My book launch party was last Sunday.
I am now officially an author.
You may think that my author status took effect when I held the first copy of my book in my hand, but it didn’t. For me it happened Sunday when I stood in front of family, friends, and interested people and shared a little bit of my story about how I moved from a mother devastated by her daughter’s death, and not sure how she was going to get from one moment to the next, to the person they saw before them; a woman standing in the fullness of my being sharing my story of grief and loss, and how I learned to thrive again after that loss.
It was truly a pivotal moment.
Dan has often said that I am a threshold crosser. Never before have I crossed such an important threshold. I have been preparing for this day for a long time. Yet, having a book published and cultivating the capacity to bring the work that my book represents into the world are two different things.
One of the things I shared on Sunday is that there was a point in my grief journey, many years in, that I felt comfortable with my life. I had a job that provided value; I wasn’t crying everyday, or even every week. My life had meaning and purpose, and every so often even a moment of joy. I thought that I had weathered the worst of my grief journey. I still missed Leah, of course, and there would still be difficult times, especially around holidays and milestones, but I knew how to navigate those times and I would be able to continue to live my life in this comfortable place.
I should have remembered what happens when I get too comfortable.
It was about that time I heard, “Someday you will help others navigate their grief journeys” and “It is time to write your book.”
The process of writing my book took me to places I didn’t know I had to go to be able to bring this work into the world.
First of all it took me on yet another turn of my grief spiral. I went back through Leah’s accident, her stay in the hospital, her funeral, and the early raw devastating days after her death. This happened multiple times. Each time I rewrote or edited my story I was back in those days, reliving my feelings. The gift in this process was that I was at a different place when I wrote the book than I was some 14 or 15 years ago. I received new insights, and when I connected with those early feelings, I was able to assist my clients in a different way, remembering where some of them are as they begin to work with me.
I also had to look at places in myself that I had never looked at; places that I didn’t particularly like, places that I felt were unlovable.
I needed to deconstruct the parts of my life that no longer served me, again. I needed to take a stand for myself like I had never done before so I had the capacity: body, mind, and soul, to hold this precious work in my heart and bring it into the world. Every aspect of my life changed. I stepped out of my comfort zone again and again as I did the inner work necessary to love myself completely right where I was, as I was, and continues doing that so I love myself right where I am now, as I am now. I learned what it meant to take care of myself in a deeper way. I learned how to listen deeply to my own inner wisdom, and to take inspired action. I learned to do this on my own timetable, not anyone else’s. I learned to trust myself implicitly. I learned presence in a more profound way.
Some of you may remember that shortly after Leah died I heard;
“Losing her is too high a price to pay to not live the life I was meant to live.”
Traveling the journey of my grief started the process of excavating that life. Writing my book has taken it so much further. I can now say I have crossed the threshold and live the fullest expression of who I am in this moment. I have no doubt that, as I remain devoted to my path that the expression of who I am will continue to evolve.