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Ep. 48 - Courage For The Complexity Of Being Human - An Interview With Shelly Francis

by Hearts Rise Up
June 17th 2021
In this interview with Carol, Shelly Francis explains, what brought her to realize what is important in life and how to navigate her way through the many types of courage she calls the Courage Quintes... More
Thank you for tuning your heart's in for another episode of the Hearts Rise up podcast. I'm carol chapman, your host along with my co host and Siri and Concetta antonelli. We share our own personal experiences, tips and strategies along with powerful stories and compelling insights from guest interviews. We're here to inspire and empower your conscious evolution. Help you tap into your inner wisdom and rise to your heart centered higher self. Together we can rise to a higher level of consciousness, an elevated state of being and experience more love joy and freedom. Mm hmm. Mhm. Well, hello and welcome back to all of our heart centered listeners. So good to be back for another episode of the Hearts Rise Up podcast. We're here to help you explore what it takes to live a heart centered life.

I'm carol chapman your host today. I'm delighted to introduce a very special guest Shelly Francis Shelly is a free range writer, speaker, author, coach and publisher. She helps aspiring authors unleash their creative courage. In 2020 she founded Creative Courage Press inspired by the leader she met while writing the book, The courage Way for a non profit called The Center for Courage and renewal. Her first book was a cancer caregiving memoir called Damocles Wife. She also writes Children's books and enjoys exploring metaphors with photography. She's been a writer and publisher since early childhood. Shelly lives in the high desert of colorado but loves road trips and working from anywhere Shelly Welcome to the show. Hi carol. Thanks so much. It's a pleasure to be here with you. You have such an interesting background and I definitely want you to share more about what you're doing today and how you got to where you are, but you know we all have stories and challenges and turning points in our life where it causes us to rise to the occasion of what we need to do in life and become our best and greatest self and I would love for you to just find a jumping in point wherever you would like to start to share a little bit more about yourself.

Well, it's funny to try and pick those turning point moments because I think I would say that my life runs in six year segments, I move either physically to a new location or I change my job from being an entrepreneur to working for a company and back to being an entrepreneur. So I have this six year rhythm and probably goes back to feeling like you know, school runs in six year increments to write from sixth grade to when we graduate and I would say right now I'm kind of in the middle settling into changes that happened in 2018, I had just finished writing the courage way book, which was a project that I had in Seattle working for the center for courage and renewal and I felt like that was a book that I had written to prepare in hindsight that prepared me for the changes that were coming and I would say in the past, I've written books that were a way of processing my life back a little bit when I was 33 my husband was 33 he had brain cancer, he had a stage three Astro City Toma and I wrote a book after that.

That was the Damocles Wife book. During the writing of that book, I found out about a man, an author named Parker Palmer who had written a book called Let Your Life Speak. That book inspired me to look at the way that we care for ourselves. True self care is what I would call it. When I moved to Seattle and raised my hand to write the book for the courage way. I felt like, okay, here is another important book that's about how do we care for our true selves and find the courage to lead our lives no matter what changes come our way In 2018 are non profit had been going through leadership transitions just like all nonprofits do with retirements and new leaders coming on and the springtime that the book launched, we were in that leadership transition that ended with significant downsizing of the staff and I was part of the leadership team that was having those conversations.

And I realized that my six year cycle was also ending. So I also agreed to a layoff at that stage. I was in a relationship with a person who was a veteran who had PTSD and he had a meltdown. That meant that my relationship also ended the same day that my job ended somewhat traumatically. And then a few weeks after that a deer ran in front of my car and totaled my car and it was like the universe was saying it's time, it's time for a change, Time's up, it's time to go and do things differently, you know, that meant selling my house and moving or you know, deciding where my next job was going to be. And I decided to give myself a sabbatical of time to regroup and care for myself and decide, you know which way was going because it felt like a big tidal wave had come on to my intricate sand castle of a beach, you know, and and wiped everything out.

