or rediscovering) your life purpose is easier than you may think.
Anybody who knows me, knows I’m not big into woo. That said, the spiritual being within you is continually prodding you toward the reason you’re here. That’s because once you start proceeding toward it, you will feel such contentment, happiness, and dare I say, bliss.
Ah, I’m getting ahead of myself. I do that a lot.
All I can say for now is, as you proceed through this book, you’re in for an adventure of a lifetime. All you need to do is open these pages, open your heart, and allow its message to trigger the curiosity to begin taking those first few steps toward the happiest moments of your life.
Once you start this process, you’ll be amazed at the magic you’ll trigger, the synchronicity you’ll experience, the adventurous spirit you’ll find within yourself.
Don’t believe me? Don’t take my word for it. Click the link and let’s get started.
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P.S. Wait ’til you see our next podcast!
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You can use any of these articles free of charge on your own website or zine. Just don’t make any changes and be sure to include this byline:
This article is courtesy of Filbert Publishing. Make your writing sparkle, market smart, repeat. Subscribe to Writing Etc., the free e-mag for freelancers, and receive the e-book “Power Queries.” http://filbertpublishing.com