What an Irish Goddess Can Teach You About Writing & Marketing Your Practice

If I had one wish for you, it would be that you would stand sovereign in your story and in the marketplace. Sovereignty is at the heart personal fulfillment and professional success. When you are sovereign, you are the confident, compassionate ruler of your own life. You don't assume that you can control everything, but you are sure of your worth and guided by your dedication to the greater good. For the healer, therapist, or coach who wants to change lives with her vision and her work, sovereignty is a beautiful thing to aspire to.

A quick Irish history lesson (and a good story to tell over a few pints of Guinness!)

But, before it was applied to the modern individual, “sovereignty” has belonged in discussions of royalty and statecraft.

Goddess by Moira age 5
Goddess by Moira age 5

At the heart of Celtic myth - and particularly Irish myth - sits the Sovereignty Goddess. She is divinity made flesh and an embodiment of the land itself. In order for the king to take the throne and guarantee the fertility of his realm, he had to win favor with this otherworldly woman. And then she took him to bed to seal the deal.

Across mountains meant to be her breasts and across rivers meant to be her blood or tears, battles were waged in her name. The Sovereignty Goddess did not rule, you see. She was the power behind the throne. Or, perhaps, it's better to say the power before the throne.

She supported his royal cause and she crowned the king, but then, she had to stand aside and let him define his own destiny.

Centuries later, when the Irish peasantry struggled under English rule, the Sovereignty Goddess represented dreams of independence. This time a fairy woman, the goddess would appear to young men in a dream and incite them to take a stand for themselves, their people, and their country.

(Does this sound a but like what you do for clients? You help them along their journey of becoming and giving them the tools to succeed on their own, right?)

What does the Sovereignty Goddess have to offer the modern transformation professional?

History is starved of powerful women, so this influential creature is a welcome shot of the feminine. Certainly she got my attention when I was a student, just as she got the attention of the people who used these myths to understand their world.

But a couple of generations of feminist literary and cultural criticism has taught us that “and then a woman appears” is not always a sign of gender equality and empowerment.

Though seducing mortals and actually being a country is all very fabulous, it’s quite disempowering. The goddess is momentarily star of the origin story, but then she is pushed offstage until the hero decides to invade a neighboring kingdom in her honor.

With this in mind, what can a kingmaking, rabble rousing Sovereignty Goddess do for the transformation professional on their own quest to change the world?

Well, being an essential part of the prologue or “just” having a recurring role in the supporting cast is actually what being a healer is all about.

5 Lessons About Storytelling & Marketing that Only a Sovereignty Goddess Could Teach You

When you’re a therapist or healing professional writing in support of your own work, the Sovereignty Goddess can be the perfect model.

As the writer or the healer, you’re not the star. The reader is the hero. The client is the hero.

Your role is to awaken, inspire, support, facilitate. Though you hope to sustain a long term relationship with your readers and your clients, the focus is on their process and growth, not your role as guide.

Here are five ways to embody the Sovereignty Goddess and make a difference in your business and in people’s lives:

  1. Live the Legend: Like the Sovereignty Goddess, you need a powerful legend. Through your writing and branding, you can build visibility and a strong reputation that invites people to learn more about what you offer. Intrigued by your story as well as the social proof (what people are saying about you), prospective clients (or, perhaps, perspective heroes) will be excited to explore how you can help them rewrite their own stories.
  2. Embrace the Magic: The Sovereignty Goddess used magic to turn commoners into kings and warriors. In our contemporary world, we have our own kinds of magic. After all, there’s something just a little mysterious in that alchemical process that turns ideas into words that help your ideal clients understand that you're the one who can help them become healed and whole.We create and connect to magic through stories. When you sit down and write out your vision for your clients, describing what sort of transformation you know is possible, you are taking the first step in making heroes who, in turn, can be sovereign in their own lives.
  3. Exercise Choice: Just as the goddess has the power to name her consort, you have a similar power when you decide on your ideal client and reader. Choose someone who has the life experiences that your stories can speak to. Write for people who seek the outcomes that your work can promise. It’s in being choosy and specific that you’re most effective, telling stories that go deep and doing work that changes lives.
  4. Seek to Empower: When that young man laid down with the goddess, it was guaranteed that he’d arise an empowered man ready to make his own way in the world. Your hero client/reader is going to use the seeds of your story to create his or her own great narrative. Ultimately, this is what you want: your audience’s new sense of success and happiness originates with you but does not permanently depend on you.
  5. Practice Trust: The Sovereignty Goddess understood her role in the grand scheme of things: kings would pass on and young upstarts would need her to help them take their place. She trusted that in every king’s court, her story was told around the fire - the modern equivalent of being shared on the Facebook wall, the Pinterest board, and the Twitter stream.Create content that matters to you and is designed to speak to your ideal readers and you can trust that your good work will inspire your hero client to share on your story (most likely by crediting your supporting role in their own remarkable journey).

