“Podcast 1 – Getting To Know Me”

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“On The Outside Looking In”

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There are times in my life when I feel like I’m on the outside looking in and I know in my heart that it’s okay to feel that way, because:

“Sometimes you need to step outside of your life in order to see what’s inside of it”.

Do you ever find yourself getting lost in the midst of your day to day routine? Getting lost among your loved ones, finding yourself wondering who you are anymore? Are you a mom, a wife, a “life partner?” And where are “you?” Where did you go?

It’s not a conscious decision to be on the outside. It just happens. One day you wake up and don’t feel like yourself; you feel like you’re “on the outside looking in.” At least for me that’s how it happens. And there’s no time frame for it; you feel that way for as long as it takes to see and learn what you need to, and it could be a day or two, or longer.

Sometimes amidst the routine of loving and caring for my nearest and dearest I suddenly find myself wondering where I went to…where am I in all this. It seems like everything is about everybody else, but not me.

I feel like no one notices me unless they need something, and tempers are shortened when I’m not doing what I should be…for them. I spoiled them by doing it all, and I love doing it all, but I also love being loved and cared for by THEM. I want them to spoil me just a bit, I want them to notice my feelings, I want them to reassure me of their love and commitment to me as much as I do to them. I don’t want to be taken for granted.

Yet on the other hand, I believe that being on the “outside” is most often times the only way we can observe our life; it’s the one way we can be objective by looking in from the outside at each person and each situation; it’s the best way we can see what is or isn’t and learn from it.

It’s the best way to see ourselves objectively.

And that’s when the lessons are learned.

We observe the behavior of others towards us; we see how they’re treating us and how we’re reacting to it. We see what the truth of our relationships are and what they aren’t. We see our strengths and our weaknesses, and we can see whether or not we’re speaking our truth.

Often times we find ourselves on the outside when we’re holding too much inside; we’re not speaking our truth for fear of the outcome. It’s that fear thing holding us back and keeping us on the outside.

I’m looking from the outside at all the excitement everyone around me is having; new adventures, exciting opportunities, and movement, yet I’m not a part of it. I’m here, in a life of laundry and cooking, responsibility and reality.

I’m looking at this girl I once knew who had one adventure after another, more excitement than she knew what to do, and an appetite for life and all it had to offer. Life slowed down on her, and she stepped back and she stepped into solitude; the woman who’s life revolves around every one else’s became invisible to those she loved most.

Yet, it was her fault. She allowed it, she contributed to it, and by not speaking her truth, those around her never knew how she was feeling. She had hoped that they would; but they didn’t. And I guess in the end,  it doesn’t matter, because that’s what being on the outside is about, and she knows that it’s up to her to get back to the inside.

So, here I sit on the outside, observing, making decisions, and making big changes. I want those adventures again; I want to feel the excitement of my passion again; I want to be me again.

And so I will. I believe that everything happens for a reason, even being on the outside, and once I  get back to the inside I feel that my life will be even better than it is now.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

outside looking in

“The Heart Of A Woman”

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“A woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets.”  ~excerpt from Titanic~

I love the movie, “Titanic,” and every time I watch it there seems to be another message jumping out at me…and today is no exception.

A woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets, yet it’s not secrets of lies or deception. It’s secrets of emotion and longing, of wanting and yearning, of love and of pain. It’s secrets of protection and secrets of loyalty; it’s secrets that protect the ones she loves and secrets that break her heart.

A woman’s heart is as fragile as glass and as strong as steel. It has the power to heal and the power to help. It controls her mind and nourishes her soul. It’s the most important thing we as women possess, yet it can also be the most dangerous. It’s our heart that knows the answers long before our mind does.

Our heart holds our secrets; it holds the pain we feel and keep hidden from those around us. It holds our dreams of the future and our memories of the past; it holds all that we want but are too afraid to ask for. It holds every detail of every moment and every picture that our heart has ever taken. It holds the pain of loss and the healing of grief. It holds both tears of joy and tears of sadness.

It holds the secrets we keeps hidden from the world so that we can be present in each day. It holds the secrets of our past so that we can move forward. It holds the secrets of our future so we can still dream. It holds the secrets of each day so that we can move onto the next one.

