Slaying Doubt and Falling in Love

With Labor Day behind us, and the kids back at school, I like to drag summer out by thinking of my peak experience.  And of course, for the summer of 2014, it was the week I ran away and fell in love.

The third week in July, eight talented, sassy, beautiful, creative women (and Jeff Woodward, our extraordinary photographer!) said goodbye to children, husbands, houses and plans and escaped to a cottage by the sea, where we made mad passionate love to the page. And there was a secret sauce to this group, we didn’t just gather for ourselves, we actually gathered for you and your creative process…

Slaying Doubt and Falling in Love
We think there are all these Gates keeping us locked out from the speaking gig, the performance stage, the sold out workshops and the big five publishers - but it's bullshit because there's another way, and its Gateless. Gateless is so life-changing, so revolutionary. --Karen Kenney, spiritual mentor, memoirist and founder of Quest Yoga.

We were life coaches and therapists, visual artists, English professors, study abroad facilitators, and corporate consultants and yet in that sprawling house by the sound, among the wild roses and honeysuckle, we were there to serve one thing: our mind-blowing passion for the creative process, and how it can heal, change lives and transform our world.

We laughed, feasted, swam, did yoga under the sycamores and got massaged by Karen Kenney’s heart-centered, healing hands. And we did what we always do on Gateless Retreats: we wrote, page after page. And read aloud.

Slaying Doubt and Falling in Love
"I signed up for Gateless because I needed a new direction, I was an empty nester, and I wanted something to supplement my income, now I feel stronger, more sure of myself, I want to shout out to everyone about my new career." Kathleen Murray Moran, award-winning writer and editor.

We arrived home feeling and looking different. We’d pioneered the unknown, mapped new artistic territory and come back with our true career paths scripted into our cells.

Why? What happens when we run away like this? Why are people who create in the Gateless method generating work that transcends marks on the page and becomes its own miraculous captivating world?

Because Gateless isn’t just about writing, it’s about tending to the creative fire. We dive into those places that scare the hell out of most of us: criticism, money, competition, and, of course, rejection. In my years as an author and book shaman, it has become clear that the way to create domain-changing work is to answer doubt by writing into it and then mirroring for the writer what is strong in that writing. “Doubt,” Flaubert says in Memoirs of a Madman, leads to madness.” So we make manifest the myriad ways doubt flings its weapons in our direction and respond with feedback about what sings.

Slaying Doubt and Falling in Love
I love Gateless because it is about finding what is already there but maybe covered up with fear. You don’t have to become someone else, Gateless is a process of loving what you already are and then stretching from there. --Minton Sparks, performance artist, founder of the Writing and Performance Institute.

Of course, I want this for you, to see you laugh, feast, swim, write, read aloud and fall in love. I know it can be frightening to drop everything except your desire to create and run away. And I also know that when we are working alone, it can feel like the world out there is wild, the hounds are howling to a haunted moon, you might fear you will never see your dream come true, you’re the one the publishing club forgot to include, the holy grail is just out of reach.

You are not alone.

This was a unique breed of wise women. We didn’t just gather to write, we did it to make a commitment to other creatives like you. Dulcie, Jodi, Karen, Kate, Kathleen, Minton, Regina, and Sylvie became the first to take the Gateless Teacher Training program and become certified in the Gateless method so they can teach and coach others can reach their personal zeniths.

It occurred to me as they flew home to spread their talent across the country from Dallas to Nashville, Manhattan to Maine, that this wild beautiful energy that is Gateless cannot be contained. If you are reading these words, you are included in our community of creatives who have your back and want you to succeed.

Slaying <em>Doubt and Falling in Love
The hardest part was the leave-taking. Bidding goodbye to the unique magic of our particular bodies and star stuff being all in the same house for those days; we’ll never recreate it (but we will always carry it). --Kate Baldwin, educator and founder of the Newburyport Salon Series for Kids and Grown-ups.

So, next time you are trying to get up the courage to sit down to your dream, remember: you have a powerful pantheon behind you. We are cheering you on, encouraging you to bring out your unique genius. We are giving you permission to make mad passionate fierce beautiful love to your work, no matter the consequences, no matter the doubt.

To learn more about a career teaching in the Gateless method:

If you are feeling the call to run away, join me and bestselling author and singer/songwriter Marshall Chapman for a sweet Gateless writing weekend at the all-inclusive Gray Bear Holistic Retreat Center, outside of Nashville, TN, October 17-19th: saunas, watsu pools, soaring yoga temples, roaring fires and the open page: yes! I want to run away and write...

And in the comments below tell me your biggest challenge when it comes to completing your biggest dream, what do you want? What might be getting in the way?  Just sharing it can make it seem more manageable, and I will always answer you with strong encouragement and a big dose of Gateless love...


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10 Responses to “Slaying Doubt and Falling in Love”

  1. Karen Kenney September 3, 2014 at 2:13 pm Permalink

    Man, do I f*cking love this piece about Gateless and you Suzanne Kingsbury! You totally captured the magic of our writing and training week together. What an incredible gift and adventure it was and it makes me so happy to be able to go out into the world and spread the LOVE!!!! xoxo

    • Suzanne Kingsbury September 3, 2014 at 2:24 pm Permalink

      KK, you were such a HUGE part of what made if magical, your amazing writing, your kick-ass massage, that spontaneous yoga on the lawn and always always the way you make me (and every one of us) laugh… xxooo

  2. Kate September 3, 2014 at 4:12 pm Permalink

    I love being reminded of all we did and of who we became during that week. I have so many ideas bubbling up still. It’s really true what we said in parting– we are lifelong friends, voyagers, mavericks, truth seekers, storytellers. Gateless was my favorite piece of summer too!!! I can’t wait to start my groups next month!

    • Suzanne Kingsbury September 3, 2014 at 4:22 pm Permalink

      Kate, how do I love theeee let me count the ways. I love all your monikers for us. the mavericks, the truth seekers, the wizards as Minton might say, the voyagers into this beautiful gateless territory that, if we sally forth holding hands, holds all the riches of the land and sea. ILY.

  3. Nicole September 4, 2014 at 8:03 am Permalink

    Oh how I wish to have been there.
    Hitting one of those “will I ever get there?” moment & it felt good to read about the warrior women writers. I am indeed not alone.

    • Suzanne Kingsbury September 4, 2014 at 8:24 am Permalink

      Sweet Pea, have been thinking about you so so much this week and love you soooooo!!! The Wheel is up on our fridge and just seeing it always makes me feel more grounded and resourced as I go about my day. I adore you, can’t wait to see you, huge huge love, S.

  4. Linda September 4, 2014 at 9:37 am Permalink

    The ‘you are not alone” really hit me hard, because I am not so sure about that. I am revising yet again and wondering all the time if this will be the version that finally gets me published, which is my dream. I am trying to write the story for me, though, not changing it to meet that agent’s approval. Anyway, thanks for sending this, Suzanne. Just reading what you write and the responses makes me feel better.
    You know I love you!

    • Suzanne Kingsbury September 4, 2014 at 6:19 pm Permalink

      Oh sweetie!!! I keep thinking about you, wondering if you are still by the ocean my sweet. With the power and beauty of your prose, I have no doubt it’s going to happen my sweet. I adore you darlin’, keep that gorgeous writing coming my dear.

  5. Kristen MacKenzie September 4, 2014 at 5:14 pm Permalink

    I feel very fortunate to be at a place in my life where I’m open-arms ready to be a part of all this. It’s time!

    I’m excited to hear more about writer’s retreats opening up in the new year. Thank you Suzanne!

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