Mary E. Knippel is an intuitive book mentor who helps high achievers go from "not writing" to 💡 " productive and published 🤸."
Join us in being published and be an unstoppable force for good on this planet as one of the #voicesofthe21stcentury.
🎁Free Gift Speakers Success Plan: https://wsalive.com/michelle
We are kindred spirits, helping women's voices be heard. Mary E. Knippel is an intuitive book mentor and writer unleashed inviting you to ✍️ unleash your story worth writing!
Do you have an impact story to share?
Do you wish to leave a legacy of life’s wisdom that stands out from the competition?
What Intrigued Me
✍️ Learning how to get that conversation out of my head, on the page, and get published.
What Inspired Me
✍️ Learning how to reach deep and find the story of my humanity.
About the Guest
Writer Unleashed, Publisher, Author, and Speaker, Mary E. Knippel is an intuitive book mentor.
About the Show
Podcast Host: Life & Leadership: A Conscious Journey with Dr. Michelle St Jane
A podcast for Global and Re-Emerging Leadership creating community/tribe, a circle of influence, transcendency of compassionate leadership in the world and wider universe. A unique destination for learning about Leadership + Conscious Stewardship + Legacy.
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Intro: You're listening to Life and Leadership: A Conscious Journey. The podcast that shares wisdom and strength. Join your host, Dr. Michelle St Jane's conversation on how to have a positive impact for people, planet, and the wider world. If you want to live a life of intention, to be proactive with your time and bring your vision for the future to life one today at a time, you’re in the right place at the right time. Let's get started.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:00:39] Are you an artist who keeps her dreams a secret🙋
☝️Do you have an impact story to share?
☝️Do you wish to stand out from the competition?
☝️ Define and communicate value?
☝️Establish Your expertise in your field?
🙋Transform Your readers to clients?
Mary E. Knippel is a published author, Intuitive book mentor, speaker, and publisher. She is the author of The Secret Artist-Give Yourself Permission to Let Your Creativity Shine.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:01:04] Mary invites you to take your pen and hand unleash your story with writing it. Mary has tin coauthored books and ghostwritten for several, coached many authors to discover their story. Mentor Mary and I are kindred spirits in our quest to help women's voices be heard. Let's celebrate and validate life's wisdom and the essence of living legacies.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:01:30] I am on a conscious journey of life and leadership purposefully, leaving footprints in the digital sense of time as an author and speaker. I am a global business connector for the Women Speakers Association in Bermuda. My vision is to pioneer a new frontier. Lead the way for women leaning into living their legacy and break myth perceptions.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:01:55] Mary, I'm so grateful for you being here today. What is your idea of a perfect happiness?
Mary E. Knippel: [00:02:02] Oh, I think perfect happiness is me being able to sit in a comfy corner with my pen, my journal and spend some time with myself having conversation on the page before I start the day with my family and then maybe doing something out in the community. Being centered so that I can give from all of me.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:02:26] I like to serve too. I can relate to you. I'm a big fan of Julia Cameron's book, The Artist's Way. Her recommendation to do 15 minutes writing morning pages, you know, get all that stuff out of your head and onto a page. Yeah. I love that. Really smart move. So, which living person do you most admire?
Mary E. Knippel: [00:02:45] Which living person? Oh, first person that came to mind was Michelle Obama. She is so real. I mean, she's a working mom and the force of nature that she is as far as being committed to family and community is pretty great. Well, I love the way that she shows up in person and in herself for sure.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:03:10] What words or phrases do you think most overused?
Mary E. Knippel: [00:03:14] Oh, “just do it.” There's “no, just do it,” because pushing through and going for it, doesn't always seem to be the right strategy for everybody. Sometimes you have to pause. Sometimes you have to sit with it and be patient and have grace.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:03:38] Oh, I so resonate with what you said. I used to use “fake it till make it.” Now, I've upgraded that at the end of last year saying, “faith it until you make it!”
Just do it. I think Nike made famous the words of the goddess, Nike. I'm totally with you. I don't want to be pushing through, I want to be gently raising my awareness about what I can create and contribute.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Mary E. Knippel: [00:04:08] Oh talent. I think I would like to play an instrument. I'd like I have participated in the choir and being very happy to be able to carry a tune with the chorus.
