Meet Annick Ina: Book Doula, Self-publishing Expert, and beautiful soul.
Annick is my forever Book Launch Manager, and there’s no one else I’d trust with getting my books out into the world.
She was such an incredible support and asset during our launch of my memoir in 2020, Unravel: Rising Up and Coming Back from a Season of Living That Damn Near Killed Me, getting us to number one new release in five out of six categories! She also helped us with the categorization, marketing strategy, and release of Awesome Life Tips®: 365 Tips for the Dark Night of the Soul. She will be a part of any and every book launch going forward because she’s that good.
I now consider Annick a dear friend, as she’s always sharing her own powerful stories and words of wisdom that inspire me on a near-daily basis, and because she’s so supportive of my personal and professional goals. I absolutely love her as a human and am so excited to share her with you as today’s Feature Friday guest!
Who you are, what you do, and who you serve?
I’m a multipassionate entrepreneur who’s found her dream job in helping people write and change lives, starting with their own.
What does purpose mean to you, and how does your work allow you to live yours more fully?
Purpose is that deep desire that you feel in your bones, guts, heart, EVERYWHERE… It is that thing that means the world to you that comes almost effortlessly to you and contributes to making the world a better place.
What challenges have you faced that shaped who you are and your work in the world? How did you overcome them, and what did you learn?
It might sound cliché but What I’ve realised is that I’ve spent the first decades of my life feeling unsafe to be me. I picked up the belief as a child that it wasn’t ok for me to be me. That it wasn’t ok for me to feel the way I felt, let alone express it.
The result was that I was left with a self that I thought was not welcome in society and was torn in between two worlds. I didn’t want to go out in the world and be someone else, and I didn’t want to be myself either because I felt like that was bad.
Living in that middle can be so lonely… On the outside, I was trying to hide how painful that was, and sometimes I even managed to hide it from myself.
When I decided to write my book, it wasn’t because I had lessons to share with the world. I was just sick and tired of living in that disconnect. I was tired of feeling like I needed to hide who I was, for fear that no one would love me.
It was a bit of a desperate gamble of putting myself out there so that at least I wouldn’t have to live in that fear of being discovered…and rejected. I thought “I don’t want to hide anymore. I want to tell the world who I am. And if they don’t like it, fine. But at least I’ll be free to be me.”
It really felt like an urge from within. I HAD to do it. So I took myself on a writing retreat and wrote for days. I wrote down who I was. It was a reflection, putting the pieces together that made me who I was. I looked back at stories and narratives. And I gave myself the space to exist. To feel. To express myself.
That whole process felt like connecting all the wires that had been disconnected along the way, for decades. One story at a time, I was reconnecting to myself. And by the end of it, I felt like I’d come back home to myself.
I know now that’s a feeling that a lot of people experience when they go through that process. It’s changed my life and allowed me to start living differently. To show up as me, and to start feeling safe being me. It’s a journey that took years even after my book was written, but it was all started with me being one again with myself.
My first meditation teacher was an elderly woman and she often talked about how you’ll hear people talk about something, and you hear the words and maybe intellectually you think you get it… But then when you experience it, you REALLY get it-get it, with all your being. To me the transformation that occurs when you go through that reconnection is one of those things that words cannot express. You get to really get it when you experience it.
Feeling safe to be me has made a huge difference in my life, business, relationships and even my health. As I mentioned earlier, it’s a process that took years and it’s not fully over yet. But a few years ago I discovered psychoBIOlogy and how our emotions have an effect on our body via our nervous system. That was a key information to me and it made sense of all my past journey, and shed a light on my future. It put what I’d been living and experiencing into words.
What I know now is that when you’re hiding who you are, thinking that parts of you are unlovable, you start living in UN-SAFETY, and that can destroy the joy of living little by little everyday.
Coming back to yourself and finding that sense of safety in being who you are didn’t happen overnight for me, but it started with writing my book and going through that first process of going within, and exposing what I’d found to the world. Scared shitless, but at the same time ready to finally own who I am.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give someone trying to live their purpose?
The answer is often right there under your nose. Be open to what it looks like. Sometimes it’s not so much about “finding” it, it’s about getting rid of all the expectations and noise preventing us from seeing or embracing it.
Tell us some fun, random, or interesting facts about yourself!
- I have a missing tip of my finger and that’s actually really handy when you’ve just had a manicure and are waiting for you nail polish to dry… 😂 I’m not sure people will find that funny… People think mishaps can’t be made fun of. It’s really handy though, to get face cream out of the container without getting cream under your nails… 🤷🏾♀️
- I am obsessed with cats. I used to be a Foster mum in Italy because it allowed me to be a cat mum when I wasn’t travelling. Cat love is priceless to me!
- I won a national dictation tournament when I was ten, and was chosen to represent my country in an international tournament. I went on a one-week trip with other kids from the Indian Ocean from ages 10-15.
- I was born and raised on a tropical island that Mark Twain called better than paradise… Spent about 15 years in Europe and then two years ago my winter trip in the Southern hemisphere turned into actually settling back here, partly because of Covid travel restrictions, partly because I met someone.
- I’m trilingual. My first language is French. Our education system is in English so I grew up bilingual, and at age 13 I started learning Italian. I’m fully fluent in those three languages.
- I got so obsessed with Italian, the language, that I would get teary-eyed just hearing people speaking… And at age 18 I told everyone that one day I’d live in Italy, even if that meant having to clean toilets for a living… At age 22 I moved to Italy for a student exchange and immediately grew roots. Up until two years ago, Italy was the country I’d call Home. It still is where all of my belongings are…in storage.
- I LOVE languages. I find them fascinating and love the experience of those first steps learning and putting words together in a new language. I picked up Bulgarian because all my friends were Bulgarian at my university in France. I also speak a little bit of German because I lived in Germany and Austria for some time. I started German conversation lessons with a tutor “just for fun” during Covid.
- I have such vivid and detailed dreams that I often can’t tell whether “memories” are from something that happened in real life or in my dreams!!
Annick Ina is a Book Doula and Self-publishing expert. Through the life-changing process of becoming a first-time author, Annick realized that books were an incredible medium of transformation for so many of us, and directed her soulful coaching expertise as well as her strategic mind towards helping others birth their books. She now runs a concierge publishing service, offering end-to-end book coaching and publishing services, so that writers can focus wholly on the part that only they can do: sharing their story. Sharing her own experiences, Annick creates safe spaces filled with empathy and humor to help you harness your experience, tell your stories, and change lives, starting with yours.
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