Written by: Frank Iacono
After twenty-five years of a successful sales career, Carolyn Bennett-Sullivan longed to do more meaningful work. Following Carolyn’s divorce in 2010 and disappointing attempts to re-enter the corporate world of sales, she realized her life needed to change in a dramatic way. Since she always loved working with people and connecting them with helpful solutions on their journey through life, she decided to become a Certified Passion Test® facilitator in 2012, guiding people to discover their top passions and priorities.
During this transition, Carolyn discovered that even though she was clear about her vision, fear disguised as monkey chatter stopped her dead in her tracks and kept her stuck from living her life’s purpose. It was through un-caging the aforementioned chatter, re-claiming control over her thoughts, re-connecting to her internal guidance system that she gained the confidence and clarity she needed to take control of her life and begin to live it with meaning, purpose, and passion. With that, she began teaching people how to do the same. And, that’s how Get the “F” Out: Liberating FEAR & Letting LOVE In, her first book, was born.
So, do you have a dream for a better life? Are you tired of struggling with overwhelm, frustration, and disappointment? Want to learn what’s keeping you stuck and how to finally move forward? Well, it’s Carolyn’s passion and mission to help others liberate their fear so they too can connect to their inner wisdom and begin living the life they desire and deserve.
In this edition of The Creative Spotlight, I had the pleasure of interviewing Carolyn Bennett-Sullivan and asking her questions about her career, her inspiration and motivation behind Get the “F” Out: Liberating FEAR & Letting LOVE In, and her public speaking and training workshop engagements.
The Creative Spotlight: At what age did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer and whom or what inspired you?
I didn’t really aspire to be a writer as a career although I’ve enjoyed writing since high school. It wasn’t until a few years ago when this book really started tapping me on the shoulder that I even thought about writing a book. It was the desire to share my story and what I’ve learned that inspired me. I felt if I could help someone improve their life by learning from my challenges then I’d made a difference. I had a wonderful English teacher my freshman and senior year of high school that really supported and encouraged me. It was because of Mrs. Fenicle that I thought I had any talent for writing. Good teachers really do make a difference. We all can make a difference in another’s life.
TCS: For the benefit of those who may not be too familiar with you or your work, please describe for us your overall career and specific writing genre?
I consider myself a teacher in personal development and spirituality. I teach through my book, workbook, speaking and conducting workshops to groups and organizations, and by providing online programs and coaching.
TCS: What inspired you to write your first book Get the “F” Out: Liberating FEAR & Letting LOVE In and share with us the meaning behind the unique title?
The inspiration for this book came from my journey of learning how to let go and navigate through my own fear based mindset and thinking .Your thoughts are so powerful and yet typically they’re running amuck and controlling you instead of you controlling them. I’ve struggled with low self-esteem and fear-based thinking most of my life and I wanted to share with others how to transform that mindset to one of healthy self-esteem and connection to your own divine wisdom. The meaning behind the title is about learning how to let go of the fear that keeps you stuck from living your best life, opening yourself to listening to your internal wisdom and guidance so you become the creator of your life instead of a victim of your circumstances. Life is meant to be joyful, fulfilling and purposeful and best of all you get to choose.
You can download the first chapter of the book for FREE, when you sign up today.
TCS: Tell us about the interesting cover and how both you and Ara Atkinson-Skinner, your illustrator, came up with it?
Ara is so creative and has a fabulous visual imagination. I sent her a couple of chapters of the book so she could get an idea of my content. From there she came up with the idea of the monkeys (our mind chatter) being un-caged from our mindset to allow love based thinking to enter our consciousness. It evolved from there.
TCS: Describe for us the Seven Faces of F.E.A.R. that you mentioned in the book?
The seven faces of fear are;
Certainly there are other forms of fear yet these are common in our everyday lives that are often overlooked as fear based thinking. It’s the monkey chatter that stems from these that causes us to self sabotage or stay stuck in our lives. In my Seven Faces of F.E.A.R. workshop we address each one of these, its root cause and tools to recognize them quickly and eradicate their power over our mindset and behavior. It’s not that we’re never going to experience these thoughts and emotions we will, it’s about learning how to navigate and take control over them in order to live more fully and happily.
TCS: So, what’s L.O.V.E. got to do with it?
In the book, L.O.V.E. is an acronym for Loving Ourselves Valuing Everything. Love is the essence of our being, it’s why we’re here, and it’s the glue that connects us all. In order for us to really give and receive love, to love our lives we must first love ourselves. Loving ourselves, valuing everything means accepting, valuing and respecting our self first and learning to have gratitude for everything that shows up in our life. So often our greatest challenges provide us with huge transformation, growth and blessings. When we can view our challenges as blessings even when they’re really painful, we can move through them with greater ease knowing we’ll be happier on the other side of it. Living from love instead of fear is to love our self, trust our inner guidance and love and accept others as they are without trying to control, manipulate or change them. When we live from a place of love we acknowledge that we’re all connected, we look to create win-win solutions, we feel compassion and see the light of the Divine in everyone and everything. That’s often easier said than done because our ego gets in the way, yet we always have the opportunity to practice changing our thoughts and behavior from fear based to love.
TCS: Share with us what’s included in the Get the “F” Out workbook?
The workbook provides exercises and tools to use for each chapter of the book. It’s a resource to go deeper into what’s causing your fear and ways to eliminate it. I created it to be a “go to” tool to be used over and over again.
TCS: What would you say was your biggest fear and how did you overcome it?