Mary E. Knippel: [00:04:21] I can't read music. And so, tell me being out their center stage has not happened. To be able to sit down, to play a piano and make that magic happen, I I'd love to be able to do.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:04:36] Oh, I am a closet piano player who loves the piano.
I did write a song at the beginning of last decade that led me into my doctorate.
Mary E. Knippel: [00:05:14] You mentioned Julia Cameron. I've been through the Artist Way several times. Sarah Ban Breathnach, the author of The Simple Abundance. I read Simple Abundance every day. I did some training with her and got the opportunity to ask her to write the forward for my book.
My husband will say, anything romantic Mary's in there, but I love horror historical genre too. Reading autobiographies.
As s a journalist, when I'm interviewing somebody, I always ask about their why. There's that origin of what you did as a little kid, what you love to do. Then it shows up in your life as an adult and to have the ability to see that track. For all of us to know that that's possible for us. I love that
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:06:22] I used to read 5-10 book at once. All sorts ranging from journal, nonfiction, to fiction ranging from Sci-Fi, futurist, and historical novels. Now I'm reading around three to five books at one time. That that's my max now.
I’m a triple a workaholic. I need to find things like jigsaws and holding a book to give me away from doing more spring.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:06:50] What do you consider your greatest achievement Mary?
Mary E. Knippel: [00:06:52] My greatest achievement is my relationships with my family. Knowing that I'm close to them. Also, that I've been able to write some things that have had an impact on people that they've come back and said what you wrote speaks to me.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:07:09] You are an amazing author. I appreciate you being so vulnerable. I love your book.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:07:17] The Secret Artist give yourself permission to let your creativity, shine. Mentor Mary you are helping lots of people to do this. I am so grateful.
Mary E. Knippel: [00:07:28] Thank you. That's one of the great joys is to be able to. The invitation at the end of every one of those essays to write your own story. I jumpstart you with the writing prompts. Really you have that story within you. I'm just helping draw it out.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:07:46] Did you become a rising mentor by choice or chance?
Mary E. Knippel: [00:07:50] Well, I’ve kept a journal since I was 11. I've always known that the answers with the end of a pen and actually hid it from my brother. I know at 11, what are you writing about? You're writing about who is cute on TV last night and who you have a crush on and copying down poems that you've read.
Mary E. Knippel: [00:08:09] I wasn't encouraged to be a writer because I grew up on a farm in Minnesota. That's not a realistic career choice for a farmer's daughter who doesn't have no outstanding academics and doesn't have a burning desire where my little town, if you wanted to be a doctor, of course, you have to go to college.
Mary E. Knippel: [00:08:32] If you were going to be a teacher, of course, you have to go to college. Or nurse that's, that's more education.
Everybody can become a secretary and help the businessmen spell things. I did, I got a one-year secretarial certificate and. There are a lot of people who would get their start as secretary.
Mary E. Knippel: [00:08:53] I never let go of my dream of being a writer and writing a book and being able to influence others. After my second breast cancer experience, that was my wake-up call that I can't wait any longer for me to write my book. Then it was even more clear that my mission is to be a catalyst for other women to write their stories.
Mary E. Knippel: [00:09:20] They needed someone who was going to hold their hand and shine the mirror on them and say, yes, you have a story. There's someone that's waiting for it that needs.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:09:32] Oh, absolutely. I resonate with you when I was in high school, my choices were the typing class. When domestic sciences were a big failure as was bookkeeping.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:09:44] I wanted to be in woodworking and metalworking. I wanted to create, sadly being creative in the kitchen is not my talent.
I was one of the fastest touch typists, but not accurate. Awesome grateful I can still type that really helped me when I was practicing as an attorney. I didn't write notes and hand them over to be transcribed by a person at a keyboard. Mine were done and dusted; I love that.
I'm going to ask why it is time to get your expertise out of your head and onto the page?
Mary E. Knippel: [00:10:27] There are so many people, women are who I work with more than anything who I think that they're, whatever happens to them is so ordinary and the fact is it's extraordinary. And that's one of the beautiful things about showing up on the page in a journal regularly is that you get that stuff out of your head and onto the page and use to look at it.
Just like Julia Cameron says in your morning pages, you just let them go because people worry about, well, what if I can't read my writing? And what if I spelled something wrong? It's just like that those pages are for you. And that's you having conversation on paper with yourself and it's physically getting it out of your body and onto the page so that you can move on or move up to a new way of thinking about it.
