Poetry in itself is an inspiring piece of writing that elevates one’s creativity and outlook. Actress and author Peggy Matheson bring it to another level by combining poems with visual art through her coloring journal. Joining Juliet Clark, she dives deep into the creation of She Said, where poetry and coloring meet to touch the reader’s creative mind. Peggy explains how she wants her book to become a channel in achieving mindfulness, appreciating personal growth, and discovering the right way towards emotional management. She also provides a glimpse of the challenges around book publishing and shares one of her beautiful poems about self-care, “Stomp, Stomp, Whine, Whine.”
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Unleashing Mindfulness Through A Coloring Journal With Peggy Matheson
Before we get into our guest, who is one of my authors and Amazon bestseller, I want to remember to send you over to the YouTube channel, Superbrand Publishing. Go over there and subscribe to all of the interviews. If you want to see these people in real life, go check out the YouTube channel. Also, go over and take the Promote Profit Publish Quiz. You can find it at www.PromoteProfitPublishQuiz.com. Find out if you’re ready to publish that book. I know you put a lot of work into writing it, but if you don’t have an audience, it’s going to sit there. You’re going to hear crickets. You are going to be super disappointing and you won’t ever make your money back. You have to have a plan, a platform, all this put into place so that book sells.
Our guest is one of my authors, Peggy Matheson. She has always loved to sing and dance. I saw her emote during her live book launch because she played out. She read some of her poems. You can tell she’s an actress. She drew a few sketches when she was a young woman. She had such a love for performing arts that drawing quickly fell by the wayside. Earning a BFA in Music and Dance Theater from Brigham Young University was a jumping-off point that punctuated years of performances, onstage and onscreen. Her tenacity to create the most impact with performance had informed her ability to create poetry and drawings that not only resonate but delight. After college, a parallel path was forming as her desire for freedom from pain drove her to do some deep emotional healing work.Everybody’s probably experienced some emotional abuse, and they don’t realize it because it’s so invisible. Click To Tweet
She eventually found a modality that transformed her life and subsequently became a certified journey practitioner, helping others heal their pain through restorative guided meditation. Above all, Peggy is a believer in the power to become our best selves, that our life and relationships have meaning and purpose. For years, she felt her mission was a successful marriage. When that ended abruptly, she began to put the pieces back together and discovered she’d been living in an emotionally abusive relationship.
Now that she is an APSATS trainer, partner coach and trained family life coach, working with those seeking to transform themselves beyond their doubts, negatives, beliefs, traumas and especially betrayal trauma. Her vision is to teach, inspire and create space for others to become their best selves. Peggy facilitates creativity workshops using guided meditation, movement and music, as well as supporting individuals on their healing journey. I will let her tell you where to contact her at the end. Welcome, Peggy.
Thank you for that. It’s great to be here.
Peggy brought me this book in 2020. It’s called She Said. It is poetry and a coloring book meant for trauma. Tell us about this Journey you mentioned in your bio. How did you make all these incredible images, these pictures for people to color?
It started with poetry. After I had done a lot of my own healing work through the guided meditation work called the Journey, which is what I do as a practitioner, I’ve been doing it for about three years, then I became a practitioner, and then all this poetry started pouring out of me. It was so fun. It was like my place to play. I wrote a lot of poetry. I originally was going to publish a children’s book, which is a rhyming book. That was my original thing. I’m into healing from my pain. A lot of this is about overcoming self-doubt, feelings of not being good enough, talking to the little girl inside of me, her waking up and saying, “We’ve got to go play.”
She is getting mad at me because I wasn’t playing. There’s a lot of joy there that came from opening into and expressing what I was going through. Ninety percent of this book, I think of every woman, no matter what their circumstance could relate to and probably a lot of men too. We all deal with self-doubt and feelings of not being good enough. Wanting to play, do fun things, be present, be mindful, sharing our light. There’s a lot of that in this book as well. There are three poems in particular that are about emotional abuse. Everybody’s probably experienced some kind of emotional abuse and they don’t realize it because it’s so invisible.