And one of the things that I had learned a principle really of when writing the courage way was the idea of spaciousness and also paradox of holding both and something was ending and something was beginning, but I wanted to give myself some spaciousness to heal and integrate that. And I had somebody tell me it's like you're being asked to live into the book that you wrote a live into the ideas that you wrote about. So had you already written the book? I did, I, I wrote the book over at least four years of my time in Seattle and it had launched in february and that's when things started to change with our organization and I knew like okay big changes on its way. Oh I was gonna say when that deer ran in front of my car, you know it was just such an unexpected and traumatizing because I totaled my car. I wasn't hurt thankfully because I wasn't going very fast but it was like you know you think of the deer in headlights, a deer frozen and that deer was literally running for its life and there was nothing I could have done to stop that.

So again it just felt like that was not my fault. In fact I said that as soon as it happened it's just feeling like I had to go like drive slowly to my friend's house where I was staying and burst into tears and had a really good cry and then just started laughing because it was like Really what else is going to happen? It was like the 180 of this and then a 3 60 then a 5 40 you know like life life changing that winter. There was a freak tornado in Seattle which never happens. I was on the peninsula across the way from the island, I my where my house was and a tree huge doug fir was blown down and landed smack dab on the roof of the cabin that was on the back of my property and again it was like that couldn't have been timed more perfectly so if a tree falls in a forest, you know, it doesn't make a sound and I was in colorado at the time. So my realtor friend is the one who told me about it. The cabin needed months of reconstruction, you know, it was covered by insurance and made it a more marketable little place to sell eventually.

But when that happened, it was just like you had to start laughing because it was just such a random thing that you just had to trust that something good was going to come out of it even though it seemed like a disaster. Absolutely. I'm curious what inspired you to write the courage way. How did that come about? Well, I was working for the Center for Courage and renewal and we were having conversations about what was next because the center was founded by Parker J. Palmer who's an author who has written books like let your life speak and a hidden wholeness. It's an organization that has a set of practices that we used to just describe it as the circle of trust approach and it helps people connect their soul and their role who they are with, what they do and it's a set of practices that are that are taught in a retreat setting. And started with teachers over 25 years ago when Parker wrote a book, the courage to teach and it was about, we teach who we are, It's sort of exploring with elementary school teachers back then how they could reconnect with the passions that brought themselves to become a teacher versus burnout and you know, deciding whether to show up.

You know, those were that was the years where there was such a change in education, you know, as an institution about testing being more important and it was very hard on on public school teachers to stay in the game long haul to work with the center for courage and renewal had shifted from only reaching educators to reaching physicians and clergy and government workers, nonprofit leaders. People that we would say we're in the serving profession. So people who really do bring their heart to their work really identify so closely with who they are and their vocation and calling. Mm hmm. And so with the courage way we were we were trying to look back and say courage work is about so many different things. But what's the common denominator around it? We're sitting around a table over lunch one day talking about, you know, with leadership, there's so many defaults in the way that we we react. There's the sort of the standard hierarchical or patriarchal way of leadership or when the ego shows up or under stress, we kind of go to our corners of our worst reactions.

But when people have embodied the practices and principles of courage and renewal. The circle of trust. There's a courage way of doing things and the editor that we're talking to chas said the courage way that's it, that's the book title or you know like the book hook And so it really became an exercise for the organization in looking back over 20 years to say what happens to individuals over years of embodying these practices, what changes for them individually but then how do they show up differently as leaders for their organizations and what happened? So I raised my hand and said I wanted to write that book because I you know, just being a journalist at heart, I wanted to go and I've been interviewing people for like fundraising newsletter stories and I just really wanted to go be a story catcher. No pun intended there. But it took a lot of courage on your part even though I know that you've been a writer and a publisher since early childhood because of just your background that takes a lot of courage to take that on for not only just yourself but for an organization.

