“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~

 

choice 1

Advertisements

“On The Outside Looking In”

invisible me 3

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 Man In The Moon”

man in the moon

It’s amazing what you can see when you look at the moon; it’s amazing what you can see when you allow yourself to believe in something bigger than facts and reality. It’s amazing to understand that there is life after death, and even more amazing to hear and feel your loved ones after they’ve passed.

It’s a gift to believe, and a gift of comfort, yet for some, if not most, fear prevents those very things we need to feel that comfort from coming in. Fear keeps us in the facts, unable to fathom that there is a spiritual world and spiritual realm outside of that. Fear of the opinion of others’ thinking we’re crazy because we can see and feel things that they can’t keeps the door from the other side closed, when in reality, we want to keep it open.

So we start with baby steps; we open it a crack. We want to see and believe, but we want proof. And trust me, proof is there, but it’s the programming of our human mind that tells us it couldn’t be so.

But it is…it is absolutely so.

I’ve lost many people I’ve loved throughout the years, and two in particular in the last few months. Did I cry over their passing? Absolutely. I cried at MY loss, not theirs. I believe that the other side, which I believe to be Heaven, is the place where they are whole, they are young, and they are not in pain. Why would I cry over them being in a better place? Why? Because I miss them; their passing changed my daily routine and changed my life; it left a void in my life and an ache in my heart. I miss them because I want them here. I want their voice, I want their touch, I want their human connection.

But the human connection is gone, and thanks to my many spiritual teachers throughout my life, I’ve learned that while a human connection is personal, a spiritual connection is even stronger, and will last until our last breath. A spiritual connection means that they know the answers to the questions; they have our back as our guardian angel; they see us all the time and come to visit at the times we need them most; and that their love for us was made stronger on the other side because of our love for them here. Love is the strongest emotion there is, the one that gives us strength; the one that fills us with light; the one that can never be taken away. Love is truly all we need.

On the other side we don’t need to call on them, they always know when to come. They come through our dreams, our thoughts, our memories; a familiar smell or favorite song; they come through a laugh and they come through a smile; they can even come in the moon and the stars, the ocean and the mountains. It’s your love here on earth that keeps them connected to you in heaven. Love never dies with a body; love lives on within the soul.

The messages of loved ones can be heard when you can still your mind and believe that when you hear them, it’s truly them speaking. When you feel a random touch, it’s them. When a tear rolls down your face thinking of them, it is they who dry it. When you feel scared and lonely and miss them so deeply, it is them that brings you a memory to think about to lessen your loneliness.

Talk to them; listen to them; feel them and love them. Miss them all you want, because they understand, yet they want you to know that they’re okay, and that you will be too. Love isn’t meant to be painful; love is meant to bring joy and peace. They understand your missing them, but they also know it’s through missing them that you talk about the memories, and that is what keeps them alive. That is what keeps their spirit alive, and it’s their spirit that you carry within you. On earth they were in your presence; in heaven they’re in your soul.

I’ve seen the man in the moon with his silly smile, his loving eyes and his tilted glasses on his nose; I’ve seen the woman in the stars with her arms stretched out to hold me; I’ve heard my friends in the sunrise and the sunset with their voice of reason and tone of reassurance; I’ve felt the touch of my loved ones as a gentle breeze blew through me.

I’ve seen them all and they were all at peace.

And they wrapped me in all the love they have for me…now and forever.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

Lyrics by Anne Dennish – Music and Vocals by Sutton Thomas 2016

“Waking Up – The Music Video”

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

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

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

amanda

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

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

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

 

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

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

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Sweet Nothings”

bloh

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~

Just-believe-just-have

 

“The New Year Revelations”

2017-blog

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~

us-1

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

“The Wrong And The Right”

“The wrong person wants something FROM you;
the right person wants everything FOR you.”

~Anne Dennish~

It doesn’t matter if it’s a budding romance, a committed relationship, a marriage or a friendship, being with the “right” person is key to its’ success and happiness.