I was doing that. I did my first creativity works in 2011 or 2013. I shared some of my poetry, and we did movement and music. I did some guided meditation. It was powerful. People are writing things that were pouring out of them from this creative space that we don’t often allow ourselves to be in that place. It was an amazing experience. Afterward, some of the women, “Why have you not published your poetry?” I was like, “What? I should publish my poetry?” They were like, “Yes.”
That’s when I started thinking about it. That was during the time when adult coloring books were first popular. I thought, “I used to draw. Why don’t I try drawing?” I went on a YouTube video and like, “How do I do this?” I was doing it with a pencil and paper. I went out and got some art paper, regular pencil. The woman was like, “Take jar lids, take from your kitchen, different things from around the house, and start drawing it.” The cover of my book is the very first drawing that I did.
Are there jar lids in there?
Yes, around the hill. That’s how I started. It took me years. I was like, “I’ve got to do this.” I had a lot of pencil sketches. I was like, “I’ve got to digitize these. How am I going to digitize these?” That was the hardest part for me. Getting the technical stuff down was hard for me. Even when I was in the middle of trying to publish, we are about ready to pull the trigger and print this thing. I freaked out because of what I had used, which is an app on my iPad, I was afraid. I had learned. It was hard for me to gather the information because nobody’s teaching this at school. You have to go on YouTube and gather all this information. I was like, “The pixels are going to be off, terrible, fuzzy.” I freaked out two days before. I figured out it was going to be okay, which it is.
At one point I said to her, “You’re a healer. You’re probably not hearing this in your own voice, but you might want to see somebody who works with imposter syndrome because it happens with a lot of authors.” We get 6 or 8 weeks out from publishing. I watch these amazing human beings who’ve done all this work fall apart, “I’m overwhelmed. I didn’t get my homework done.” It’s like you’ve not gotten your homework done before. Right this very minute where we’re launching next Tuesday and she’s a mess. I’m like, “You’re a Harvard grad. You’re supposed to have your stuff together.” You’re all adorable when you do it, but it’s a normal stuff.People are writing things pouring out of them from this creative space that we don’t often allow ourselves to be in that place. Click To Tweet
I’ve done a ton of healing work on myself. When it hit, I knew it. I did call in some help and that was absolutely necessary. Not to mention that I was dealing with COVID the week before as well, which was emotional. It wasn’t the writing of it and the drawing of it. When you and I set the date to publish for Valentine’s Day, it was going to be a big push, but I only had two weeks to finish six drawings. You smartly had given leeway in that time so that I could fudge it because I was struggling to finish those. You can’t just push them out. I focused and was able to finish it and get that done. It wasn’t writer’s block. It was me marketing.
She did a great job marketing. We sold over 400 copies and most of them came in the month of March 2021. There’s a lag time between Amazon. She did a great job of selling them and had a book launch party. It’s a live one since we’re in Utah. Surprised, she had it at a mortuary.
It was a beautiful place. My friend helped me. She’s awesome. She was like, “Let’s do this, Peggy.” They were very gracious. It was awesome. I know it sounds like a weird place, but it was beautiful. It’s an older place. They break it down and then it’s beautiful. What I love about you is you’re friendly, but I know that there’s not like a lot of fluff in there. It’s not like you’re trying to direct to get it done. I know I can count on you.
You are very much reliable. I know you’ll do what you say you’re going to do. I know I better do what I say I’m going to do because I was working with you. I think that is the highest compliment because when you’re talking about publishing, you’re talking about getting stuff done. I trust you. I want someone who can get something done, and that’s what I mean when I say reliable. I mean that as the highest compliment because you bring the floofy healer creative that I am. I need someone like that.
We do a lot of deadlines setting here. I bought a project management software because we’ve gotten so busy. It scares everybody here because it’s like, “Do you think these people are going to meet those deadlines?” I’m like, “They better. That’s why I set them.” We have to get the book out the door. There are many moving parts. That’s one of the reasons everybody gets a little overwhelmed in that last 6 to 8 weeks because it’s nerve-wracking.