My biggest fear was the fear of rejection, being afraid to speak my truth, of truly being authentic. That stems from my value being based on other people’s opinions of me that my self- worth came from other people valuing me instead of me inherently valuing myself. Honestly, I still struggle with it sometimes; we all want to feel validated on some level. The ways that I overcame it came from meditation, reading books from mentors like Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson, attending a spiritual community and consciously choosing to value and take care of myself. I practiced it until I began to believe and know my inherent worth and value. I continue to practice it daily.
TCS: Now with the completion and release of the book behind you, which aspects of Get the “F” Out: Liberating FEAR & Letting LOVE In did you find most difficult to write and which were the least problematic?
Doing the research and writing the content of the book was the easiest for me. The research came from various authors like Marianne Williamson, Wayne Dyer who I was already familiar with and others like Jerald Jampolsky who was recommended to me. Google makes research so accessible; it’s just taking the time to do it. The most difficult was determining who I was going to use to publish it, figuring out the layout, which I ultimately paid someone to do, the technical side of creating the book. I’m fortunate to know a good editor who was so helpful and for Ara my illustrator too who provided so much valuable guidance.
TCS: Since its release have you participated in any book signing or other promotional activities
Yes, I did a release and book signing in conjunction with Film Brothers Winter Festival of Short Films in Wilmington, DE. I also did a book signing on April 25th at Hockessin Book Shelf in Hockessin, DE and a workshop is planned there on July 20th from 6:00-8:00pm. I’ll be at the Hockessin Art & Book fair on Saturday, June 20th at the PAL Center. And on July 13th, I’m doing a book signing at Scuppernong Book Store and Café in Greensboro, North Carolina.
TCS: Can you please provide us with specific details about your Free Your Fear Workshop and how someone could get in contact with you?
Absolutely! During this interactive workshop I identify F.E.A.R., its root cause and take participants through a process to discover the limiting belief behind their fear. You’ll learn how to identify different forms of fear, be guided through hands on ways to release it and to connect with your Inner Guidance System. Participants walk away feeling more empowered, at peace and with easy to use tools and resources whenever the monkey chatter starts to take over.
To learn more about the Free Your Fear Workshop and my other services, you can reach me at:
- Carolyn Bennett-Sullivan Website
- Carolyn Bennett-Sullivan Facebook
- Carolyn Bennett-Sullivan YouTube
- Carolyn Bennett-Sullivan Twitter
- Email: Carolyn@carolynbsullivan.com
- Phone: 888-255-8020
TCS: In what ways have the places where you’ve lived affected your overall writing style and the work you currently perform?
I’ve lived in Delaware the majority of my life however my early years were spent in a small town in central PA, called Alexandria. I think the dichotomy of living in a small rural town, suburban D,E and attending college in North Carolina allowed me to view a range of different life styles and a varied perspective that’s affected my writing. In terms of my work, I’ve always had a desire to help people in some capacity and I believe that came more from my parents influence than from where I’ve lived. Certainly the various places I’ve lived has shown me that we have more in common than not, that no matter what our background or socioeconomic status we typically are faced with the same challenges and fears to varying degrees.
TCS: What books are you reading right now? Are there any authors (living or dead) that you would name as influences?
The book I’m currently reading the most is The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo. There’s so many authors that have influenced me from Tom Robbins, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Dale Carnegie, Marianne Williamson, Melanie Beattie, Eckart Tolle, Tom Sterner, Janet & Chris Atwood to name a few.
TCS: Give us three “Good to Know” facts about you?
I had my first job when I was 13. I wanted a 10 speed bike and my parents weren’t going to buy me one because my Schwinn was perfectly acceptable in their eyes. So I got a job typing postcards for a seminar being held in Wilmington on Death and Dying by Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. She was a pioneer in changing how we view death and our conversations about it. Remember typewriters? I can’t even remember if the one I used was electric or not. I spent weeks in the summer typing those postcards. Anyway, I earned just enough to buy that bike and I owned it for well over 20 years.
I played women’s rugby for a semester in college. It was fun but I realized I didn’t like being tackled. There’s a great sense of connection and camaraderie in rugby that I haven’t seen in other sports. In the late 80’s I was the PR person for the Eastern Pennsylvania Rugby Union. I wrote a monthly newsletter called The Keystone Korner. I still enjoy watching it on occasion.
I love being in nature and much of my inspiration and ideas for writing come when I’m out walking. Being in nature reminds me of my connection to everything on Earth and the inherent beauty and abundance that’s provided to us.
TCS: What does the short and long-term future hold for Carolyn Bennett-Sullivan?
Short-term I’m focusing on increasing the book and workbooks visibility through speaking, workshops and social media. I’m excited to receive feedback from readers and to make any revisions that will benefit them. I have an online program that I’ll be launching by fall that will include coaching calls to facilitate greater growth and transformation.
Long-term there’s more books on the way, programs and 3 day retreats to un-wind, connect and re-charge while getting the “f” out of your mind and body. I’m excited to help a lot of people on their journey to greater freedom and happiness.
It’s time to get brutally honest about what’s keeping you stuck.
Get the “F” Out: Liberating FEAR & Letting LOVE In
Carolyn speaks from the heart sharing her own personal journey and how she learned to recognize FEAR for what it really is. She gives you “real life” tools that empower you to pursue your own personal goals or purpose. Nothing can stop you dead in your tracks like FEAR, except when you learn how to Get the “F” Out: Liberating FEAR & Letting LOVE In explains how power of LOVE sets you free from those FEARS that are holding you back from all you are meant to be!