What compelled you to do that? I think I was looking for a creative project. Like I said before, I just love doing books and writing and story catching and felt passionate that there were some really important stories out there that needed to be told that could could paint a picture of possibility for how leaders and just we humans could interact differently. There was probably a little bit of I wasn't realistic in terms of how much it would, how hard it would be to actually write it. It really surprised me because I thought, you know, I know the stories I know in general the path that we would go down, spent nine months kind of doing pre interviews and writing book proposal and And having the idea, but when it came down to really doing the writing and seeing how the wisdom of Parker Palmer and his 10 books, The 25 years of courage and renew als stories and just weaving all that together was so much harder to to really want to do a good job, you know, perfectionism definitely played a part in that, but just really wanting to do it justice and I think finding my own voice in that as being like a co author, but really the author of the book, on behalf of the organization and that sense of well, I'm not a facilitator, so who am I to be writing the book?

I had to find my own creative courage to do it, did your life experience play a part, you know, I I stayed out of the picture personally in the book. So the book, in no way is my own memoir, you know, I I only show up in chapter six, which is a couple of paragraphs on the courage to care for true self, but I think as I was living the book, it informed how I was facing all of the changes in life, the changes in the organization. I would call hard days at work or in life, I would say, okay, this is like a case study hard day, how would I apply the practices that I'm writing about to a typical day in the life of and what have I learned from the leaders that I've talked to about how they do it get through hard times. And so it kind of became a living experiment and and an ongoing conversation with myself and my colleagues and the people I was talking to. So I think it informed my life as I was writing it.

And the framework just for courage itself had me looking back and doing a lot of reflecting on when were times when I acted with courage or other people acted with courage or when do we go to our corners into our kind of default behaviors of fight flight and freeze. So I'm not sure if that answers your question. It does, it does. And I was just gonna say you've used the term true self quite a bit here. Let's talk about that because I think of true self of listening to your heart and tapping into sort of your, your deepest desire or desires of what's important to you in life. How do you define true self? Well, I think a synonym for it would be soul and not everybody is comfortable with that word. You know what? There's words for soul in every religion, but it's like it's me but I'm Shelly Francis in this lifetime, but there's this sense of a deeper underlying essence of who I am, that if you believe in multiple lives, like there's this continuity of learning and growth.

So even as we continue to grow, there's something inside us deep down even beneath personality that is the wisest in her teacher, Inner author, inner artist, it's like who we are deep in our core and I love the word heart and core. Core courage comes from the latin and french root core for heart. And so it's like a strength of heart is underneath, you know who we are deep inside and how can we access the best part of ourselves, the most whole part of ourselves that's shadow and light, it's not just the best ego part of ourselves, but it's really all of us, I think that's a beautiful way of putting it and you know, a deeper part of who we are heart and our highest self, basically our higher self, there's a lot of different terms that that we can use, but it is important for us to tap into that and to be true to our truer self because then that's where we can really dig deep and find the courage to do whatever we need to do in this lifetime and I think the book, it defines courage to write and encourage, has many facets, can you share a bit more about the ingredients of courage and how we can utilize those ingredients to navigate our current world.

Yeah, because in the process of writing this book, I really came to realize that there's more than one kind of courage and that that might be a good starting point is that when we think about courage, we usually think of like moral courage, which is that bravery to stand up for what's right or we think of the courage to do something physical, like overcome cancer or illness or the physical and the moral. But then there's social courage, which is something that Brandy Brown speaks so much about the the courage to risk being vulnerable. Risk letting people see your true self for the chance of overcoming isolation and loneliness. So social courage is something that we're more and more aware of. 1/4 type of courage is creative courage and I first learned about that from a book by Rollo May, a psychologist who wrote the courage to create. But he said creative courage is not just the courage of an artist, but it's the courage to create new things or new symbols for people to rally around and I would say create community or create a life from what's unexpected.

