“The Loss Of A Dream’

There’s a moment in my life that I will never forget. I was in my attorney’s office years ago going through my divorce. I was emotional and told her that it was so sad to me that the marriage was ending. What she said to me has stayed in my mind ever since:

“Yes, the marriage is ending, but you’re grieving the loss of a dream.”

And that was the best explanation I’ve ever heard… because she was right.

Every loss in life is a “grief of the loss of a dream.”

It could be the loss of the dream of losing someone we thought would be in our life forever, of losing a pet, of losing the job we love, of losing something important to us on our “bucket list.”

We all have dreams.

And when those dreams don’t come true we have to grieve the loss of them.

But please remember this: there WILL be dreams that come true.

I promise.

And it’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

Grief

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“My Strength Is Their Weakness”

strength and weakness

I wrote that quote many years ago near the end of my 20 year marriage. As I began to heal physically and emotionally from all the turmoil of that, I realized that it was at my moments of anxiety, sadness or depression that he became strong. At first I thought he was showing true signs of kindness, yet in time I realized what was really happening: I was feeding his ego and he was starving my self-esteem.  He felt like “the big man” helping the poor, defenseless, broken woman. The woman HE broke. The woman he was abusive to; the woman he told over and over again was stupid and ugly; the woman he told would never be loved by anyone.

And I believed him…until I stopped believing him.

Are you wondering how I stopped believing all that negative stuff he had embedded onto my brain? I woke up. I realized that I had allowed him free reign over me for many years and that by doing that, the behavior continued. I allowed him to speak down to me and allowed him to be disrespectful to me.  So, one day I woke up and stopped allowing it, and the marriage was done and over with.

I went through years of healing myself mentally and emotionally, and of course it was with the help of many spiritual teachers and a wonderful tribe of true friends.

I learned so much about myself and that loving myself first was the answer to not allowing anyone else to treat me that way. You’d think it would never happen again, yet I’m human; we’re all human. Sometimes life brings you an experience that you thought you had learned the lessons from…yet life knows when you forget the lesson. And the Universe will put a similar experience back into your way until you wake up and realize that what you stopped allowing years ago, you’re allowing once again.

Even after that divorce I would find myself meeting someone whose ego was strengthened by my weakness, and for those that know me, they know I’m anything but weak. It would sporadically happen here and there throughout the years, yet know I’m much more able to recognize it when it’s happening. I’ve learned that those people lack control of their own life so they try and control mine; they lack self-respect and are unable to respect anyone else; they don’t feel strong unless they’re paired up with someone weak.

And I am no longer that girl.

I want to be treated the way I deserve and the way that I treat others: with love, kindness, compassion, consideration and loyalty. And I won’t settle for anything less. I want to be loved for the person I am, quirks and all, because I love that person that I’ve become.

We all have moments of feeling weak and that’s okay; it’s those moments that help us to find our strength again and stand back up on our feet even stronger.

We all have moments of finding ourselves back in a situation that we thought would never return and that’s okay; you’re given that situation to remind you of the lesson you forgot.

And we all find ourselves staring into the mirror, looking at ourselves and wondering how we got here and what happened to us, and that’s okay; keep looking in that mirror long enough and you’ll once again see the person you thought was lost.

It’s those moments of feeling lost that we’re actually finding ourselves again, and we’re finding an even better and stronger version of the person we once were.

Life is about balance and we all fall out of balance every so often. It’s when the world around us is spinning out of control that we see the truth of everything, and it’s those moments we find our balance again.

Don’t let anyone make you feel weak; surround yourself with people that make you strong.

Don’t spend your precious time feeding someone’s ego; spend your time feeding your self-esteem.

And don’t rely on anyone loving you the way you want to be loved; love yourself that way first and the rest will fall into place.

Everything in your life begins with YOU.

Stop allowing what you don’t want to continue.

Forgive yourself when you forgot a lesson you learned and get back on track.

And love yourself.

If you do nothing else, love yourself.

Everything is possible when you begin with love.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“The Lesson In The Pain”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Try it.

It’s a good thing!

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

 

“Your New Year Revelations”

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 the new year. 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 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 2017, 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.

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 2018, I look towards it with the promise of more dreams to catch, more life to celebrate, and more adventures to begin.

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 2018!

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Chemo Healed The Cancer But The Cancer Healed Me”

My last book, “Waking Up: Lessons Learned From My Adventures With Life and Breast Cancer” was born over two years ago while lying on a radiation table for breast cancer.

I’m the type of person that loves meeting people because every single one of us has a story…we ARE a story! Some may not believe that, yet as a writer, I know it’s true. I was out to dinner with my love one night, along with his cousin and his love, and a table full of people I had never met. Yet by the end of the night, I knew them well.

You see, that’s the beauty of paying attention to people and speaking to them, yet more importantly, LISTENING to them. They were laughing at me last night when I said that the whole night of conversations was indeed a story!

