“And On Those Down Days…”

It took me over 30 minutes to get the ice and snow off my car this morning but after that I was on my way to work, driving my favorite route: the beach. It was quite a beauty this morning. It’s almost an anomaly to see snow on the sand but one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen. It’s haunting yet picturesque. It’s a look that you don’t see often so when you’re lucky enough to see it then you know you’re blessed to have seen something so amazing.

Sometimes our days begin in an awesome way until something trips us up and puts us in a funk, a down mood, so to speak. I had just that type of morning. In the midst of accounting and invoices I found myself feeling sad. I know what caused it but more importantly, I had to figure out why. I wasn’t going to talk about it until I figured out why a certain incident caused me to feel so badly. And that’s where I am tonight. I don’t want to talk about it with anyone until I’ve figured out why I let it bother me.

The key is not to react to whomever may have invoked these feelings within us, but rather look inwards to ourselves to understand and figure out WHY we had those feelings. And that is what my Friday night is tonight, taking a good look inward at my heart and soul to see what I’m really upset about. Was it what was said? Or was it about how I felt about what was said?

And that’s up to each of us. We need to understand that our feelings, no matter how they were invoked, are OUR feelings and only WE know why we feel that way. This is why it’s important not to react but rather to take it in and think about it. My feelings tonight are MINE and mine alone. I know what upset wasn’t meant to intentionally upset me but sadly, it did. I don’t blame the person who said it but would rather spend my time tonight alone thinking about WHY it upset me. And once I can do that, I’ll be able to say that I learned something else about myself, and isn’t that what life is all about? Learning about ourselves, the why’s and the how’s, and figuring out what to do with all of that. 

I’m learning not to blame the messenger but to understand the message and deal with it.

Life is always changing and we are always learning more and more about ourselves, if we’re open to learning, not blaming. And isn’t that what our down days are all about? Learning, not blaming. Understanding, not judging. Accepting, not allowing.

I love life more than I can tell you, the good days and the bad. I know that they all came to teach me, help me, and move me forward. And my hope is that you see your life as a gift, not a burden, no matter what it hands you.

As for me? My Friday night is filled with a hot bath, a cup of lavender tea, and a martini glass filled with tears and understanding.

Good night, my loves. May life be good to you and may you take those “down days” as your life lesson on how to turn them into your “up days!”

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Deal With The Cause, Not The Symptom”

“Beneath every behavior there is a feeling. And beneath every feeling there is a need. And when we meet that need rather than focus on the behavior, we begin to deal with the cause, not the symptom.”

I don’t know who wrote this but it sure did make me stop and think about it. I’ve gone through some difficult situations which is why this made perfect sense to me. Our behavior IS the result of our underlying feelings about something.

For example, let’s take a couple with two very different views on their relationship. One person may get upset when the other isn’t sharing information with them or gets defensive when asked a particular question. The behavior is getting “upset,” the feeling  beneath that is “feeling left out and hurt,” and the need is “to be included.”

And then there’s the reaction of the person that doesn’t feel the need to share the information or answer the question. The behavior is “anger,” the feeling beneath that is “feeling controlled,” and the need is “to be trusted.”

What a brilliant concept and one that makes  perfect sense to me. None of us are perfect yet if we look at the big picture of not just the other person’s behavior’ but our own as well, so much pain, anger, and sadness could be avoided. It’s a chance for healing of the heart. It’s a chance to grow closer together through communication and understanding. And it’s a chance for positive change.

Behavior, feelings and needs. Meet the need rather than focus on the behavior. Deal with the cause, not the symptoms. And above all else, be kind to each other while you do.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“The New Year’s Revelations”

(Here’s an excerpt from my book, “Each Breath Along The Journey”)

I write about this subject in one form or another every year, and this year is no exception.

Every year I notice that as the  New Year approaches, people start talking about their “resolutions.” There’s things they want to do and things they want to change in their life so they make a list of “resolutions.”

I threw that concept out years ago because to me, resolutions were nothing more than making promises to myself that I couldn’t keep. They were goals for sure, but seriously, how many of us actually stick to those resolutions? I always tried, failed at some, then beat myself up for not doing what I had wanted.

So, years ago I realized that the only way for my life to change was by learning the lessons that life had handed me, by learning from my mistakes, learning from my experiences, and so I decided to have my “New Year’s Revelations!” 

I ask myself some important questions throughout the month of December: What opened my eyes this past year? What did I learn about myself? What type of people are in my tribe? Am I taking care of myself and loving myself enough or giving too much of myself away? And what do I need to let go of that has no place in the New Year coming up and in my life?

These are the questions to ask yourself and answer honestly. You see, when you have those “revelations” about yourself and the year that’s about to come to an end, you take those lessons and truths with you. You begin the New Year with a better understanding of yourself, your life, your situations and the people in it. When you do that, the New Year will bring all that you want it to: love, happiness, joy, adventure, new beginnings, and new opportunities. The possibilities are endless.

Don’t put added stress on yourself by making “resolutions.”

Take the time to think about your “revelations” and begin the New Year in a positive light. 

All things are possible if you just believe in yourself!

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“My New Year’s Revelations”

The definition of a revelation is “a surprising and previously unknown fact, especially one that is made known in a dramatic way.”

I write about the “New Year’s Revelations” every year and as 2020 is about to end I’m thinking of all that I’ve been through and all that I’ve learned. I’d like to share that with you.

My year began with the launch of my book, “Each Breath Along The Journey,” which brought some amazing opportunities for me: a chance to teach a writer’s workshop in Italy, to write for a local magazine and conduct a weekly workshop. The pandemic hit and every chance I had was suddenly gone. 