I love the term creative courage. And then 1/5 form of courage was named by the activist named bree Newsome and this was happening while I was writing the book. But she is the woman who took down the confederate flag from the south Carolina state House, the morning after that she was interviewed and she said this is a moment of courage, of collective courage. You know, it's a moment when we all need to stand up and do what's right on behalf of the greater good really. And so that spectrum of courage really gets you thinking about when is the time in my life that I showed up with courage and we don't always see our own actions as courageous, but other people see them as courageous. A social scientist that I talked to had studied courage and interviewed people asking them in the workplace when they had witnessed courage or if they had experienced courage and they wouldn't see themselves as courageous, but they would see other people acting in in a way like standing up against something going wrong, like a toxic workplace or speaking up on behalf of the new project.

And she noticed that it doesn't matter if if you see your act as courageous, just that it's happening in the space between us creates courage for the people who witness it. And I just love that you had asked me about the ingredients of courage. I love to call these like the courage quintessential zoos because I wanted to boil everything down to what you could count on one hand, in the pattern of all of the stories of leaders who I interviewed. This is really what showed up is that there were three key ideas that created more courage within a person or among people. And it was that first word of true self and it's that people were connected to something essential inside their heart that allowed them to show up. Like it's their values or you know, aligning with their values and truly who they were would give them a sense of meaning and purpose, a reason to act with courage. And the second was trust and it was a development of trust in themselves over time, a trust in other people and a trust in life overall.

And the circle of trust approach of course was about building trust and having safe and brave spaces where people could get to know their inner values and connect to all of that. But we really noticed that it created relational trust. And there was a researcher working actually in the education field who was talking about types of relational trust and that it comes from our own perceptions of whether trust exists in a relationship. Mm hmm. And we could talk a little bit more about that later. But you know, it's about the competency or the integrity that we see in other people or how they treat us with respect. And so those are about perceptions which requires, you know, an authenticity and a self awareness that you that kind of goes back to knowing you're doing your own inner work really. But then getting to know other people builds trust and what can happen when we have trust. So the third key idea was community is when we we create small communities and that can even be one other person.

You know, just one on one relationships can create trust and create a sense of listening to each other and mm hmm helping us each pull out the best in ourselves or here the shadows and own up to our shortcomings. You know that that kind of inner work requires community. So when we have true self trust and community, we have three big ingredients and then there was two key practices that I noticed that the leader so I interviewed were bringing to the table and the first one is it's a fun concept that I like because it's alliteration of practicing paradox and by paradox, I mean really embracing the idea of and looking for both and instead of either or so paradox would be how life is like life and death, love and loss, grief and gratitude.

You know like breathing in and exhaling you know everything we do really seasons have a sense of paradox to them. Our inner life and our outer life. When we really pay attention to paradox, it helps us hold the tensions of what otherwise feels so polarizing that either or sensation of it has to be this way or that way my way or the highway this or that. But if we can look for how to integrate those and flow from one to the other, then that's actually a way of holding complexity, not just holding tension, but really the courage to embrace what's so complex about the world when we can flow from those places rather than just stand so firm in our, you know, beliefs that we can't move past it. And then the fifth, the fifth part of my quintessential, I would put this one on my thumb and point to each of my fingers and say reflection to practice reflecting on true self and reflect on where trust is on my life and reflect on where I have community and reflect on where paradoxes in any given moment.

That practice of reflection and doing that with these specific practices around active listening and asking great questions that are self awakening kind of introspective questions, there's a whole set of practices called the touchstones, but when people reflect in a space with each other on those concepts, then courage of all kinds is created. And so it's like if you have one person doing that with one hand and another person doing that with the other hand and you bring those hands together, you can hold tensions and complexity and then you can lift off, you know, and just there's more courage to hold and more love to hold and compassion and empathy. So just to be able to condense that into something was really fun. Oh I I love the way that you described that the three key ideas around the true self, which really is, you know, listening to your heart and knowing what's in your heart and then what I like to refer to this as part of this is part of heart resonance is being open and trusting with yourself with others and life in general.

