Going inside

As I sit down to write this blog I am feeling very aware of how externally focused we are in our culture today – at least the culture I find myself in here in Northern Canada. The news is all about external events, warning signs of danger. Work is all about deadlines and budgets and meetings where we report on progress. Don’t get me started about social media and that like button on Facebook. These are all external, measurable, fear inducing (and not always in a bad way – fear gives us the heads up so we can take some action to improve the outcome) moments that we respond to in our day.  Our capacity to deal with the external world is finely tuned. It is all very heroic.th-2

(image from Johnston architecture.wordpress.com)

What I long for is an equal proficiency at navigating my interior life. And while I’m making wishes, I want to live in a culture that does this too, so I am not swimming against the tide all the time. I imagine this culture would support spending time at a spa (a personal dream) and expect people to have free, playful time after work, and care about individual values and make room to live by them. I don’t want to replace the external focus with an internal focus – I want them both.

This begs the question – What do I truly value? When I can answer that confidently, do I trust it and shape my life in alignment with that value? That would create a world driven by love.  And I think it is the essential core of romance writing.

The first thing that comes to mind is that I value my family life (no question) and today, I’m looking around at a level of chaos in my home that shows I am neglecting the little touches that make a house a home because I have a lot of work deadlines. Short term, that’s fine, but long term it is a lack of attention to my interior world.

This is where I think novels and particularly romance novels are brilliant. Just the act of reading causes you to turn your attention inward, fire up your imagination and start walking around your interior world.  When it is a romance, I get out of my logical thinking brain and occupy my heart, guts and tips of your fingers. It is a love-based world and the more time I spend feeding my senses with delicious words, the more comfortable I become living with a compass that originates inside me.

It’s not just something I have noticed.  Research by Stuart Brown on Play has shown that when people are playful and doing what they enjoy, the effect lasts throughout their day.  We learn to stay centred on what is important to us personally, as we navigate the stress of the day.  We can be more confident sharing our authentic views because we value them ourself.  We can be more open to other people’s views because we are not confusing external acceptance of our opinion with a measure of how valued or loved we are. Romance writing can be very grounding in this way. I also think this is the ultimate turning point of the protagonist.


Learning to turn our attention from the external factors to our internal feelings is also the key to happiness. Taking care of all the external challenges will give you a sense of well being because you know you have done what it takes to be safe and comfortable.  This is the heroic story. The kind of well being that feels like happiness is an internal experience that money can’t buy. It is a feminine story that I call the Virgin story. It is the ability to notice your feelings and spend some time taking care of them until you feel good. It is to really know you are of value when simply being yourself, just like a Virgin forest.

Whew, I’m having a deep morning!  Catching up on my housework brings this out in me…

Have a great day.

About Kim Hudson

KIM HUDSON Author of The Virgin’s Promise I grew up in the Yukon, as what I would describe as a Hero’s daughter with a Cinderella Complex. Basically life taught me many of the things I needed to know to write my first book, The Virgin's Promise. It is on a story structure for a character that needs to connect to who she really is, separate from what everyone else expects of her. It uses movie example and is equally applicable to any kind of story telling. I spent the first half of my career first as a field geologist and later as a federal land claims negotiator. It was the 80's and I was proving I could do whatever men could do. I also learned that I am fascinated with masculine/feminine dynamics. Exploring my feminine side became important to me as I raised my two daughters. This lead me to study Writing for Film and Television at Vancouver Film School, and take courses on mythology, feminism and psychology including a Jungian Odyssey in Switzerland. The theory of the Virgin's journey was developed by closely observing the archetypal expressions that are all around us in movies, music, television, advertisements and stories of personal growth, including my own. In my posts I want to introduce an archetypal structure that expands the work of Joseph Campbell on the Hero's journey to include a feminine archetype. I hope it will create stories about women and men who follow their spiritual, sexual or creative awakening, otherwise known as their feminine side. I’ve tried to use examples of male and female Virgins to show this. So go ahead and explore the ideas, tell me what movies you liked and what stories you think is also a Virgin pathway, or stories of your own personal Virgin journey.
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2 Responses to Going inside

  1. Mary Hughes says:

    Hi Kim,

    Great post! I love how you point out the internal and external are both important but in different ways. One question. Is there a way to integrate the two, so that one feeds into the other?

    • Kim Hudson says:

      Absolutely. They need each other. The external focus is a state of mind willing to overcome fear of death to make others safe. The internal is willing to fully feel alive and inspire others. They balance each other like yin and yang. Cherokee wisdom says men are to make women safe to walk the Earth and women are to lead men to their souls.

      The key is as you say, finding this appreciation for both.

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