So it’s no surprise that “Waking Up” was born; the idea may have begun on a radiation table, yet the stories were already taking shape in my mind, and for the last two years of writing it, more stories were born. Every story is true; most of them are of my personal experiences, and there are a few born out of situations with someone else who graciously allowed me to write about it

Yet, here’s what that one moment that woke me up was: “breast cancer!”

Yes, I had been on a spiritual journey for years, but finding out I had cancer was a big kick in the ass! I realized that as much as I had learned over the years, the lessons were far from over. Breast cancer changed my life and how I live it. That tumor was all the things I never said out loud, all the pain of allowing people to treat me badly. It was everything I never said that I should have, so I made a deal with the cancer: “I’ll open my mouth and use my voice, I’ll make better choices of who I surround myself with, I’ll rid myself of people and situations that make me feel less than good, and I’ll take all of this and write about it to help someone else as long as you leave my body when the time is right.”

I guess the cancer agreed with the deal, because it held up its’ end of the bargain. I did all those things and it left me the day they cut all that stuff out of my body. They did more than a lumpectomy on February 21st. As cancer and I were about to say good-bye that day, I could hear it speaking to me. Sounds crazy, but it wasn’t really. It said: “You’ve done the work and I know it wasn’t easy. I’m sorry to have had to come and visit you, but this journey is over. Remember the lessons, remember to love yourself, and finish up our deal: tell your lessons to everyone you can reach. I’m counting on you.”

Well, in a strange way, chemo may have healed my cancer, but my cancer healed me. It taught me more than I could imagined, and since then, I spread the word, I keep out as much drama and stress as I can, and I walk away from anyone or anything that tries to control and manipulate me. Cancer didn’t abuse me as much as some people have tried to, and I’m smarter because of all of it.

“Waking Up” is so much more than a book; it’s my heart and soul that simply wants to make a difference in someone’s life. Life get’s shorter as we get older, and my goal is to live everyday to the fullest, to show love and kindness to someone who needs it, and most importantly, to make someone laugh and smile.

Struggles will always happen in our lives, yet it’s your attitude and perspective that will handle it and teach you more than you could have ever imagined.  After all, “we don’t become who we are by chance; we become who we are by choice.”

Love your lessons, whether you like them or not, because in the end, miracles happen!

“Chemo healed the cancer but the cancer healed me.”

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

 

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“I Won’t Back Down”

Here’s an excerpt from my new book, “My Collective Soul,” which will be released in October of 2017. ~Anne Dennish~

Photo by EVNFLO Photography

 

 

“No, I stand my ground, won’t be turned around,and I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down…gonna stand my ground and I won’t back down.” ~Tom Petty~

 

I’ve always loved that song, but while going through breast cancer, the lyrics rang more true than ever. Yet you don’t need to go through an illness or rough patch to understand that song: that no one should “back down” to anything or anyone.

Finding our strength isn’t the easiest thing to do, and truth be told, even when you find it, there will be moments that you’re too tired to stay that strong. You’re tired, your emotions are running rampant, or you just hit your wall to life. And all that is okay; we’re all human and there are just some days that people and situations get the best of us.

I have days like that, although as I learn my lessons in life, those days are far and few between. When I find myself faced with someone who’s draining my energy or trying to manipulate me, I hear those lyrics:

“Well, I know what’s right, I got just one life in a world that keeps on pushin’ me around but I’ll stand my ground and I won’t back down.”

Yes, there are times we feel like we “gave in” to someone, yet you need to remember, you didn’t give in, and you didn’t give up. You did what was necessary to remove yourself from it, even if you allowed someone else to think they got the best of you.

What you know to be true is your “truth.” And no one, and no situation, can take that away from you without your permission.

“Don’t back down” to anything or anyone…stand tall, proud and strong! Show the world how “big your brave is!”

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Always Trust Your Gut”

Just a little piece of advice for you all: trust your gut, trust your intuition and trust yourself. There seems to be so much dark energy floating around in the world lately that you have to be careful of who and what you’re surrounding yourself with, especially where the internet and social media are concerned.

If something feels wrong or feels “off,” know that it is.

If you know someone in your life or see a picture of someone and your intuition screams that there’s something dark or negative about them, know that there is.

Protect the beautiful being that you are and surround yourself with love and light. Stay away from the dark and negative energy that surrounds certain people, whether it’s in your life or through the internet.

Stay positive, stay grounded, and stay focused on your intuition and gut feelings…trust them. And please, when you get the feeling that something “isn’t right,” and you don’t understand why, trust that your gut knows why, even if you don’t know the reason yet.

I wish you all love,light, and protection from the negative and dark people that try to hurt you and the ones you love.

Be safe, be mindful, and “pay attention.”

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Life And Your Water Bottle”

water bottles

I was talking to a friend the other day about her life and all the changes she wants to make, when suddenly I found myself saying to her: life is like a water bottle, if it’s filled to the top with all the negative people and situations in your life then there’s no room to fill it with the water of the positive.

She loved the analogy and I thought about it further. It’s always a good thing to be able to visualize things in a way that you can see it and understand, and my “water bottle” analogy is just that.

