“And The Last Child Graduates”

The youngest of my five children graduated high school last week. It was a bittersweet day for both of us yet an exciting one. It was the end of a chapter and the beginning of the next one. Of course his chapter is much different than mine, yet it’s a new beginning for both of us.

This fifth child of mine never ceases to amaze me. At just 17 years old (almost 18) he knows who he is, he’s comfortable in his own skin, and he doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him, yet the truth is, everyone loves him. He’s smart, he’s kind and compassionate, and he’s funny. His smile lights up the room and he can turn the saddest of my days into my best days.

And they love him because he’s his authentic self. I can’t begin to tell you how many teachers, faculty and parents of his friends tell me what a sweet kid he is: kind, respectful and funny. No mother could ask for anything more!

Yet I think back to when I was that age and wasn’t even close to being sure of myself. I didn’t know what I wanted in life other than the next step after high school: go to college. I cared about what I was wearing and what others thought of me. Comfortable in my own skin? I didn’t even know what my “own skin” was. 

Yes, I’m a proud mother here and one that is in awe of this fifth child of mine, yet I’ll be honest, all five of them are the same way. They are who they are and they’re amazing human beings. I’d like to think I had a hand in that while I was raising them because I allowed them to be their authentic self, without judgment or criticism. And it worked.

We all want to be accepted and loved and I believe that happens when we are our “authentic self,” not someone other people expect us to be. As I told my children, if people don’t like you or respect you for who you are, then they’re not your “people.”

And it’s true.

It’s a lesson I learn more and more as life goes on.

Congratulations to my fifth child, Sam, as he begins the next chapter of his life. I hope it’s a grand adventure. He certainly deserves it!

And here’s to all of us being our authentic self and beginning another chapter in our lives. Enjoy the journey and embrace the adventure.

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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Memoir Writing With Anne Dennish – GenZ Podcast

Take a listen to my latest podcast with GenZ Publishing! Feel free to leave comments or ask questions!

Enjoy!

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“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

 

 

“When Dreams Come True”

 

A dreamer is a realist with faith.”  ~Anne Dennish~

I grew up thinking it was a bad thing to be called a dreamer, yet years ago I changed that way of thinking and began to embrace the word. I am a dreamer and proud of it.

I’m even prouder of my nephew, Sean Wotherspoon, who is proof that dreams come true. I’ve known this child since the day he was born and have watched him grow into an amazing young man who found his passion at a young age and turned his dreams into a reality.

Sean is the owner of three very successful “buy, sell and trade” stores called “RoundTwo” located in NYC, Hollywood, California and Richmond, Virginia. He also has several galleries for RoundTwo. His business is frequented by some of the biggest names around, yet fame and fortune never affected my nephew; he loves what he does and loves living his dream!

He designed the new Nike AirMax sneaker for 2018, and more recently, a toddler line of the shoe was added to the adult version. Sean has designed hats and t-shirts that match his Nike shoe.

Last night I watched a video as he walked the catwalk in NYC Fashion Week for the clothing company, “Clot.” I’m simply amazed at all that he does!

I’m sharing just a small bit of this with you today to remind you of this: “Dreams do come true!”

My nephew is living proof of that.

He is a dreamer, and I’d like to think he got that from me, but more importantly, he’s a dreamer that took a leap of faith in himself and his dream and went for it…

And look where he is now…

Dreams come true…

Go out and make your dreams a reality…

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love, light, and dreams come true,

~Anne Dennish~

The Dreamers: my nephew and me!

 

“Do It Big!”

I’m not going to tell you that each new day holds endless possibilities, even though it does; I’m not going to tell you that there’s an adventure just waiting for you, even though there is; and I’m not going to tell you that dreams come true, even though they do.

What I am going to tell you is that if you’re going to live your life, you might as well live it big! Dream big, love big, and live big. Set your mind to believing that all is possible and then do it…and do it as big as you can!

It’s a good thing!

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

dream it

Photo by Anne Dennish – copyright 2016

“Maybe You’re A Dreamer”

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I wrote that quote two years ago amidst some naysayers telling me that I was a dreamer and should be more focused on the “real world.” They felt that all my dreams were “nice” but that they were to far fetched; too high to reach for; too ridiculous. They thought I should be focused on “reality.”

