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STAYING GROUNDED IN SHIFTING SAND: Interview with Dr. Linda J. Ferguson

Dr. Linda J. Ferguson is an author, speaker, coach, and seminar leader to support people leading a joyful and awakened spiritual life. Linda’s website, www.lindajferguson.com , contains videos, meditations, affirmations, and other useful resources for spiritual growth and personal development. Readers find inspiring and informative ideas in Linda’sblogto enrich their spirituality for everyday living- www.lindajferguson.com/blog/.

Dr. Ferguson is author of two books “The Path for Greatness – Work as Spiritual Service” and “Staying Grounded in Shifting Sand- Awakening Soul Consciousness for the New Millennium“. Readers find the exercises at the end of every chapter valuable and practical. They can apply the ideas immediately in their life and see results. Linda has conducted three national book tours, presented at national conferences, and conducted worship services to inspired and appreciative audiences. Linda also leads Shamanic Journeys, spiritual study groups, and retreats for people who want to dive deeper into the insights and ideas offered in her books on spiritual growth and transformation.

Linda has developed a seven step process of Transformational EmpowermentTM, for personal mastery. She developed this powerful process of manifesting and creating positive life changes from her own life experiences, her work with her coaching clients, and her study of mysticism.

She uses the spiritual principles found in her Transformational EmpowermentTM process in her coaching practice so that her clients more effectively move through their important life changes. Her coaching provides a structured and consistent venue so that people can make positive changes in their life easefully and confidently.

Linda has been on radio interviews and has featured articles in Interbeing, a journal of personal and professional mastery. She also writes a weekly blog to support people’s desire to integrate their spiritual life with their professional life- www.managementhelp.org/blogs/spirituality/

Dr. Ferguson earned her Ph.D. from Indiana University (I.U.-Bloomington) in Organizational Behavior with a Masters also from I.U. studying Social Psychology. She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in psychology and management. Linda did her coach training in 2004 from Coach Training Alliance, completed her certification in Team Coaching, and has CCE credits from International Coach Federation (ICF).

In 1994 she traveled abroad for six months to Asia, Australia, Israel, and Europe before moving to Virginia where she currently lives. Her personal spiritual practice includes daily prayer and meditation, Sufi Dances of Universal Peace, Integral Yoga, Native American Sweat Lodges and other Earth-based ceremonies.

Q: Thank you for this interview, Linda. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

This is my second book. My first book is called “Path for Greatness: Work as Spiritual Service” published now with Infinity Publishing. My second /latest book is “Staying Grounded in Shifting Sand: Awakening Soul Consciousness for the New Millennium”

Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

I got an offer with a small press initially, but turned it down as they were a new company and I was uneasy with their contract. There was no real promise that the book would be published and I’d have to go to court to get the rights back. So I decided to self-publish.

Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

With the self-publishing route it took me about 6 months initially and then when I re-issued my first book, only 2 months. With the second book, I self-published and it took me about 6 months to get into print.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

I was thrilled when I got the initial book contract. It was only in further conversations that I was more uneasy. I was very excited to see my first book (and latest one) in my hands! What a feeling of accomplishment.

I celebrated my first book with a big party with friends. With the second book, it was a smaller gathering with friends as I have moved. I will probably have a book party now where I live for the 2nd book.

Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

I don’t remember the first thing I did. I probably made some flyers and gave some talks around town. I set up 3 national book tours over the course of 2 years. It took A LOT of time but I was glad I did it and glad I had a job where I could take that kind of time off.

With the second book, I’m setting up speaking engagements and doing workshops. Now I’m promoting it a lot via Facebook and other social media outlets as well as my own website – www.lindajferguson.com

Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?

I think I write a bit more clearly. I did a lot of academic writing prior to writing my book, so I write more as a lay person now. I’ve written a blog for 2 years and have learned to scale down the length and complexity of words I use. I can’t say I completely dumb down what I write, but I do write in more of a conversational style now.

Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?

I was surprised that Amazon won’t tell me how many books of mine they’ve sold!! They said the only way I could get those records is to subpoena them! What a crock!

There’s no way to know how many books are sold on Amazon and since that’s probably the largest book seller now, it’s hard to know how well my book is selling.

