“The Lesson In The Pain”

I find a lesson in everything…even in pain, and the last 11 days have been no exception. I’ve been battling severe sciatica. Some days the pain has been excruciating, other days it’s been manageable, yet throughout the last 11 days of being able to do nothing but rest and take it easy, I’ve found myself changing.

Life and all its’ little problems were still knocking at my door, begging to come in with all their stress and drama, but guess what? I didn’t answer the door. I left all that “negative stuff” on the front porch, knowing that it would soon go away if I ignored it…and it did.

Living with pain is a horrible thing, yet it taught me that nothing else mattered except my healing. The pain reminded me that I’m just as important as anyone else, and that this time was mine to rest and get well. And it taught me to let go of things quicker and easier…and be done with them.

I guess you could say this amount of pain for this long of a time changed my behavior and perspective on situations that bring me stress or are filled with drama. I see them differently and learned to quickly dismiss them, not let them bother me, and focus on what’s important: my family, my loved ones, my tribe and ME!

I’m on the mend and it’s been a long, painful 11 days, yet it wasn’t in vain and was for a reason: to learn another life lesson. And while my leg still hurts, I can tell you that my heart doesn’t. I can’t worry about what I can’t change in others, I can only change how I react to them.

And sometimes “no reaction” is the best “reaction” to someone trying to bring their stress and drama into your life.

Try it.

It’s a good thing!

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

 

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“Round Two The Show – AirMax Day NYC”

“It’s turning imagination into reality. It’s taking an idea and it’s bringing it to life.” ~Sean Wotherspoon~

Of all the shows my nephew has been in, this one has to be my favorite. It’s “Round Two The Show – AirMax Day NYC!” I hope you take the time to watch it as he talks about the 2018 Nike AirMax shoe he designed and his entire NYC experience throughout the process.

It’s more than being his proud aunt, and proud is an understatement, but it’s about watching this young man believe so much in his dreams that he has done everything it takes to turn it into a reality…and with much success! He never stops dreaming or imagining or working towards turning all those into a reality. He believes that it’s all about taking an idea and bringing it to life!

Dreams turn into reality when you believe in the dream and in yourself. My nephew is such an inspiration to many, especially to me. I love that he’s a dreamer because I know firsthand what that feels like. And I know how excited he is about his dreams turning into his reality, because I’ve felt that emotion as well.

So here’s to all your dreamers out there…just believe, just have faith, everything else will fall into place! Take that leap of faith, believe in yourself and your dreams, and just go out and do it!

It’s a good thing!

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

 

“What Now With New Beginnings”

“Journey is over, the battle is won. A new chapter starting, a new day begun, 

So what do I do know? Where do I start?

Do I take the road known or less traveled and follow my heart?

Life is always changing, it’s time to turn the page,

The story continues and it’s mine to create.

So what do I do now? Where do I go?

Do I let my mind lead me backwards in time or move ahead slow?”

What now with new beginnings? What now with the old life behind? What now that I’m starting over, no clue, no reason, no rhyme.

Time to change my thinking,

Time to lose the fear,

The Universe is watching, that’s what brought me here.

It’s all an adventure, my life is a song.

I know where I’ve been, not where I’m going but I’m dancing along.”

Aside from writing books, I also write song lyrics and this is one that I wrote about my journey with breast cancer. Yet it’s not only about that; it’s about endings and the beautiful new beginnings that follow. It’s about leaving the past behind and moving forward. It’s about creating the life you want. It’s about changing your perspective.  It’s about losing the fear and taking a leap of faith.

And it’s about embracing the journey of a beautiful new beginning.

It’s all an adventure so dance along the journey.

It’s a good thing!

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Actions Make The Words True”

Often times we take things for granted. We assume that the people we love know how we feel about them or how much we appreciate them. We assume that they know when we’re upset or that something they do bothers us. We assume that saying the words to them is enough…but it isn’t.

Assumptions. Nothing good ever comes out of them. It’s a breeding ground for misunderstanding, arguments and hurt feelings.

Words, on the other hand, can make a difference. Words communicate how we’re feeling to someone and  can prevent misunderstanding, arguments and hurt feelings.

Yet there’s something important about those words: you need  the actions to back them up because it’s those actions that make them true to the person you said them to.

Be mindful. Be compassionate. Be kind. Be understanding. Be willing to listen with an open heart and mind.