Mary E. Knippel: [00:11:25] Move out of whatever was stopping you from feeling this and knowing this on to the next thing in your wisdom that the life lessons that you're writing about have taught you and what you are meant to do with that.
[00:11:42] Dr. Michelle St Jane: Well said, Mary, I totally relate like early last 2020, I realized I was a speaker who liked to write.
I always wondered why I had such a struggle doing a doctoral study. Once I went out talking about my ideas and what I wanted to write about in the doctorate, I think I did about five or six countries where I went and delivered academic papers with my chief supervisor. Well, that got me going, but unfortunately, when I was doing the doctorate, I didn't realize this.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:12:13] I realized the doctoral topics, which that I touched on in the podcast became chapters in my book. So, starting to analyze why was that so much easier? I was like, bingo! I'm a speaker who writes. I am so pleased to have access to transcription AI that will convert this all into word documents.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:12:38] I really appreciate what you're saying. Your point about these people who are out there that they think they're ordinary and others are looking at them as extraordinary. I dropped the term ‘living 💎 legend’ and a networking session, and everyone was like, oh yes, that's you.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:12:59] I'm like, oh, so I've just decided to lean into ‘living 💎 legend’ and create a faculty. As you perfectly said, we think we're ordinary, but we're out there doing extraordinary things and we're living longer. We're having opportunities to I'm on a fourth diverse career. You know, we have the chance now to live out loud and by sharing that I feel I'd love to be capturing women that attend.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:13:25] Leaning into the status and as happened to me, pointed out, I'd love for you to be in the faculty. We need these unique voices messages and their transformational experience.
Mary E. Knippel: [00:13:38] Oh, well, thank you. I'm honored and its synchronicity at work. I'm giving a workshop this week called legends and legacies. That is exactly what I'm talking about is it's who has influenced us and who are we meant to amplify?
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:13:54] Absolutely perfect timing. We need more voices out there doing that because I have had to push through the imposter syndrome, please I'll address those fears. Mary, that was a great example of your workshops. So just expand on the strategies you use to help professional women explore their personal growth and transformation stories, and create that life wisdom, legacy.
Mary E. Knippel: [00:14:25] I was working with someone, and she wanted to write a blog. What we found was that if she started every one of her blogs with what was happening in her life or, or reach back to something that, oh, this explains this. I can talk about, what daily life is like. Now that I know that in my bones.
One of my favorite people to go back to for quotes is by Maya Angelo when you just touched on the imposter syndrome, I said, oh, okay. That's one of my favorites. How many times has she been celebrated? How many times has she won awards and accolades for all of the things that she's written? Maya Angelo said, “every time I pick up the pen and that legal pad and I start writing, I think, oh, they're going to find out I'm the fraud they're going to find out. I really don't know what I'm doing here.”
Mary E. Knippel: [00:15:19] I said, okay, if Maya Angelo can feel that way and still keep going, then we're in really good company. What we do is we say, “okay, my inner critic, need to fill out my grocery list, go do the lottery, you're doing something else because I'm writing just the way I create a sacred space.”
Mary E. Knippel: [00:15:43] What happens here? Stays here. We do the writing prompts. We spend time. You know, talking about what it felt like to get it out of our body and onto the page. We don't necessarily read to each other because it's not a critique group. It's you, giving yourself permission:
📚 to tell your story; and
🧏 have witnesses to hear you;
📚 to hear the story that is your sacred story.
Mary E. Knippel: [00:16:10] The story that you've discounted, because everybody does that. Nobody wants to hear. One of my clients renewing her bio. She had been in her industry for a long time, won a lot of awards. And I had a nice bio on her website, but this was a chance that you could, you can tell a lot, you have a lot of space on your Bible.
Mary E. Knippel: [00:16:32] There's no word count on your website. I asked you to go back to the first time she had a job that somebody paid her, and she wanted to go back to her first official job as a college graduate.
I said, “no, no, farther back, farther back.”
She said, “Oh, okay. I babysat.”
I said, “okay, great. Tell us more details.”
She said, “okay,”
I asked, “how old was the baby?”
She replied, “The baby was a newborn, a newborn!”
And I asked, “how old were you?”
She replied, “I was 10. I'm a mom.”
