How to Meet Your Inner Council of Wise Women

Sitting down to write this post, I took a picture I drew last year, of Maya, my backpacker, free-spirit self, and put it on the table next to me.

See, I’ve built up this inner library of the way things “should” be done on my blog.

  • You must write about writing.
  • You must have bullet points.
  • You must have headings.
  • You must write your headline first.

And on and on.

And all of that is helpful, but I’m ready to bust out of these constraints, ready to get raw and real and playful. But it’s hard sometimes to see those invisible walls, those invisible requirements, let alone surpass them.

Maya, my backpacker, free spirited self helps me do it.

Maya is one of many Soul Women that I turn to when I want support or when I want to use a part of myself that may be asleep or dormant.

There’s Maya, my backpacker self. She’s the me who traveled through Guatemala with nothing but a dirty backpack. The me who shaved her head in India. The me who takes risks and tries new things.

There’s Maayan, my creative self. She loves drawing and painting watercolors and finding the connections between things. She made music videos in high school, created a poetry portfolio in college, and made my website brand and graphics.

There’s Chava, my loving self. She’s the self that truly takes time to see and listen to other people. That feels deep empathy for others’ experiences. That is able to stop in the middle of the day to rub my husband’s back or talk to a friend in need.

I met Maya, my first Soul Woman, a year ago.

I was writing about a time I traveled to Guatemala, when I was free and happy and felt unburdened. I remembered a moment when I was on a boat, listening to “Motorcycle Drive By” by Third Eye Blind, and I felt totally and utterly alive.

After I wrote about that experience, I realized that I hadn’t felt that free and unfettered in a long time. I deeply missed that part of me, the part that was wide open and ready for new experiences. So I invited her back into my life. I drew her and named her and welcomed her to help me live more playfully.

For the first time in a long time, I found myself experimenting and trying new crazy ideas.

The invisible bars on my creative cell began to expand and disappear. Just by invoking Maya and inviting her in, I was able to reclaim that hairy-legged, carefree, happy backpacker again.

So I went searching for my other Soul Women. That’s when I met Maayan, Chava, and others, as well.

I’ve helped other women meet their Soul Women, too.

Through invoking their Soul Women, they’ve found the bravery to have conversations they were avoiding, the courage to own their expertise, and the confidence to speak publicly in front of a group.

The idea of Soul Women isn’t unique. You’ve probably heard of the concept of the alter-ego, or the act of creating a “character” to embody when you want to change your personality or achieve something in your life.

For years, Beyonce used her alter-ego, Sasha Fierce to help her perform. She told Oprah, “Usually when I hear the chords, when I put on my stilettos. Like the moment right before when you’re nervous. Then Sasha Fierce appears, and my posture and the way I speak and everything is different.”

I think of it as using your imagination to “become” a different version of yourself, if only for a short time.

I call on specific Soul Women when I need them. For example, if I am struggling with money issues, I call on my money Soul Woman and ask her what to do.

If I’m deciding what to do in my business, I hang out with my CEO Soul Woman and use her guidance to help me on my way.

Instead of approaching these difficult choices and situations from my typical way of thinking, I ask my inner guides for wisdom. It’s kind of like phoning a friend, but instead of calling a real person, you tap into the deep well of your own intuition and knowledge.

Meet the wise inner council that will revolutionize your way of handling difficult situations.Click To Tweet

How to Meet/Imagine Your Own Soul Women

1. When you encounter a problem and feel stuck, stop and ask yourself the following questions:

  • When is a time that I encountered something like this and proved that I could handle it? What characteristics did I have?
  • Who do I know who is really good at this? What qualities do they have that I can give my Soul Woman?
  • Is there a famous person or character from a book or movie that I wish I could talk to about this? Which personality traits do they have that I can give my Soul Woman?

2. Using these characteristics as a jumping off point, create your Soul Woman.

You can do this by:

  • Drawing her
  • Writing a story about her
  • Writing back and forth to her as if you’re texting or having a conversation
  • Closing your eyes and imagining what she looks and sounds like
  • Giving her a name
  • Choosing an article of clothing that you can wear when you want to embody her (kind of like Beyonce’s stilettos)

Let your imagination and your intuition take over. This is your Soul Woman. There’s no one right way to envision her. Trust yourself.