And be those things to the people you love.

And they’ll be all those things to you.

And never miss an opportunity to not only tell someone how you feel about them, but show them!

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“The Lesson In Disappointment”

A week from today I was supposed to fly to California. It’s a trip I’ve been looking forward to ever since I booked my flight over a month ago. Aside from my “happy place” at the Jersey Shore where I live, Malibu is my other “happy place.” The energy there is amazing and for some reason, I feel like I’m “home” when I’m there. Two years ago I spent a week in a Malibu beach house where I finished my book, “Waking Up.” I did some of my best writing there and it was an intense soul searching time for me as well. This trip was important to me, not only because I’d be in a place I love, but because I’d be seeing my oldest son (who I haven’t seen in over a year), my Nike Nephews and would be writing and working on another book.

Over the last few days my intuition was screaming to me: “It’s not the time to go.” And that thought stuck in my head for days. My sister called me two days ago and said that she had a bad feeling about me going and that I should go another time. She also told me to remember what I always say: Everything happens for a reason. And if there’s one thing I believe in with all my heart and one I tell others is this: trust your intuition because it never lies.

So yesterday morning I had to make an adult, big girl, responsible, smart decision…and they’re not the most fun to make. I cancelled my trip. And to say I was disappointed is an understatement, yet I knew in my heart it was the right thing to do. There were too many factors popping up in the last week and I knew days ago that I would have to decide whether to go or not. I don’t like when things get complicated and this trip was beginning to get more and more complicated.

I went to the hairdresser in the morning feeling disappointed and sad and I ran errands feeling disappointed and sad. Those feelings stuck with me all day, yet once I was in the comfort of my home the tears came. The tears started late in the afternoon and continued until I fell asleep. They came in waves over dinner, and came as sobs during my bath. There was nothing I could do to stop the tears; I felt sad, disappointed and broken and I kept wondering “Why did this happen to me?”

And then the answers came through the questions in the tears: because you needed to learn something….and I did.

I remembered what it is I always tell people, and when I heard Elizabeth Gilbert say it I had confirmation that it’s true: set your priorities, make boundaries around your sacred space, and learn to say no.

And that’s true…and I know that, yet I forgot that.

My lesson was that I had lost sight of my priorities, I was allowing people to cross my boundaries, and I was saying “yes” to things I should have been saying “no” to.

So yes, I had a day of sadness and disappointment, of feeling broken, but I knew I had to go through it and get through it and I did. My soul needed to cry long and hard to let go of what I was feeling.

I sit here this morning with a headache and swollen eyes, yet knowing I learned a lesson the hard way…and an important lesson at that.

My point to you is don’t feel badly for having a down day; they happen for a reason and that reason, more often than not, teaches you something that’s for your Highest Good. Sometimes it’s those “dark” days that enable us to see the “light.” Feel what you have to, learn the lesson, and let it go.

Sometimes our biggest disappointments teach us our greatest lessons.

And I’m good with that.

Because this is life…

And it’s a part of the journey. 

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

disappointment

“A Day At The DMV”

My driver’s license expired over the weekend and I spent two hours at the DMV yesterday renewing it. I could have renewed it by mail but I wanted to have a new picture taken for it. Sounds a bit vain, but my reason was this: my old picture was taken when I was going through breast cancer and my hair was just growing back in. The picture wasn’t horrible, but I’m a different person now and wanted to have a picture of the “me” without breast cancer on my license. May sound silly to some, but it was an important moment for me.

So while I was standing in line for hours I struck up a conversation with the woman in front of me. She was with her daughter, who had Down’s Syndrome. Margo was about 12 and one of the sweetest and smartest little girls I ever met. The three of us talked about diets, health, diabetes, my writing, where we lived (which is down the street from one another) and that Margo is going to be in the Special Olympics! It was a beautiful conversation between three strangers who were sharing their thoughts and emotions with each other.

And the one thing that stuck with me that Margo’s mom said was that she had worked her whole life and now spends her time with Margo and her friends. She said it’s the happiest time in her life because they’re all so sweet and innocent and that for the first time in her life she’s truly content.

You see, that’s the thing about sharing our lives with others, and I don’t mean telling them every personal detail of your life (although that’s okay too!). I’ve come to realize that when we take the time to talk to people we learn a bit about their story and I believe that everyone has a story, we just don’t always take the time to listen to it or even want to know it. As for me, I love people and I love listening to their story.