I would be hard pressed to trust a ten-year-old with my newborn. I said, “okay, why did she trust you with her newborn.”
She said, well, “she saw me with my handicapped brother. She knew I could do it. I knew I could do it.”
Mary E. Knippel: [00:17:19] There you go. That's information that your clients and customers are going to lean into because it's part of your human.
When I help my reluctant writers to lean into their stories, I encourage them to not only talk about the who, the, what, the, where the, why, the how, but also the heart. Knowing that she had a handicapped brother. So, she had that extra tenderness, that ounce of patience not a lot of ten-year-old’s would have an empathy. We were actually at a networking event where she was allowed, she was on a panel, and they were invited to introduce themselves. I encouraged her to tell her babysitting story. She wasn't going to do it because she said, these are all professional women and I want to be seen as a professional. I said, you are professional, but this is a part of your humanity. I just set opportunity for you to be more visible and vulnerable. She did tell it, and she came up to me afterwards saying “I can't believe the number of women who came up to me that I've known for years, but there was another level of recognition and connection that wasn't there before.”
Mary E. Knippel: [00:18:39] That's because she told a story that had represented her humanity. That's what I help my clients do and whoever I may come in contact with that, your story matters. And no one can tell it from your perspective.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:18:55] Your words just resonate with me and I'm grateful to hear them because I had a chance to be in a collaborative book project last year, 2022. Then I was invited to do a Ted talk.
I'm out there on the global stage. My quietest voice was saying write about your grandmother. I'm like, LinkedIn does not want to hear about my grandmother. Then I did some research about how many grandparents is still in the workforce, there's over 3 million in the United States alone. At least half of them are going to be women.
Mary E. Knippel: [00:19:31] That's a lot of grandparents.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:19:33] As a mother and a grandmother, and both of those roles are essential parts of my identity that I've been silent and quiet about. I've decided enough, you know, the living legend, how did I get here? Well, my grandmother spoke truth to power, like a lady on the local and the national level in New Zealand around coal miner's rights. There’s that transference of wisdom, she was out loud and proud like a lady.
Mary E. Knippel: [00:20:05] Wow.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:20:08] Why I do this work? I want to celebrate and make visible this powerful presence of women and their wisdom generational transfer.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:20:20] There are gaps in the literature, the academic research on grandparents. I think the time is right, because the pandemic has really showcased grandmothers are an intrinsic part of families being able to survive. Well, maybe not thrive, but they were able to have more flourishing and hopefully more wellbeing.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:20:46] We're both members of the Women's Speakers Association, a community of speakers and authors.
🎁Free Gift Speakers Success Plan: https://wsalive.com/michelle
I like the fact that you're out there. Well published and well-represented on how to take your book and grow your business and leave a legacy. Tell us about being featured in the top 12 spiritual women.
Mary E. Knippel: [00:21:08] That was another honor that never pursued. I just thought, yeah, I am a spirited woman. I am out there speaking up for myself and encouraging other women to own their stories. And so, it was the opportunity to be more visible, and to just be an example of, okay, I'm not a rogue scholar or anything like that.
Mary E. Knippel: [00:21:39] Sharing what my journey has been like. It's showing up on the page and sharing those words, that can be an inspiration and offer hope. Anybody who's out there reading them and saying, “Hmm, I've got something like that.” Not exactly, but something like that and made a difference in my life. I mean, we have all the major stressors, lots of job, major move, catastrophic illness, loss of a loved one, divorce.
Mary E. Knippel: [00:22:10] I've had all of them twice except for the divorce part. We've been married since 1970 and had dated a couple of years before that.
So, there have been a lot of ups and downs and negotiations along the way. So, and, and I've had a lot of life lessons and didn't recognize at the moment, oh, this is powerful.
Mary E. Knippel: [00:22:32] I'm a grandma for the first time. You know, speaking of grandma and then having your daughter have a stroke when the baby's eight days old. Then this 35-year-old woman having a stroke, that was unheard of. But now it's part of my life lesson and her life lesson, and how we navigate that. She's gratefully still with us and working her way back to a hundred percent and determined that she will be back and the baby's thriving. She’s vocal.
But it's people, women can relate to. How do you feel as a mother when that happens and what do you do with that? How do you react and what do you do next?
We all have this common thread of our story that gets woven into the universal fabric. When we're vocal, visible, transparent and showing our vulnerability, one of my things is.