A woman’s heart holds her soul because a woman’s heart IS her soul.

“A woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets” because it holds  all that we were, all that we are, and all that we hope to become.

Wishing you love and light,

~~Anne Dennish~

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Photo by Anne Dennish – copyright @2017

“Taking The Next Step”

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I can’t stay stagnant, I need to move forward, otherwise I begin to feel restless…and bored. I’m not saying that I’m always on the move, I just mean that when I feel comfortable in one of the many steps I’ve reached along my lifes’ journey, I know that it’s time to “take the next step.”

For instance, my writing. It took me two years to write my last book, “Waking Up,” and it was published last year. I took the time I needed during that “step” to promote and market my book, write song lyricss, produce a CD of songs, perform and speak in public, be interviewed, photographed and the list goes on. Now that I’ve accomplished the comfort of that step, I need to move onto the next: writing another book. And I’m working on two as I write this.

Jobs are the same…I know of people who absolutely love their job, mastering all the skills they needed to feel confident and comfortable, then one day they realize it’s getting boring and they want to move forward and move up in the company…they are ready for the “next step.”

Relationships are no exception. They are an endless amount of steps from beginning to date, to falling in love, to committing yourselves to each other, to living together to… well, that would be another “next step,” and that’s a tough one if you aren’t both on the same step (or page) at the same time.

Now to the heart of the matter: why do some people never take the next step? Why do they sit in the “comfort zone?” My answer would be this: fear. They’re afraid to do something uncomfortable or “out of the box.” They’re afraid of the “next step” not working out or changing their life in a way they may not want. They’re simply afraid to have faith in themselves to take that leap of faith onto “the next step.

Or they simply are content with a less than exciting chance at their life changing by taking the next step. These are the ones that I say “take things for granted.”

I’m not one of those people. I love my love and am very content with it, yet I know that it’s only a matter of time before that contentment turns to discontent and boredom, and I try never to let that happen.

If you’re not moving forward in your life then you’re standing still…on that “same step.”

I’m ready to climb the whole staircase, one step at a time, but I’m not willing to sit on the next step 2 and next levelsame one for the rest of my life. I want to reach for more, do more, and experience more in this lifetime of mine. I want to stay on the staircase of life, but I want to climb the steps when the time is right…and for me, the time is now.

 

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“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!

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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~

“Sweet Nothings”

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My love and I went on vacation to a beautiful, sunny tropical part of the country…Florida to be exact. Within 24 hours things between us seemed so different. But in a good way. Yet even in that “good way” I wondered why it couldn’t be like that all the time.

And I wondered if it was because of “me,” or because of “him,” or simply because of circumstance.

Then I realized it was none of these…it was life.

And life at home was different. It wasn’t just “us two,” it was his work, his boss, his obligations and for me, well sadly it was my cleaning, cooking and taking care of him and my children.

Life has a funny way of sneaking up on all of us and I have to say that this is one time I don’t like surprises.

Our vacation brought us together as we had been so long ago, a place that has become so foreign to me. We’ve overcome so many things since we’ve been together, and none of them “our” things. We weathered the storms, rode the waves of life, and came out together. Yet sometimes I wonder if we came out of it differently….disconnected from that incredible love that brought us together and seemed to change the world…or at least the people closest to us.

The forces that challenged us seemed to have sucked the life out of our love and left us with a love that’s tired, worn out and less content than the wonder we first felt.

Did we allow it? Did we let all those things change our love for one another? Maybe we did, maybe we didn’t. But we’re human, and we get tired and even together we only have so invisible-2much to give.

And maybe we gave too much away because we felt we had to. Maybe we gave too much to the wrong people.

But we gave it so willingly because we’re good people, and that’s what good people do.

Yet here I sit and wonder…I wonder where the sweet nothings went and where the “hands on, hands down” for each other went. I wonder where the loyalty went and where it lies. I wonder if it’s the same love or a love that morphed into an emotion of “this is as good as it gets.” I wonder if it’s become a “matter of convenience.”

I loved every minute of our time together on vacation. My love was so relaxed, with no responsibilities of work, no worries of his boss, no thoughts of anything other than a goodrobnanci rum runner and time with me. And we talked, and just hung out, and for the first time in a long time, it was just “us.”

