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Living Your Soul Signature: Sue Monk Kidd

To live your soul signature means having the courage and clarity to live a life that is uniquely yours and reflects your greatest potential. This series of posts focuses on people who inspire me in the way they live their life and have found their most authentic expression. 

Sue Monk Kidd is living her soul signature.

“Ah, but never underestimate the power of a dismissed dream. I think there must be a place inside of us where dreams go and wait their turn.”- Sue Monk Kidd

Nearly every day I get an email from someone who worries that the discovery of their true purpose will forever elude them. Your soul signature, I tell them, patiently waits for the moment when you are willing to surrender how you think you should be and embrace a greater truth. Sue Monk Kidd is living proof of this.

When you first meet her, you might not know that this soft-spoken, Southern woman is actually a hugely successful literary dynamo. But this down-to-earth, peaceful presence finds her most powerful expression by creating and celebrating unforgettable women in her fiction.

Born in 1948, Sue grew up in the small town of Sylvester, Georgia. Her father would weave tales for her as a child, and his creative storytelling inspired her to begin telling stories of her own. Though it was her dream to become a writer, she decided it was more practical to pursue a career in nursing instead. After a decade working as an RN and nursing instructor, the call to write beckoned her once again. This time, she listened.

On the eve of her 30th birthday, Sue enrolled in a writing class at a local college where she produced a personal essay that was published in the spiritual publication, Guideposts and later in Reader’s Digest. She went on to become a contributing editor at Guideposts and published many articles in journals and newspapers.

In her early forties, Kidd began to explore an aspect of spirituality that was new to her: the sacred feminine. This discovery gave her the freedom, in her words, “to express myself in ways native to my own soul.”

Sue’s desire to write fiction was awakened once again. Facing her fear of failure head-on, she enrolled in a graduate writing course. In time she won several awards for her short stories. She began work on her first novel, The Secret Life of Bees, when she was 53 years old.

My wife, Jan, had the honor of meeting Sue more than fifteen years ago at a store right here in Naples. Never one to be shy, Jan spoke excitedly about her deep appreciation for Sue’s work. Impulsively, she asked Sue if she would appear at a special event that would benefit a local not-for-profit school. Sue agreed! And the event was a great success, raising more than $25,000. When Sue spoke at the benefit, she shared her belief that age is irrelevant and that whenever you embrace your unique expression, you will be able to make a contribution to yourself, your family, your community, and the world. 

Sue’s latest novel, The Invention of Wings, was just published in January and became an instant bestseller. It was also selected by Oprah Winfrey for her Book Club 2.0.

My message to you: Don’t be discouraged by dreams that don’t manifest as quickly as you’d like. Sue Monk Kidd is a beautiful example of what happens when you finally find your most authentic expression—and she inspires us to find wings of our own.