“A Memory I’m Grateful For”

three years

It was four years ago today that I finished my last treatment for breast cancer. It was the day I had waited for since the journey began and as you can see by the look on my face, it was one of the happiest days of my life! It was over and my life was all my own to live again without the shadows of cancer hiding in the background.

And in that four years I’ve written and published two books and began to realize that my life purpose had become just that: a writer of my life experiences; a writer that wanted to make a difference in the world and in someone’s life by sharing her ups and downs and how she got through; and a writer who will never stop trying to help others.

I say that “chemo healed the cancer but the cancer healed me,” and it did. I became even stronger than before and learned how to put myself first and more importantly, how to love myself as much as I love the people in my life. I began to realize the importance of surrounding myself with positive people and that saying good-bye to the negative ones wasn’t a bad thing, but a necessity to live my best life. And that it’s okay to say “no” to things that don’t serve my Highest Good and to people and situations that cause me stress and drama.

In other words, cancer taught me to treat myself as well as I treat others, to love myself just as much, and to be just as kind to myself as I am to them.

Today I sit in a bit more gratitude than most days and am remembering that day four years ago. I’m remembering the lines of the song I wrote about that day:

“Journey is over, the battle is won, a new chapter started, a new day begun,So what do I do now? Where do I start? Do I take the road known or the one less traveled and follow my heart?”

What a day it was four years ago…

What an incredible life it’s been ever since…

What a  beautiful word to be blessed to call myself today: “survivor.”

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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“And So It Begins…”

dreams
Today is the first day of another dream coming true: it’s the first day of writing my next book! And I can’t wait to get started and spend my days writing and editing until that very last page is written…it’s a process I absolutely love and one I’ve waited too long to get back into.
 
I spent the weekend organizing hundreds of index cards with notes on them about stories to be written, went through a few notebooks of thoughts written randomly throughout the pages, and cleared my space to focus on my writing. I could have started writing over the weekend but I wanted to wait until I had everything in place…and it’s in place now.
 
Writing is like breathing to me; it’s something I have to be doing or else I feel lost.
 
Writing is my passion and brings me so much joy; a day without writing feels a bit sad to me.
 
And writing is my life purpose, or should I say, “what” I write is my life purpose.
 
So here I go, my friends, onto the next adventure, the next book, the next chapter in my life, the next dream I want to become a reality.
 
Ready, set, go!
 
And so it begins…
 
And it’s a good thing! 
 
Wishing you love and light,
 
~Anne Dennish~
 

“Finding Strength In The Struggle”

 I’d like to say that the week has gotten better but sometimes life throws you another challenge and it’s done that to me. This is a difficult journey for me, yet day by day I’m finding my strength and keeping my thoughts as positive as I can.

 

I believe that everything, even some of the worst situations, happens for a reason. There are moments that the Universe hands us a difficult situation to stop us in our tracks, to make us pay attention. It’s during those moments that we have to stop and see the truth of how we’re living our life. We have to look deep at our relationships, careers, and even our lifestyle.

It’s the ultimate moment of truth…and it’s your truth, not anyone else’s.

This journey is challenging, and I believe in the end it will be life changing for me. It already is.

Today is a new day and I embrace all that it has to offer.

And I’m sure that the biggest gift it will offer me today is “truth.”

And I’m okay with that.

After all, it’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

challenge

“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

 

 

“February – My Month of Love and Milestones”

february my montFebruary has become one of the most important months for me; it’s one I look forward to more and more as each year passes. The reason for my excitement about February is because so many incredible things happened in my life. They were truly life changing events; moments of dreams coming true; and signs of hope, faith and love.

It was on February 15th of 2015 that I met my love, Rob. We were two people who had new hope24been broken by prior relationships and had given up on love and dating. Yet it was through one long phone call that we got to know each other and the first date happened a week later on February 15th. We were nervous and unsure of whether we wanted to risk the heartbreak of another failed relationship, yet by the third date we had fallen in love. In just two weeks we’ll be locked away in an “undisclosed location” to celebrate our three year anniversary. No phones, no computers, and no work!

4 year survivorIt was on February 21st of 2014 that I underwent surgery for a lumpectomy. It was the last piece of my journey with breast cancer. It was on that date that I become cancer free and a survivor! It’s a day you hate to remember yet one that you want to celebrate year after year. Breast cancer was quite the journey for me; one that taught me so much about my life and myself. It helped me find my voice, stand in my truth, and to surround myself with only positive people. This year I will be celebrating my 4 year anniversary date! Each year is such a gift; each day is another blessing.

It was on February 23rd of 2016 that my last book, “Waking Up: Lessons Learned Throughsend to dad 1 My Adventures With Life and Breast Cancer” was published. It was a dream come true; one that became more than a book when I teamed up with a musician who wrote the music, sang, and recorded my song lyrics to the book. We did several public appearances together and used them as an opportunity to help others by making them a fundraiser. It’s another anniversary to celebrate, and a wonderful 2 year one at that!

promo picsAnd here’s the new and exciting news for this beautiful month of February, and strangely enough, an amazing coincidence: my newest book, “My Collective Soul: Things I Know Without Knowing Why” will be publicly released on February 23rd of 2018…just two years to the day that the last book was published! Yet I don’t believe in coincidences; I believe that everything happens for a reason and the Universe must have planned it this way.

And I’m so glad it did.

I am so incredibly grateful for this beautiful month of love and milestones.

