We all want more magic in our lives, right? More connection, more fun, more I-can’t-believe-I-pulled-this-off. Magic looks different for all of us and we’ve all got different ideas about how to make it happen, so I wanted to start a monthly interview series asking some of my favorite women how they do it.
We’ve all got different definitions of making magic happen. What’s yours?
I think we make magic happen when we’re tuned into the flow of life and paying attention to our intuition. It’s not always rainbows and unicorns — we always face challenges on the path because how else can we grow? — but I’ve definitely noticed there’s more magic in my life when I pay closer attention to my inner guidance.
Of the things that you’ve accomplished in your life, what are you most proud of?
The fact that my business supports me as a single independent woman.
When you’re taking on a big new project, or you’ve set your eyes on a new goal, how do you actually, you know, make it happen?
Everything starts in my journal. Lists, notes, snippets of ideas, mind maps, quotes. All my courses and my books started life inside the pages of a Moleskine notebook. I let it all brew for as long as it needs — usually a few months — adding to the ideas until I reach the point where it’s starting to take shape. That’s when I open a new Scrivener document and start writing in earnest. Lots of ideas never make it to the actual typing stage but it’s amazing how often I read back through my journals and find wisps of ideas I can develop.
What books/tools/products/apps have helped you on your journey?
Julia Cameron’s classic, The Artist’s Way, helped enormously when I was working my way through bereavement. The poetry of Sharon Olds feeds my soul. For tools I couldn’t be without my MacBook Pro, my iPhone 5S and my Polaroid SX-70. I use Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, WordPress, Photoshop, Scrivener, Pinterest and Instagram every day. I love the Insight timer app for meditation.
Most of us living big, challenging, magical lives have met our fair share of naysayers. How have you dealt with that?
My biggest naysayer lives inside my own head! I deal with it by telling myself I don’t *have* to do something. I give myself an out clause. When I was writing my book I was plagued with the ‘who do you think you ares?’ on a weekly basis, so I would journal it out: I don’t have to write this book. I can return the advance to my publisher and tell them I’ve changed my mind. Of course, as soon as I saw the alternative written out on the page my courage would kick in. Maybe I can do this? I’ll give it another day… And that was how the whole book got written.
When you have moments of doubt or get distracted, how do you refocus on your goals?
I ask myself: why I am even bothering to do this? What am I trying to accomplish? It’s so easy to get distracted by other ideas and I spend my life battling procrastination. So I get clear about why I’m doing what I’m doing and if necessary I get out of the house and do something else so I can come back to my project with renewed enthusiasm.
What’s the most magical thing going on in your life right now?
Being Noah’s auntie.
If you could build a perfect day from scratch, what would it look like? (Where would you be? When would you wake up and go to sleep? Who would be with you? What would you eat/drink/do?)
I’d wake up at home in London and meditate, do a bit of journalling and slowly savour my coffee. I’d then teleport myself to Gloucestershire so I could spend the morning playing with my nephew. Lunch would be with Noah and my sister somewhere lovely. I’d then teleport myself to NYC so I could go for a photo walk around the streets I love. I’d meet friends for dinner in the West Village, then teleport myself back to London to sleep in my own bed. Bam.
Bio: Susannah Conway is the author of This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart (Globe Pequot Press). A photographer, writer and teacher, her classes have been enjoyed by thousands of people from over 50 countries around the world. Co-author of Instant Love: How to Make Magic and Memories with Polaroids (Chronicle Books), Susannah helps others reconnect to their true selves, using creativity as the key to open the door. You can read more about her shenanigans on her blog at SusannahConway.com.