Celebrating One Year of Freedom Seeker: Reclaiming Feminine Wisdom

Celebrating One Year of Freedom Seeker: Reclaiming Feminine Wisdom

Celebrating One Year of Freedom Seeker: Reclaiming Feminine Wisdom

When I settled at the tiny table in our Airbnb rental to write my first page, I faced the threshold of uncertainty. All I knew was that I wanted to share my story and write as masterfully as Elizabeth Gilbert, or at least produce a book that readers wouldn’t want to put down. Did I mention that I had never ventured beyond an 800-word blog?

Committing to the monumental task of penning 60,000 words felt like a leap into the great unknown, and just the kind of thing I would do. My trusty writing coach wisely assured me that if I surrendered to the flow of these stories and followed a meticulously crafted outline, the magic would happen.

So there I was, perched by the picturesque Okanagan Lake, fingers dancing across the keyboard as I began to chronicle my life’s journey. From a small town in former East Germany, to the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean, and from the eastern reaches of Canada to the rugged majesty of the Rocky Mountains—my memoir slowly but surely took shape.

Of course, no creative endeavor is without its challenges.

Reliving moments from my life was both excruciating and nostalgic. I phoned my parents repeatedly to fact-check, as my memory sometimes played tricks on me. However, one of my best decisions was hiring a writing coach who provided developmental edits along the way. This meant that as I progressed, my writing improved, and a significant chunk of the self-publishing puzzle was virtually complete by the time I typed the last word of the final chapter. Her background in life coaching was an unexpected bonus, as it helped immensely with the emotional processing of my past.

And let’s not forget those dreaded days when I found myself staring at a blank screen for hours, with nothing remotely coherent flowing from my fingertips. Those were the times when I’d escape to the woods, accompanied by my spirited Schnauzer sidekick, Sophie. With my favorite book in my ear, I’d wander the forest, and by the time I returned to the parking lot, clarity would have struck like lightning.

writing transcends the arrangement of words

I used to think that writers were born, destined to sit at their desks and effortlessly churn out books. Writing, I discovered, transcends the mere arrangement of words; it’s a holistic endeavor. Building a supportive writing community was a game-changer. Those co-writing sessions, the unwavering support from friends, and my husband’s role in ensuring I was adequately nourished—all of it played an indispensable role in bringing this book to life.

Against all warnings not to tether my writing to a specific publication date, I aimed for November 9, 2022. This date bore tremendous significance—it marked the 33rd anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a momentous milestone in my family’s history. It was also the subject of a blog I wrote last year, which you can revisit here.

In numerology, the number 3 is often associated with creativity, communication, and self-expression. It represents the triad of mind, body, and spirit, emphasizing the importance of harmony among these aspects of our existence. When we encounter the number 33, it amplifies these qualities, suggesting a heightened level of creativity and spiritual awareness. In other words, it meant a lot to me to make that deadline. And, with the help of a tremendous team, we did it.

And here’s the jaw-dropping part: I was deep into a warrior pose when a text message lit up my screen. It was a screenshot showing Michelle Obama’s newest release trailing behind mine with a caption that read, “You just outranked Michelle friggin Obama!” I had to pinch myself to believe it. In a world where between 500,000 to one million books are published annually (and even more when you factor in self-publishing), landing on Amazon’s Hot New Release list was mind-blowing. To hold that position ahead of literary giants for two days exceeded my wildest expectations. Yet, as excitement coursed through me, so did creeping doubt, “I hope the book will deliver.” You see, I’d read “Becoming,” and it was one of my inspirations. While I had an incredible writing coach by my side, the pressure was palpable.

Creating something so vulnerable left the people-pleaser in me lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, consumed by worry. Doubts swirled, “What if people hate it?” “What if I’ve shared too much?”

book launch day

On the day of my book launch, I was swept off my feet by the deluge of people who had traveled from far and wide to celebrate this achievement. They captured moments with photographs, shared laughter, and generously opened their wallets to raise funds for Fear Is Not Love, formerly known as the Calgary Women’s Shelter. But what touched me even more deeply were the stories of resonance and appreciation they shared. You see, as an author, you often toil away in solitude, questioning the worth of your work, and secretly comparing your output and sales figures to other writers, especially the well-known ones who’ve been at it for years. But then, someone reads your words, says they’re great, unique, or compelling, and suddenly, you’re infused with a renewed passion to keep writing.

Our stories matter profoundly. When we share them, we not only heal ourselves but also touch the lives of those around us. The act of sharing becomes a potent form of self-liberation, allowing us to relinquish the stories we’ve clung to for far too long.

Through this process, I became more me. I had to become brutally honest with myself in order to produce a book that you’d find difficult to put down, and through that, I found Yvonne, that little girl who had known all along where she belonged.

As I reclaimed the facets of myself that I had hidden from the world, either in pursuit of strength or to fit in, I discovered that my true power emanates from authenticity. I recently heard a quote: “Depression is my sense of self saying I’m tired of faking it.” We face immense pressure to conform, to uphold norms and social standards, to evade judgment and condemnation, all of which lead us to lose our sense of self. We become the persona we think we need to be to blend into our environments.

Listening to my body, nurturing my soul, and honoring all facets of my being became my guiding principles. I honed my intuition and came to realize that I didn’t need to be a mother to love unconditionally. The delicate dance of interdependence became the cornerstone of balancing masculine and feminine energies. Suppressing one in favor of the other yields devastating consequences, allowing fear to dominate.

Life is a tapestry of dualities

There’s no day without night, no right without wrong, no love without hate, no good without bad, and no appreciation of beauty without experiencing ugliness. Duality maintains the equilibrium. Our role is to hold both ends of the spectrum with equal reverence.

But before I bid adieu, I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to you—readers, reviewers, and supporters alike. Thank you for being a part of this remarkable journey. I’m indebted to the incredible team behind the memoir, from editors to distributors and cover designer. And most importantly, thank you, my dear readers, for embracing this adventure with me.

As we look to the future, I’m thrilled to announce the launch of the Freedom Seeker 1:1 program, a transformative coaching experience designed to help individuals discover and align with their core values, empowering them to make intentional choices and create a fulfilling life aligned with their deepest desires and aspirations.

In closing, my journey from writing an 800-word blog to penning a 60,000-word memoir has been nothing short of extraordinary. It has reinforced the idea that our stories possess the extraordinary power to heal, inspire, and connect us all. I’m eternally grateful for this experience, and I encourage each and every one of you to keep engaging with the themes of the memoir and spreading the message of feminine wisdom and empowerment.

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I help women create thriving lives by identifying their core desires, restoring work/life balance and focusing on overall wellbeing.

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Yvonne Winkler

Hi I'm Yvonne

I work with women just like you who feel a deeper calling to explore the meaning in their lives.