Staying Grounded in Shifting Sand is just what the doctor ordered

We have a wonderful guest with us today.  Dr. Linda Ferguson, author of Staying Grounded in Shifting Sand is here to talk about her new book and her writing life.  Enjoy!

Dr. Linda J. Ferguson is an author, speaker, coach, and seminar leader to support people leading a joyful and awakened spiritual life. Linda’s website, www.lindajferguson.com , contains videos, meditations, affirmations, and other useful resources for spiritual growth and personal development.  Readers find inspiring and informative ideas in Linda’s blog to enrich their spirituality for everyday living- www.lindajferguson.com/blog/ .
Dr. Ferguson is author of two books “The Path for Greatness – Work as Spiritual Service” and “Staying Grounded in Shifting Sand- Awakening Soul Consciousness for the New Millennium“.  Readers find the exercises at the end of every chapter valuable and practical.  They can apply the ideas immediately in their life and see results. Linda has conducted three national book tours, presented at national conferences, and conducted worship services to inspired and appreciative audiences.  Linda also leads Shamanic Journeys, spiritual study groups, and retreats for people who want to dive deeper into the insights and ideas offered in her books on spiritual growth and transformation.
Linda has developed a seven step process of Transformational EmpowermentTM, for personal mastery.  She developed this powerful process of manifesting and creating positive life changes from her own life experiences, her work with her coaching clients, and her study of mysticism.
She uses the spiritual principles found in her Transformational EmpowermentTM process in her coaching practice so that her clients more effectively move through their important life changes.  Her coaching provides a structured and consistent venue so that people can make positive changes in their life easefully and confidently.
Linda has been on radio interviews and has featured articles in Interbeing, a journal of personal and professional mastery. She also writes a weekly blog to support people’s desire to integrate their spiritual life with their professional life- www.managementhelp.org/blogs/spirituality/

Dr. Ferguson earned her Ph.D. from Indiana University (I.U.-Bloomington) in Organizational Behavior with a Masters also from I.U. studying Social Psychology. She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in psychology and management.  Linda did her coach training in 2004 from Coach Training Alliance, completed her certification in Team Coaching, and has CCE credits from International Coach Federation (ICF).
In 1994 she traveled abroad for six months to Asia, Australia, Israel, and Europe before moving to Virginia where she currently lives.  Her personal spiritual practice includes daily prayer and meditation, Sufi Dances of Universal Peace, Integral Yoga, Native American Sweat Lodges and other Earth-based ceremonies.


Interview:

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Linda.  Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing and how your journey led to writing your latest book, Staying Grounded in Shifting Sand: Awakening Soul Consciousness for the New Millennium?

I started writing academic papers in graduate school in the 1980’s.  In the late 1990’s I started working on my first book, Path for Greatness: Work as Spiritual Service.  That book was published in 2001. I started writing my latest book, Staying Grounded, in 2004. 

I was asked to write a coaching column for a regional magazine in 2006 and continued that for two years.  I was asked to write a blog on spirituality at work in 2009 and continue writing that as a weekly blog.  I’ve also been asked to contribute several chapters in books on spirituality and work and several articles to Interbeing,  a journal of personal and professional mastery.

While on my book tours for my first book, I realized that people not only had a deep yearning and hunger for integrating their spiritual life with their work life, but also wanted to stay spiritually connected through all their life situations and challenges. 
Concurrently I went through some major life and job transitions and felt my own ground shaken apart.  I had to develop and rely on my spiritual center to get me through those times.  Luckily I had spiritual teachers and guides and read several good books that helped me in my journey. As I learned how to step through my fears and challenges, I knew I needed to write about it and develop exercises for others to do the same.  I want my book to support and guide people in their journey of transformation, stepping through their fears and doubts to find greater balance, joy and inner peace.

Q: How did you choose your title and was it your first choice?

As I mentioned before, I felt my own ground shake and needed to find solid footing.  After Sept. 11th, 2001, which I think was a major wake-up call for many people, it was clear that big shifts were occurring, in our individual life and collectively. It was clear our response could be one of fear or one of Love.  I knew which path I wanted to follow and I wanted to support others who wanted to follow the path of Love.  So learning how to stay grounded in shifting sand seemed an appropriate metaphor for what was happening. 

My subtitle came much later.  As I went through my spiritual awakening and major growth, I was keenly aware that others were awakening and taking their spiritual life seriously.  I believe that we are entering into a new era in this millennium.  We either need to heal and clear out our crap, to walk the path of Love, or we’ll self-destruct, individually and collectively as a planet.  So the subtitle came as a call to action for all of us to awaken and shift how we are living.

Q: We all know that publishers can’t do all of the publicity and that some lies on the author.  What has your publisher done so far to publicize the book and what have you done?

They have my book posted on Amazon and their own website.  They offer lots of marketing packages that I can purchase, but I don’t want to spend my marketing dollars that way.  I’d rather promote my work through my blogs, FB groups, LinkedIn groups, personal referrals through email campaigns, and targeted marketing to specific groups who would be interested in my work.

Q: Open to a random page in your book.  Can you tell us what is happening?

 pg. 97, first page of Chapter 6 – Spiritually Aligned Relationships.  I start with a quote by Rumi about the ecstasy of Divine Love.  I then describe how most people don’t understand the difference between spiritual Love and romantic love.  The rest of the chapter explores those differences.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

I’m planning on writing a guide book for each of my two books so that people can go further with the ideas and use the books for study groups. 

I have a plot and characters already for a fictional book that explores spiritual ideas ala Celestine Prophecy.  It has been brewing in my mind for about 15 yrs.

Q: What is the one thing you learned about your book AFTER it was published?

That the ideas presented weren’t so woo-woo.  I’ve been surprised how many people think it’s pretty spot-on and more in the mainstream than I thought.

Q: What is your most favorite time of the day or night to write?

I like writing my blog posts and more creative work in the morning.  I tend to do editing and more critical thinking in the afternoon.

Q: What is usually better – the book or the movie?

Depends on the book and movie.  It’s always interesting to see how a character looks in a movie – usually different than how I imagined them.

Q:  You’re about to write your next book.  What did you learn from your previous book to help you write your next book?

Paradoxically, it’s that the ideas will come when it is the right time, and don’t put off the writing until my life settles down more to write. 

Q: Finally, what’s your best tip you can give to writers who want to be published?

If you want to publish a good, clean book, work with an editor.  No matter how good a writer you are, or if you self-publish, get at least 1-2 editors to read through your work.  They’ll have lots of good ideas and feedback to make your writing better.
  
Q: Thank you for your interview, Linda.  Do you have any final words?

This is an awesome time to be alive, spiritually speaking.  We are all being given a chance and a choice to walk the path of Love rather than fear.  It’s up to each of us to make that choice.  The choice we make will determine whether we create a better world or self-destruct. 

I’ve created a Facebook page Let Love Prevail to let people share stories of how they’ve allow Love to prevail in their life over fear, loss, lack or pain.  I’m hoping this page will inspire others to walk the path of Love and to connect with those who are doing so.




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