I used to believe that it was a bad thing to be a dreamer; that it meant you were living in a fantasy world, not reality. I thought about what they said, took into account WHO was saying those things to me, and realized something about myself: “I am a  dreamer and I do live in reality;  but I still believe in going after my dreams because the difference is I have faith, and they don’t.”

I’ve come to realize that the people who critisize my dreams are the one’s who have no idea how to pursue their own. They are the one’s who look at me and see what they wish they could do: believe in themselves. And they are the one’s who will hurt and criticize me the most because they’re afraid.

They’re afraid to take a chance on their own dreams; they’re afraid to step out of their comfort zone; they’re afraid to do something new; they’re afraid to change. And that’s their choice.

And my choice is to be a dreamer.

“Dream big and make it happen!”

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

*Here’s a song I wrote about myself called “The Dreamer.” Who says dreams can’t come true? Not me!

Lyrics by Anne Dennish – Music by Sutton Thomas Music – Vocals by Sutton Thomas & Anne Dennish

“Funktion 11 – The Band”

 

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Life at the Jersey Shore is exciting, especially during the summer season, yet there’s one thing to keep things alive during the rest of the year and that’s finding a good band to spend an evening out listening to. There’s many bands around the Shore area, yet two years ago my love introduced me to a band like no other I’ve ever seen before: Funktion 11.

This band stands out above any I’ve ever seen before, and not just because it’s an 11 piece band, but because there’s something incredibly special about them. They put their heart and soul into their music, which includes songs of Aretha Franklin, Kool and the Gang, funtion-1111Michael Jackson, Prince, The Rolling Stones, and Miles Davis, to name just a few !They have a unique blend of musical genre, from Funk, Jazz, R&B, Hip Hop, Soul, and Rock.  They truly put the “funk” in the Funktion 11 band!

I’ve been following them for the last two years, and each time I see them I’m more blown away by their talent and unwavering energy! This band plays song after song without a breath, and you can’t help but get up and dance, especially while watching the bands’ distinct choreography of their own. If you’re looking to keep in shape, Funktion 11 will have you dancing non-stop! Every time I’ve seen them perform the dance floor is packed with people both young and old, men and women. And trust me, I love to dance and know that when Funktion 11 is playing, you better get your spot on the dance floor early! It get’s even better, because this band is interactive with their fans and audience. You’ll find the three lead vocalists getting right down on the dance floor with everyone, dancing, singing and getting everyone involved! They possess a unique quality in that you feel like they’re performing  just for you, and that’s because they’re so up-close and personal with everyone who comes out to see them.

Funktion 11 barely takes a break between sets, and when they do you’ll find them out funktion-111among the crowd, taking the time to talk to their fans. You don’t find that very often in most bands, and aside from their incredible talent and music, that’s one of the things I love about them. I’ve become friends with band leader and percussionist, Ronnie Nalven, over the past few years and have had the opportunity to speak with all the band members. They’re always available for a picture and truly care about their fans, and their dedication shows.

I  sent a message Ronnie a week before they were playing at the River Rock in Brick, NJ, that it was my two year anniversary and wondered if he could announce it to surprise my love. He told me “yes” and to let him know when I got there so I could remind him. Well, with Funktion 11 all you need to do is ask and you will receive. My love and I got there a bit late, yet only minutes after we sat down, Ronnie grabbed the microphone from lead singer, Vanessa Perea, and made our anniversary announcement. I didn’t need to let him know I was there or remind him: he saw us come in and made a beautiful announcement for us. You see, that’s the thing about this band, once you see them perform and meet them, you feel as if you’ve known them forever, and they make you feel as though you are truly part of their Funktion 11 family.

Funktion 11 is made up of the following band members: Samar Newsome: Musical Director, Keyboards, Vocals;Rob Edwards: Associate Musical Director, Trombone, Tony Zeke: Lead Male Vocals;Vanessa Perea: Lead Female Vocals;Misha Fatkiev: Lead Guitar;Kelvin King: Drums; Andy Gutauskas: Tenor Sax, Baritone Sax, Flute; Richard Polatchek: Trumpet; Alex Parchment: Trumpet; Ronnie Nalven: Percussion, Band Leader.funk2

I’m so grateful for that night two years ago that I first saw Funktion 11, and for the opportunities they’ve allowed me as a fan to get to know them. Their talents, their music, their camaraderie and their true love of the fans is what makes them a one-of-a-kind type of band, and that I know for sure.  I’ve driven through a major snow storm, and through torrential rain to be able to spend an evening watching them play.