And I began to fall in love with him all over again. I was reminded of what it used to be like in the beginning. I felt safe, I felt loved, and I felt like it was just “us” again.

I felt silly, I felt giddy, I felt that “I can’t wait to be with him” kind of feeling…

And then we came home.

And it changed.

And now I sit thinking and wondering…two things that I didn’t do on the entire vacation.

Maybe “home” is the reality and vacation is the “fantasy and dream” of what we want. Then again, maybe “vacation” is the truth of who we are, separately and together.

Maybe “vacation” is there to remind us of the importance of who we are, and who we are together. Maybe “vacation” is there to remind us that nothing else matters because the strength of love between two people is what makes a difference in those around us.

And sometimes we lose sight of that. Sometimes we forget that what brought us together is what will tear us apart if we forget. What brought us together is what made those we love around us want to share in that and feel it. What brought us together is what should be keeping us together.

But we’re human, and we forget.

I sit here tonight remembering it all…and forgetting nothing. I sit here wondering where the loyalty lies and hoping that the answer I have is the right one. I sit here wondering if I’m still the love of his life.

I wonder…

And I wait…

For even the smallest of sweet nothings…

And then he puts his arms around me and tells me that I am and always will be the love of his life and I tell him that he is mine.

It was the biggest of sweet nothings.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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“Are You An Enabler?”

Enabling is “making excuses for someone who is hurting themselves or you, or providing the perfect environment or situation for them to do so. enable-2

That word is a slippery slope for many, and if you are someone who “enables” someone else, then you become “co-dependent.” That is, your existence is based around the behavior of the person you are enabling.

It’s exhausting just thinking about it, yet we’ve all done it in some capacity in our lives; until we realize that the outcome of “enabling” and being “co-dependent” doesn’t’ serve the one we’re enabling, but serves only the “co-dependents” need to control. I’ve found that those who “enable” have no control over their own lives’, or so they believe. They would rather control someone else’s life rather than deal with their own insecurities and lack of control. And the sad part is, they don’t even see what they’re doing as control; they see it as “love.” Yet that’s not love. Controlling someone is not love. Enabling someone to hurt themselves or other’s is not love. It’s their insecurity and lack of control.

You can enable an alcoholic or drug addict by making excuses for them, giving reasons for their addiction, and without realizing that you  are giving them exactly what they need to use or abuse. It may make you feel more comfortable, yet is the most damaging and enable-3hurtful behavior to them.They can only begin recovery when you stop enabling and allow the to be accountable for themselves.

You enable an abusive partner or spouse by making excuses as to why you’re bruised, why your self-esteem is but a foreign concept, and why you deserved to be abused. You’re not helping the abuser to stop, but merely giving him the license and free will to do so. It’s only when you get strong and secure within yourself that you’re able to break free and control YOUR behavior, not theirs.

 

It’s not until you are faced with the ultimate decision: enable the behavior or disable your control. And the truth is, no enabler really has control over the enabled; you just give them a comfort zone of knowing you’ve allowed their destructive behavior to be okay.enable

It’s hard to let someone you love make a mistake or willingly harm themselves, yet it has to be their choice and, ultimately, their decision to stop the destructive behavior. You can say all the right things, do all the right things, and want all the right things, yet that doesn’t make it so. You have to “love them enough to let them go.” Love them enough to make their own mistakes and learn from them. Love them enough to learn to control their own behavior. Love them enough to let them learn to love themselves.

“Enabling” someone will not solve their problem; it will make their problem worse.

You have to ask yourself: Do I want to enable their behavior or disable my control?.

And in your heart you already know the right answer.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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“The New Year Revelations”

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I gave up on making New Year resolutions years ago, and replaced them with what I call my “New Year’s Revelations.” It’s all the things I learned throughout the year that I will carry into the new year with me, in the hopes that I don’t make the same mistakes. In other words, my New Year’s Revelations are my “waking up” moments of seeing the truth in myself and others’, of learning from my mistakes, and learning more about myself.

I use New Year’s Eve as my time of reflection back onto the year that is about to end. I look back at all that happened, good and bad. It’s a time to count my blessings of the year, and to be sure that I had many more gains than losses. It’s a time to look back at where I may have fallen short and try to understand why. It’s a time to look back at relationships that ended with honesty and respect, and of letting them go. It’s taking my accountability for the ending, and moving on with no regrets and no intentions of ever going back.