I’m waiting to see what other endless possibilities the Universe has planned for me this month.

I have faith that it will be something amazing.

And I can’t wait to see what it is.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

gratitude for my life

 

“4 AM”

 

4am2

It’s been well over a week now that I find myself getting up at 4am. It’s not that I’m going to bed early the night before, yet I find myself waking at 3am, going back into a broken sleep, and finally giving in, giving up and getting up at 4 am.

There’s so much going on in my mind right now; questions I need answered seem to be more present during the night than during my waking hours.

  • When will my new book, “My Collective Soul: Things I Know Without Knowing Why” be released?
  • Will the new book be well received and a success?
  • Will the new motivational speaking lectures I’m about to begin change a life and make a difference to someone?
  • Will my relationship ever move to the next level?
  • Will this sadness tucked deep within my heart ever go away?
  • What is holding me back and what do I need to do to move forward?
  • Will my intuition ever stop speaking to me about the reality of my life?
  • Will my heart ever catch up to what my head already knows?

That’s a lot for 4 am, yet I embrace the questions in my mind because it’s my Higher4am Power watching over me and looking out for me. It’s the questions that only I can answer and deep inside, I know the answers to most of them. And while some of the answers may be difficult, I know without a doubt that they will allow me to live my Highest Good. Anything waking me up at 4 am must be important and I have to pay attention.

Aside from all the chattering in my mind, there are some beautiful things about waking up at 4am.

  • No one else is up and the house is quiet.
  • The sky is so dark that you can see a billion stars and constellations.
  • There’s a stillness outside that you don’t have during the day.
  • There’s a different kind of energy at that time…exciting and yet calming.
  • It’s a time when I can hear my thoughts and my intuition speaking to me.
  • And the best thing is this: it’s MY time alone.

Would I like to sleep in? Absolutely.

Am I okay with waking up at 4 am? Absolutely.

There’s a reason I’m waking up at that time, and that reason is “me.” My Higher Power knows I need this time to think, to write, and to sit in silence outside to listen and learn.

4 am: It’s early but it’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

 

“Gratitude For The Memories”

gratitude 11

One of the things I’m grateful for are the memories I hold deep within my heart: the memories of the birth of each of my five children; the memories of birthday parties and Christmas mornings; and the gratitude for the memories of the emotions that I felt.

Fits Like A GloveI’m grateful for the memory of the feelings of a first date and how it felt the moment I fell in love; for the memory of the excitement of a first kiss; of the feelings to be held in the arms of the one you love for the first time.

I’m grateful for the memories of my kid’s tiny hands in mine; for how wonderful it feltRuthless People that I could fix a boo-boo; for the moments of watching them sleep when they were younger; for the memories of their laughter when they were little and the laughter as they grew older.

I’m grateful for the memories of family parties filled with aunts, uncles and more cousins than you could count. I’m grateful for the memories of my school days and for the nights I spent with my best friends.

tommy-memorialI’m grateful for the memories of my loved ones that have passed on; for the love that I still feel for them and for the love they felt for me; and I’m grateful for all the memories of time spent with them and the difference they made in my life.

I’m grateful for the memories of my first book being published; for the memories of howbnwindow1 it felt the day I submitted my manuscripts to the publisher; and for the memories of the moment that I first held my new book in my hands.

I’m grateful for the good memories that are embedded deep within my heart and soul. No one can take that away from me and on the days I feel a bit sad it’s those memories that can wash that away.

Good memories are stronger than any bad ones.

Today I sit remembering all those wonderful memories and for that I’m grateful.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

open minded book signing

“Write Your Life”

“Life is always changing, it’s time to turn the page; so the story continues and it’s mine to create. 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.”  ~Anne Dennish~

My life has been a series of ups and downs, adventures and restlessness, good times and bad, yet through it all I’ve accepted that it was meant to be that way. All those moments happened to teach me a lesson. They happened because I wasn’t living my life as I should and there’s times that the Universe steps in and whacks us with a two by four to “wake us up.” It stops us dead in our tracks to feel the pain and understand why it hurts. After all, we feel what we allow.

And when pain and heartache happen it’s because we allowed the behaviors that led up to that moment happen. We allowed someone to cross our boundaries and treat us in a way we shouldn’t be treated.

We lost sight of ourselves and in the process of caring for everyone else we forgot to care for ourself. We forgot to love ourself first, to respect ourself, to take care of ourself, and when other’s see that we’ve forgotten that, they cross our boundaries.

We have to draw a line in the sand that shouldn’t be crossed, yet maybe we should be drawing a line in the cement.

Broken hearts and pain don’t happen overnight. Sure, we feel blindsided when it happens yet when it does you begin to look at the behaviors that led up to it and suddenly you’re not so surprised or shocked that someone hurt you. You let them disrespect you long before they hurt you; you let them love you less than you loved yourself because their ego was larger than their heart; and you began to blame yourself and made excuses for them.

Losing sight of yourself and seeing only them strengthens their ego and robs you of your self-esteem.

But there’s hope in the heartache and purpose in the pain.

The hope is that the broken heart will mend stronger and the purpose in the pain is to teach you a lesson about yourself. It’s to bring the focus back onto “you.”

Life is always changing and the change is up to you. Your life is your story and you are the author. You create what you want.

Write your story well and if you need to make some edits along the way be sure they’re for your Highest Good.

It’s your story…

It’s your life…

Make it spectacular!

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~