Funktion 11 is without a doubt one of the best bands I’ve ever seen perform, and I can promise you that it will only take you one time of listening to them play for you to become a “forever fan.”

Be sure to check out their Facebook page at “Funktion 11” and visit their website at http://www.funktion11.com where you can listen to them and see their calendar of events.

Take the time and treat yourself to an incredible night of music with “Funktion 11!”

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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My love and I celebrating our two year anniversary with Funktion 11

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“Funktion 11”

“Waking Up – The Music Video”

It’s not very often that we do something so out of the box, something we never thought we’d do. But I did. I made a music video to go along with the first song I wrote, “Waking Up.” Sutton Thomas wrote the music and recorded it, and it was that song that started it all and ended up being a CD!  It’s amazing where the dream of writing my book, “Waking Up” led to music and lyrics! That was one that wasn’t even on my bucket list!

It started when I saw a post on Facebook by a high school friend, Trevor Halbert. He was sharing out a music video his daughter had filmed and produced. I was blown away at her talent, and decided to get in touch with her. I was even more amazed when I realized she was just a senior in high school! So, I met with Amanda Halbert, along with her friend and video partner, Brent Luciano, who film under their name LVL 5 Films.

I was so impressed at the passion they both had for what they love to do: make videos! They film them, edit them, produce them…these two do it all. I was happy to work with them both, because I understand passion and creativity and nothing pleased me more than to give them another opportunity to do what they love!

amanda

As a creative person, I realize how important it is to support the creativity of others, whether they’re artists, musicians, or writers. Creative people understand one another and can see the vision that can be made in front of them. I found that in weeks of filming with Amanda and Brent. They shared their vision of what they wanted to do for me, and I shared mine with them. Together we understood one another and I was happy when Amanda sent me this video yesterday.

Amanda and Brent wanted this first video to depict “a day in the life of Anne Dennish” and I wanted it to resemble a “book trailer” for my book, “Waking Up” Lessons Learned Through My Adventures With Life and Breast Cancer.” I’d say they brought those two concepts together quite nicely!

I hope you enjoy this very first music video and see first hand the creative talents of Amanda and Brent! Much love and thanks to both of them…it was a pleasure and an honor to work with such talented young people!

 

My love recently lost his cousin, someone we both were very close to and loved very much. We wanted to dedicate this to him:

“This one’s for you, Tommy!”  1956-2016

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Moving Forward”

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We all feel “stuck” at one time or another. It’s when you feel restless or bored, as if you’re missing out on something you should be doing, except that you can’t figure out what that something is. So you feel stuck. I’ve gone through it recently, and when I finally got myself “moving” again, I’ve been on fire! Now that’s a feeling I like!

I wanted to share this story of my experience of feeling stuck with you. It can be found in my book, “Waking Up: Lessons Learned Through My Adventures With Life and Breast Cancer.”

“Moving Forward”

I know of many people, myself included, that get so frustrated with life at times that all they seem to say is “I just can’t seem to move forward in my life. I feel like I’m stuck.”

And they are… stuck, that is.

I’ve been there, you’ve been there, we’ve all been there, yet I’ve learned through many teachers and situations that just because we “feel” stuck doesn’t necessarily mean that we “are” stuck. It only means that we are standing still, plain and simple.

No one is every really stuck; not me, not you, not anyone. We just feel that way at times simply because we’re standing still in the middle of what should be our past, not knowing how to move forward from it. There’s no science to it, yet it can be a difficult process, especially when you don’t realize what you need to move on from. On the other hand, you may be painfully away of why you’re stuck. The problem for you is that you don’t know how to move from the past, the person, or the situation.

It’s not always easy moving forward, especially when we’re leaving someone of something behind that is “comfortable.” Life is ever changing and the older we get, the more things change. No one ever said change was easy…or did they? Personally, I love change! I love the excitement of not knowing what’s coming next or where life is about to take me. It’s a nervous kind of excitement, yet what I know for sure is I couldn’t feel this way if I didn’t have faith. Without faith, there’d be nothing but fear, and no matter what life hands me, I refuse to allow fear into my thoughts or behaviors.

