Cassie Jeans : Author, Writing Coach, Podcast Host
You’re a writer, published author, poet, coach, speaker, photographer, and podcast host, just to name a few things. Why do you think it’s important to embrace these different avenues of creativity and expression?
Reading that question I lol’d! I don’t know what to do with myself if I am not creating. I am inspired by the way we move through the world. The way we love on some things and hate on others. Creativity is my way of saying I was here and I had something to say, to share, to offer. I have held this belief for as long as I can remember and that is, “la vida es preciosa,” or life is beautiful and I feel that even when things are falling apart. The time we have is short here and even shorter when you think of all the time we waste worrying about the unessentials. Creativity is a form of rebellion against any system that has been put into place to keep us small and regular. We are infinite and wild and that thought alone fuels my passion to express what is on my heart.
In the introduction of your book, Her Art of Surrender, you wrote: “Remember, you are supported by a thread that each of us weaves together for one another every time we allow a sister to speak her truth and rise.” This sentiment really struck a chord with us because it’s something we strongly believe in at illuminate and our sister company, Holl & Lane Magazine, as well. Can you tell us a bit more about how you came to this realization?
Ah, I love this. Yes, thank you for sharing these words with me. The thread of connection, the chord that unites us all. I came to this realization when I started my self-worth journey. I forgave myself for some shitty stuff I’d done in the past and made peace with years worth of shame. I started paying attention to my needs, my desires and I allowed myself to nourish all parts of me, my light and my shadow. As I healed and listened to incredible spiritual leaders like Eckhart Tolle, Wayne Dyer, Don Miguel Ruiz (to name a few!) I realized we are all the same. There is very little that separates us from one another. The stories and pain we perceive that is either taught or never healed are the things that divide us. When we heal, we allow others to heal and in that the chords of connection become stronger with one another.
Her Art of Surrender is a collection of stories from you and 19 other female writers. Tell us about this collaborative process and what it was like to navigate not only your own story but the stories of the other women.
It was so much fun! I love holding space for the words and the stories that we shared came from a place of service for another woman. I mean, how beautiful is that? To share with the intent to be there for whoever picks up the book and reads it. It was amazing to read them and think, “wow, these women are incredible and have been through so much yet are choosing to live a life that reflects the love and light in their hearts.” Incredibly humbling experience to share space with them.
You emphasize the importance of a safe space for women to tell their stories. What impact do you think storytelling has on growth and healing?
It creates accessibility. When we hear a story our body relaxes. We are not thinking about whether or not something is accurate or right, nor are we trying to retain information so our mind slows down and takes a creak and our hearts open up to the narrator. In this process, we see ourselves in the story. We feel the woman who is sharing and our empathy rises for her and also for ourselves. It is so important for us to share our stories even if we don’t have the intention to publish them. Storing them inside only keeps us captive and often stuck in the past.
Switching gears a bit - you’re also a writing coach. Many of our illuminate members would like to write their own stories and become traditionally published or self-published. How can a writing coach help with that process?
In fascinating and unusual ways actually! Practically, having someone in your corner, cheering you on, holding space for you, and providing deadlines for completion of your book is an incredible experience. Spiritually and emotionally, the support is undeniable. I intuitively work with my clients and can also provide valuable developmental support and I have found this combination to be incredibly effective. Women want writing coaching at different stages of their book development. Some right at the beginning, some in the middle when they’re stuck, and some when they are done and are feeling unsure about what to do next. Writing coaching can also help if you are wanting to creatively explore your writing voice. Sometimes it isn’t about a book and more about showing up authentically in your online messaging.
You also have a podcast, In the Bedroom, where you share words that awaken the soul. Do you think having a podcast is a good marketing tool for writers? Tell us a bit about what drove you to start one.
I think if a writer feels the nudge to try something different with their marketing a podcast is a great way to dive deeper into your words or other writer’s words you love to build a connection with your fans. Do you need a podcast? No. But if it lights you up go for it! What drove me to start one was I had been feeling the nudge to do it for quite some time and late one night I gave in finally and started speaking. It has been one of the best things I have done and I will show up for it for as long as I feel called to do so.
Lastly, we’d like to end with a quote from your own story in Her Art of Surrender, Becoming Completely Undone: “Curiosity paves the way to purpose.” Can you share what that means to you?
Without a curious heart we will blindly follow the masses. We must be willing to question the environment that is presented before us and within us and ask, “is this what I want? Is this what my soul longs for?” Being curious is brave. It means a willingness to release certainty and adopt faith. It means staring down the dark tunnel before us and picking up our feet because we see a glimpse of light at the end. It is stepping into the unknown because of a feeling. Be curious enough to question yourself. One of my mantras is, stay curious. If we allow ourselves to live our life this way we will ask questions first before passing judgment and if we learn the art of asking heart-centered questions we will discover the unity we have with everything on the planet and possibly even the Universe.
Thanks for sharing your heart with us, Cassie! Learn more about Cassie here.