The Circle of Seven: When You Need Your Own Badass Gang of Inspiration

Step into my parlour….

Sit down, and make yourself at home.   I’m excited to have you here and I hope you will return every Monday for this regular new feature in the Danger Diaries.

To start, it was never referred to as “magic” when I was growing up, it just was what it was……..

It was things that my Grandma Helen would do, things that my Czechoslovakian Great-Grandmother, Anna, taught her. Things that were part of our daily life together….charms, wishing circles, mirror work, reading the stories of our lives hidden in lines of our hands.

Photo by Milton Greene of Marilyn Monroe. 1956.

This knowledge, passed down from my ancestors, has definitely enriched my life. Every Monday, I’ll be sharing things that I do that help me guide my own destiny in a kickass way.

I offer these secrets to you…

The Fanning sisters, photographed by Mario Sorrenti

Let’s start this off with one of my favorites:

The Circle of Seven

The first step is, ask yourself:

What is one thing that you are working on that you feel you could use some help or guidance with?

Your above answer could be anything in your life – from gaining confidence to launching that web-based storefront you’ve been dreaming about.  It could be applying for that circus arts school or nailing that promotion at your job.

As an example to show you how to do the Circle of Seven, my current answer is that I’m looking for guidance and inspiration as I work on my book.

Working on snippets of my book in coffeehouses all over the world.

The second step is to ask:

If you could come up with your “Dream Team” to help you, who would they be?

These people could have lived anytime in history.  They are the people that you look up to – who have achieved your step one answer goal. 

You know that popular question – if you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be?

It’s like that.  But you get to pick Six.  And it is focused to the people who have figured out your step one answer, successfully!   These are people you want on your side, your creative co-horts, your army of awesome.  Enlist them in your mind.

It is the Circle of Seven because it includes – “Me, plus three, plus three.”

Step Three:  Print out a photo of yourself where you felt vibrant and happy.  That picture of you where everything in your day was ON.  Print out photos of your badass gang of inspiration.  Put each name in Google, click images and voila!  Print your favorite pic of each one.

I have this photo of Zora Neale Hurston by Carl Van Vechten on my wall, and I love it.  But for my Circle of Seven, I chose a photo where she is smiling.  I imagine her saying,  “You’ve got this!  It’s easy.  Just show up and write everyday!”

Step Four: Clear a special spot in your home to set up your Circle of Seven. You don’t need much room. It can be set up on a single shelf, on top of an old trunk, or on a pretty piece of fabric in a private corner of your room. I set mine up in a non-working fireplace in my 100-year-old Brooklyn apartment.

Step Five: Put your picture in the middle so that you can visually see yourself surrounded by support. This is important. Then place three on one side of you, and three on the other side of you.

Step back and admire your badass gang of inspiration….

My Gang of some of my favorite authors cheering me on.  On top (L to R): Marguerite Duras and E.B. White. First row (L to R): Tennessee Williams, Jack Kerouac, Me, Zora Neale Hurston, Mikhail Bulgakov

Step Six: Take a picture of your Circle of Seven, like I did above. Make this photo your desktop picture on your computer or your wallpaper on your phone. The above photo is my current desktop, so no matter where in the world I roam, I can open up my computer to work on my book and there’s my Circle of Seven smiling at me, encouraging me on. Portable Instant Inspiration!

Let’s continue this lesson on my facebook community page, and tell me:   Who would be the six standing beside you in your Circle of Seven? For bonus points, take pictures of your Circle of Seven and share if you’re feeling it.

I hope this Magic Monday has inspired you!

If you live in or near New York City, this is my last week of classes happening for 2012, I’d love to see you there so we can work magic in person.   And if you have any questions for future Mondays, drop me a line.

Now back to work on my book…..

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