“With faith there is hope; with fear there is nothing.”

I’m not saying that fear doesn’t come into my thoughts once in a great while, but I will not and choose not to allow it to stay for long. I believe in the Law of Attraction in that what you think and believe is what you attract, and fear is no exception. Fear, in a mild dose, reminds us of how strong we really are because we are able to understand the fear and release it. We’re able to let it go. Trust me, you wouldn’t be normal if you weren’t afraid every so often. The problem you’ll have is if you stay in a constant state of fear. That’s something that will most assuredly hold you in your past and make you feel stuck.

Relationships, jobs, illnesses, you name it, fear can find it. Fear is normal, but nothing good comes from it. It brings anxiety, depression, illness and stress, to name a few, and fear is what plants our feet into the ground as if we’re dropped in cement and can’t move. Fear will keep you stuck; fear will prevent you from moving forward; fear will keep at you until you rid yourself of it. You may not think you’re strong enough to deal with ridding yourself of fear, yet you are.

“When you can’t find the strength, let the strength find you.”

Sometimes all you have to do is let go of the fear, and you’ll find yourself stronger than you had imagined. I believe strength is in all of us, and sometimes it takes a smack of fear, or a life changing moment to wake us up and realize that our strength was there all along. If you can’t find your strength, take a deep breath and let it find you. Trust me on this, it”s there, and I speak from experience.

You have to let go of the past in order to move forward, and that’s a fact. You can’t stay locked into the past and expect to move forward throughout this journey called life. Try viewing life as an adventure, with good and bad throughout it. Everything that happens to you has something to teach you about yourself. Make your life an exciting journey even amidst all the mundane tasks of the day. You don’t need a million dollars to do it and you don’t need to travel all over the world to find it; you need a mind and spirit that takes a stand for your life, makes it your own, views it as an exciting journey filled with adventure, and does what it takes to keep fear at bay.

If you can do these things, you’ll be amazed at all that life has to offer. Miracles happen, dreams are fulfilled, and life is truly lived when you change your perspective. No one can change it for you; it’s all up to you! It’s your choice; better yet, it’s your change…a change for anything and everything you want! Take those fears and face them head on with strength, determination and faith that all things along the road of your life’s journey are happening just as they should.

“Make your life an adventure…”

THE END

I hope you enjoyed this story and that if you’ve been feeling stuck, this may have helped you get past it.

All I know is that when I’m moving forward I’m at my best, loving life and all it has to offer, and making a mark in my life. Stuck is a feeling I try to stay away from, or at least not allow it to stay to long when it arrives.

Move forward, my friends!

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Dreams Come True…The Interview of Dennish & Thomas With The Coast Star”

“Sometimes life takes an unexpected turn,sending us on the journey of a lifetime. We may not end up where we dreamed, but we will always end up where we belong.”

~Anne Dennish~

I wrote that quote years ago, and it’s still one of my favorite’s.

The funny thing is that we all have dreams, and while some may not come true, we do end up where we belong, and that’s in another dream we never thought possible or saw coming!

That’s my life now. I’m doing things I dreamed of, yet the Universe is handing me dreams I hadn’t imagined; but here I am, in this incredible journey! I sit in more gratitude than I can imagine, and have blessings beyond what my mind can even believe at times…but it’s all true, it’s all here, and it’s all happening!

Last night was incredible as Sutton Thomas and I were interviewed by The Coast Star! We had a blast doing our interviews, and the night brought another new chapter to our

me and tom2

My interview with The Coast Star

 

lives…one of friendship, love, and incredible music! As we all sat talking together we realized how connected we all are, and that we were all brought together for a reason! The Universe definitely has a plan, and all of us are excited to see where this new adventure takes us all!

Here’s a few of the pictures that Sutton’s wife, Lisa, took of us during the interview last night! Much thanks to her for taking them!

Enjoy your journey, my friends, and have faith that everything is happening as it should, when it should, and how it should.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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Anne Dennish & Sutton Thomas interview with The Coast Star

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Dreams come true!