Denise discusses the importance of planting the seed for your most authentic life. Video recorded from her cabin on the Buffalo River in Lobelville, Tennessee.

Denise discusses the importance of planting the seed for an authentic life.

I decided today that my motto for the New Year is going to be: If you can’t think something nice, don’t think anything at all. My decision is based on a recent event that offered proof that the Law of Attraction really works absolutely, positively, if (and here’s the biggie) we can stay out of our own stupid way.
Here’s how it all went down.
I’ve been stressing a bit (okay, a lot) over the sales of my most recent book. Titled, The Bountiful Garden, it is a work of fiction, ironically, about the law of attraction and the importance of right action. Given the central theme, I’ll admit that it’s odd, or maybe just human, that I am stressing over anything but I’ve spent more than a year finishing the book and money is, to say the least, tight.
At the same time, I’ve been crazy, busy following up the completion of my book with a whole lot of right action. I’m attending book signings, passing out free copies of my book to anyone who acts remotely interested in reading it and shamelessly working the new social media tools to spread the word. But, even with all the positive action, I have continued to live in the vibration of fear and doubt: “What if my book doesn’t sell.” “What if no one likes it?” “What if I can’t generate enough money to eat or pay the rent?” And, as any good law of attraction practitioner might have predicted, success has been slow in coming.
Then, just yesterday, my ex-husband showed up and handed me a barely used guitar. I am taking it as a sign.
Here’s why. Two weeks ago, I told a friend that I had decided to learn to play the guitar. Living just outside of Nashville and being a huge fan of acoustic music, it seemed like a bucket list thing to do. “The only rub is that I don’t own a guitar,” I told my friend, “but, it’s Nashville and I have lots of friends with lots of guitars. I’m sure I’ll be able to get one.” I was confident that it would happen and then I forgot about it; turning my attention to worry about the larger task at hand . . . book sales.
Enter my ex Shortly after the guitar discussion with my friend, I traveled to Charleston, South Carolina, to spend Christmas with my daughter. Her father, John, drove up from his home in Florida to meet us. As we were settling in to the condo, John said, “I’ve got a Christmas surprise for you.” I was stunned. We don’t typically exchange gifts and I certainly didn’t have the funds to reciprocate. He opened the back door of his Jeep and pulled out a guitar case. Handing it to me he said, “This is yours.” I cried.
According to John, the guitar is one that I bought new and gave to my son several years earlier. It had been sitting, forgotten, in John’s Florida home for more than three years and yet, it was only now that something had mysteriously motivated John to deliver it to me. I don’t remember the guitar or much about the circumstances of how it came to be at John’s house.
When I asked John what had prompted him to bring the guitar along on this particular trip, he just shook his head. “I don’t know,” he says. “It’s been sitting at my house for several years and I thought it was yours.”
I have a theory that his decision to deliver the guitar on this particular trip, is a result of the Law of Attraction. And, what’s more, I believe that it happened so quickly because I sent the intention into the Universe and then got out of my own way. I didn’t fret. I didn’t worry or wonder how I was going to get the guitar. I didn’t bog the energy down with negative thoughts or doubts. I simply said it and moved forward, confident that it would happen.
And, I’ve decided do the same as I move forward with my books—and pretty much everything else in my life. I believe the guitar experience to be a message, a gentle reminder of how perfectly the Law of Attraction can work when we don’t allow negative thoughts, doubts, fears or insecurities to enter in. And so, my motto for 2010 will be: If I can’t think something nice, don’t think anything at all.”

So many people have written to ask how they can get a copy of The Bountiful Garden. Books can be ordered online at http://www.TheBountifulGarden.net. I’m also working furiously to make the books available in small bookstores across the country. Blue Bicycle Books in Charleston now has copies available as does First Church Unity in Nashville. If you know of a bookstore interested in carrying them, please email me at denise@thebountifulgarden.net.

I just found this wonderful video and charitable organization about another Bountiful Garden. What a wonderful and worthwhile project. It is the message of my book in action. In future posts I’ll be sharing more examples of Bountiful Gardens taking root and, if you’ve been inspired in starting your own, “bountiful garden,” (note: garden is only a metaphor – each of grows our own personal garden in our own unique way) please share your story here!

 

I read a blog post recently by a fellow who wrote, “I’d consider myself stable.  I’ve been employed by the same company for 23 years.”   As a person who embraces change, I had to take a step back.  It’s not like I hadn’t heard that logic before — it’s haunted me for most of my life as something I ‘wasn’t’.

Stability always felt like a character flaw of mine and yet, I’ve made it 51 years, have happy, healthy relationships with my two well-adjusted adult children, and a loving and respectful relationship with my ex-husband.  I have a strong bond with a compassionate, supportive, intelligent, and creative community of family and friends and, while I don’t live in a million-dollar mansion or drive an expensive car, I’m able to support myself fairly well.

Also, (and here’s the biggie) I’m really, truly, absolutely, totally happy and healthy in body, mind and spirit.  And yet, by most people’s standards, I’m not what you’d call particularly stable — or even hugely successful.  A quick glance at my bio will give you an idea of my ‘MO’ — my first job out of college was as a farmer caring for baby pigs, I’ve been an advertising executive (yup – business suit, heels, briefcase. . . the works!), owner of an advertising agency, radio talk show host, journalist, and well . . . the list goes on and on.  And, just between you and me, it will likely continue it’s winding route for the next twenty years or so.

