The Writer’s Cabinet
I have always known that writing would be central to my life. As soon as I was able to read and write at the age of five, I went to work with eagerness.
On a trip to my grandparents in London, my grandmother gave me my first notebook and a pencil, celebrating my new skills and my claim that I am a writer. It was a small notebook with a picture on the front of a little girl, very like me, sitting on the floor and playing with a kitten and a ball of wool. That day, I too sat on the floor behind a huge armchair, nestled in a comfortable corner of the living room with all the world in my hands. While the grown-ups were having their conversations, as grown-ups tend to do, I wrote my first story.
I told the story of the caterpillar becoming a butterfly and added in a few drawings for my younger brothers who did not yet know the gift of reading and writing. In my eyes, a book without pictures is not a proper book. This was the first realisation of me as an educator and writer.
I have a huge smile in my heart when I remember this scene, vividly, and the theme I chose as my first written piece. Clearly, I felt the call to write about metamorphosis and transformational processes. I carried that notebook around for years until it was, unfortunately, lost in a fire caused by an arsonist. I am still heart-broken over the loss, and that of other childhood memorabilia, and I long for that first notebook to miraculously turn up, unscathed.
After several decades of academic work, navigating the tortuous world of scientific publication and editing, with an impressive collection of much-acclaimed publications, I am now reunited with my 5-year-old girl and her passion for writing. Interestingly, none of those acclaimed publications brought me the joy I experienced the day I wrote my first story. I was caught up in the ‘publish or perish’ culture, dreading the peer reviews, the highly critical, and not always helpful, comments, the rejections that are common in academic circles.
Once I had left that world, it took me several years before I could rekindle my passion and retrieve my joy from under the fears and wounding. Being involved in the birthing of the Guidance for Life on Earth books brought me back home to my original passion for writing.
After a lot of inner work, learning to trust and validate my inner senses and to draw on the limitless abundance of my intuition, I experienced a catalytic moment. No need to go into the details and circumstances, for the time being. The consequence of this awakening experience is that I clearly received the information that I needed to get back to writing. “There are stories that you need to tell”, my inner guidance insisted. “You are the one who needs to write them and to read them out aloud. Furthermore, you need to get a beloved practice partner to read them to you”.
Since receiving and acknowledging the call, my inner guidance hasn’t failed me. The inner voice with its suggestions and promptings is getting stronger by the day as I engage in my writing. Within a month, the first collection of compelling stories from my childhood was strung together. I discovered how I can use writing to undertake an archaeology of the personality, gently uncovering the layers frozen in the past and the legacy of energetic residues, and how, through honest hosting and allowing of all inner movements, writing can support retrieval of dormant material presenting itself to be witnessed, welcomed and, finally, integrated.
The work of remembering and retrieving long-forgotten stories, well-hidden in the suppressed aspects of the personality, is what I feel deeply called to pursue and share with others. I am eager to consecrate my life to this emerging line of work and to offer guidance and assistance to those who feel called to follow me in this open-ended adventure.
How can I be of service?
For those who are interested in unleashing their creativity and waking up the dormant writer within, I offer individual coaching sessions, workshops and courses where writing and sharing our compelling stories are core to the work.
I accompany people wanting to self-publish, and can guide them through the meanders of self-publishing and mastering online tools which serve that purpose.
I also treasure my comprehensive set of skills for reviewing and editing manuscripts, as well as producing book covers, all part of my scholar’s companion.
I work in English, French, Italian and German.