Being the Seeker, the Apprentice, the Artist, and the Master

Invisible Stories Episode 8 with Talonya Geary

On today’s episode I speak to Talonya Geary, author of #goDo: How to Live on Purpose.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Be your authentic self no matter the circumstances, and it will help resonate with readers. Knowing who you are, and not continuing down a path that doesn’t feel right for you.
  • It’s so much easier to write in your own voice, rather than someone else’s voice.
  • Use social media or blogs to get feedback and test out your voice.
  • If you lose yourself in the process, it is ok to stop and find yourself again, to become a more authentic version of yourself.
  • Be ok with being in the position of being a seeker of new knowledge, as long as it takes for you to be ready to apprentice that new knowledge. When you are done apprenticing, and it’s time to create new art, you’ve apprenticed enough and you can now go on and create art on your own. Go do that. When you have done that enough, and you can now share that with others, go and mentor them, go share your mastery.

Enjoy the episode!

#goDo by Talonya Geary

To achieve whatever the hell you want – by living a life of purpose, on purpose.

In #goDo + #doGood Social Entrepreneur Talonya Geary (you can call her “T”) keeps it real. She shares how she recovered from a series of traumatic losses – the death of her brother, her job, and her health – to create a life of purpose and on purpose. And she teaches you how to use her proven daily practices, rooted in clarity, discipline, and science, to help your dreams become your reality.

Want to get healthier – physically, mentally, or financially?
Find that perfect job – where you feel appreciated and fulfilled?
Wake up every day ready to take action?

Get ready to take what you learn in these pages and implement them into your life right away. Then go on to inspire others, and teach them how to #goDo, #doGood!

