Grateful for the Book Tour

I knew I’d be writing a post like this.  I knew I’d feel changed and ever-grateful for my time with Lissa last week.  But to tell you the truth I thought it would be for totally different reasons than it is.

You see, Lissa is a Goddess.  She is a Rockstar.  She is a Rockstar Goddess!  She is grace under pressure with enough energy to light up a big city.  I was in awe of the way she moved through each day, accomplishing everything on the agenda, answering her hundreds of emails, and being loving and open enough to sit and talk with individuals after events about their very personal female problems.  She has made her way to the stage and it’s going to be so much fun to watch it all unfold and know I had a small part in it.

When the opportunity to serve as “roadie” was first brought to me I told Mark I needed to do it so I’d know if my career goals were right for me.  Since I started writing again in 2007, I have dreamed of a career like Lissa’s.  I wanted to write books and travel, speaking to crowds and doing book signings.  I’ve thought so much about this dream that in ways it has disrupted my creative writing.  As time passes and I see myself no closer to “the goal” it has really brought me down.  So getting to experience the “Rockstar Author” life vicariously through Lissa was just what I needed.

I assumed that I’d get there and think “YES!! THIS IS THE LIFE FOR ME!”  Instead, it didn’t take long for me to realize I thrive on the simple, quiet life I have.  I reserve the right to change my mind (which is something I am told Charles Fillmore, founder of Unity, used to say), but that high-demand-everybody-wants-a-piece-of-you  life is not for me.  I love that I can sit on the couch and read a book for an hour without feeling like there is something else I need to be doing.  It’s nice knowing I get to pick the girls up from school everyday and schedule playdates for them.  I don’t need to be anyone else’s Rockstar because I am one to the people it matters to the most.

During her presentations, Lissa often mentioned how you can leave your job but you can’t leave your calling.  Her calling as an OBGYN was to take care of women.  As the author of What’s Up Down There? and creator of Owning Pink, she is still answering that call.  This was something that flashed like a red light across my imagination every time she said it.   THE CALLING!  I’m not 100% sure of my calling but the trip definitely gave me some ideas.  Although I’m resisting it like you wouldn’t believe, I think it has something to do with teaching!  Just like Lissa, I left that traditional job yet I still feel called to help educate people (though I’m not exactly sure on the subject).

This Thanksgiving week, I am so grateful for the chance I had to test-drive the car before I plunked down the money to buy it.  Now I’m one step closer to the me I’m meant to be!

In honor of the holiday week the next 4 days on the blog will be low-key!  I am still in need of “click stories” if you have an “aha” moment you’d like to write about!

The Joy of Serving

Right now, I am sitting in a tea spot called Hooker Tea in Tampa.  I’m drinking my first cup of hot tea ever (I’ve tried it before but never liked it enough to actually drink it).  Lissa Rankin is next to me doing the same thing I am, typing away on her laptop while sipping tea.  This is our last full and busy day of the Florida leg of her book tour.  We have a couple of hours downtime until the event tonight at University of Tampa.

This week I have served as the roadie/personal assistant for Lissa.  My duties include keeping track of the schedule, driving her to events on time, and doing what I can to make things as easy and stress-free as possible.  I have really been enjoying it.  My soul purpose for this week has been to serve another person, no strings attached, and it has been great.

Each step of the way I’ve found myself thinking of ways to help Lissa out before I think of what I want or need.  Somehow it’s easy to do this when it is “my job” to.  I don’t have to analyze it.  At home when Callee requests milk in a sippy cup and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with the crust cut off I wonder if I am spoiling her by giving in to those specific wishes.  When I look at the clock and see it’s almost time for Mark to get home from work, I’ll often scramble to straighten up the house out of guilt that I’ve wasted too much time in the day.  I get frustrated when I have to tend to the dogs in the middle of the night or wait for them to do their business when I’m in a hurry.  Sometimes, on the drive to Bella’s school on volunteer day I just wish I was driving to the gym instead.  My career right now (whether I’ve viewed it that way or not) is all about serving my family, yet I don’t always look at it as a joyful endeavor.  This trip has opened my eyes to the joy of serving.

My hope is that I take this pleasure and satisfaction I am feeling by helping someone out back home with me and to my family.  Service really does start with your own family, friends, and community.  I really believe that if I can hold this feeling in my heart and think of the duties I do for my family as gifts that make their life experience more pleasant, I will feel better myself.  It’s really quite difficult to feel guilty, insecure, resentful, or frustrated when you are giving gifts! I will set the intention to be mindful of my gifts of service and allow it to bring me joy!  I’m quite sure that all involved will benefit!

The Wizard of Oz

“There’s no place like home.” -Dorothy

I’m home from my adventure with Lissa Rankin!  It was great, I’ll tell you more about it throughout the week.  Most of all though, I realized how much I love being with my family…they are truly my HOME.  Wherever Mark, Bella, and Callee are is where I want to be.

Also today is mine and Mark’s 12 year anniversary!  Happy anniversary to the best husband in the world!!!

