‘One of my life’s most powerful turning points’, that was my experience of William Whitecloud’s Master Your Writing Genius and Master Your Destiny workshops that he ran back to back in the Kingdom of Swaziland in the south of the African continent over the last three weeks.
The birth of a Writer’s Intention
I have had a knowing all my life that I would one day transition to living the life of a writer and author.
I first set a serious intention to write my first book in October of 2009 over dinner and a bottle of wine with my dear friends Claudio and Sa Silvano. Both Claudio and I committed that night to become serious about writing and publishing a book. Claudio self-published his first book in 2012 and has just published his second.
I have begun my first book many times, and I have many deep passions that I am drawn to unleash onto a page. For my books though, my drive is to have reach and to make an impact that will influence change. I want a publisher and I want to write books that beg to be picked from the shelf of a book store.
I’ve had some impact as a blogger with north of 29,000 views, but I have struggled when the medium has turned to a book to find a theme that I was satisfied would speak to readers on a large scale.
That was until I attended Master Your Writing Genius (MYWG) with William.
William Whitecloud and Natural Success
William is the founder of Natural Success International and the Author of ‘The Magician’s Way’ (2004) and the ‘Last Shaman’ (2011). He has been extraordinarily successful as an author and has a book that has continued to sell in volume and to be a model for success spanning a decade, and his book has been a platform that has drawn people to his workshops, and that has given him a voice in the world and opened doors the average person probably isn’t even aware of. William has spent 20 years teaching people the model of Natural Success and of dreaming into being the life our heart desires through our inner connection to genius.
William’s own heart’s desire now is to create an area of focus on working with writers and creatives in supporting them to apply the principles he has lived and taught for 20 years. William has taken his principles of natural success and woven them with his experience and study of what brings success as an author, and has brought all of this together in a 7 day program that brings extraordinary clarity to any author or writer.
The goal of Master Your Writing Genius is to have you walking away after 7 days with a clear theme, premise, and conceit (the aspect of your book that is unexpected and makes it a book that will change the narrative in your field) that have been inspired through your connection to your own genius and inspiration. The goal was more than delivered on at Master Your Writing Genius for me.
Master Your Writing Genius – The Writers Experience
In writing terms, and in the story of my trip to Africa, William is both the Opponent, and the Dynamic Character.
William is my opponent because my ego will be burned at the stake in my book. Through the journey William created, in what felt to my ego like a very clever surprise move on day 5, William created an experience where my ego could not help but see how it must die to serve my journey as an author.
The Dynamic Character is the character against whom the progress of the main character in a story is measured. In this sense the complete Ura that is both the ego and the higher self is the main character. Through the seven days William masterfully creates a range of learning experiences, experiences of inner connection and vision, and experiences of receiving the wisdom of other people’s genius. As I shared my experience William was fully present to my journey, my insights, and the evolution of the vision for my book. William holds space powerfully and from a place of being in service with fierce love. When I was off track he would tell me so with crisp clarity and he would draw on his own genius to help me see, when I was stepping into my own genius he would reflect that and help others to see the lesson for them. Rarely have I experienced a facilitator who holds space as strongly and powerfully as William does.
On day two of MYWG, two of the other writers shared with me during an extraordinarily powerful intuitive exercise that they saw my book being a rollicking fun laugh through the insights I would offer. This really surprised me! I hadn’t seen that. I could not yet understand how that would be so. My book was to be a book about consciousness in business and creating a more conscious world. I could get that the world is pretty messed up and that there might be irony in some of the insights, but ‘rollicking fun’ was not something I could yet comprehend. On Day 5 through the surprise move William had instigated it all became clear in an instant. Through the exercise my ego’s opponent got me to do, I suddenly saw my ego in all its hilarity, its disfunction, and its frailty and it was funny as hell! Suddenly I knew the place I would write from, and as I wrote that afternoon the words flowed onto the page of my journal.
So in the spirit of being prepared to sacrifice my ego, herewith are the words I wrote that afternoon overlooking the plains of MBuluzi from the mountain top of Magadzavane.
Story of the Day Off
Thursday was my free day from the program of the Writer’s Retreat. I had already ridden highs and lows and I awoke at 5:30am for the Game Drive. I was feeling a mix of excitement to be going on the Safari, and a pensiveness at what lay ahead in the writer’s content and about my fears of inadequacy in accessing my creative genius.
The Safari was a great escape from the pensiveness. We saw a great variety of animals and I got some great photos for Facebook to share with my followers and to impress them with the world I have created. My ego liked that!
