“Chemo and Racing…The Game Changer”

I was a journalist for years at our local racetrack, Wall Stadium Speedway. I had my own column called “The Need For Speed,” in which I interviewed the drivers. It was an exciting time to be “behind the scenes” of the track that I grew up listening to and going to every Saturday night!

This picture came up on my memories and I wanted to share it with you. I was asked to drive a car in the women’s race called “The Powder Puff!” Of course I said yes, and once I had the driving experience I understood the passion behind the drivers I interviewed even more.

I was scheduled to start chemo a week after this picture was taken and on that night I remember telling my friends that I believed that racing scared me more! 

Yet I did it and the fear turned to excitement, and after that race I felt as though I could get through anything…and I got through cancer. 

Sometimes life hands us an adventure or opportunity that we never thought we’d have, and it’s those moments that can change our outlook on things forever.

I took that racing experience with me right through chemo and knew that in time I’d cross that finish line as a survivor.

And I did.

And it was a very good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

wall stadium

“I’m A 5 Year Breast Cancer Survivor!”

The day is finally here: I’m a 5 year breast cancer survivor and I couldn’t be more grateful or feel more blessed!5 year cake

I’m grateful for having survived it, grateful for what it taught me, and grateful that it was a part of my life journey that brought me to where I am now!

I’m grateful for the amazing people that came into my life because of it and even grateful for the people who left because of it. Life is always better when you surround yourself with the right people…and I’ve got a wonderful tribe surrounding me!

And I just have to say it one more time: “I’m a 5 year breast cancer survivor today!”

And it’s a very good thing!

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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“What” Is Not As Important As “Why”

what 2

“What’s” happened to you in your life isn’t as important as “why” it happened. ~AD~

We all experience some difficult situations in our life and I’ve come to accept and understand that the “what” that’s happened to me isn’t as important as  the“why” that it did.

We’re so quick to blame others for our difficult times, yet we have a hand in those situations as well. Perhaps we aren’t being our authentic self or standing in our truth to those around us. Maybe we change “who” we are according to the people we are around at a particular moment. I can tell you that I’ve learned that I am in control of what I allow to happen to me and it’s up to me to set healthy boundaries for my highest good…and it’s not always easy to do.

I had breast cancer and it can’t always be prevented, yet I could have had a mammogram sooner than I had; I went 5 years without one and only had one done when I found my tumor. So while this “what” may have been destined to happen to me, the “why” it happened when it did was because I wasn’t loving myself enough to get that mammogram every year like I should have. I know better now.

I’ve lived through divorce and a bad relationship. The “what” that caused an ending to these relationships isn’t as important as the “why” it happened. It happened because I was allowing those people to treat me in a way I didn’t deserve. What you allow will continue and it did for me until I realized I deserved better and decided to stop it.

And I’ve lived through emotional, verbal and physical abuse. It went on for years until I finally put an end to it. “What” was said and done to me isn’t as important as “why” it was done to me. It happened because I let it happen. I wasn’t as strong as I am now, my self-esteem was non-existent, and I blamed myself for causing all those things that were said and done to me then. I was at the bottom and when I finally decided that enough was enough, I pulled myself up off the floor and began to see clearly of the “why” it happened. I began to get stronger day by day and set up boundaries that were never again to be crossed by anyone, and if they were, I certainly recognized it sooner. It happened because I let it, not because I deserved it. It was yet another life lesson for me to learn.

You have to love yourself, respect yourself, and know that you don’t deserve to be treated badly by anyone, especially by yourself. Let’s face it, we’re all masters of self-sabotage at times…we can hurt ourselves better than the person who is hurting us. Yet that’s not the way it should be; you know that as well as I do.

It’s time we all, myself included, stop focusing on the “what” that happened to us and start looking deep within ourselves to see our truth of the“why” it happened.

It’s then that we learn and grow and move forward into the life we want and deserve.

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Feel, Deal and Heal”

I’ve gone through my share of, what most may say, are traumatic experiences: divorce, cancer, and abuse, to name a few. When I share these experiences publicly many people ask me how I’m still standing, how in the world did I become so positive after so many negative things happened to me.

My answer is always the same: Because I chose to get through and I’m standing even stronger.

And how is that possible?

Because I knew I had to feel all the emotions that came with those “traumas” and deal with them; and that’s how I was able to heal.

No one wants to feel hurt, sadness or brokenness, yet we all do at some point in our life. Many people block those emotions; they tuck them away and believe that they moved on from them. I can tell you that they didn’t. Ignoring what you have to face is lying to yourself and eventually all those emotions you didn’t deal with will catch up with you at some point in your life. They always do.

And when they do catch up with you those around you pay the price for it as well.

Don’t you want to feel happy? Don’t you want to find joy in your life? Don’t you want to let go of an experience that caused you pain?

Sure you do…we all do.

So do it. Take a long look in the mirror at yourself and let your truth come through. Take that experience and all the pain that came with it and deal with it. Feel the pain, the heartache and let the healing waters of your tears flow to release it all. Then forgive the experience so you no longer hold onto it and then forgive yourself for allowing it to hold you back from the happiness you want and deserve.

You can run from those traumatic experiences but trust me, you can’t hide from them until you deal with them.

Feel, deal and heal, my friends.

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,
~Anne Dennish~

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“Life As A Writer”

I’ve been writing all of my life, since the day I could hold a pencil in my hand and learn to spell. It’s something as natural to me as breathing. When I was a young child my stories were nothing more than a few sentences and a crayon drawing at the bottom of the page.

Through high school and college I could be found sitting on the beach like a Bohemian hippie, writing lyrics and poetry. There were nights you would find me in the hallway of my dorm, hot pot of instant coffee and me sitting against the wall with a notebook writing through the middle of the night while all the other college students were asleep.