EXCITEMENT and a Blog Break

I’ve been sitting on this exciting news for about two months now.  When I was first approached with the opportunity, I made the choice not to talk about it too much.  I had very logical thinking:  If I talk about it, it will disappear.  Although I mentioned it to those closest to me, I didn’t announce it until the plane tickets were booked and it was official.

What is this big news you ask?  On Monday I am flying to Miami to join Lissa Rankin on the Florida leg of her book tour.  We will be traveling to Boca Raton, Orlando, and Tampa.  I get to be her roadie/personal assistant.  After over a year of having an online friendship with Lissa and writing for her wonderful website, Owning Pink, I finally get to meet her face to face and soak up some of her radiant energy.  It’s also not too shabby that I get to see the inner-workings of a book tour and travel along with someone doing my dream job!

With that being said, I will not be blogging next week.  I’ve decided to devote next week to the writers that help me write.  Each day I will feature a writer who has actually read my fiction and provided me with feedback.  In essence these are the people whose names would appear in an acknowledgment section if say I get a novel published someday.

Each day I’ll briefly introduce you to someone and then provide the links to their websites and/or blogs so that you can learn more about them and read their writing.

Have a wonderful week!  I will be back with something new on Monday the 22nd!

Gratitude Fix

So today I’m in a mood, feeling a little down without good reason.  Like I’ve said before the closest fix I’ve got for a mood like this is to simply count my blessings.  So this will be another one of those gratitude posts!

I am grateful for Mark and how much he loves the girls and me.  It meant so much that he went with me to take them to their first day of school.  I love that he said to me while in Bella’s kindergarten classroom “Let’s just stay until the teacher starts kicking the parents out.”  I reminded him that I was a teacher and I know from experience that the teacher does not want to have to kick us out.  But it felt good that he said it and that leaving his little ones at school on their first days touched his heart in that way.  (I was also the one to pull him away from Callee’s school’s playground.)

I am grateful for spending a few hours with the ladies in my women’s group last weekend.  I am so lucky to know all of them and am just in awe of their talents.  I had been thinking a lot recently about taking a dance class and sure enough we talked a great deal about Jenny’s tremendous dancing skills and the various classes available in town.  I even discovered there is a studio here that offers pole dancing classes (which I totally want to do after reading Lissa Rankin’s post…the one I linked to yesterday).  I am also looking forward to Kamala’s upcoming workshop on healing.  I can’t wait to get a dose of all that she has been learning through her travels and studies this past year.

I am grateful that this first week of school has gone smoothly.  I am so pleased that we live in walking distance to Bella’s school.  I might have had a completely different reaction to the first day if I had had to wait in a car line or put her on a school bus.  It is very comforting to be this close and the exercise I’m getting walking an extra 2 miles a day certainly is appreciated.

Finally, I am grateful for the way my world is expanding.  It is quite amazing how blogging and tweeting has opened up so many doors and invited new people into my life.  I chatted today with a fellow writer in India and bought a book on Tuesday to send to my new friend in Texas.  I connected with someone else in Virginia and may have just gotten my first official writing gig.

Like always, I could go on and on, but I won’t.  It seems this was just enough to get me feeling better.  Life truly is good.  Someone replied to a blog post I wrote today and said “Ain’t it fun to be on this trip?”  When I first read the question I hesitated for a second, but then realized it was just the reminder I needed.  Yes it is fun!

For the sake of fun, laughter, and needing to be cheered up…here’s a pretty funny video but probably NSFW since a thong wearing woman makes an appearance (if you’re at work and can’t watch it, come back later for the laugh.)

Inspired

I read this website/blog almost everyday called Owning Pink.  You can find it under “sites I like” on this blog and I’m sure some of you have clicked on it too.  On my second day of tweeting, Lissa Rankin became one of my followers.  I’m still not sure how I ended up on her radar, whether it was something that posted on the public feed or it was the meditation twibe I joined, but she was one of the first on my list.  I started visiting her site and commenting on her posts and pretty soon I felt a part of the Pink Posse.

Owning Pink is all about empowering, honoring, and inspiring women.  In all of her posts, Lissa (and her guest bloggers) find ways to use personal experiences to encourage others to dare to be their authentic selves, to follow their hearts, their passions, and their intuitions to become who they are truly meant to be.

When I sat down at my computer, thinking I might write a new blog post, I stopped in at Owning Pink first.  It was there that I read this post by Lissa and got my inspiration for this blog.

I am terrified of heights.  I shake and cry when we drive over tall bridges.  When I attend sporting events or concerts and have seats in the nose bleed section, I’m on the brink of a breakdown before I make it to my seat.  When we were last in Vegas, we paid the $12 to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower in “Paris” and once up there I couldn’t peel myself away from the wall and got back on the elevator as quickly as I could.  But with all of this being said and after reading Lissa’s blog, I am going to put hang-gliding  on my list of things to do.   I don’t want to have such a paralyzing fear in my life and the only way to get rid of it is to face it.  So here’s hoping that the opportunity will present itself and I can take the plunge and scratch one more fear off my list.