by Karen Frazier, Managing Editor
I’ve undertaken a new venture. It is something that I have very little experience with. Well -no experience really, which leads me to ask myself, “Who am I to do this?” At the same time, I have a story to tell – as I always do – and it begs a new and different way to tell it.
As I consider my new venture, I keep reminding myself of this:
I didn’t know anything about publishing or making a magazine when I joined Paranormal Underground, and yet look at what we have done.
I didn’t know anything about building a website when I started out and now I have three well-designed websites that I did myself, plus Paranormal Underground, which we sat down and conceptualized and then had a designer build for us.
I didn’t know anything about creating podcasts when we started out and now we podcast twice a month.
I didn’t know anything about writing a book when I started out and now I have written two.
In each case, what I started out with was a passion for my subject, a desire to tell a story in the way that best suited that story, and my own unique voice that I can use to tell the story in the best way I know how. And then I just did it. If I’d listened to any doubts or fears I had then, we wouldn’t have accomplished all of those things – most which have been done in the small space of time since January. Just the year 2009.
Losing my job may have been the best thing that ever happened to me, because it freed me up to live my creative vision of the self that I have always wanted to be but never really had the courage (or the time) to step into that space. My job was my excuse. “I can’t write my book this week…I have work.” “I can’t blog every day….I have work.” Instead of seeing a failure in courage to try new things, I saw that I had a job, and that the safety and security that provided kept me from being the wholly creative individual that I am.
It makes me wonder what will happen next. What is my next project? What new aspect of creation and learning will I explore? How will I find a way to share a story that is unique?
Currently, I have two business cards. One says “journalist, freelance writer”. The other says “Journalist, Managing Editor.” While those “titles” sound cool I wonder – how am I using the labels to limit myself? Oh I’m sorry -I can’t do this – see that my business card says I am a writer and editor.
I think more than anything, what 2009 has taught me is that the limits I imagined myself to have are not even close to what I am capable of. The person who writes this is hugely different than the person who started out a new year eight months ago. Not just creatively – but my concept of what I am as a human being, what I am as a spirit has expanded, as well. My belief of what I am here on this earth to do. My level of openness to moving into the flow and just where life takes me. My willingness to move with my life as it unfolds in directions I couldn’t have predicted.
I’ve always struggled against all of that in an attempt to shape the world to my will. In doing that, I limited what I could be and experience. In focusing on what I had to do all of the time, I never stopped to pay attention to how I could be.
I still have a vision for myself – but it is a lot more flexible right now, and it is definitely of the moment. This is what I am doing and creating right now. Who knows what I’ll be doing and creating ten minutes from now. I’m sure that whatever it is, it will be absolutely perfect.
So it has been with the magazine, as well. A little over a year ago, Cheryl and Chad had an idea. I was too busy to even consider it. My lack of vision in that moment caused me to conceptualize my life in such a small and limiting way. Fortunately, Cheryl and Chad believed in their vision and asked me again.
Six months ago, we couldn’t see how we’d be able to print the magazine. Now it is available in print. Again, we had to step outside of the limiting concepts of how we would go about it, which led us to find our current solution (a suggestion by the wonderful Lisa Abney of HSPR). Who knows what we’ll see a year from now.
In January, we had a website that we felt limited our capacity to attract membership. Then we found a way – and a person – to help us develop our true vision. As a result, membership has exploded. In a period of eight months, we’ve gone from having 100 members to 900 and growing. Not only that, but we have been blessed with the people willing to participate in our publication – either as writers or subjects. We have other irons in the fire, too. Things we can’t wait to tell you about.
For me, something fundamental has changed. I used to be the person struggling against the current. I used to fight the flow. I used to believe that I was the definition of myself that I gave myself and that other people gave me. Then I started asking for guidance. What a surprise when I learned that the guidance was there all along – brightly flashing neon arrows pointing the way towards my unlimited potential and my life’s mission. Somewhere along the way, I started allowing rather than fighting, and somewhere along the way I slipped into life’s current – floating along towards an unknown destination.