I think that is a beautiful way of putting it. And then this whole concept obviously around community and it's not just the 1 to 1 relationships, but it's the broader aspect of what community really means today. And being able to embrace these paradoxes and embrace the differences, but yet they're they're just variations on the same continuum, hot and cold, light and dark. And then I just I love the touchstones and the the reflection on the true self. I think that it is complex, but at the end of the day it's also somewhat simple. It is really about getting really in touch with your true self and I know that there's a section in the book that I recall about, have you met your true self share a little bit about that, because that's very, very intriguing. Well, you know, how do we know who our true self is, and over time we, as we grow up, we start putting masks on, you know, to meet the expectations of other people or to protect ourselves from being shamed or blamed or living the way that our quirky selves, really want to live because it doesn't seem acceptable.

You know, being as weird or as unique as we want when it hasn't always been valued. So to meet your true self is to go back and kind of like the stepping stones is an exercise. Or there's this wonderful poem exercise called where I'm from. And you think about, you know, just objects or images or sounds or smells from your life from your growing up years. And you just kind of start by making a list of all of those things that really resonate with your heart in terms of, you know, those memories that that you really hold. So maybe it's like cherry tree, the montmorency cherry tree in our backyard as kids or the swimming pools that we would go to. Or you know, an example is bobby pins, you know that you put in your hair just like what are those little tiny things that are so meaningful that that other people might not recognize. But really when you get down to it, we all recognize that we have those little quirky things in our life and that that informs what we value and why we do what we do or why, how we can tap into what we really love to do and why.

And so you write a poem of I am from bobby pins on saturday evenings after a bath or I am from cherry pies made, You know on 4th of July or you know, like you you try that you you make a poem that, you know, poetry just speaks to our soul in a way that your resume just can't Right? So it's the there's another exercise about the difference between ego stories and soul stories. So how would you tell your life story in decades? You know, that matches your linkedin profile or your or your resume and then tell the story of what was really going on under the surface of your life or at the same time in your life in each of those decades and you weave those together and you see who you really are and are you ready? You ask yourself, really, am I ready to be that person again? Or what would it take to live a little bit more like my true self? I think that's a great exercise.

It's so much fun. The poet's name is George Ella Lyon L Y O N. And at her website like we can provide a link to that she has the exercise kind of written out. So a lot of different organizations use that kind of exercise. And there's another chapter in the book on the courage to connect across difference, connect over difference where people who are having racial healing conversations start with that exercise so that you can really connect with just who are we as humans before we get into the ideologies and beliefs that separate us, right? Because there's so much more that make us alike as opposed to what separates us. And I love that there's this one section in your book about holding tension in life giving ways speak to that a little bit. Well, that goes back to the idea of paradox, you know, there's a sacred geometry to it, but I also discovered in this process, and you know, holding tension is like seeing two dots with a line in between and it's like tug of war, you know, it's that rope where it's only this or it's only that and when we want things to be a certain way, that tension can pull us apart and just rip us to shreds.

But Parker palmer has this great line about what happens if we can let our hearts break open and let the light in and that goes to a Leonard Cohen line two is the cracks are where the light gets in, when we can ask each other questions that can open each other's hearts or if we can ask our own questions of you know, how to live into something that's big and changing, then I don't have an answer to right now, it lets us blend our inner life through the reflection with our outer life of what we're trying to achieve and hold that tension in a way that is open to possibility instead of just shutting down because it just seems too hard, right? And it's at that point where inner and outer meet and create some sort of equilibrium, even though there's gonna there's always going to be this teetering. But if the two can meet and you find that intersection point which is really the innermost point, it creates that equilibrium for us in our lives and allows us to flow and go with the end versus the either or and another piece of that sacred geometry is by adding a third point to it.

So imagine, you know, the line that just goes across the bottom. But if you add a point at the top now you have a triangle and there's a spaciousness that there's a space that exists now between us. And if that third thing is a good song that we have in common, or it's a love of cherry pie or it's a memory, a shared memory or you know, something at a heart level, whether it's, you know, reflecting on a piece of poetry or a song or even book clubs, you know, where we come together and talk about different ideas. Now, we have a space and the courage can exist in that space, or the creativity can come up from that space in ways that changes the tension from just two dimensional to three and four dimensional, you add more points to it and there's the practice of we would call it third things is adding a third thing to the conversation, which is like a piece of poetry or something else we can talk about and connect around beautiful.