3. Anytime you get stuck, see if there’s a Soul Woman you’ve already imagined who can help you, or create a new one.

There’s no rule that you can only have one alter-ego or Soul Woman. I like having Soul Women for all different areas of my life. That way I can focus on the specific traits I want to embody at that moment, rather than creating a perfect super human that encompasses all of them.

If you can imagine a Soul Woman, she is a part of you, because she came from your creativity and intuition.

Creating your Soul Women is like getting back in touch with pieces of yourself that have been asleep or that you never knew existed.

The next time you get stuck on something, know that you have an inner council of Soul Women just waiting to help you out. Then use your imagination, get playful, and meet your next Soul Woman.

You’ll find that you come up with answers you never would have thought of on your own.

Finding the Intersection of My Way and the “Right” Way

When blogging first came out, I didn’t get it.  “Why would someone want to read about my life?” I wondered.

Even when I was living in Israel or traveling in Central America, I just wasn’t convinced that my experiences meant enough that someone would actually care to read about them.

Years later, after coming back home to Denver, teaching passionately for 3 years, and then losing my teaching job, I became obsessed with the idea of making money online. I listened to a bajillion podcasts (yes, that was the exact number), read hundreds of blog posts, took courses, and dove in headfirst.

I learned how to write blog posts that taught something to a specific audience. Posts that were divided up into neat little sections, each of which offered a nugget of wisdom or advice. I made graphics for each post that other people would want to re-pin on Pinterest. And, amazingly, people started reading my blog.

But as I went deeper and deeper into blogging “the right way,” I lost the path of passion and excitement that had initially led me into the blogging world. I was so bogged down with doing it right, that I didn’t notice when my blogging life turned from prisma-color into black and white. As I felt less and less excited about my blog, I wrote less and less, too.

Then I took a long break from blogging. I had become so entrenched in trying to “do it right” that I didn’t remember how to just write for the pure love and joy of writing. I needed those months to lose the blogging blueprints that had become imprinted into my brain. I needed a reset so that I could come back with the mind of an explorer, rather than one of a marketer.

Maybe you can relate. Maybe you started blogging because you needed to write what lived inside of you. You ventured into the scary online world, set up your blog, hit publish, and then nothing happened. So you went even deeper into the internet on a quest for learning. You joined Facebook groups. You took courses. You learned how to do it all.

And then you felt so bogged down by the need to do it right — to optimize everything for SEO, to share it at the right times on all the social media channels, to grow your email list, to do everything the experts said you needed to do — that you nearly drowned in a sea of overwhelm.

You started watching your stats instead of listening to your inner voice, the voice that just wanted you to express yourself. You started gauging your success by the number of people who commented on your blog rather than by the joy you felt when you shared your truth. Slowly your passion faded to a withered yellow, like the pages of an old book.

Or maybe you didn’t take that journey. But I know a lot of people who have.

And once your passion has faded, then what? Once you’ve let go of sharing your voice because you’re afraid you won’t do it “right,” then what?

I’m still figuring that out. But I think my (your?) “then what” could look like this:

I know how to do all of the optimizing. I get how to grow an email list. I’ve done all the courses and learned all the things. That knowledge lives inside of me now.

But you know what else lives inside of me? Originality. Creativity. Intuition. The quiet voice that urges me to share, even if I don’t have all the answers. The desire to connect and communicate. All of that coexists inside my body.

So I think, I hope, it’s possible to use both.

To listen to my intuition and write what matters to me, and then to choose how to share it with the world. Maybe, instead of either doing it “right” or doing it the “Daniela way,” I can do it my way by picking and choosing what advice I listen to and what I reject.

I don’t need to stick my head in the sand and block out all the wisdom of bloggers who came before me, but I also don’t need to follow their paths and abandon my own. There must be a way to do both. To open to my deep knowing, and to open to the knowledge of other people.

I’m not sure what that’s going to look like. But I’m excited to find out.