During my marriage and raising children I began keeping a journal about my feelings of being a wife and mom. I wrote poetry and journal entries which would become short stories.

I was always writing something.

Yet until a few years ago whenever someone asked what I did I would say I’m a mom. I was a Sunday School teacher, a soccer mom, PTA mom, Cub Scout leader and a Brownie leader. There was never a mention of “I’m a writer.”

It’s funny how you can write and write your whole life and never say you were a writer.

Until my first book was published.

Well, even when it was published I still would say “I write books.”

It was my close high school friend, Rich, that said to me one day: “Why don’t you say what you are? You’re a writer. You’re a published author. You’re exactly what you wanted to be.”

Wow…I never thought of myself as that.

And why?

There’s really no definitive answer “why” I never said it or thought it; I spent most of my life raising my kids, so to think of myself as someone other than that seemed like a foreign concept to me.

Yet the truth of the matter is that I AM a writer. I AM a published author. I AM a lyricist.

And I’m even more than that.

I’m a writer who uses her words to heal and help others and try and make a difference in the world.

Writing is a part of my everyday life and as much a part of me as breathing is.

And as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that I can use my writing to share my experiences with others; to help them through a difficult time; to let them know they’re not alone.

Writing is my voice that I want to be heard.

Writing is my heart reaching out to love the world.

Writing is my soul that shares it passion.

Writing is my passion and my dream come true.

Writing is the one way I know to reach out to people. It’s my way of helping, sharing and making a difference in one life and one day, I hope, the world.

My name is Anne Dennish.

And I’m a writer.

And it’s a very good thing…for me.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

meee1

 

 

“Those Waking Up Moments”

“It takes but one moment in your life that you find yourself waking up.”
~Anne Dennish~

 

“Waking Up” was the title of my last book and of the song I wrote to go with it. It was born out of my journey with breast cancer when a nurse asked me on my last day of treatment how the experience affected me. My answer was quick: “It woke me up.”

And it sure did.

But you don’t need to go through an illness to “wake up” to your life and how you’re living it.

I believe we all have those moments of “waking up” in which we see a situation differently…we see it with open eyes and more clarity. We see the truth. We see what’s working in our life and what isn’t. We see who belongs in our bubble and who doesn’t.

And then we have the choice to change it.

I’ve been going through a few “waking up” moments myself and while there are moments of sadness in what needs to be changed, there’s many more moments of happiness because of the change.

“Waking up” moments bring us life lessons to be learned so that we can live our life to the fullest and for our Highest Good.

Change isn’t always easy but I can promise you that it will always be worth it.

Because “YOU” are worth it!

Know the value of who you are…

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

it takes but one moment

“My Restless Soul”

I feel restless. It used to be that I only felt that way once or twice a year, yet lately this feeling is happening more and more frequently. I’m feeling restless, feeling bored, feeling like I need a new adventure; I need something new, something exciting, something different. I need to feed my soul because it’s my soul that’s feeling restless. I guess you could say I have “restless soul syndrome!”

Don’t get me wrong, I love my life, yet there are moments even I wonder if this is as good as it gets or this is all there is…and I’m at that point now, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that way now and again. Maybe some of you feel that way as well.

Life seems to morph into a ritual of the same people, the same parties, the same old same old…and while I love those people and those parties I need new experiences as well. I’m not one who can stay in a box and that same comfort zone for too long. I need to experience new things, new people, and new adventures.

And that’s where I am today…feeling restless. I’m wondering what direction I need to move in my life next, what I should be doing differently, what I’m missing out on. I love my writing and I couldn’t imagine a day without writing something, yet in the midst of that I find myself in the middle of laundry, housework and mundane routines…

And I’ve lived that life before…

I’ve been a full time housewife and mother, and as the kids have grown older, there’s not much need for it now. I have two of my five children living home now and both boys tell me that they want me to do more as a writer, that they love the fact that I AM a writer, and they support me through it all. They want to see me out there in the world catching my dreams, always believing that something wonderful is about to happen, and living my life pursuing my passion of writing. They know I’m always there as their mom but they want so much more for me. They’re two very impressive boys and I’m grateful for them every day. They sometimes see in me the potential and ability that I sometimes lose sight of in myself.

They believe in me.

They love me.

And they want me to do the same for myself.

They both lived through my breast cancer with me…they were there for the diagnosis, the treatment and the recovery, and ever since then they want me to do what makes me happy. They want me to write, to publish more books, and to try and make a difference in the world. They want me to live my life in a way that I never had before. They want me to live my life making the world a better place.

And believe me, they’ve done that for me.

So here I am, knowing all that I know, feeling restless…wanting more, desiring more, and ready for another adventure. I want to push the envelope and shoot for the moon. I want to dream bigger and better; I want to write more and share more with the world; I want to step out of this box I find myself in and push the limits to one of endless possibilities.

And I’m the only one that can do that. I own the fact that I’m feeling restless and I know that it’s up to me to change it.

I want to fuel that fire that ignites my soul.

Feeling restless doesn’t mean I’ll change who I am; feeling restless means that the Universe is trying to tell me something. It’s taking who I am and trying to make me a better person. It’s trying to teach me a lesson and tell me that there’s more that awaits me in this world. It’s telling me to get out from under the laundry and move up to what it has to offer me next. It’s telling me that there’s another experience waiting for me if I’ll just open my eyes and see it.

So, while I’m feeling restless today I know that tomorrow is another day with endless possibilities and new experiences just waiting for me to grab onto them, move forward with them, and let them guide me to the next chapter in my life.

I know these moments of feeling “restless” are for a reason and I can’t wait to see what they are!

I’m ready to take a leap of faith and open up the door to something new…

Are you?

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

restless soul

 

“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~

“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

“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