What an exciting day Thursday was! Our long-awaited book, Overcomers, Inc.: True Stories of Hope, Courage, and Inspiration was launched, was celebrated, and went to #1 on Amazon in three categories.
I’ve never been part of a book launch before, and this is my first time published. I feel extremely fortunate to have found my way to this magical book and I’m proud to be associated with a product of such quality and power.
When I decided to participate, I initially felt vulnerable about sharing my story, but I knew I had to do it. The first part of this remarkable journey for me involved figuring out how to express what I wanted to communicate, how to craft it into a form, and how to compress it into a few pages. That in itself was a rich, complex, and growthful experience and would have been enough of a reward.
But then, after months of anticipation and wondering, I received a copy of this beautiful book and got to experience the real reward: discovering the amazing group of human beings I’d been traveling alongside. . . .
I was truly blown away when I read the 38 stories of ordinary people demonstrating, in many cases, jaw-dropping courage, perseverance, hope, vision, and immense heart and spirit, as they overcame a wide range of challenges. Some stories will feel familiar, something we can all relate to. Others tell the kinds of extreme dramas movies are based on. I was amazed, moved, inspired, and honored to be in their company.
Here are three excerpts from the book, starting with my own, to give you a taste of what’s in store for you if you decide to get the book. (This book is so inspirational, you’ll probably decide to give it to many of your friends.)
And here’s where you can go right now to read much more about it and to purchase it for yourself:
Growing Up After Fifty: It’s Never Too Late to Bloom
Several factors contributed to my delayed adulthood. Being an artist, single and childless, I bypassed the rites of passage and responsibilities of most adults. My Depression-era parents’ version of responsibility made adulthood look unappealing anyway. Looking young, acting young, thinking and feeling young helped create the illusion that time was barely passing, and aging did not apply to me. Finally, having a small amount of family money – enough to barely get by on – was a double-edged sword. On the one hand it allowed me to paint, write, read, and pursue the spiritual studies I was drawn to. On the other, not having to earn much income allowed me to act out my insecurities by rejecting ambition, not taking risks, and living a far smaller, more protected life than another part of me longed for.
Hiding my light under a bushel was never my plan. I wanted to be a recognized artist. Hiding one’s light is simply what happens when fear is stronger than the desire to have one’s light seen and to add value to the world. I exhibited my art for years, maintaining a miniscule career that reflected my comfort zone. But when I discovered a spiritual calling, the heat was turned up on my inner conflict and my suffering intensified!
Now it was not just for my own glory, but for something greater that I wanted my light to shine. I knew I had something to share that filled me and could inspire others – if only I could find the form. I searched for my true work the way others seek true love. Many times I thought I’d found it, yet I continued to fear risk and rejection even more than I yearned to be of service. I remained a perpetual student long after I should have been teaching, as I waited to be invited to take my place onstage. Like a corked volcano, I was full of blocked energy. I tried to convince myself that being invisible was more spiritual than releasing my life force, but secretly I felt shame. I feared I would waste my life and the gifts I had been given.
When Grace Comes to Get You
How can I explain this moment when inspiration broke through in the form of the poem and led me from paralysis into action?
I can’t. Or not in ways the linear mind can report. A teacher once told me that the path to a fulfilling life was like the flight of a two winged bird: one wing was self-effort and the other grace. Without both, a bird won’t fly and neither will our lives. Dogged adherence to effort can take you right into a place you don’t even want to go, yet simply waiting for inspiration without accompanying action leads to paralysis (insightful paralysis perhaps, but still paralysis). It is the true partnership of self-effort and grace—inspired action – that is the secret to success.
If I were to frame my experience as overcoming an obstacle, perhaps what I overcame was a tendency to let my ego do the driving. I opened myself to that mysterious other force that we all know and describe in our own unique way, that we can never control, but we can always depend upon.
On your path to fulfillment, you don’t have to row upstream, and you don’t have to get in the boat alone.
Decide and Go Seek: Overcoming Life’s Chronic Little Challenges to Let Your Purpose Shine Through
I’m amazed looking back because my life is so different now. Today I enjoy purpose-filled days in a business of my own that enables me to help others create purpose-filled lives through their own conscious businesses. I don’t even feel like I work anymore, really, because what I’ve chosen to do with my time feels more like play.
My journey taught me that God will work perfectly in our lives if you bring but one grace to the table: desire. The journey required traveling a rocky road filled with my own fears and doubts to arrive at clarity about how I wanted to live, but my desire carried me through until I was able to embrace my true life and make an unshakable commitment to living it. From there it was a matter of mustering the courage to jump in with full faith that Spirit would be there to catch me.
I also came to know that if you crave your best life, your purpose will seek you. At times we might be too busy, afraid, or distracted with the rest of life to hear our purpose calling. But if you show just an ounce of desire to live that purpose, the Universe will work like water to wither away the stone of whatever stands between you and its fulfillment.