Do You Have Soul?

March 4, 2013

I'm one of those people who believes God talks to us. Maybe not in a James Earl Jones voice from the clouds – though I wouldn't put it past him to do that if He wanted to – but He finds ways to tell us what He's thinking.

A long time ago, frustrated and trying to make a decision about something, I told God in exasperation, “Can you please try to remember I am slow and half-deaf? I need something concrete. You do lots of things in threes, how about you tell me things three times so I know it's you?”

To my surprise, God agreed! Every time something strikes me and gets my attention, I ask God if He's talking to me. I wait to see if the same point or idea comes up twice more in a short period of time, and if it does, I talk to Him about it.Β I am often surprised when I realize God is trying to get my attention (silly human!), but I love that He cares enough to talk to me and try to help me find better ways to live.

This happened most recently last week on my writer's retreat. I kept running into people and web sites (much more than three times that week!) who were doing business in such a way that they incorporated the spiritual side of life into their business. For years, I've been led to believe by Christian friends and associates that it's okay for other people to do that, but Christians will get dismissed, disrespected, and torn apart.

rbbp-coverI'm in a business mentorship program with Jennifer Lee at The Right-Brain Business Plan, and she also encourages her cohorts to “show up as authentically YOU.” She believes this is part of how you grow a business. I wonder now if the people who have told me this is how you can destroy a business actually have growing, blooming businesses.

I don't believe that hiding parts of me is the best way to do business anymore. The people who like me seem to be perfectly fine with decades of my occasional God-talk. I don't personally know of that many people who don't like me, but the ones I know about dislike a whole lot more things about me than my spiritual take on life.

So this is what I decided last week: I'm going to be even more myself than I've ever been before. I'm going to be authentic. I'm going to stop separating my spiritual life from my business life. I'm going to work on better integrating all the parts of me. I'll probably lose some customers and gain some customers, and that's okay.

Because when I'm my real, whole self, being led by the deepest, most important part of me, I'll be able to help encourage other people to do the same. What if we all lived our lives that way? What if we had the courage to be authentic, to work on getting closer and closer to the people we were created to be?

I think Louis Armstrong has the words for that: what a wonderful world it would be.

It's not a pipe dream. It's not idealistic, wishful thinking. If we let our spirits and souls live and breathe and grow, our personal worlds will be better places. And as all of our personal worlds collide online, in the grocery store, in church, and on the street, the good in us is going to overcome the bad in the world.

Don't believe me? Try it. I'm going to. πŸ™‚

So what do you think? Am I crazy? Have I made a career-destroying decision? Or do you think I'm on the right track?


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Kitty,
    This took such tremendous courage. I’m so proud of you! I am not a particularly religious person, but I do consider myself to be a spiritual person. Maybe that’s why I’m not offended in the least to know that you talk to God. But I suspect most people will be okay with it. And if not, well, maybe those were not clients you wanted to have anyway. I applaud you for this leap of faith (in every sense of the word). You’ve inspired me to take some of my own! πŸ™‚

    1. I agree with Cynthia and I am a God follower who’s lived amongst the “let’s hide our spiritual life” as well. How long could I enjoy my business if I’m always taking off part of who I am to do my job? I see it as leaving holes in my life. Looking for “holy”, not “hole-y.”

      Thanks for the post, Kitty.

      1. Yes! That’s what I’m finding as my business grows and I grow. I’m finding holiness increases as wholeness increases. It’s already been an amazing journey and I’m barely out of the gate. I can’t wait to see how we grow over the next stage of the trip! πŸ™‚

    2. Cynthia,
      Thanks so much for your encouraging comment! One of the many benefits to being in Jenn’s Right-Brain Business Plan mentorship group is the push to take leaps. I’m glad we’re inspiring each other to jump! πŸ™‚

  2. No, you have NOT made a career-destroying decision! It’s the best decision you could make. How can you go wrong with putting your relationship with God first and being authentic? Matthew 6:33; Matthew 5:16

    Besides that, there are too many authors out there that write smut and not enough authors like Karen Kingsbury and Francine Rivers that write encouraging and uplifting books.

    1. Thanks, Donna, I appreciate your support. πŸ™‚ I know that even some of my Christian friends, and other Christians who don’t know me, will not be pleased with some of what I write. My books contain both Truth and the truth of the world I know – which includes a little cursing, some love scenes, and occasional violence. But somewhere in everything I write, I think the Holy Spirit will show his Light because he does help me to seek God first. I’ve just got to keep my eyes on the Shepherd and not get put off by the bleating of some of the other sheep. LOL!