This St. Patrick’s Day, as we celebrate all things Irish (both pagan and Christian), I’d be grateful if you shared the Sovereignty story with your community - who knows what getting in touch with their inner Celtic Goddess might do for them!

Do you need help discovering and telling your own Sovereign Story? Check out my writing coaching services.

If you're longing to meet the Sovereignty Goddess within, I can help you connect to her during a Creativity Healing & Coaching Session.

Held by Earth, Air, Fire & Water - No Matter What, #365StrongStories 52

Held by earth, air, fire and water - no matter what, #365StrongStories by Marisa GoudyThanks to taxes and a toddler, I’m working on three hours of sleep. It’s like being underwater and floating in the air and mired in mud and burning with delirium all at once.

When I put it that way, it almost sounds like a spiritual experience.

I’ve roamed across faiths and devotional practices for half my life. Finally, I’ve found myself in the hinterlands between the Catholicism of my childhood and the Mother Goddess dirt worship that I’ve picked up during the quest. Ultimately, my home is made at the crossroads. You might choose to see this as a symbol of the cross. But I’ve never found much solace or inspiration in that part of the Christ story. Give me a divine birth and miraculous healings, please. Give me the goddesses who guide the travelers’ way.

North, east, south, and west and the elements that resonate with each - that is where I always come back to. It’s the very essence of being alive as I understand it.

The earth is our very bones. The air is breath in our lungs. The fire is the spark of movement. And the water all the sweat, the tears, and the blood that wash us full of life.

In these years of mothering young children when I feel almost perpetually off balance with exhaustion and a poorly tended body and soul, I would tell you I’d lost track of these elemental marks of aliveness.

But as I drown and float and burn and feel so stuck, It seems that nothing could be further from the truth. Even when I’m sleepwalking through a Sunday, I’m held by these forces, by the energies that compel this world, these bodies, the collective spirit.

How to Evolve Like a Freaking Mother Goddess, #365StrongStories 27

How to evolve like a mother goddess, #365StrongStories by Marisa Goudy The modern world likes its goddesses to look and act a certain way. Gorgeous nymphs in gauzy gowns. Abundantly bosomed beings who offer wealth and well being. Great mothers who nurture their beatific babes.

Once upon a time, I used to agree. Six years ago this January, when I was leaving my first daughter to return to my J-O-B, I wrote this:

Want a surefire, foolproof, 100% guaranteed way to become a goddess on earth?  Follow these steps:

  • Be born a woman.
  • Make love at your most fertile moment.
  • Act as a hospitable vessel for nine glorious months.
  • Love the little creature that you have created with all your body, heart, and soul.
  • Leave aforementioned angel child with a trusted caregiver after she has been lavished with two and a half months of dedicated attachment parenting.
  • Return within four hours to a child with eyelids slightly purpled and swollen from much weeping.
  • Hold her in your arms and offer her that sweetest mother’s milk.
  • When this child falls back in a delighted coma of sleepiest nourishment, witness the rapture on that flushed face.

That’s lovely, but I’m revising what it means to be a goddess. The sweet innocence of a milk dripping deity is great, but there’s another way to earn your place in the pantheon.

I’m nearing the end of my breastfeeding journey with my second child. My boobs can still soothe a crying kid, but I’m less amazed by my alchemical powers. (Wow! I eat food and it ends us as someone else’s poop!)

Now, as I endure the two a.m. screaming that I can feel in my teeth simply because I will not submit to being treated like a human chew toy, I discover I have another superhuman skill: the firm but gentle “no.”

Every mother who resists the desire to devour her young - even when they seem hell bent on swallowing their mother whole - yeah, she’s a goddess.

There is something divine about cradling an infant and pledging a lifetime of nourishing devotion. The refusal to turn into Kali in the darkest hour before dawn? That’s the love that creates the world.