For those of you guys who have not been through this, Peggy had a smaller job because the book is a coloring book. She didn’t have to go through the text, but even going through the text, we go over that manuscript over and over. You find mistakes. We send it off to the editor and then there were still words that needed to be changed. On hers at the last minute, we got the proof, which proof is always exciting. There are six weeks where you hate me because it’s stressful, then you get your proof, and it’s like, “My book.”
We got the book in our hands and realized that she needed to flip up to color because we needed thicker paper. That was stressful because we already had the release date and we had to jam on that. There’s a pressure there towards the end. Those are the things you don’t understand about publishing a lot of times is there are many variables. It’s not like I can give you a project like hers that’s creative a solid answer about, “It needs to be like this,” because sometimes things happen with a coloring book, especially where we get. It’s like, “We need thicker paper.” It’s rarely is it a perfect process. What are you doing big picture-wise? Where are you going to use this book? That’s always where people are curious. I know you spent quite a bit on it between a bestseller and all of that, but the expectation is never getting it back through the book. How are you going to use this for bigger things to generate revenue?
My goal is to do creativity workshops. I’d love to go into groups or businesses and do creativity workshops using my poetry. Part of what this is it’s a coloring journal. My goal is to help people tap into that creative self, which is where joy is. It’s where play is. It’s such an important part of ourselves. It’s such an important way to connect with ourselves and others. I feel like there’s not enough focus on that in the world. There’s so much healing. There’s so much forward motion. There’s vision. There’s all of that with creativity. I made this a journal. There are pages in here where you can draw or write or journal yourself. The poems might bring up stuff for you. I wanted to make it something that taps into your creativity, not just the coloring, but what would you want to see on the page?
The very last picture I titled, I’m The Faucet, Not The Water. That was a phrase that was given to me by my first creativity artists coach. She said two things to me that were very impactful. The first one is that I am an artist. That was when I was sharing my poetry. It was a songwriting workshop. I have a song that I had written. I’m like, “Am I an artist.” I had a couple of coaches go, “Absolutely, you can write songs. Absolutely, you’re an artist.” Once the creativity comes out, it feels like, “Did I do that? I don’t remember that.” She’s like, “You’re the faucet, not the water.”
There are times when creativity flows more freely than other times. I know how to tap into that. I think about this book now, and I’m like, “That’s a lot of work. I did that? I’m not in the flow right now. The water’s not falling in this moment, in that way.” To know that is important because then I don’t have to say to myself, “I can’t create it. I can’t do this again.” It’s like, “It’s not that you can’t do this again. It’s right now the water’s not flowing, and that’s okay. There are things you can do to do that.” Creativity workshops, I would love to do them. I would love to do book clubs and help women bring the book and have people coloring the book, talking about it, doing some group coaching, things with that.Taking care of ourselves is essential. Click To Tweet
I’d love to do presentations about self-care, which is a lot of what this is about. Everybody needs it. I know a lot of people might go self-care, “Polishing your nails.” No. We’re talking about it’s essential. Taking care of ourselves is essential. Particularly with women, we tend to be so other-oriented. We take care of everyone else before we realize that there’s nothing left of us. That is a dangerous place to be. I’m talking seriously. I’m talking about your power can be taken from you. Your health can be taken from you. This is super important stuff. I would love to be sharing this with women and talking about those important things and those fun things. Those things that are fun, those things that we love, those things we want to do, which are essential in our lives, what we want to do, we should be doing for our own health.
You and I started talking about that inner child work. It sounded like the inner child work I’ve done has been, “You need to play,” and yours was, “You need to play.” That happens for a lot of people when they start doing that work is they realize that it’s not that the joy is gone, but there are things that have happened way back that took some of that childhood away in a certain sense that you’ve got to go back and reconnect. My way was through the mystery novels. I found it harder to write a non-fiction book than I did fiction because I couldn’t make it up. That’s part of my creativity is even when my kids and I are in a restaurant, we’ll sit there. We’ll make up stories about people in the restaurant. We’ve always done that. It’s hard when I have to stick to the facts, and I can’t make it up.
