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“5 Things You Need to Know to Become a Great Author”, with Rhonda Smith

“Every new experience or obstacle is a puzzle meant to solve” If we can look at things with this approach, it is much more simple and less overwhelming.

As part of my interview series on the five things you need to know to become a great author, I had the pleasure of interviewing Rhonda Smith. Rhonda’s journey is one of incredible tragedy and self-betrayal, to immense triumph. Her most profound learning has come from the deepest shadows within. Once she stopped running from the shadows, they became her greatest teacher. Her medicine has been learning to be herself and to bravely walk the unique path that she’s been given, then supporting others to do the same. She is the CEO of The Expanded Hueman and her debut book is THE WHOLE METHOD: Leaders: Quiet the Noise, Blaze Your Own Trail, and Expand Into Your Full Potential.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share a story about what brought you to this particular career path?

Becoming an author is the ultimate culmination of my career; writing is the birth of all of my work and the things I have experienced in 44 years of life. I am a practicing medicine woman, a shadow-integration coach, an author, CEO of Cosmicsmith, my personal company, and CEO of The Expanded Hueman, which answers what comes next after personal development. After my own journey in personal development and plant medicine ceremonies, I felt stuck — I still hadn’t found all I was looking for. All that fire and frustration forced me to birth what was in my soul, rather than follow the road everyone else is on. I was on my bedroom floor in brutal depression, completely lost, because I had literally tried everything. It was one of the most beautiful moments because I realized I had to step off the cliff and step into myself. I tapped into going my own way, doing the weird or out of the norm. It was taking off the final mask, and becoming who I needed to be, that allowed me to grow into the person who could write this book. How our work will be received is the thing that paralyzes creativity; we need to, instead, direct our energy into who we become in the process.

Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?

Everything I created most of my life was created from a place of receiving an accolade; it left me feeling disconnected. The thing I was seeking was a piece of connection. When we are constantly seeking this, it can be fleeting. I chose to be a coach from a place of wounding, in order to be seen and have significance. Working in the industry for years, I brought healing to that part of myself, I didn’t want to do it in the same way. I designed retreats for people needing me.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I created a GoFundMe to help support my trip to the jungles of Peru to begin the journey of becoming a medicine woman. After launching the GoFundMe campaign, I realized that I wasn’t the woman who got to go — because I couldn’t pay for it. I had to go online and acknowledge this; I created a video of myself explaining this realization and I had to refund the people who had donated. It is so much more than just being able to go, it’s about doing the work necessary to be able to pay for it. We think we deserve things without earning it. If we can’t afford something, we have to become the people who can afford the things we want.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

Plant medicine teaching retreats in Peru, The Expanded Hueman Inner Circle, Private one-on-one medicine retreats with Cosmicsmith.

What is the one habit you believe contributed the most to you becoming a great writer? (i.e. perseverance, discipline, play, craft study) Can you share a story or example?

Practicing radical acceptance; I allowed myself to be in all of the processes of what I was feeling, and I allowed the book to come through me. I had to write the book that was on my heart, rather than what I thought people were going to like.

Can you share the most interesting story that you shared in your book?

The most pivotal story in my book The Whole Method is the medicine ceremony with the sacred vine, and my task to walk through the door of each of my fears. This story is a culmination of all of my medicine experiences, and it is a powerful depiction of how I was broken open and found healing through the medicine.

What is the main empowering lesson you want your readers to take away after finishing your book?

The world is waiting for you to finally be you; we need the information only you know. Everything we are looking for is inside of us, it is our journey to remember it.

What was the biggest challenge you faced in your journey to becoming an author? How did you overcome it? Can you share a story about that that other aspiring writers can learn from?

My biggest challenge in writing this book was facing myself and my patterns, identifying my own depression, my own anxiety. I overcame it with a lot of support, a lot of amazing people helping me, a lot of radical acceptance, and being present to what IS without judging myself. Our dharma isn’t about people liking what we write, it is about writing what we are being called say from our heart.

Which literature do you draw inspiration from? Why?

The Tao Te Ching, Bernard Guenther’s writings, and Radical Wholeness by Philip Shepherd.

How do you think your writing makes an impact in the world?

My hope is that my writing will help people to understand that the endless seeking outside of ourselves is not achievable and that our journey is to go within.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

“Don’t take yourself so seriously.” We tend to create our own chaos and make things harder for ourselves than they need to be.

“Every new experience or obstacle is a puzzle meant to solve” If we can look at things with this approach, it is much more simple and less overwhelming.

“Fail often.” Get comfortable with sitting down to write, and have it not be perfect. Your first manuscript will be garbage before you go back through it; if you know this, it will allow you to get it out so you can move to the next step.

“Drop the story and answer the call.” If you’re getting a call to write, it is necessary to drop the stories you tell yourself around why you can’t or shouldn’t write it.

“Have autonomy over your final read-through.” Sometimes we are disconnected from the work because we are growing so much to become the person we need to be to write the book. Take the time to reconnect with your work before it is released.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

I have! The Expanded Hueman is creating a mission that hits people at all points in their expansion journey. Part of The Expanded Hueman is the Inner Circle, which is a year-long exclusive membership program and community, with monthly content, masterminding, guest experts, and weekly coaching. We also offer community and free content on our social media platforms. Will you answer the call of your life and join us?

How can our readers follow you on social media?

I can be found on my personal Facebook page, or you can connect with me in The Expanded Hueman community on Facebook and Instagram.

Thank you for all of these great insights!



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