Rachel Thompson

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Getting to Know Carla Woody @CarlaWoody1 #NonFiction #Spirituality #Causes

Image of Carla Woody
How do you support your strong beliefs on preserving indigenous traditions?
Through Kenosis Spirit Keepers, the nonprofit I founded, we support community-building projects and programs that bring Native spiritual leaders together to share traditions. You can read about our current and past projects here: http://www.kenosisspiritkeepers.org/support.html.
I donate 10% of profits from my book sales directly to support these projects. If someone joins me on one of my spiritual travel programs to Peru, Mexico or Guatemala, part of their tuition is tax-deductible and helps support the healers and communities we engage with. People should know that if they’re drawn to purchase the book or participate in any of my programs, it helps us fulfill the mission I’ve mentioned here. There’s a statement of this commitment on my Kenosis website: http://www.kenosis.net.
What is a typical day like for you as a writer?
I’m definitely a morning person and have a ritual that sets my day. I usually get up before dawn, feed the cats, have a cup of coffee, and meditate for 20-30 minutes. I’ve been doing it, in that order, for nearly thirty years. Then I start writing if I have a project, or other work. Several years ago I put Joseph Campbell’s writing practice in place: at least three hours a day. It became automatic, and often the time extends itself without me noticing.
What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?
Since the majority of what I write has to do with the Hero’s Journey, as mythologist Joseph Campbell so beautifully relayed in his work, my intent for readers is they recognize the Hero in themselves. We’re all on this evolutionary journey to different degrees. Ultimately, I hold that readers find inspiration, and more so, ways through tricky places, perhaps by identifying with my fictional characters or the examples from real people in my nonfiction books.
How do you come up with an idea for a new book?
The ideas present themselves. It may be something I want to explore myself, or a point I want to get across. When a central theme keeps showing up in my own life or that of my clients, then I begin to write about it.
Are you traditionally published or self-published? Why did you choose that path?
I’ve published articles through professional journals and magazine since the early 1990s. When it came to my books, I specifically chose to self-publish through Kenosis Press, my own small press, for these important reasons: 1) they never go out of print; 2) the publishing process is truncated; 3) I have control over the content. Since my books are vehicles for my work, I continue to feel this is important.
How do you work through self-doubts and fear?
I’ve gone through quite a process in the last 25 years. I felt like I was on a high-speed train going through one station after another, dropping things off and picking up others along the way until I realigned my life for a right fit.
This is what I’ve noticed. When I’m ready to go through a threshold—the next evolution—the residue of whatever fears may still be present becomes strongest, They can present themselves through critical internal voices, body stresses, or even dreams. I know that any of these are just internal signals that I’m moving out of what has been familiar. I’ve seen this to be true for virtually anyone.  I do some objective exploring to see if there’s any validity to the messages. If so, I fine-tune but move forward if it’s a direction that’s beneficial. I tell my mentoring clients that it’s actually a marker of progress! Intent will prevail and the fears lessen over time as you get used to the (now) familiar.
What are you most proud of in your personal life?
About 20 years ago, I moved out of a life prescribed for me by societal expectations into a lifestyle that truly enlivens me, the work I’m doing now. I was essentially working in corporate environments that didn’t support creativity, or much out-of-the-box thinking at all. In most areas of my life I was “settling.” My energy was slowly being depleted, which happens when an environment is an ill fit. My need to thrive overcame fears and I left the “secure” cocoon, albeit a stifling one. I made a leap of faith. At one level, it took a lot of courage. But my core intent was strong. Now I guide others on how to live through their deeply held values.
What books did you love growing up?
My mother read to me a lot as a young child. I remember lying with my head in her lap and listening to stories: Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, a series called Mother West Wind’s Neighbors and many more. It was comforting and probably why I’ve always loved books. Jane Eyre was a favorite when I hit adolescence.
Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?
I grew up in a military family. My father was a JAG attorney. My mother was a stay-at-home mom until I was a teenager, when she started working as a bookkeeper. For shorter times we lived in Texas, Arkansas, Washington DC and Alabama. I lived most of my teenaged years in Ohio. The majority of my childhood we lived in Paris, and I grew up traveling Europe during family vacations. I’m quite sure exposure to other countries influenced me considerably, and the draw to travel hasn’t left me. For work and pleasure I’ve spent time in the Middle and Near East, North Africa, Europe, Central and South America. I come and go from my home near Prescott, Arizona.
If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask?
It would definitely be Eugene O’Neill. I never knew much about his work or life—and this sounds a bit crazy, I know—but he began to show up periodically in mine. In the mid 1990s, before I began my first book, or even thought about it, he appeared to me in a dream that was prophetic and came true. That wasn’t the end of it. Our relationship has endured for years. I even wrote a blog post recently: “Eugene O’Neill and Me.” I won’t say more here. You’ll have to read about it: http://bit.ly/18l4h7j
When you’re not working, how do you like to relax?
Reading and artwork are favorites, and spending time with friends over dinner, conversation or hiking. I live in a wilderness area, which is very conducive to relaxation. I just step outside my door. About twice a year I take off and camp. I also like to travel out of country and explore.
Where can we find your books and websites?
Find <Portals to the Vision Serpent,
Standing Stark and
Calling Our Spirits Home on Amazon, or order through local bookstores.
You’re invited to visit Kenosis and
Kenosis Spirit Keepers to learn more about offerings and sign up for free material and the Kenosis Inspirations ezine. Follow my blog
The Lifepath Dialogues.
Carla Woody Bio:
Carla Woody has been mentoring people toward conscious living for more than twenty years. In 1999 she established Kenosis LLC to serve human potential and support the vision: “One tribe, one world.” In 2007, she founded Kenosis Spirit Keepers, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, to help preserve indigenous wisdom ways. Carla is the author of Portals to the Vision Serpent, Standing Stark: The Willingness to Engage and Calling Our Spirits Home: Gateways to Full Consciousness. She also writes articles related to personal growth, natural healing and advocacy of Native traditions, and is a fine artist. She makes her home near Prescott, Arizona.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Nonfiction, Spirituality
Rating – PG
More details about the author and the book
Connect with Carla Woody on Facebook and Twitter


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