  3. This is a beautiful post, and I applaud you for sharing your faith with the world. I suspect that fans of the romance genre are inherently believers, whether they are consciously aware of it or not. The message of hope in romance novels resonates with many people, and I think you may find yourself with an even broader audience. What’s distasteful (sex, cussing, bad behavior) to some readers isn’t, in my opinion, an “occasion of sin” (as Sister Mary Cyprian used to say) to the reader. The more real the story, the less preachy the theology, the better, in my opinion. A God who shockingly reached out to an adulteress and a Samaritan woman can reach people where they are, even in the pages of a well-crafted romance. You’ll do well, Kitty!

    1. Alina,
      Thank you so much for your encouragement, and written in such a lovely way! I would be so pleased (and awed!) if my stories turn out as you describe. That’s exactly the kind of writing I want to do! It’s been such a pleasure to be a fellow writer with you, appearing together in the Romancing the Pages anthology – and hopefully future anthologies! Thanks again for your awesome encouragement. I feel even more bolstered to keep going! πŸ™‚

  4. This is one of those moments that I would’ve squelched earlier, done it in my head but not in public. But here I am, just being Kitty!

    I want to give a shout-out to God – Thank you for all these awesome people giving me such encouragement!! I wanted to write blog posts and books and give classes that encourage people and help them with something, even if it’s just a moment to smile. And here is so much encouragement for ME. I’m humbled and awed and excited and filled with energy to keep going! Thank you so much, Father!!!! πŸ™‚

  5. I love what you’re doing, Kitty. We should never, ever be afraid to express our faith and love for God, in whatever ways we find appropriate. In fact, I wish more people would. It’s very important to be true to yourself, and you are to be commended!

    1. Thank you so much, Vicki! The tricky part is when other people define “appropriate” for you. But I’m learning to define it for myself. I feel happier and more free since making this decision and it hasn’t even been a week! Thanks so much for your encouragement!
      Kitty πŸ™‚

  6. Following your heart has always been the best way to go. If you feel the desire to share your spirituality in your stories, then more power to you, Kitty. I am a great fan of Dr. Wayne Dyer, and I have this quote beside my computer: “It is all perfect. God’s love is everywhere and forgets no one.” Namastae.

    1. Thanks, Kathleen! I’m finding my stories sound truer and deeper when I add in all the aspects of life, and I really like that. I’ll find people who think my stories are fun and interesting, and I’m going to chill out and relax when others tell me they didn’t like them. Thanks for the encouragement to walk my own path.
      Kitty πŸ™‚

  7. This evolution will be very interesting to see! Your work already seems to incorporate so much of your faith and spiritual beliefs – at least that is how it seems to me. I think Sydney’s faith and ethos come across vibrantly in LML. So it will be very cool to see what comes next πŸ™‚

    1. Aw, thanks, GVR! I don’t think it will get much stronger than the faith elements that are in Little Miss Lovesick. Though in the superhero books, you find out that the super powers were given by God to a select group of people for a reason. So that gets a little deeper plot-wise, but I’m pretty sure I haven’t overdone it. πŸ™‚ Thanks for looking forward to the next book!

  8. Kitty, I’m agnostic, and I strongly support what you’re doing. You have to be true to yourself in your life and in your writing.

    I also believe the old computer saying GIGO (garbage in, garbage out) applies throughout life. I avoid reading books that glorify violence or other mistreatment of people or that have revenge themes because that’s not what I want my mind to embrace. Most of the books and stories I’ve written have characters who are struggling to make the right choices in life. The readers get a deeper experience, and I feel as if my writing is more than popcorn that one goes through quickly and doesn’t remember.

    If you let your faith show in your books, you may have better books that make a bigger impression on readers and help them live better lives.

    1. Shauna, that means so much to me – thanks! I completely agree with you about garbage in, garbage out. I’m sure some people will think some of the things in my books are garbage, but I know there’s an audience for the combination of elements that make up a “Kitty book” so I’m not going to get too upset about the naysayers. Especially with all the wonderful encouragement I’m getting! πŸ™‚

      I do so hope that I end up with books that make a big enough impression that people find their lives uplifted, inspired, in some way happier, better. That would be more than enough to declare my work a success!
      Kitty πŸ™‚

  9. Go for it, Kitty! Jesus called us to be light and salt in the world. We can’t do that if people don’t know we are followers of the living God!! Our work is most meaningful and most useful when we submit it to God and ask him to use it for his purposes – even if that may mean allowing ourselves to be vulnerable to ridicule, criticism, and rejection. After all, that’s what Jesus suffered. We should be less afraid of that, than of failing to be authentic followers of Christ. *HUGS*

    1. Debbie, you and I have talked about this before (I miss those talks!) so you know I’ve been praying for a long time that my work would add in some way to the world. I hope my books make life a little brighter, make it taste a little better! I’d rather try to be authentic for Christ and get criticized now rather than try not to rock the boat now and have God ask me why I was so afraid when it’s all over. πŸ™‚
      HUGS back!!


more from us