“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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“Go With The Flow”

My apologies to all of you for my page having been so quiet, but life has a way of sneaking up on us and slowing us down…and that’s what happened to me in the last few weeks.

I had a few trips to the ER for a swollen Achilles tendon which put me on crutches and strict instructions to stay off my feet for a week or two. That was tough, I’ll admit, to have to sit with my foot elevated, watching mindless television day in and day out. I didn’t last a week or two, but a few days in my foot was feeling better.

Next was a beautiful family wedding on the beach which lasted for the weekend. My foot was feeling good enough to throw on low heels and dance with my love all night. The next morning I would find myself with a few numb toes and it was off to the ER yet again. This time it was torn ligaments and again, instructions to stay off my foot as much as possible.

In the midst of all of this I was getting my youngest back to junior year of high school and my other son off to college. They didn’t need much help but as a mom, I wanted to be there when they left for the day and here when they got home.

I was frustrated, to say the least, at having to say “no” to certain situations which I knew would take a toll on my healing foot. I was mad at myself for not heeding the strict instructions from the doctor. And I was suffering from a long “writers block.”

And then I began to realize that this was a test of patience, of will, and of strength. It was the Universe telling me to slow down, and it was “life” teaching me that I need to remember to “go with the flow.”

All too often we want to control our life and all that happens within it, and while that is certainly true at times, that we DO have control over our life, sometimes our life takes control of US when we’re not paying enough attention to what’s best for us; what’s best for our Highest Good.

And that’s what happened to me.

My foot is feeling better, my writers block is unblocking, and the house seems to be back in balance again. It was a rough road, but once I realized why it was all happening, I began to relax and accept what was and what will be once I do.

Sometimes  life has to remind us to just “go with the flow.”

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“What Happened To Humanity?”

When did we stop thinking about the needs of other’s and only thinking of our own? When did we stop helping each other unless we had something to gain from it? When did we stop caring about each other? When did we start putting our own needs above someone who needs our help? When did we start being selfish instead of selfless?

It started when we stopped needing one another and only wanting one another when it was convenient, when it served us, when we had something to gain from it.

And that is the saddest thing in the world.

I can remember a time in my life when I had nothing and five children to take care of. It was the kindness of my closest friends that helped me out during that time and expected nothing in return. And when I had barely anything I still helped a family who needed my help. I sent food to their home during a difficult time and when those around me asked me: Why would you do that when you are in a bad way yourself? My answer was simple: because they were human beings who also needed the kindess of someone to help them, just like my friends had helped me. You see, that’s where the world has changed: we only give when it suits us; we only help when it makes us look good; we only need someone when we want something from us. The world stopped caring when they realized people took advantage of their kindness.

And again, that is the saddest thing in the world.

The world is in turmoil at the moment; there are hurricanes destroying lives, families and homes, and yet most people aren’t able to see the big picture: that the world needs us to stick together and help one another, and not because we “need” to but because we “want” to help another life feel better, get better and move on better.

If I do nothing else in this world except use my writing to help people understand and to try and make a difference in the world, then that is my success. My success comes from loving a stranger in need or a friend that needs my help, sharing what I have with them, helping them through a difficult time, listening to them and being there for them. My greatest success is when someone tells me that I made a difference in their life.

I sit here today with such a sadness and worry in my heart over friends on the islands that were impacted by Hurricane Irma, by someone I love that is in the hospital with no update on how they are from someone I know who is there and for a friend displaced by the hurricane that no one would help, so they helped themselves. For the love of God, what happened to kindness and respect? What happened to doing the right thing? What happened to thinking of other people and what they’re going through instead of focusing on only what we’re going through?

It’s time…it is absolutely time for everyone to get out of their own way and leave their selfish egos to the wayside. It’s time to see the big picture of what some are about to lose during these storms, to see what those did lose, to see what is happening to those around us. Does someone need a shoulder to lean on? Does someone need a listening ear? Does someone need a small, random act of kindness?

I know that I will do anything I can for anyone that needs me, whether it’s something big or something small. My mission in life is to make a difference in someone’s life and hopefully those random acts of kindness may actually make a difference in the world.

I know what I’m doing…what are YOU doing to make a positive difference in someone’s life, to help someone in need or to simply do what you can to make this world a better place?

There’s no better feeling in the world than to know you did something for someone else without expecting something in return.

The gift of helping someone else is how good you’ll feel when you do…and because you “wanted” to do it, not because you “needed” to do it for yourself.