Buy Now

Key Takeaways

  • Timestamp: 1:37: I always wanted to write a book like many people, and there was that time in my life where I put it on my list of goals, and that was the sort of North Star for me to eventually do it one day. I started the book without really a voice or a real point, but eventually after blogging for a couple of years I started to get my voice and realize that the life I had led, or had lived, and the knowledge I had gained along the way, really acutely put me in a position to share that knowledge. And more precisely, I had gone through a tragedy in my own life that had stripped away everything that I had worked hard to accumulate. And I found myself with nothing but had this knowledge to kind of pull myself through. Used that knowledge to pull myself through a very dark and difficult time. And by the time I had pulled myself through it, people asked me how I did it, and what was my secret? The book is really just sharing what I learned and how I used exactly what I had learned to pull myself through the hardest time of my life. So the book is titled #godo: How to Live on Purpose.
  • Timestamp: 3:37: So upon release, I was going as you know, fast and furious. We launched the book quickly, and like everything I do in life, I put everything into it, every resource, every bit of energy, money, time. So the response I think was that back and I don’t think that I had really at the time the presence to really know how to accept it. So what that means is, I was giving, giving, giving, and I was on this book tour, and people’s response was focussed on the writing of the book, meaning they were loving it and finding it helpful. It was causing these sparks and breakthroughs for people, and I loved that, but I have to tell you I was so far ahead of that because of how much energy I had put into it, that I almost felt that I couldn’t respond at the same level for them, if that makes any sense. And I think that’s where I started to topple over later when I told you when we had dinner. I started… I just kind of felt drained by it. The short answer is, the feedback was really good, and people just felt like it had resonated with them, and they saw themselves in the words of the book and they saw themselves in this place of needing to have some sort of structure to get themselves through some difficult times. I wrote the book thinking it was really for a professional audience, and like business people. And didn’t really have the awareness of how personal it was, and how people saw it as truly a self-help book. And that wasn’t the conscious goal for me if that makes sense.
  • Timestamp: 6:14: I don’t know how to teach people how to write books, that’s your business. But what I did was I started with the strategy and what was the innocuous tool that I used, that I applied to get a result. And then as I was going through the writing process of the book, I realized ok great, you have the strategy, people can see if clearly step 1, step 2, so on and so forth. But as I was reading the book, there wasn’t really a human behind it. And actually there wasn’t a relatable person behind it. And the last thing I wanted to do was put this piece of art out there, and people to read it and say, “oh that’s great, but she only accomplished that because of this.” And that doesn’t — I don’t see myself in that. And I started to realize that I am not going to be able to serve people if I’m not being honest. And so as I started to dig into the book and add more life and breath into it, I started to share my story and my truth behind each of those strategies.
  • Timestamp: 7:22: For example, the chapter on character, I started to realize even myself as I was asking myself how can you be more real in this? I realized that… tell the story of your mom and dad! Your father shaped this part of your character, and so that allowed me to expose a little bit of my relationship with my father and who my father is in this world and who he is to me. And the same for my mom. And things like even the very first chapter on purpose, like every single chapter I started to ask myself, “what does this mean to you as a person, not a strategy, but how does that – what is the meaning for you?” So that allowed me to add more of the humanity. And I am hoping that humanity is what resonated for people.
  • Timestamp: 9:01: I didn’t have that plan. I just kept asking myself questions. And the question was, will this chapter serve? Who does this chapter serve? What is their problem to solve? Or what’s their challenge that you can help them overcome? And that was like part 1 of the book. And then the second set of challenges was who are you? What was your challenge? How did you overcome it? Because the last thing I want to do and I think you know this from our experience working together, is the last thing I want to do is to present myself or market myself as someone I’m not.
  • Timestamp: 12:09: I don’t know if this is the answer, but it was the answer for me. I wrote a lot. And I wrote constantly. So there was about a two-year stretch of time where I published a weekly blog. And that doesn’t sound like a lot of writing but it is. That was where I kind of cut my teeth so to speak or found my voice was just putting stuff out there and sharing it. And some things didn’t stick, and some things caught on like wildfire. And when they do and those blogs catch on like wildfire, that’s how you know you have a little inkling of lightning in a bottle and to pay attention to it. But in order to get to that lightning in a bottle, you have to have the discipline to do something consistently, like write every single day for a certain amount of time or a certain number of words. That’s the first part. And then the second part, which might be harder for some people, is then sharing it, and publish it, and put it out there for feedback, because the feedback is energy and if you are putting out good energy, and it attracts other energy, then you know you have something there to run with. And that’s what I did, for two years, disciplined myself to write and disciplined myself to be vulnerable enough to share it and wait for the lightning in a bottle.
  • Timestamp: 17:55: To put it into context, I published the book in October of 2018 and had scheduled a six-month book tour, basically it was October to March. I went in headfirst and just swam a marathon until I started to kind of get tired, and by tired I had been giving so much on this book tour until about — and everything was great, I was just high on life and I felt so good about what I was doing and successful with the goal I had set up to accomplish. And then 2019 happened, and it was about the end of January, perhaps early February where I just started to kind of break down. And by break down, I didn’t have as much energy, I had depleted all my resources, like time for me just felt like it was flying by and flying past me, I put so much financial resource into the book, and I think the energy was just gone for me. So in February, I decided to cancel the rest of anything I had on the calendar. Because I just didn’t feel like I had it to give anymore, didn’t have the energy to show up for book tour stuff and meet with people. I’ve never done a book tour, but it wasn’t a sit and read for people. I didn’t want to read content for people that they could do on their own. I wanted to hear their stories and connect with them and share mine and explain to them how the book could support them or help them and why. However, February didn’t feel like I had that to serve people anymore, and the last thing again I wanted to do was to pretend I could be that person for them when I couldn’t anymore. And so we canceled the rest of the few handfuls of cities that we were going to go to, and then March happened and I found myself just like shutting down. And getting far away from the content of the book and almost in a way resenting it. Because it didn’t feel real to me anymore, it didn’t feel like that was me anymore so to speak. As I look back on it, I realize I was just depleted, just so depleted. And when we had dinner, that was what a month ago? Early March. Even then I was feeling like I wasn’t me anymore. And I’ve since even in the last three days started to swing back and get a little more of my energy back. I think you give so much in the process, you give so much in your writing, you give so much to people and all of it that you start to lose yourself. And I definitely started to lose myself in that whole process.
  • Timestamp: 25:55: I found myself: There are these four phases of learning. We all at dinner, everybody said what they were grateful for. And I remember the thing I shared with everyone was that I was grateful to be in a learning phase in my life. And there are these four phases— this actually comes from a deck of tarot cards and I’ve never forgotten, it was shared with me by a friend— the four phases are the seeker, the second is the apprentice, the third is the artist, and the fourth phase is the master. And the tarot cards—actually this is really cool, you can look it up— instead of tarot cards in San Francisco the whole goal was to not be so patriarchal about the king and the queen and the jack. So instead of those archetypes, it was the seeker, the apprentice, the artist and the master. And I think about it all the time. And the reason why I am bringing this up is because I was in the master phase on the book tour. Because I had gone through the seeker, I had gone through the apprentice of writing books, or the blogging for me what apprenticing, art was writing the book, and mastery was going on the book tour. But you have to start all over again, you have to be willing to be a seeker again. And that’s where I am now. I am still very much in the seeker phase. I am seeking new knowledge. That was why I kind of shut things down, I had reached mastery, I was done. And I am somebody who reinvented myself a lot. I am ready to reinvent and be in this seeker phase until I can get to apprentice. I am not to apprentice yet, but I am definitely back at the seeker position.

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