The thing that lights my fire is learning new stuff, digging into new adventures, meeting new and different people, testing my mettle by putting myself in new situations. On the way, the one constant on my path has been my writing or expressing my thoughts with words.  Ahhh!  There it is.  Maybe I’m more stable than I give myself credit for.  I’ve been a writer, and an observer of life — absorbing material for stories that would only be born years later, for more than 30 years!

But it makes me wonder if perhaps ‘stable’ isn’t over rated.  Not that there’s anything wrong with being a loyal employee for 23 years.  And, if you love (or even like)  your job, if it’s rewarding, if it let’s you live the life you’re meant to live and you are contributing at a respectable level then by all means, keep it.  I would NEVER fault anyone for being stable or not changing.  It just seems to me that being stable or any of the other adjectives society might use to define “success” might not be the best path for EVERYONE.  And, just because someone likes change, doesn’t/shouldn’t necessarily make them less worthy as a person.  Same goes for ‘organized’ (yes, I’m a ‘pile’ person and my clothes aren’t always neatly organized by color or fabric or (gasp) even season) or any of the other widely accepted success-related adjectives.

It seems to me that living an authentic life is really about living YOUR life.  The life that fits YOU, not what your Mother, Father, neighbor, religious leader, senator, teacher, radio talk show host, or anyone else says is noble or right.  And, I believe when each of us is able to claim our authentic life (and teach our children to do the same) the sooner we’ll realize peace and happiness for our selves, our communities and our world.

Open to Being Blessed

November 4, 2009

My lab-mix pup, Bella, hurried me out the door extra early today for her morning walk around Pinkerton Park.  Evidently no one gave her the memo about daylight savings time and I was still mildly perturbed with her as we made our way around the trail, an hour and a half earlier than usual.  The morning air was crisp, the leaves a vibrant display of orange, greens and golds framed by the full moon setting into the west.  Still, I was grumbling, mostly missing the magnificence of the day, as I waited impatiently for Bella to do her business.  As Bella paced and sniffed and sniffed and paced in search of the just right depository, I noticed a large woman, probably seventy  pounds over weight, wearing a dark blue sweatshirt and sweatpants, hat pulled down over her ears against the cold morning air, making her way briskly along the trail toward me.  She swayed as she walked, a pattern I guessed she’d developed from carrying the extra weight, and her arms swung back and forth in keeping with her rhythm.  There was a bounce in her step that suggested her mood was happy.  I caught her eye and smiled as she passed, “Good morning,” I said in greeting.  “How are you today?”  She met my gaze with deep brown eyes and broke into a wide grin.  “Good Morning,” she replied adding with a mix of enthusiasm and sweet southern drawl, “I’m blessed.”   As she passed by me, waddling along the path, I caught myself smiling with the sunshine she’d just shared and thought what a wonderful way to answer that stale old question of, “how are you?”.   Here was a woman who showed no outward signs of what most of the world would consider “blessed.”  Her clothes were old and well-worn, she wasn’t particularly pretty by most standards, and she was bordering on morbidly obese.  Yet she was out at the crack of dawn, on a crisp autumn morning in middle Tennessee and, she was clearly celebrating her blessings. I was humbled by her choice to recognize the blessings in her life and decided that, “I’m blessed,” will become my official and heartfelt response from this point forward.  No matter how bleak the day may look.  How empty my bank account may be or how quickly my deadlines are approaching, if I’m breathing, and I’m able to wait patiently (or even impatiently) for Bella to, ‘do her business,’ I will remember my new found friend and answer with a sincere and heartfelt smile . .  “I’m blessed.”

Seeds of Impermanence

November 1, 2009

Today is a gift; a tiny seed with potential for peace, happiness and joy. I go forth today present in each moment, fully engaged in each experience.  I embrace this day with the understanding that my time in this world is limited. I live today with full appreciation that it may be my last.  I understand that life offers no guarantees and that, regardless of age or health, today could also be my final opportunity to demonstrate my appreciation to those I love.  I make the best use of every opportunity I am given today to express love and gratitude.

This past September, appropriately during the height of harvest, I put the finishing touches on my first work of fiction, The Bountiful Garden.  It has been a labor of love, one of those, “before I die,” kind of promises we often make to ourselves.  Though I hadn’t intended for my book to be an inspirational work of fiction, shortly after I started writing; it took on a life of its own.  The story is one that is dear to my heart, something I witness often here on the outskirts of Nashville.  It is the story of individuals trying to find their way to the life they are meant to be living.  Too often, near this fabulous city of musicians and artists, I noticed that dreams are forgotten, left by the roadside in an effort to create lives that are sometimes not as rewarding as first imagined.  It is also my own personal story of how I shunned my true heart as a writer and the joy that I have experienced as I found my way back to it.  I am currently in the process of finding representation for my book — an agent, a publisher, a champion.  As I’m quickly learning, these are tumultuous times for the publishing industry.  I’m trying to be patient with the process (not one of my natural virtues) but, if all else fails, will thank my lucky stars that I have more than 30 years experience in marketing and will self-publish.  In the meantime, I will use this blog to share some of messages within my book and reach out to others who might find comfort and inspiration in them.  I welcome you to come along for the ride!  Subscribe to my blog, make comments, or email me directly.  And, when the day comes that The Bountiful Garden is published and available for purchase, you’ll be among the first to know!

Blessings to All,  Denise