It’s the night I say good-bye to all those people, places and things that no longer serve my highest good; that didn’t bring out the best in me; that caused me stress and heartache; that took advantage of me. And then I look at why it happened. Did I allow boundaries to be crossed? Did I allow their behaviors that hurt me? Did I put myself in a situation that broke me in two? And when I can answer that with an open and honest truth of “yes,” I can then begin to understand and see the lesson in it.

I learned many things this year, and I’d like to share a few with you. These are my top “waking up” moments, or “revelations,” if you will:

  • I learned that the old saying “keep your friends close and your enemies even closer” is an absolute lie! Nothing good comes from surrounding yourself with people who are negative and toxic, manipulative and untrustworthy. If you think you’re an enemy of someone, or they are an enemy to you, definitely keep them far away!
  • I learned that the other old saying “you always hurt the ones you love” may be truth, but not such a good idea. Trust me, hurting the ones you love will not serve you well.
  • I always knew how precious life was, especially having survived breast cancer, yet this year after losing some very special people in my life I’ve realized just how precious it is. No day is promised, and if you have a chance to spend time with those you love, do it! You may miss out on a chance that you’ll never get back.
  • I learned to say I love you to the ones’ I love more often, and to hug them all tighter.
  • I learned that if something seems too good to be true, most often times, it is.
  • I learned that if I do anything for the wrong reasons, I’ll soon learn those “wrong reasons” the hard way.
  • That no matter what anyone says, I will always be a dreamer and will always dream big! Why would anyone settle for less
  • And my biggest “revelation” was that I need to stand up for myself more, speak my truth always, and walk away from people or situations that are not good for me.

All in all, the past year has been filled with more “ups” than “downs,” and while a few people have had to leave my life, a few more amazing ones’ walked in. I know for sure that when you get rid of anything negative or toxic, you open the door to the positive coming in, and that’s what I did this past year, hard as some of it may have been.

As I close out 2016, I say good-bye to a few close friends and family that passed on, and I know in my heart I now have some amazing guardian angels watching over me. My heart has hurt over their passing, but the joy and love that they left me with has helped me through

the-godfather

RIP Tom Contreras  1956-2016

I’ve said good-bye to a few friends who were no longer welcome in my circle, yet they taught me what true friends are…and aren’t. I’m grateful for the lessons they taught me.

And as I get ready to welcome in the year of 2017, I look towards it with the promise of more dreams to catch, more life to celebrate, and more adventures to begin. I look forward to another year with my love and all the joy he’s brought into my life, and to another year of our life together growing as one.

To all of you, I wish you adventure, dreams come true, love, light and all the good that you are willing to receive. Happy New Year and may your “New Year’s Revelation” be your guide into this New Year of 2017!

Live your life to the fullest…live your life in love…live your life!

And make it absolutely amazing!

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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Happy New Year from my love and I to all of you!

“The Lost Art of Loyalty”

 

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While I was in Malibu last October finishing up my book, “Waking Up,” I was working on a short story about “loyalty.” I asked many people what it meant to them, and it soon became a topic that no one had a definitive answer for. In fact, a few people were annoyed when I asked their opinion; seemed it stuck in their mind and made them search for an answer; an answer that they could never find.

It also made them question the people in their life…and it made me question those in mine as well.

So what is loyalty? Does it have a different meaning for everyone? Do we make our own rules as to what loyalty is or is there a universal rule?

I start with my own loyalty. If you’re in my life and I love and care for you, I’ll always be loyal, unless you cross a boundary, in which case, I won’t strike back and become disloyal to you, I’ll simply walk away.

Next is the loyalty of those in my life. In healthy relationships of any kind, boundaries must be set for respect between each person. What bothers one person in the relationship may not bother another, yet communicating that to each other is key in the loyalty department. If you cross a boundary with someone in your life, you’ve just proved that you’re not loyal.

You see, “loyalty” is a tough one. The only answer I could get out of most people I spoke to about it was when they referenced the loyalty of a dog. A dog will always be loyal, yet my question made many wonder why humans can’t be the same.

We can, that is, if we choose to.