Wishing you love, light, and peace,

~Anne Dennish~

“Stop Looking Down”

How many precious and important moments do you have to miss because you’re looking down at your phone to see the latest social media posts or text messages? Seriously, the world is becoming obsessed with life on the internet rather than the life in front of their eyes.

Everywhere you go you see people looking down at their phone no matter where they are: crossing the road, out on a date or family dinner, sitting on the couch and worst yet, while they’re driving.

I don’t want to miss out on one moment of the life I see in front of me, of the people I love around me, or the touch of my loved ones. I don’t want them to ever feel less important than what’s on my phone. I want them to know that they’re more important than any social media post or text message.

While our phones are a connection we have grown to need for communication with others, it should never become more important the people in your life. Everything in moderation, yet there are those who live their life on their phone, another point of sadness for me.

Stop “looking down” and open your eyes and  “look up, look around, and look at what’s in front of you.” You’ll be amazed at what you’ve been missing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Losing Sight Of What Really Matters”

Social media can be a great tool to keep in touch with old classmates as well as friends and family that live far away.

Yet it can become a way of life for some; the people that base their life on the “number of likes, friends and friend requests” they get, and that’s sad because they’ve lost sight of reality and the people in their life.

My own personal feeling is that I would rather have human touch, a voice, and an interaction with someone in the real, physical world. It means more to me when I get a call from a friend or they stop by to visit  me than by any “friend request” I receive from someone who never game me the time of day over the years or put the effort in to reach out to me.  While social media can be a great tool, especially if you use it for business, I don’t base my life on it. I don’t take every “friend” request just because I receive one. I’m more cautious on social media than I am in the real world.  My love, my children and my close friends mean the world to me and I will never let social media take priority over them.

So today I want you to look at your life with a different perspective and ask yourself these questions: Are you more in touch with the physical world and the people in it or are you more focused on your social media page? Where is your priority…with people you don’t know well on social media or with the ones you do know well in your life?

And the most important question to ask yourself is this: Do you spend more time on social media than you do with the people you love?

Don’t base your life on “likes and friends” on social media; base your life on the people in your life that love you.

I know I do.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“I Can See Clearly Now”

 

 

Every so often I take a look at all the people in my life; the ones I trust and that I’m closest to. I take a good look and ask myself if I’m my true self with them or the self they need me to be. I ask myself if they bring out the best in me or I simply bring out the best in them. And I ask myself, am I a matter of convenience to them when they need my attention and love or are they there for me as well?

Those questions have been in my mind lately and I believe sometimes we have to look at the big picture because we find at that moment that we’re not living the life we need for our Highest Good. We’re in control of our happiness and in order to be all that we want to be and have the life we want we also have to see who we allow in it, because they have an impact on it.

I have a close knit group of people in my life and I’m always cautious when someone I don’t know well comes into it, whether it’s through a social circle or worse yet, through social media. I don’t take every friend request that comes my way, especially when I don’t know them or I know could cause a problem with my relationship.

So yesterday my eyes were suddenly open and seeing things differently, and I wondered why. Yet I knew why: the Universe wanted me to see and so that I could think about it and decide what I would do with what I saw and felt.

Communication between two people is key; trust is earned and maintained; and love is felt by actions, not simply words.

So as I rode in silence I heard the following questions:

  • Am I as much of a priority to someone as they are to me?
  • Do I care for someone more than they care for me?
  • Does my life revolve around all the people in it rather than it being on me?
  • Do they focus on me as much as I focus on them?
  • Do I support them more than they support me?
  • Does every conversation revolve around “them” and end when it begins to revolve around “me?”
  • Do they accept my feelings about something even though they don’t understand why I feel that way?
  • If they do something that hurts me do they do it again or do they love and respect me enough not to do it again, even if it doesn’t make sense to them.
  • Are they starting to find faults in me rather than positive things?
  • Do they put as much effort into me as they do to social media?

So many things to think about and I knew in my heart that I had the answers. And let me say that these questions pertain to all of your relationships, whether it’s a friendship, your family, or a relationship between two people.

And I ask to ask myself: Do they look different in my eyes now?

Now what do I do? What do you do if you find yourself in this position?

You take a leap of faith in who you are; you need to believe that you deserve to be treated as you treat them; and you need to communicate your feelings to them with love, kindness and respect.

And if you do these things and the response is not what you had hoped, then you’ll know the answers to your questions were right.

And that you need to turn the page in your book of life and move onto the next chapter…

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

 

 

“Life And Your Water Bottle”

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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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“What Do Men And Women Want From Each Other?”

My love and I were talking yesterday and came to one conclusion: men have a simple way of looking at things and handling them, while women? Well, not so much! So I decided to write an article about it which will also be a part of a book I’m writing.