What would you do with more courage? That's such a good question, isn't it? You know, it kind of goes back to what kind of courage do you need, there's the physical courage to take good care of what food I put in my body, you know, or to go walking every day or you know, like encouraged to make a commitment to myself at a physical level or the courage to embrace that my parents are aging and death is a paradox that comes with life and you know, preparing for that. So with more courage, I feel more prepared to face heartbreak, that's on its way, you know that you don't know when it's coming, but it is like preparing for loss takes courage. Creative courage for sure is about putting out more books and being seen and having claiming my voice as a publisher and an author and trying to create the container from the authors that I work with to also be brave enough to be seen and put themselves and their ideas out there.

It's a range. But yeah, those are all hopes. I love that. That's a great response and I would love for you to share what your aspirations and intentions are for creative courage press. Well, it's a lot in the name obviously and it's also in my logo which is a little elephant. The idea of the elephant represents for me, the concept of wholeness. You know, the myth about the five blind men trying to describe what an elephant is for the first time and their hands are each touching a different aspect of the elephant. So one blind man is touching the tasks and says an elephant is like a sword because it's sharp and another man is touching the the tail. No, an elephant is like a rope because of the sense of the tail or a fan, like the ears or a solid tree because of the big tree trunks. And the concept of it is wholeness. We need all perspectives. If we're to describe the elephant and the elephant, there's so much complexity even around elephants.

I love sharing this story because there's zoo elephants that are in captivity that people are trying to change. There's circus elephants, like Ringling Brothers has retired their elephants, but where do you put circus elephants, they have to retire and go to our refuge? There's african elephants where it's all about the tusks and the ivory trade as well as habitat. And then those are genetically distinct from asian elephants, which like in Thailand and their biggest worry is about habitat and that they're chained and they used to be more like workhorses in that culture. And so if we say we want to save the elephants, you have to ask, well what kind of elephant, you know, like there's not just one kind of elephant and then there's the elephant in the room which I love to talk about with leadership is like sometimes we're the elephant in the room. So that concept that there's so many things in our world that need reinventing like healthcare and education and even religion and certainly the pandemic has brought up that we need to reinvent, you know what democracy looks like, but there's no simple answer to any of that.

It's complex. My vision with creative courage. Press is to keep a conversation going around complexity, courage for the complexity of being human. And that lets me pick a lot of different books that commit humanity from different angles. So the first book was called resilient threads and it was written by a physician who I happened to feature in Chapter six of the courage way the courage to care for true self. And her book is not only the memoir of her own journey as a woman physician who was born in India and trained in Saudi Arabia and London and had to retrain yet again when she, when she moved to the United States, but then the burnout that she witnessed that there's this epidemic of physician depression and burnout and suicide and the well being of physicians is part of why and how healthcare needs to be reinvented.

So it's like this soul deep system wide self care is how we described it. So I just love her book as my first one because it feels like a continuing conversation from the courage way, like we took Chapter six and we're double clicking on it like a website link and we're going into this whole other story that goes deeper into self care. Other authors that I'm working with are people who have also featured in the Courage Way one on racial healing conversations and in other aspects of leadership. And so it's a way of creating a conversation about courage and complexity and putting all those ideas into practice with like little illustrations at a time. Yeah. So it's about getting your message out to help others in the world, bring their messages out around the challenges that people are faced with and the courage that it takes to address those challenges and at the same time to move into the next chapter of publishing and how we get messages out and allow people to get their voice out in creative and courageous ways.

Yes, that's part of my vision too, is that I think publishing is just yet another institution that needs reinventing that there is traditional publishing which has really shifted towards the power of the big new york publishers who published books for the mainstream by very well known bestselling type authors. And that limits how many great books can be discovered or given a leg up by people with really wonderful ideas. But they don't have a huge following because their work has been about doing their work and less about the fame and publicity that goes with it. The technology of self publishing has changed away. We do business and there's a and in between which is hybrid or author subsidized publishing where the authors help underwrite the cost of the book. But then they earn more of the royalties and the turnaround times can be tighter and quicker.