I also learned that Author Solutions is horribly mismanaged and I wouldn’t recommend any of their divisions to anyone to self-publish.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?

Having people email me and tell me how much they like my book, how much my book has helped them or spoken to them.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Stick with it. You’ll have to do a lot of your own promoting these days. You can’t just write a masterpiece and let it sell itself. You have to be willing to sell your work and do a lot of legwork on your own.

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Is Perfection a Myth?

Today’s guest is Terry M. Drake, co-author of the hugely popular self-help book, Live Happily, Ever After…Now! (Lake House Publishing).

Live Happily, Ever After… Now! uses age old, time tested secrets (found in NLP, Law of Attraction, Positive Psychology, and Hypnosis) to teach you how to create the life you want! Ask yourself: Are you in control of what you think, act and feel? Are you living the life you want? Would you like to be happy and successful in everything you do? The key is learning how much control you have over your life, your beliefs and attitudes about yourself, others and the world you live in.  Once you understand that you are in control (and you will), then you can use the 9 simple steps to begin living the life you want.

If you want to find out more about Live Happily, Ever After…Now!, visit the author’s website at www.livehappilyeverafter-now.com.

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Perfection is a MYTH!

by Terry M. Drake

What is perfection?  Have you ever researched its meaning?  For a word that creates such a challenge for people and can ruin lives, it isn’t very perfect! Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia defines it as, “broadly, a state of completeness and flawlessness.”  It then goes on to discuss its earliest known definition, which comes from Aristotle and his book Delta of the Metaphysics.  Aristotle describes it in “three shades of one meaning:”

1)              Which is complete- which contains all the requisite parts;

2)              Which is good that nothing of the kind could be better;

3)              Which has attained its purpose

It appears that those of you who struggle with the idea of perfection and being perfect only understand perfection in its second shade, “That of which nothing of the kind could be better.” That is a very high standard to hold oneself and everything around you to.  What a highly unrealistic expectation, one that results in negativity and frustration, limiting true success.

“Perfectionism is not a quest for the best. It is a pursuit of the worst in ourselves, the part that tells you that nothing you do will ever be good enough – that you should try again.” – Julia Cameron b. 1948

The term perfectionist has taken on a negative meaning, although, this isn’t necessarily fair.  The reason is related to self-proclaimed perfectionists who use this as an excuse to demand it from themselves and others.  Demanding would be the key word in the previous sentence; to demand is not to allow for flexibility and is to expect.  When perfection is expected and little other options remain, then it becomes unrealistic.  These high expectations and the perception that nothing is good enough results in anger and agitation.  This anger and agitation is taken out on others or internalized towards yourself, most times both.  This is certainly going to create disappointment and frustration.  When one demands, they take a position of authority.  This position of authority is then setting forth a requirement and it is the requirement to do or be perfect.  These requirements, added to the fact that perfection is unrealistic, result in the idea that nothing is good enough.  To believe that nothing is good enough will certainly create anger and frustration, which will be expressed inward as depression or outward as abusive or mean.

“In order to go on living one must try to escape the death involved in perfectionism.”

-Hannah Arendt 1906-1975

Become perfect:

– Decide you have options

– Accept feedback

– Self define perfection

– Choose and use what works!

The original concept of “perfection” and the idea of one always striving for it are realistic and healthy.  To strive for this concept is to seek and desire to be complete, purposeful, and the best of it’s kind.   However, as a desire it allows those who seek it the freedom to come close and not give up.  To understand perfection based on this understanding of its meaning would be to understand that there is a no failure only feedback, to think of what you want and the fact that you have a choice over how you think, act, and feel about your life and those around you.  These simple ideas, no failure only feedback, thinking about what you want, having a choice over your thoughts, actions, and feelings, combined with the fact that perfection is based on perception and it is meant to be pursued you realize perfection, as you know it, is a myth!  It is impossible to even achieve anything of which nothing of the kind could be better, because this is a matter of opinion.  If you want to value yourself and others based on your idea of perfection, then do so understanding that it is completely subjective.  You will also want to understand that if you plan to value yourself based on another’s standard of perfection, then you’re going to need to know what their definition of perfection is.

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