Reclaiming Your Joy After Loss
My sister came home from rehearsal at the Barn Theatre for A Christmas Carol frustrated a week before the show was scheduled to open. The little boy playing the part of Tim Tim’s big brother had dropped out of the show. Always one to come to the rescue, she suggested to the director that I could play the part. I was about the same size as the little boy, so the costume would fit, and she could bring me to the theatre every night. So, I was cast in my first play when I was in third grade. Little did I know at the time that this was the beginning of my love for theatre and the arts for my lifetime. I felt at home on the stage and was fascinated by all aspects of the production.
Fast forward fifty something years, and I was standing in my theatre and school of arts that I had created in a beautiful 100-year-old building in downtown Bakersfield. I had a lifetime of experience in every aspect of theatre and was ready to use it all. Our first show was of our summer children’s workshop production of Annie. The packed house and the thrilled children pouring their hearts out on the stage showed me that dreams can come true. But Spotlight Theatre was more than a dream; it was an intention I set before I even knew what setting intentions was all about.
Looking back on my life now, I see that I have been setting intentions all along and seeing them come in to being. Once I committed to something in my heart, it would eventually come into being, sometimes many years later. And whatever I dreamed always turned out to be so much more than I had imagined. When my husband Ron taught me about the principle of setting intentions, I realized that I was a master at it already, but discovering how it worked, I was thrilled to set my intentions now intentionally.
I had heard the adage, be careful what you wish for. I turned that around for me to carefully intend what I desired. In writing my book Loving and Living Your Way Through Grief, I started out with the intention of helping my friend Lori deal with the sudden death of her husband Chappy. Helping her was my intention not knowing where that would lead me. I started by writing her a letter, then I decided to write her a note every week for the first year. When I had written the content for all the notes I would send, I realized that the notes made an outline for a book. Though I had written college textbooks before, I was in new territory now and knew I needed help. That’s when I discovered my amazing agent and coach Meriflor who held my hand through the process to write the book and find the perfect publisher. And now my book launches January 19, 2021.
As this new year starts, what is it that you would love to do or be? There are no limits. Take some time to write a list of what you crave, what you would love to do, what you are ready to have. Out of all you write down, what do you desire the most? Write it as clearly as you imagine it, then know that it is already happening. Put what you write where you can see it every day and believe that it is true. Then watch what happens. Intentionally intend your best life.
When did my writing career actually start? Many years ago I sat in a college writing class listening to the instructor share about how his editor had taken him to the best restaurant in town to celebrate the signing of the contract for his new book. At that moment, I said that I would do that one day too. And I did. Though my first book came many years later, a fond memory I have was my editor from Prentice Hall taking me out to eat at the Oak Room in the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan overlooking Central Park. Sitting the I reflected on that day in my writing class years before that I knew I was going to be an author.
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