And there's a lot more creative control involvement, experimenting can happen. Just finding a way I call it my return, your return on integrity. Author versus return on investment. It's not just about the bottom line of of understanding how publishing works and how we're going to meet the cost of mm hmm. Books and making money back from that. But how does this book align with who you are in the world and the message you want to get out. And what can we do with print on demand as as one form of more sustainable. But then also how can we create conversations to reach the readers and engage with readers exactly how that feels sustainable and giving an exciting and fun for the authors. Those are some of the ideas that were playing around with. So what do you have? What advice do you have for authors and how they navigate the publishing world today? What's your best piece of advice there? Well, the way that I work with my authors is that I like to talk about the whole, whole author coaching?

So in a way it goes back to the elephant and wholeness, but honoring the wholeness of our lives and recognizing that books a great book doesn't necessarily get written in six months to hit a schedule. But what's happening in the wholeness of your life as you're writing it, that's informing the content of the book as it goes. So it's like the book that wants to be written has invited you to be its author. And so how do you work with that idea and live into the ideas and test them out as you go. So I love to talk about the, the wholeness of being the author, the writer who writes the book, the author who engages with readers around the book. So what would be the most fun? You could have the most authentic way you'd like to relate to your readers and and look at that rather than just the, the sense of, oh, I have to do this, I have to do that. But what would really be fun for you and feasible for you, given everything else in your life and then being a publishing partner and understanding the business piece of it so that you can understand and have good expectations about what investments you will make of time and money and what you want to get out of it so that you feel good at the end and not disappointed.

So we talked about lots of different questions, but to look at look at the wholeness of it is what I suggest and just make it right for you rather than feeling like you have to shoehorn into only one way of or one right way of doing it. Exactly. And I love how you put it. You didn't say it in these terms. But bringing your true self to the table, bringing your authentic self to the table and letting the book come out in that way, that's what's going to be probably the most beautiful piece of bringing a book to life. Is the authenticity behind the person who is expressing the book that needs to be written. Yeah. And I often think of that as you know, the voice of the writer. Like do you have that? Do you have you tapped into the true voice of your inner author. And I think that voice and agency and the agency is like the ability to get something done or trusting that you know having confidence in getting something done. I think voice and agency as a phrase is really the same thing as saying courage.

It goes back to the courage to express your true and authentic voice. Exactly. And the agency being the courage to take the action to express it and get it out there. Anything else that you would like to share with our listeners around book publishing. And also just how we can navigate our current world to be more true to ourselves and listen to our heart mm hmm. Well, I have a quote again. I'm just a fan of Parker Palmer but this book really is pivotal for me from his book Let your life speak. And it's that self care is never a selfish act. It is simply good stewardship of The only gift I have. The gift I was put on earth to offer to others. And I think as a writer, as an author as we are offering our life, we have to take good care of ourselves at all levels. Like we talked about, you know, at the level of true self so that we have the energy and the heart to bring to our work in the world.

Beautiful. I think that's a beautiful way. A beautiful quote and the beautiful interpretation from your part as to how we can wrap our session up today. How can people find out more about you and connect with you? Well, you can find me at Creative Courage press dot com And from there you can see the links to my blog called Fortitude and on social media, I'm at Shelly L Francis on instagram and twitter. Beautiful. Thank you Well, Shelly, I want to thank you so much for joining us today and I just wish you all the success with Creative Courage Press. I so appreciate the wisdom and the knowledge and the insights that you have shared today. I think it's going to be wonderful information for our listeners and just want to thank you for being here. Thanks for inviting me. I really enjoyed our conversation. Thanks thank you. Alrighty. Well folks, that's it for today's episode.

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Ep. 48 - Courage For The Complexity Of Being Human - An Interview With Shelly Francis
Ep. 48 - Courage For The Complexity Of Being Human - An Interview With Shelly Francis
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