My loyalty lies with my love, my children, my family and my closest of friends. And that loyalty goesrecite-d597x1 beyond me; if you hurt those I love, my loyalty will have me walk out of your life as well. It doesn’t matter who you are.

Not many people are willing to do that. Many feel that it’s not their problem when someone hurts the ones’ you love; as long as they weren’t disloyal it’s okay. But is it? If someone intentionally hurts your child, or your spouse or significant other, why would you want to be a part of their life?

I think that’s where the confusion lies. I’ve been in that position before, where my loyalty was tested. It was a rough road between two people I care about, yet when push came to shove, my loyalty was with my love, not with the person who was hurting him. And I had to step out of that world with that other person, because my loyalty and my life is with him. Yes, feelings are hurt when you have to walk away from someone, yet in the end, it’s the right thing to do.

At least for me it was.

I know how important it is for me to be loyal to someone, and I believe I surround myself with those who feel the same about me. We attract what we put out there, and for anyone that knows me, they know I have their back. They know I’ll walk through fire for them, defend them, honor them, love them, protect them, and more importantly, I will walk away from anyone who hurts them. End of story.

“Loyalty” is much more than how you treat someone; it’s also about how other’s treat the people in your life and whether or not you accept that behavior. The choice is yours.

Is “loyalty” a lost art or have we forgotten the importance of it?

“Loyalty” is one of the strongest qualities in any relationship because it breeds trust and respect, and isn’t that what every good relationship should be built on?

Think about it.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

 

 

 

“Soup Season”

I love to cook, at least most days I do. There’s something therapeutic for me about the whole process of preparing, chopping, dicing, seasoning and cooking. The end result comes from serving it to those you love and seeing the expression on their face. Food fills the body and warms the soul.

There’s summer cooking, filled with grilling and summer salads, yet my absolute favorite cooking is when the leaves begin to change colors and the air turns cool. It’s “fall cooking” and I love that first day of turning on the oven and heating up the house with the comfort foods of fall.

It’s also that time of year that I call “soup season.” There’s nothing better than cooking a pot of soup served with warm bread. I love making soup, and I believe that love comes from my grandmother. I can remember many days at her house watching her put her big

potato-corn-leek-chowder

Potato Leek Corn Chowder

cauldron on the stove and fill the counter with every vegetable under the sun! I loved those days of helping her make soup and I’m confident that she taught me everything I know about the process. I’ve been nicknamed the “soup-meister” of my family because no one else makes it like I do, which is just how my grandmother made it.

It took her hours to make soup, and when it was done she’d fill up a million containers of it to give to all of our families. No one was ever left hungry when my grandmother made soup! She made many different types, yet when someone was sick, she went to task of making her “beef barley vegetable” soup, which she said was “good for what ails you!” I’m happy to say that it took me years to get my recipe to taste like hers, and while it’s not exactly the same, it’s close enough.

I once asked her what the key ingredient was in her soup, to which she told me: “It’s the love. Always put love into whatever you make.” And I’ve remembered that ever since.

When my kids were little and I baked cookies they’d tell me how good they were and that they could taste all the love in them. To this day, they still say that.

And now my love says that too; with every cup of tea or bowl of soup he tells me he can taste the love, and isn’t that what cooking is about? It’s filling the bellies of your loved ones with good food, and warming their hearts with how much you love them.

It’s definitely “soup season” at the Jersey shore, especially at my house, where everyone is coming down with colds. My love wants my “chicken and rice” soup, and my daughter’s request is for my  “potato leek corn chowder.”As far as my two vegan boys, they want good ‘ol “vegetable soup.” So many soups, yet I always find the time.

I will always find the time to take care of the ones’ I love, and any request for my soups is welcome. Today I’ll be in the kitchen with my own cauldron, just like my grandmothers’, firmly planted on the stove for the day. And in between stirring and simmering, I’ll be writing and making their “sick beds” more comfortable for them.  By tonight they will have all “tasted” the love when they ate, and will be “feeling” the love as they lay their head down on clean sheets, warm blankets and fluffed up pillows.

And I’ll end the night with a warm cup of green tea and honey for everyone…including me!

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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Beef Barley Vegetable Soup with fresh baked French bread…as my grandmother said, “it’s good for what ails you!”