Guided By Love

An Honest and Compassionate Guidebook

I didn’t intentionally set out to write a book, it evolved through circumstance and serendipity. 

When my twenty-year marriage came to an abrupt and painful end, I needed an outlet. I reached for tools to soothe my broken heart and to make some sense out of my discombobulated thoughts and emotions. 

I have always loved to write. I find it easier to express my most intimate thoughts on paper than to say them out loud. So, I began to journal, to pour out my thoughts, confusion and anguish onto the page. I noticed that on many days my writing had a poetic quality to it.

My journal entries evolved over time highlighting my healing and growth. A map or timeline from confusion to clarity, anguish to acceptance and self-deprecation to self-love developed in front of me. I found myself being able to articulate my feelings by writing them in story form. Going back to moments that stood out to me, that I could recall in visceral detail aided my clarity and resolve. I also began to realise that my experiences may be of some benefit to others going through a similar ordeal. 

I was a member of a writing group and so I shared some of my short musings and received some lovely feedback. I was told that my words touched people. Then came an opportunity to be part of a collaborative book around empowering women. I entered the competition with a 1500-word piece of writing about how I learned to live a life unbound. The words almost flew out of me and so I sent it off.  

I was successful in becoming part of the collaborative book which ignited a spark within me.  In a conversation shortly after the competition my friend said “Wow this could be an introduction to a book.” That really got my cogs turning and the book project developed from there.

I collected my stories and journal entries together, tweaked and developed them with my story coach and then added the tools I have learnt through a lifetime of self-enquiry that I felt would be supportive during times of unexpected change. The book was my sole focus for nearly a year; a way in and through my pain leading to clarity and contentment.

Guided by an ever-present intention to heal myself and to be of service to those whose lights had dimmed due to situations inducing self-doubt, a lack of self-worth and self-love, Guided by Love took form. A true labour of love. A project that gave me purpose and taught me so much.

When I first published Guided by Love I wasn’t standing fully in my truth. I essentially manifested a situation that meant I had to publish under a pen name. Although I was incredibly proud of my book and the carefully crafted ‘Ava Woods’ pen name, I knew in my heart I was hiding, playing small. I realised that I needed to republish in my name to respect myself, my story and to stand up for love. For me and for all the women out there who have been deflated by heartbreak.

I am delighted to let you know that I have signed with a new publisher- The Unbound Press and will release the 2nd, revised edition of Guided By Love on 6th October 2024. Watch this space for updates.

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