This is where I need your help. I need to know what you want from the man/woman in your relationship or if you’re single, what is it you’re looking for in a partner. It’s similar to “what a girl wants and what a man needs.”

I look forward to seeing all your responses! Thanks for your help! Who knows, your responses could help another couple better understand one another!

(Please know that I am not excluding same sex couples; my intent was more on the differences between men and women in a relationship.)

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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“It’s Your Own Fault”

~This is an excerpt from my new book, “My Collective Soul,” which will be released in Octover of 2017~

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We live in a time of blaming others for our shortcomings. It’s easier to blame someone else than to take our accountability for our actions. I see it all the time. People living less of the life they want and pointing the finger at everyone else. They blame others; they say it’s someone else’s fault; they don’t know how to stand in their own truth.

And they do that because it’s easier to blame someone else than to look in the mirror and claim our part in what makes us unhappy.

No one wants to look in the mirror. It’s the mirror of our face, our shortcomings, our faults, our weaknesses, yet what most people don’t understand is that it’s also the mirror of our strength, of our successes, of our truth.

Most people fear the mirror because they don’t always like what they see, yet what you see is what you can change, if you choose to. What we see is our soul and our heart and if you can’t come to terms to accept what you see, then you, my friends, have the right to change it.

You were gifted the ability to change in yourself and your life what you don’t like. If you look in the mirror and see a weakness then go out and strengthen it. If you look in the mirror and see your faults then change it and see your strengths. If you look in the mirror and see and ugly person then change it to make yourself beautiful, and I don’t mean in looks.

Our hearts dictate our beauty. Our hearts allow the outside world to see who we are. Our hearts are the keepers of our secrets, and they also hold the keeper of our truth.

Let it out.

Look in the mirror and yourself and see your beauty. See your strengths, see your accomplishments, see all that you endured, see your illness, see your broken marriage or relationship, see the pain and the hurt.

See it all…

And then look again.

Look at YOU.

Stare at yourself for as long as you need to.

And within a few minutes your face will look different; your demeanor will change; your soul and heart will start to break through the negative sight of what you see and show you the light.

Let it.

Let go.

And know that all that stuff that happened to you is simply that: stuff. Let it go. And accept that anything that happenened to you was meant to. It was a lesson from your Higher Power to stop and take a look at your life; to take a look at yourself.

We all have a hand in our life. We love to blame everyone else, yet it takes two people to argue; two to fight; two to find love and two to end it. It takes two people to have an affair and two people to join together in marriage.

Stop blaming and take a step back.

Look in that mirror, point the finger at yourself and say: “It’s your own fault.”

And then forgive yourself for not being perfect, because you’re not supposed to be. You’re supposed to be human. You’re supposed to make mistakes, and you’re supposed to learn from them.

You’re supposed to feel pain so that you can feel happiness.

You’re supposed to give freedom for your heart to break so that you can learn how to heal it.

You’re supposed to fail at some things so that you can succeed at what you were meant to.

You’re supposed to cry so that you can smile.

You’re supposed to end a relationship so that you can begin another one.

You’re supposed to be human.

You see, you are amazing. You are an incredible individual and no one else is like you. We all have faults and that’s okay because the right friend or partner will love you for them. We all fall and we all can get up and we can get up stronger.

We all can make a choice; we all can take a chance; we all can fall deep down to the bottom.

And you can choose to get up.

So pick yourself up and get it right. Straighten up and straighten up. You can do it because I have. I’ve fallen so deep throughout my life that I couldn’t see the sun. I’ve been so weak that I lost sight of what strength felt like. I felt so alone that I forgot what love was.

And then I looked in the mirror.

I looked long and hard, and at first I didn’t like what I saw.

But I kept looking.

And within a few minutes I saw a girl who was simply broken from all that life had handed her. I looked her hard straight in her eyes and saw something that she didn’t: her will.

I wanted to be strong, I wanted to be better, I wanted a different life.

I kept looking at this girl who had become a stranger to me and felt compassion for her, and in that moment I realized I was feeling compassion for myself.

So I forgave myself for everything.

I knew it was my fault because I allowed it all to happen.

But as I looked at her in the mirror I let it gave, told her I loved her, and changed my life in that moment, just like that.

She changed.

She became strong.

She believed in herself.

She loved herself.

And no matter what was her fault, she forgave it all.

And she forgave all the people that were a part of it.

And she cried tears of sadness as she let go and tears of happiness as she stood in her truth.

And all was right with her world.

And never again would she say “it’s your own fault” because she would never allow it to be.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“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 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~

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