I see your quote says, “Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale.” I get it. The fun, play and creativity.
Peggy, where can we find you? Where can we find the book?
The book is on Amazon, but you can find that at my website, PeggyMatheson.com/Book.
The book is also on Barnes & Noble. You can order it there as well or online. Peggy, thank you so much for being here.
You’re welcome. Do you want me to share one of my poems?
Sure. Let’s see this girl emote as she did at the book signing.
I’m going to do the one I did at the book signing because it’s so much fun. I talk about this all the time in coaching, “Get off the other person’s bus and get on your own bus.” This is about self-care. I wrote this poem a long time before I ever understood that phrase. That’s interesting because this is about getting on your own bus. This one’s called Stomp, Stomp, Whine, Whine.
“Whining, stomping, pulling on my hand. I’m not playing, and she doesn’t understand. I’m too stressed out and I can’t afford to stop. I’m upside down and just about to flop. ‘It flop,’ she says, ‘and leave it all behind.’ I haven’t played with you in such a long time. Stomp, stomp, whine, whine, pull, pull the neck. ‘I told you I don’t care about that stupid little bang.’ She points to my back and sure enough, it’s there. The baggage that I thought I dropped was pulling on my hair. ‘You said you’d gotten rid of it so we can go and play. It’s just not fair that you don’t do what you say.’”
“‘Oh my word,’ she’s nailed me once again. That old crap, I guess, become my best friend. I did get rid of it. I told you that before. It just comes back when I level up some more. Can’t you see how small it has become? I honestly thought it was smaller than my thumb. Duly you, Goofus too. I could have told you that the crack signs you. Just come and play, please, like use to do. I’ll help you take it up and stump it into you. Stomp, stomp, whine, whine, stomp, stomp whine. Let’s do a jig and make it all fine. Wait a minute. That’s what I’ve been seeing all along.”
“It’s going to be fine. It’s not the right song. Stop, stop, whine, whine, pull, pull, neck. I told you I don’t care about that stupid little bag.’ I want to play. It’s just that I’ve been carrying this crap all day. ‘Dance with me. Let’s give away your bag for free.’ Stomp, stomp whine, whine, stomp, stomp, whine. ‘I’m sorry. I say I love you. I do thank you for teaching me to play with you. Stomp, whine, pull, neck. I can’t live without you and my little crap bag. Let’s do dance and let’s do play and maybe it will go away at least for today.”
Thank you so much.
- Superbrand Publishing on YouTube
- Peggy Matheson
- She Said
- Barnes & Noble – She Said Book
About Peggy Matheson
Peggy Matheson has always loved to sing and dance. She drew a few sketches when she was a young woman but had such a love for the performing arts that drawing quickly fell by the wayside. Earning a BFA in Music Dance Theater from Brigham Young University was a jumping-off point that punctuated years of performances on stage and on screen. Her tenacity to create the most impact with performance has informed her ability to create poetry and drawings that not only resonate but also a delight.
After college, a parallel path was forming as her desire for freedom from pain drove her to do deep emotional healing work. She eventually found a modality that transformed her life and subsequently became a Certified Journey Practitioner helping others heal their pain through restorative guided meditation. Above all Peggy is a believer. She is a believer in the power to become our best selves and that life and relationships have meaning and purpose.
For years, she felt her mission was her successful marriage. When it ended abruptly, she began to put the pieces together and discovered she’d been living in an emotionally abusive relationship. Now she’s an APSATS trained Partner Coach (CPC-c) and trained Family Life Coach (BCC-c) working with those seeking to transform themselves beyond their doubts, negative beliefs, trauma and especially betrayal trauma. Her vision is to inspire, teach, and ultimately create space for others to become their best selves.
Peggy facilitates creativity workshops using guided meditation, movement, and music as well as supporting individuals on their healing journey. Connect with Peggy at peggymatheson.com or support@PeggyMatheson.com.
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