Feminist, pagan, self-help, New Age, hippy…
And I always feel a little weird about them… cos none of them really fit.
Sure part of this is the creative ego yearning to be considered unique… but there is more…
When you write a book… or go about your life… you don’t tend to spend too much time trying to fit yourself into categories… specially when you’re not into dogma or clubs or labels by nature.
You just do your thing… and it all makes perfect sense. Because you’re just being you… in fact you kind of presume that the rest of the world deep down thinks the same way… they’ve just developed a few strange surface layers which need peeling off before they get down to it.
Then the time comes when you have to try to use pre-existing labels in order to categorise yourself … and your work… you know, when you do that thing called publishing a book…. or redesigning a website….if you don’t no one will ever find you…
I tend to hang out in women’s health… and creativity. They feel good… if a little mainstream… but then I find myself having to defend why I can’t help people with fibroids… sorry!… and feeling like maybe I have to be a Dr to be allowed to talk about women’s health.
But others in their reviews define me as feminist (we know my feelings on that word and me… and part two as to why) Or a self-help author… but I like to think that I am more substantial than most of what passes for self-help. And far less formulaic.
Amazon defined me as occult – which I feel very uncomfortable about… until I hit number 2 in the category… ahead of The Power of Now… and the Dalai Lama… at least for a day.
Pagan is a strange one for me… whilst much of what I do could be defined in those terms… I do not self-identify as pagan. But many have classified my books as this – must be the old moon thang.
And hippy… whilst I mockingly refer to myself as hippy due to a propensity for floaty skirts – in truth my sartorial choice has more to do with hefty thighs than philosophical allegiances… there is much of what I do… or rather, am perceived as doing, which is hippy…. but it’s very easy to dismiss someone by using that word… And sometimes I do get dismissed as too hippy… or self-helpy… or new agey… due to my subject matter… and how I explore it.
But you would be very disappointed if you met me in real life having chalked me down as a hippy. I am academic by nature, a serious thinker, not a stoner or a drifter… I am a big-hearted, hard-nosed, socialist entrepreneur. That I chose to use the language of self-help, or wisdom, that I chose to write first person is a CHOICE, because I know that writing that way I will reach more hearts and souls than writing dry academic books… which I could very easily have done.
Gosh this wasn’t intended to be a rant… not at all… I guess though because I cultivate a rainbow coloured exterior, I am tired of having to get past certain perceptions… which come with lots of baggage. What I’m doing is deadly serious… and words like “hippy” have always been used to dismiss, to trivialise vital messages… Add that to the “trivial” topics of “motherhood”, “creativity” or worse “non-professional, WOMEN’S creativity”, or the flipping menstrual cycle… and people are like, is that even a topic? Why would you write a book on that? Does anybody want to READ a book on that? Well, the sort of mainstream people who wouldn’t touch my books with a barge pole.
And then I can feel a bit yuck. A bit stupid. With cherries on.
Yeah, I waste my time self-indulgently writing on weird pointless hippy pagan feminist subjects…pity me…. do you want to see my fan mail… and my sales figures?
But of course I’m far too polite to say that.
I have a career doing what I love. Nothing to justify here…
Yet every time I feel the patriarchal burn of shame, the smell of burning witches in my nose and the feeling that I am a marked women… and if people had ANY idea just how powerful this work was… they’d run in terror… either away from me… or ask me a whole lot more and dive right in… because this is BIG, life-changing, world-shifting stuff we’re dealing with… re-making not one but three generations of empowered, embodied women who will help to shift our culture… and economy…
I know that. My readers know that… And yet sometimes, sometimes I wish I could shake the mainstream world awake… wake up guys… stop mocking and smell the coffee… there’s a whole world within, there is such glory and joy to be had in your body, in your soul… if you would just pay attention…. wake up guys, it’s not just about you, we need all the open hearted, creative, fully-embodied human beings we can get on the planet right now…
I love that I’m niche… I love that I’m loved by the niche… but I long for the message to hit the mainstream… I thought I was mainstreaming it… so I guess this is the problem… I intended to … for reasons I will share in another post… but despite avoiding many touchpaper words… there’s not a goddess to be seen in my books… still they come out smelling of hippy.
Because in the end loving fully… living fully… embodying your passion are not the messages of the mainstream.
And for good reason… because if people woke up on a mass scale this whole edifice would come crumbling down.