When we share our emotions and experiences with others we could actually be helping them through a bad day, or changing their perspective on a situation, or just letting them know they’re not alone. We all travel our own journey in this life, yet sometimes and more often than not, someone else’s journey can help us along ours. That’s what I love about being a writer: I can share my experiences with other’s and through that I get to meet some amazing people!

My day at the DMV put a smile on my face and made me realize that while we all have things to do and jobs to go to, it’s important to remember those “happy and content” moments in our lives. Sometimes it’s a stranger that helps us to remember that.

It’s time to make a difference in this world and we can all make that difference together.

Take a minute to say “hello” to a stranger today or tell them to have a good day. You may think that’s a small gesture but to the other person it may be the biggest and kindest gesture of their day.

Let’s do this together…

It’s a good thing. 

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

sharing

“Let Life Love You”

 

love your life

This morning I woke up to blue skies and bright sunshine, which is a day far and few between here at the Jersey lately!

I grabbed my coffee and headed outside to take it all in. It’s in those quiet moments that I think to myself how much I love my life and how many blessings I truly have to count.

And I remembered that the more I love my life, the more it loves me back!

Love your life, my friends, and let it love you back.

It’s filled with endless possibilities, miracles and all the love you can imagine!

Try it.

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Your Imperfections Make You Beautiful”

I believe in positive affirmations; trying to always see the positive rather than focusing on the negative. I know the power of words and the wrong words, or negative words, can have a strong impact on you and the person you say them to.

Listen, no one is perfect, least of all me, but I would rather lift someone up with positive words than bring them down by telling them their faults. In fact, if you want to see someone change into the awesome person they truly are, speak kindly to them, tell them their strengths, share how you feel about them with them, and focus on the good things about them, not the negative.

Our imperfections make us beautiful. Our flaws make us flavorful. Our quirks make us memorable.

I’ve raised five children and if you think there haven’t been things they’ve done that bother me, well, you’re kidding yourself. I love them with all my heart and for who they are, yet I would rather tell them what I love about them and what their strengths are rather than tell them their faults, such as “you left the wet towel on the floor again, why don’t you put the cap on the toothpaste and…” and so on.

And as the children have grown as well as myself, I pick my battles. I try and lift everyone in my life up; I try never to pick at the small things because there are so many more big and wonderful things about them. Sometimes it’s those silly things that bother us that we’ll miss one day.

If you continually point out someone’s faults to them, I can promise you they’re going to shut down because what you’re telling them is that you don’t accept them for who they are; that all you see is their faults; that you say you love them but they won’t feel it because all you do is pick at what you don’t like about them rather than telling them what you do.

If you’re consistently looking for perfection from the people in your tribe then you’ll be disappointed. If you can’t see more good than bad in the people you surround yourself with then leave them.

Ask yourself this: how would you feel if the people you love were constantly picking at you and expressing the negative things about you? Would you begin to shut down? Would you stop caring? Would you feel as badly as they were making you feel?

It’s simple: treat the people in your life the way you want to be treated.

Pick your battles; accept the people you love for who they are, not who you want them to be; and lift them up with positive words because the negative words you speak to them will bring them down and will only hurt you as well in the end.

See the good and stop seeing the bad.

Pick your battles, my friends, please pick your battles.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“I Wish You Enough”

A good friend of mine reminded me of this poem this morning. It’s a reminder to be grateful for both the good days and the bad; that without the bad days we’d never know what a good day was; that without feeling sadness we’d never know joy; that without a moment of feeling weakness we’d never know the feeling of strength.

Every day you wake up is a good day, and all the emotions you feel throughout it are a gift…a gift of life lessons; a gift to learn more about yourself; a gift to see your life as it truly is.

The “down days” happen to remind us how many more “good days” we truly have to count, and they remind us that it won’t be like that forever, just for that day.

Embrace every day, good or bad; embrace your emotions, happy or sad; embrace the lessons you’re being taught.

No one’s feelings are ever wrong, they just “are.” Sometimes there are reasons for the down days, sometimes there’s not. And that’s okay. We’re all human. Just be sure you don’t sit in those down days for long. Feel them, cry through them and let it all out…tears are cleansing our soul of all that we hold inside, and there’s nothing wrong with that…in fact, tears are our release, whether in sadness or in joy.