The pandemic kept me confined to the house and my daily routine was disrupted with everyone else home. I began cooking AND eating three meals a day, and not all the healthiest of choices. 

I found myself going back to a job I had left six years ago to work full-time. Suddenly I was out and everyone else was home. 

My five year relationship was falling apart and by July it had all changed.

I moved from the house I had been in for 10 years to a 9 month winter rental near the beach.

We’ve all gone through some tough times this year but as I always say “change is a chance to grow.” Some of those changes may be difficult but I always believe everything happens for a reason.

My revelations of 2020 are:

“Resilience.”Disappointment happens and things don’t always go as planned but those disappointments are a chance to do something else with what you’ve got. Sometimes those disappointments turn into your greatest comeback!

 “Gratitude.” I learned to embrace the time that the pandemic had forced me to have home with those closest to me. It slowed me down and gave me a greater appreciation for my life and all the things I had taken for granted. 

“Health.” Three meals a day equals weight gain so I decided to change all that by joining a program that not only helped me to lose the weight and inches, it’s helped me to sleep better and have more energy. My  mind is clear and more focused than ever. 

“Blessing.” The job proved to be a good thing for me both mentally and financially.

“Forgiveness.” We were both feeling hurt from all that had happened in our relationship and it forced us to take a good look at ourselves and each other.  It’s one day at a time and we continue to work at it.

“Healing.” The move to the beach house proved to be the best place I could have landed at that time in my life. I needed to heal and find my balance again.

And that’s how I’m letting go and saying good-bye to 2020, with my revelations of “resilience, gratitude, blessings, forgiveness and healing.” It’s a good start for 2021 and I’ll be taking those revelations and more into the new year with me.

Happy New Year, my loves.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“It Really Is A Wonderful Life”

(I wrote this post last year at a time when none of us could imagine what was coming a short time later. Yet as I read this again I still believe that we are blessed to be alive, blessed to be loved and blessed to have made a difference in the lives of others. It’s truly a “wonderful life.”)

Tonight I’ll be heading out with friends to the Paramount Theater in Asbury Park, New Jersey, to see the movie, “It’s A Wonderful Life.” I watch it every year on TV, as so many of us do, yet tonight will be a real treat to see it on the big screen.

It’s the perfect holiday movie and a reminder for all of us that our life affects the lives of others. Think about that…who would you be without the people you’ve met along this journey and who would they be without you? 

There are some of you who have lost loved ones and are missing them, especially during the holidays. It’s good to remember them and the memories they left you with, but think about how their lives impacted yours. Who would you be or where would you be in your life if you never knew them?

And then look around at the people that are still here on this Earth. Think about them as well and ask yourself the same question: “Who would you be or where would you be in your life without them?”

You see, we have a chance to learn the same lesson that George Bailey did: “each man’s life touches so many other lives.” Make your life a “wonderful life,” because it is.

Remember that today and always.

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Twas The Morning Of Christmas”

I wrote this several years ago but share it with you every year at this holiday season. It’s a different kind of Christmas this year but let’s not forget the “reason for the season.” There’s a magical feeling this time of year. Keep Christmas in your heart.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Maybe We All Need A Little Love”

Sometimes we need to look at each other the way Linus looked at the tree. I believe there’s good in everyone even if you can’t always see it.

It could be that they’re afraid to get hurt.

Maybe they’re afraid that if they show who they are they will be judged or disliked.

Or it could be that they have trouble trusting other people because of someone that broke their trust. 

And the list can go on.

We don’t always understand why people are the way they are, but I’m going to continue to believe that there’s good in everyone just waiting to shine through

“Maybe they just need a little love.”

Maybe we all do.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Let Go Of Negative Emotions”

Holding on to negative emotions of anger, hurt, frustration or sadness is a waste of your precious time.

“You Can’t Always Get What You Want”

“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.” Mick Jagger and Keith Richards

I don’t always get what I want, do you? So how do you react to that?

I get a bit frustrated but then I switch my perspective. I tell myself “maybe what you want isn’t what you need.”

Sometimes a Higher Power knows better for us. 

And it’s true. Some of the things I’ve wanted in my life didn’t happen and as time passed I realized that they didn’t happen for good reason: it wasn’t in my best interest or something not so good would have come out of it.

We all get disappointed when we don’t get what we want, but if you really look at your life you’ll see that you get what you need.

What is it that you want that you aren’t getting?

Are you loved? Are there people in your life that care about you? Is someone there to help you through your difficult times and celebrate your good times? Have you woken up to another day that you were never promised?

Those are gifts and guess what? It’s all that you need.

Life may not always give you what you want, but it will always provide you with what you need.

And if it’s meant to be, it will give you what you want.

I have to believe that. 

Be grateful for it all.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

Photo by Anne Dennish 2020

“Here Comes That Holiday Anxiety!”

The holidays are fast approaching and that “good ‘ol anxiety” we sometimes feel is taking advantage of us and rearing its ugly head! So many people have anxiety at this time of year and this year it seems to be worse. We feel cut off from friends and family and isolated from having a social life that we’ve grown accustomed to.

But this too shall pass.

Be kind to yourself and others.

Be gentle and forgiving with yourself and others.

And remember that this holiday season will soon become a memory to be shared next year when you’re surrounded by family, friends and loved ones.

We’re all in this together even though we have to do it apart.

Hang in there, my loves.

You got this!

And you’re doing just fine.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~