We all have a choice of who we surround ourselves with, so please, my friends, choose wisely. Don’t allow the “wrong” people to drain you of your energy and self-esteem. Surround yourself with the light of the “right” person; the one who see’s you and all that you are and all that you can be; the one who supports your dreams and ideas; the one who wants only the best for you.

Choose the people who want all the best for you.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

rightandwrong

“The Lost Art of Loyalty”

 

recite-10ubx91

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~

beef-barley-vegetable-soup

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

 

 

“The Naked Truth About Being Naked”

I wanted to share one of my stories from my book, “Waking Up: Lessons Learned Through My Adventures With Life and Breast Cancer.” Hope you enjoy it!

“The Naked Truth About Being Naked”

Most people I know have a Bucket List. It’s that little list we carry in our mind of all the things we want to do before we die. It’s also that list of things that we want to do, but all too often, are afraid to do. We make excuses of not having the time to do it, or we simply don’t’ think it’s important enough to do. At this stage of my life it’s my list of “do it and get it done!” So now I’m doing as much as I can and regretting nothing!

Life is short enough, isn’t it? why fantasize about what we want to do? Why just carry a list in our mind? Shouldn’t we all have the freedom to be who we are? there’s no such thing as an “alter ego” in us. It’s just our “true self” coming out!

So, I went on a vacation. Some called it spontaneous, reckless, and even selfish. I called the seait a much needed fun and a matter of survival! Truth be told, it was more fun than I had imagined, and I did manage to knock quite a few things off my Bucket List! It was my alter ego in full swing…literally. It was and still is, the “real” me, and I couldn’t be happier with the person I found and allowed myself to become.

When finding the true you inside, there are times we must find the true you on the outside. In my case, I bared it all: body and soul. It was quite an experience and the most comfortable, content feeling I have felt in years with my own body, and of course, my own soul. No more speaking in code to those of you who haven’t figured it out yet: I went to a nude beach. Not just once, or even twice, but every single day of my vacation. The truth is, I loved it! It was freedom at its’ best: no hiding, no shame or embarrassment involved. It was, simply put: wonderful!

There were many people on that beach, all sizes and shapes, all comfortable in their own skin, which helped to make me more comfortable in mine. The first day on the beach I stuck to my chair, allowing myself to get to know the lay of the land. I sat people watching and getting used to this new found freedom. By the second day, and every day thereafter, I was up and about walking around, talking to everyone else there. Strangely enough, new friends were made, and there was quite the camaraderie among us all. I stepped into the world of nakedness, holding the most fun and intriguing conversations with other naked people. I wondered how I’d feel when I was home and had to step OUT of nakedness. The greatest part of it all is that no one seems to notice that anyone IS naked. The funniest part was seeing them out at night and noticing that they WEREN’T naked!

In the world of “clothed” people, you can tell a lot about them by what they’re wearing, how their hair look, even by the jewelry they have on. The status of their life is blatantly worn on them. On a nude beach, however, there is not status to be seen. There’s no way to look at someone and know much about them at all, except that they’re as free-spirited as you. That’s the beauty of it, you simply get to know them by talking to them, not by looking at them.

I worse my new bathing suit the day before I came home for less than an hour. It felt invasive to be so “covered” up after having been so “exposed,” yet there are times when we have to conform and accept the ways of the “real” world. We have to wear clothes!

Vacation is over, the beach I fell in love with is now a million miles away, but the experience will live within me for a lifetime! When the weather is dreary, or the day getting rough, I just closed my eyes and let my thoughts wander back to that wonderful trip, and that time on the beach where I could truly be myself. I loved the “naked truth” of that because it brought out more of the “naked truth” about me.

THE END

I hope you enjoyed the story; it brought me back to those memories as I wrote this for you and reminded me that so often, we judge someone by their appearance and their material possessions. And we shouldn’t.

You don’t have to go to a naked beach to understand the concept of “labeling” others and making an unfair judgement about them; you need to expose your true self to them, allowing them to share their true self with you.

You can be “naked” without taking your clothes off; it’s all a matter of standing in your truth.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

You can purchase a copy of my book, “Waking Up: Lessons Learned Through My Adventures With Life and Breast Cancer” at any Barnes & Noble store, or on-line at amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com.

book