Feel what you have to feel and take those down days, be grateful for their lessons, then release them, let them go, and move forward into the new day ahead.

It’s a good thing. 

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

i wish you enough

“On Meeting Elizabeth Gilbert”

I’ve always loved the author, Elizabeth Gilbert. I’ve read most of what she’s written yet I have to say that her one book, which turned into a movie starring Julia Roberts, was my favorite, and that was the infamou “Eat, Pray, Love.” It’s a true story of her life at that point in her journey and one that I learned many life lessons from.

Another book she wrote, “Big Magic” is my second favorite because, as a writer, I understand all that she speaks of and writes about.

So when the opportunity came up a few weeks ago to see her speak in person, I jumped at the chance.

As a writer, I’ve always wanted to meet her and share my own books with her, but basie 4opportunities to do that are far and few in between. I’ve held onto the thought, actually, “the dream” of meeting her one day, and I’ve held that dream for many, many years.

As a spiritual person I knew that if my meeting her was meant to happen, it would, and it would happen as it should, how it should and when it would. So it was no surprise that in February a post from Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey appeared on my Facebook newsfeed: Elizabeth Gilbert would be speaking there. I knew I needed to get tickets and if that wasn’t enough, the event was being held  on my birthday! It was at moment that I knew the Universe had set this dream of mine up to become a reality…my patience and continued belief that I would meet her someday was paying off.

I proceeded directly to “purchase tickets” and much to my surprise and excitement found that I could buy tickets which also allowed a “meet and greet” with Liz. My head was spinning and my heart skipping beats as I realized that this dream of mine was coming true…that I would finally get to meet one of my “hero’s” of literature. I purchased the tickets and sat with the biggest grin on my face for the rest of the night…actually for everyday that was one day closer to that night.

As the time was quickly approaching I was beginning to get a bit nervous, after all, basiemeeting a “hero” can either be wonderful or a shot in the arm. What we perceive people to be through their books and social media does not always ring true when you meet them. I hoped upon hope that she would be everything I had imagined…

And she was…and she was more than I had imagined.

My love and I were about fifth in line to meet her. I knew she wasn’t signing any of her books that night, but had hoped she would accept my two books as my birthday gift to her!

Her staff took my coat and pocketbook, as well as my cell phone so that they could take pictures.  My heart was racing as I walked toward her. It was such a surreal moment of seeing her and walking towards this woman whose books had changed my life. As I approached her,  she smiled, said “hello,” and embraced me in a hug, one filled with all the love and light she is…and with an incredible amount of energy!

liz gilbertShe spent about five minutes speaking with me and graciously accepted my books. I told her that it was my birthday, to which she wished me a wonderful one, and that I had just reached my four year breast cancer survivor date. I offered my condolences over the loss of her wife, Rayya, and told her how much she meant to me. She took the time to pose for several pictures with me and I was on my way.

I was in heaven…on Cloud Nine, if you will. And so was every other person that had the chance to meet her that night.

It was time for her to speak so we took our seats in the fourth row. I snapped picturebasie 2 after picture and hung onto every profound word she spoke. Meeting her was a dream come true, yet I had one more opportunity to speak “one on one” from the audience with Liz. She had time for a few questions and I was right up in line in front of a microphone asking her mine. I felt as though it was a private conversation between the two of us, even though there was an entired audience sharing in it!

It was truly the most perfect birthday I’ve ever had, and that energy, that feeling of my dream coming into a reality lasted well past that night…once again an experience with Elizabeth Gilbert changed me a bit, put a few things in a different perspective, and made me want to be as good a writer as she is and be able to touch a life and the world in the laid back, easy going, and honest way that she does.

So if you were to ask me what she was like I would tell you this: She was beautiful, humble, kind, compassionate, honest, down to earth, sweet, warm, loving and an amazing human being to be in the presence of.

Thank you, Elizabeth Gilbert, for being all that I had hoped and more; for putting the real you out there for the world to see, not some facade of what the world wants you to be; and for embracing me, speaking with me, and accepting my two books that I’ve written, and two books which carry a lot of lessons I’ve learned from you.

It was my honor, my privilege, and my dream turned into a reality to meet you.

And that is my experience on meeting Elizabeth Gilbert.

It was one I will never forget.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

elizabeth and me