Imagine that we’re given one water bottle in our life, and that bottle represents our life. It’s filled with water, which is all the people and situations in our life. At the time those things may be purposeful in our life and best for our Highest Good, yet as time and life marches on, it changes. Suddenly you’re left wanting more, wanting something different or wanting to let go of certain people and situations.

But you can’t seem to do it, and that is the human nature of being afraid of change or of the unknown. We know what we need to leave behind yet we wonder what will happen if we let go. Will our life be worse or will it be better? Should we leave someone not knowing if someone better is waiting for us?

It’s a leap of faith in your Higher Power and in yourself.

I explained to her that at this time in her life her water bottle is filled with negativity, both with her job and personal life. I told her that unless she started emptying that water bottle of the negative she wouldn’t be able to fill it with anything new or more positive. She couldn’t replace the negative water until she poured it out and replaced it with the positive.

After all, you can’t put more water into a full bottle until you dump some water out.

And that is my analogy on letting go and moving forward.

Sometimes you have to visualize your life in a way that you can actually picture it, and the water bottle is simply one way to look at it.

Is your water bottle filled with all that is for your Highest Good or do you need to dump some of the water out so that the “good” water can be poured in?

It’s the same no matter how you look at it. When you keep the wrong people in your life or are in a situation that is not good for you then there’s no room for what’s in your best interest to come in.

I’ve been taught by my spiritual teachers throughout the years that you have to let go of that which no longer serves your Highest Good in order for something better to come in. Holding on to negativity in any way, shape or form will prevent anything better and more positive to come in.

Dump out your water bottle if your life isn’t the way you want it and fill it with all the good that the Universe has just waiting for you.

After all, I believe that once we rid ourselves of negativity, whether it’s people or situations, the world opens up with more positivity than we can imagine.

I know this for sure…

And it’s a good thing…

I promise.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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“Turning Off The World”

turn off the world

It’s been a rough week for me, one filled with a mix of emotions, disappointments, hurt and feeling mentally and physically exhausted, yet I was able to get through the last week knowing that on Saturday morning my love and I were finally getting away for the night…a much needed 24 hours away, just us two. I’ve been wanting to do this for two months and we were there, at last.

It’s so important to reconnect with the one you love every so often, or as often as you can. Life is always happening, work calls, responsibilities, career changes and the list goes on. It keeps us busy and we lose focus on what’s important: each other and the care of the relationship.

And that’s what was happening to us.

So I had suggested a night away. It took two months to do it, but I booked a beautiful hotel with all the amenities we could want, which meant that we could check in and never have to leave until we checked out the next day.

My only request was that we turned off the phones, no texting, no messages, no emails, no television and definitely NO Facebook. In other words, I wanted to turn the world off.

And he agreed.

And we did it.

And it was a beautiful 24 hours of no distractions of any kind and our full attention was on each other. It worked out so well that when we got home the next day I suggested that we keep it going until Monday morning, the day that I knew the real world had to come back into our life.

I realized an important thing in that 24 four hour period: that we all need to turn off and shut out the real world at times, and sometimes that time is as often as possible.

During those hours we had to focus on each other, because that’s all we had in that hotel room, and in the grand scheme of relationships, isn’t that all we have in the end…”each other?” Isn’t the relationship between two people important enough that we should never lose sight of? Shouldn’t the relationship be tended to as we do our garden…we care for it, feed it what it needs, and cut out the weeds?

Relationships need to be tended to and cared for just like a garden. When they feel fragile they need to be solidified. When they seem weak they need to be strengthened. And when they feel lost both people need to find each other…together.

It’s really a pretty simple concept, yet in the busy world, often times overlooked.

And I’m not that girl. I pay attention to the smallest and largest of detail and I’m protective of our relationship.

So these 24 hours were not just desperately needed, but absolutely necessary.

We had dinner together, sat for hours on the balcony under the moon and the stars sipping Sangria and just being alone together with no distractions of the outside world or anyone in it. There were no long conversations, a rare thing for me, but in my mind I wanted to leave my troubles behind and just “be” on this balcony with him.

I realized that it was the first time in more months than I could count that we were truly alone with no distractions, and as the hours passed we seemed to find each other again, over and over.

And it was comforting.

So here I am on Monday morning opening my life up back to the world. It already feels in the enddifferent yet I know this to be true: you can run but you can’t hide, and this is “life.”

The lesson I learned in this is that the real world always exists, but it’s important to turn it off as often as you can and forget about the distractions.

In the end there is nothing more important than the love you share together as a couple and never allowing the outside world to distract you from what’s truly important and what truly matters: each other. After all, “love is what lifts you up when life tries to bring you down.”

I can promise you that it’s worth it in the end; after all, it’s not the distractions that are important, it’s the relationship between you and the one you love.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

 

“The Lost Art of Loyalty”

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 While I was in Malibu a few years ago 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 bad bosses 1be 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 and my closest of friends. And that loyalty goes 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 around 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 what loyalty is to me, and I won’t settle for anyone in my life being less loyal to 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~

loyalty