We got back for a late breakfast and I joined Sherin and a couple of the others and chatted till 11. They MYD community feels like a tight group and it felt nice to be welcomed by the longer term members.
My energy after a late night the night before and an early morning was low and I felt like a morning map before lunch. Truth be told it would break the tension with facing the pensiveness too.
I awoke at 12:15 and had the shower I had skipped that morning. By 12:30 I was at lunch and I dined with those that were around and hadn’t gone on the culture trip for those not attending MYD. It was a comfortable lunch and the smaller group felt nice.
After lunch most of the group hit the pool. I sat up on the terrace close by. But outside the action. My task for the afternoon was to check in with home, upload some photos and make sure my Facebook community was appropriately envious.
I included in the photos I uploaded a photo of the pool frolicking, suggestive of all the fun I was watching others have. In the photo Ryan was leaping through the air to catch a ball. Who knows, my followers might even think I threw it.
I did use the great internet connection to check in with my lovely lady Pj. I was glad to hear she has had a good trip to Dubbo and Newcastle. It felt good to connect after a few days of technology issues.
As I sat on the terrace I did contemplate getting my board shorts and joining the throng, but there was something uncomfortable about the large group and non-intellectual pursuits. I moved on from such thoughts quickly lest they bring my attention to my reality versus the persona I was busy maintaining on Facebook.
I managed to while away the afternoon in safety, blissfully unaware that the devilish Whitecloud had a plan to show me to myself.
The setting sun ended the pool gathering and the resort crowd again gathered for dinner.
Dinner was with the big table again with the fun crowd. Here I was in on the fun, able to connect, safer than at the pool, though still not in total comfort.
Conversation swung around to Shamans when Sherin asked me about my name. We all had a great conversation in a space that allowed me to reveal another of my dimensions. Jen was also an accomplished journier, and we explored a space that was quite new to most of the group.
Somewhere through dinner the Culture Trip returned and we welcomed back those who had spent the day away.
After a final coffee enjoying the glow of the shamanic conversation, it was time for bed. I hit the pillow happy after a fun evening. It had been a pleasant day of escape, but good fodder now for seeing.
A Writer’s Vulnerability
That writing exercise shared above in its raw incompleteness, the output of a 40 minute flow of consciousness onto the page showed me the place from which I would write. My book would be funny and my ego would be the butt of the joke. My topic is a serious one, but there is no more powerful way to see the disfunction of the world than to truly see how we live egoic lives unconscious to the place they are taking us.
I decided then and there that there is no secret I need to keep, no stone I should leave unturned if it holds a lesson that serves my theme and holds wisdom that needs to be shared.
A key element of MYWG was developing our themes, our premises, and finding the conceit or unexpected truth that would capture the minds of our readers. Across the 7 days we did many exercises, deepened our relationship with these aspects of our book. We tested them on each other, we intuited wisdom for one another many times, we shared our learnings in the group as a whole and when we were speaking shit William told us so, always from a place of fierce love in service to our higher self, our book and our readers.
Every single one of the 48 writers present walked away with a structure like the frame of a sailing skiff. Over 7 days they were forged into titanium like congruence, filled with heart and genius, carrying messages that have not to date been heard. We leave the writers retreat with a sound frame well crafted and ready to receive the planks that will be the words we write. Our books will be fit to navigate the toughest seas and to reach every corner of the world because they have been birthed from genius in a writer’s retreat that in 7 days helped me achieve far more than I have in the six years since Claudio and I made our pact together.
This morning I arose at 5:00am. Early morning will be my writer’s time. I will rise at 5:00 every day, and I will write till 7:00 at least. If my day is clear I will keep going until the energy feels complete. I left the Writer’s Retreat with two goals. The first is to complete the first draft of my manuscript by 31st December 2015. The second is for this my first book to make number 1 business book on the New York Times best seller list. That is the kind of end result you set out to create when you set goals from your greatness.
As we were shown at Master Your Destiny (which will be the subject of Part Three of this blog) when you set the goals your soul really yearns for, and then always resolve the tension between your current reality (including your limiting beliefs) and your vision by making choices in favour of your vision, the tension can only propel your reality towards your vision.
But What About Africa?
That our Master Your Writing Genius and Master Your Destiny retreats occurred in Swaziland on the continent of Mother Africa was no accident. Its place in creating a stillness and a consciousness that nourished our souls will be the subject of Part Two of this blog.
Ura P Auckland
Writer, Social Entrepreneur,
Business Coach & Sustainable Value Creation Specialist
Authegrity Pty Ltd