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Flaming Arrows & How to Catch Them

Podcast Episode #36

My name is Naomi Shibles and I’m here to tell you Why I Need This Author Gig.

With each episode, I’ll share a little bit about my writing journey, sprinkled with some anecdotes so that we can share a laugh.

In this episode, I cover:

  • How its not fair

  • Getting chummy with trauma

  • Secret weapons


lonely boat at dawn
Image by Quang Nguyen vinh from Pixabay

Hello Superstars!

I have to share with you that this past weekend I struggled with the self-doubt and discouragement that we all feel at times. It was all the more jarring compared to my elation just seven days prior, when I was nourished by creative female energy in the mountains. Isn’t it interesting how we forget the pain of low times when we’re flying high? But the pain is always familiar when it returns.

A big part of why I’m struggling is because the ebook edition of my book has been out for more than a month now, and out of nearly 50 years of relationships, I know of exactly one person who’s read it. There’s been no karmic equity—no quid pro quo of support and encouragement. It’s just not fair.

That’s how I feel and I needed to say it and write it down in order to smile at its ridiculousness—I’ve known that life’s not fair since I was three years old.

These days, I’m lucky to be part of a group of women who meet weekly on Zoom over the winter to reflect, discuss, and be inspired by women authors. The most recent guest author, Kerry Egan, spoke about letting your trauma “be kind to you.” I thought about that a lot. To me, that means finding what you’ve gained from it rather than focusing on what it took from you.

Amber Tamblyn regularly calls for letting go of stuff on Substack Notes, which I love. She’s reminding me that no matter how much work I do on myself, life doesn’t stand still. There are constant stressors and disappointments thrown at us like flaming arrows that we have to negotiate despite our hurt—I can’t let myself get pierced too deeply by those arrows of thoughtlessness and condescension. I have to catch them in my hand like a bad*ss action star and let them go.

But don’t worry—I have a secret weapon. When I can’t love myself enough to be strong for me, I think of my son. That keeps me striving, straining toward my destiny despite every obstacle. Because I need to be an example to him.

And I have my own trauma to thank for that. Thank you kindly, trauma. I don’t want my son to feel discouraged from anything he wants to do. So I use it to hone my instinct to treat him with unconditional love and dignity into real-time action. And in doing so, I honor myself.

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