Mary E. Knippel: [00:23:31] I didn't think I could be a speaker for a long time. Cause I thought, “well, I can practice until I won't cry. Cause how do I do an interview? I will know I'm going to say when they asked me a question, so I just own it. This is part of me. This is me being real.” And knowing that you show up and share and who needs to hear it will hear it and they will get what they need because.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:24:02] On this podcast, we do not mind if you cry, we appreciate your authenticity and being real.
What's next? What could you share with my listeners around the world about what you're up to, what they might like to get involved with and who you like to work with?
Mary E. Knippel: [00:24:29] What what's next? I'm going to continue the Tuesday morning writing room. Anyone who I encounter says I never have time to write. Great. I've got an invitation for you every Tuesday morning. I open up my sacred writing space, my zoom room, and we, we just write a loan together.
Mary E. Knippel: [00:24:53] I will do a short meditation just to bring everybody into the room and have them grounded, but then. Turn off our microphones and leave our cameras on so that we can see each other. And it's for my clients and invited guests and anybody who sends me an email says, let me know about the writing room.
Mary E. Knippel: [00:25:13] I will give you the information because I want to create that opportunity for you. Say, I don't have time to write. If you can't show up at the writing room. Every Friday, I give you a writing prompt. I give you the instructions about the five minutes that you could take to just go deeper into this writing prompt.
Mary E. Knippel: [00:25:35] I have ongoing programs. The Legends and Legacies are as the virtual workshop to talk about:
☝️Who influenced you?
☝️Who you are influencing?
A lot of people don't think about, oh, just me talking about what I'm working on and why I'm working on this, know why I'm doing what I'm doing? Empowering for you. It's empowering for those who are looking for you because you may be in business and think I'm not doing anything that's revolutionary, but you may be just the right person because we're all here to serve someone that needs what we have. But we're in hot. We're not the perfect blend for everybody.
Mary E. Knippel: [00:26:22] I've been fired as a writing coach because I wasn't giving them what they need. I recognize that I don't have paint by number the template that they were looking for. That's okay if they wanted a template because mine are more organic. Mine's more handholding lines. I'll meet you where you are.
Mary E. Knippel: [00:26:42] I describe myself as a cheerleader saying, “your story matters and nobody can tell you a story except you.” I'm an architect in that you say you want to work on learning how to do a blog. Okay. We can do that. You're going to be in an anthology, and you have no idea where to start. We can work on it. You want to get the concept down for your solo book?
Mary E. Knippel: [00:27:04] I'm a developmental editor. I can help you get those ideas out of your head, put them into buckets and we'll work backwards from when you want to publish and help you get to that first draft. I've been part of the women's national book association for 25 years, even past president of the San Francisco branch.
Mary E. Knippel: [00:27:23] I've been part of the California writer's club for a long time. I've been part of the San Francisco writer's conference for a long time as a developmental editor. I am part of the independent editor’s room. Which means if you come to the conference, you have eight minutes with one of us to talk about your project, whether you're a newbie and you're trying to figure out, well, what do I say?
Mary E. Knippel: [00:27:43] How do I start this? People who are pitching to agents, they have a finished manuscript and then they're ready to go.
I am the kind of mentor that looks to help that reluctant writer. Who ask, “do I even have a story?”
That's why my 35 years as a journalist really helps me just to have a conversation just the way we're having now to hear the story that you're not saying to hear what it is. That you are longing to share.
More than once have I heard it said “I never had anybody ask me anything like that or, wow. I've never talked about that before that.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:28:26] As an intuitive mentor Mary, I appreciate you. Thank you so much for your time and contributions and how you show up in the world as a speaker and writer. How you uplift speakers and writers.
Mary E. Knippel: [00:28:41] Thank you so beautiful.
Outro: Dr. Michelle St Jane is a conscious steward as meaningful leadership in the world and the wider cosmos. Tune in for real talk around life, leadership, and your conscious journey. Be ready to create and cultivate your dreams and wholehearted desires. Your support is valued. Please follow, subscribe, leave a review and a rating. More importantly, share with your connections.
Reach out. I am interested to hear from you. Do you have a topic you'd like to explore? It would be great to have your feedback.
Dr. Michelle St Jane
Podcast Host: Life & Leadership: A Conscious Journey
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