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From the heart

After about 20 speaking engagements I decided to go ''off the cuff,'' and go on stage without my notes. I thought to myself... why not, you know your story, heck you wrote a book about it... why need a script to talk about it. Whenever I hear someone speak without any aids, it comes across more authentic.

I always get really nervous every time I'm about to speak, and I'm afraid I will choke, but I knew I had to give it a try; I wasn't going to get any more ready than I already was. After all, what's the worst that could happen???

To my surprise, my presentation went very well, and I believe it reached my audience on a more passionate level. I'm not sure if there is a moral to the story other than what my motto has always been since I can remember, ''you never know unless you try.

What's around the corner?

For those who read my book, you know that my happy and cozy little life abruptly began to unravel at a rapid pace... In 1998, my son, Avery, was born with a serious life threatening heart defect, my dad suddenly died of a massive heart attack, and my daughter Jesse was diagnosed autistic. I felt like a tornado had swept me up and landed me on another planet. Until then, I never thought or worried about what lurked around the corner...never spent time wondering what life had in store for me next? But after all this happened, I constantly worried about the next curve ball life was going to throw at me. I guess that''s understandable considering the chain of events we went through. Thankfully, and after years of working at it, I can finally live in the present, and not worry about tomorrow. I know things are going to happen that are out of my control, they will to everyone, but why waste negative energy concerned about the what if, when, and how''s. It is certainly easier said than done, but it's like many things in life...we do have a conscious choice, and fear is simply a state of mind.

People think I'm crazy

May be I don't have the greatest odds to be a guest on Ellen, but stranger things have happened. Just because something isn't likely, does that mean we shouldn''t try???

How do we know if we never try....and what do we have to lose?

When I tell some people I sent a copy of Bravery to Ellen and her human interest producer, they look at me like I have two heads, and I can just tell what they're thinking, "Ya, like Your ever going to hear from Ellen."

Well, maybe I won''t, or may be I will, but one thing I know for certain is, how would I know if I never tried? I'd rather be thought of as crazy rather than lazy and cynical.

All the wonderful reviews of Bravery keep telling me to press on..it is a special book worth spending time to help share it. 

The old saying, ''If there's a will there's a way,'' isn't one of the most famous quotes for no reason.

How do you know when your sixth sense is right?

Sixth sense? Wishful thinking? How do we know what's what?\r\n\r\n

Should we spend years chasing after something because we believe it''s our calling, only to perhaps find out it was a disillusioned, fallen dream?\r\n\r\nI don''t mean to come off cynical, and anyone who knows me, knows I am one of the most optimistic people, but this of major importance in our life. We can waste many years following our dream that never comes, or maybe we will follow our dream and live the life we've always wanted, or more.\r\n\r\n

I ask this question because I was at a crossroads shortly before I decided to write this blog.

For years the notion to write my book, Bravery; Our Journey of Faith, Hope & Love, gnawed and gnawed at me. It was an uncanny strong feeling that I had to write this book and it was going to be a bestseller, but I kept pushing the thought away. "How can I write a book? My English professor basically thought |I was a waste of desk space." 

Then for some reason I decided I couldn't push the thought of writing a book away anymore. This is obviously what I'm supposed to do.....I finally listened to what Oprah phrased as, '' listen to the whisper.'' So, I sat down and began to pour out my heart and soul. It became my calling.

I wrote about my family and the series of devastation that took place following the spring of 1998. I wrote how we were able to rise above adversity and follow our dreams despite setbacks. More importantly, I came to understand how valuable it is to realize we all can live a wonderful life, even if it is not what we thought or planned it to be. I learned that this experience of mine became a purpose and I could inspire others.

I knew absolutely nothing about the writing world, but I worked through the frustrating times, somehow managing to keep the faith and persistence to see it through. Always feeling confident that Bravery would be a bestseller.

Well, after publishing Bravery, I found out that writing the book was the easy part. As a new unknown author, I had better odds at winning the Boston Marathon than I did releasing a bestseller! Despite the wonderful and admirable reviews, it is really difficult to get serious market penetration. You have to work so hard and think ''outside the box.'' 

Sunny days, you just want to spend time with your family and not on the computer googling....how to learn social media marketing! I sent out over 200 query letters to literary agents, only to receive lovely rejection letters generically stating my book wasn't the right fit for their agency. Ya, right....whatever....why couldn't they say what they really meant, "You are a new and unknown author and we can''t take a chance on you." I kept thinking, ''one day they will have wished they would have.''

At times it was all too overwhelming and encompassing, I felt so deflated, but, my sixth sense kept telling me to carry on. So here I am, one year post publication, still receiving amazing calls and emails of readers'' heart-warming sentiments. No bestseller yet, but to my family and friends it is! For that I remain grateful.

Love the Dalai Lama!

I love this quote from the Dalai Lama:

                         "To be aware of one shortcoming within oneself is more useful than to be aware of a thousand in someone else."  

 

It made me ponder the notion for a few minutes and imagine how the world may be different if more people put this quote into practice.

So many things would be different, like politics for one. Wow, this philosophy would put a total different spin on how our polititcians would behave....We might even actually like some of them. OOPS; I actually typed it.  Actually I don't follow politics very closely, but I know enough to think many people would agree. However, I can''t speak for others, these are just my pondering thoughts put to words.

I also don''t think there would be as many self absorbed narcissistic people in the world either! Most of them try to find fault in others in order to make themselves look good and feel better.If they followed the Dalai Lama''s advice, they might actually look in the mirror.

One valuable lesson I have picked up early on in life is....If you have one finger pointed at someone, you have three pointing back at you!

I''m far from perfect, but I do try my best not to judge a person unless I have walked a mile in their shoes. I think if we put forth an effort to be conscious of our thoughts and actions, we will be enlightened.

So, thank you Dalai Lama for reminding me to just try a little harder.                                                                  

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