Thursday, September 17, 2009

Medicine In All Its Forms

When the going gets tough, the tough go to Dairy Queen.

That is exactly what happened yesterday when I learned that a major NY publisher, after three months of reviewing Opening the Kimono, decided to reject my book for publication. While they loved my book, they could not support it at this time. Specifically, the publisher said:

"We have done our best to analyze whether we can publish your book successfully. After doing that analysis, we have come to the conclusion that based on the market as it is, it would be difficult to successfully publish it at this time. I know that this could be disappointing news and I want you to know that this is not a reflection of your work, but more of what's happening in the market and what has been selling successfully in this challenging market. "

That was little comfort. I felt like I had been repeatedly punched in the stomach by the World Boxing Association heavyweight champ. I had put so much of myself into the notion that this top publisher would accept my book and take it to the masses. Visions of Oprah danced in my head. How could they reject it? Everyone who reads it loves it! I know that celebrity memoirs, works from known bestsellers and diet books are practically the only things being published right now, but c'mon! Isn't there just a little bit of room for something new?

My husband/business partner was with me when I read the email. My tear-covered face clearly showed my disappointment more than any words could convey. He immediately swept me up into one of his classic bear hugs. He decided that the first-level of response needed to be some quality Michael Medicine. He took me into the bedroom and made delicious love to me, telling me how proud of me he was and that I was powerful, beautiful, and an amazingly talented woman. He nurtured me through the tears and brought me through the worst of the storm.

That was Step One.

The next step in my grieving process was to bury myself in the comfortable confines of our bed. I wanted to pull the covers over my head until the sting of the rejection ebbed to a manageable level. However, hubby broke into my existential malaise and declared that he wasn't going to allow me to wallow in bed all day long. It was time to re-enter the world. At my urging, we hopped into the car and proceeded to administer the second dose of medication: a Dairy Queen hot dog, fries, and Reese's Blizzard. I gotta admit, the tasty treats did start to make me feel a wee bit better. There is something therapeutic about chocolate and peanut butter...

That was Step Two.

Once we got home, I didn't want to do anything productive, and I certainly didn't want to get on that damn computer to do any more work. Every time I looked at MacDaddy, he taunted me with the firebomb contained within my Inbox. Instead, I pleaded with my beloved to join me in the basement for some sustained mind-numbing TV. We popped in the Blu-Ray disc of season one of "True Blood" and watched vampire shenanigans for several hours. Somehow watching hot vamps all day long made the pain of my disappointment further recede into the mist of my saddened heart.

That was Step Three.

Throughout the day, I received numerous calls and emails from family, friends, and fans who reminded me that I am, in fact, worthy of success, despite what the fancy-pants publisher may think. With each supportive comment, my confidence grew and ate away at my pathetic, "I suck" attitude. One comment in particular stood out in my mind. A woman who has read my book several times and listens to the audiobook in her car sent me a note: "I just want you to know, your words continue to transform my life on a daily basis." Her thoughtful comment prodded me to remember other things. I recalled that one woman who is currently going through rehab was allowed to bring only a very few items with her, and she chose her well-worn copy of Opening the Kimono to be one of them. I recalled one woman chasing me down at the International New Age Trade Show saying that she had to meet the woman who wrote the best book she ever read. I recalled the awards my book has won. In short, I remembered that I am still, regardless of the painful rejection I just received, The Shizit.

That was Step Four.

Collectively, all of these steps brought me back from the brink. After a reasonably good night's sleep (how much sleep can one get after snarfing down DQ and seven episodes of "True Blood"?), I woke up with a new attitude. I firmly believe that everything happens exactly as it should, and there are gifts contained in every seemingly horrible situation. I am grateful that I don't have to wait on pins and needles anymore, waiting to hear from the people for whom I (incorrectly) placed all of my hopes and dreams. I am grateful that I have so many wonderful people in my life who support and love me. I am grateful that I have written a book that makes people feel better about themselves. I am grateful for another day.

After our post-coital cuddle yesterday, Michael reminded me of the most important thing of all: "Let's allow the Powers That Be who create worlds to take your book where it needs to go. We don't have to do all of the work. It's up to us to just live joyfully and act upon the signs that Spirit gives us. It is in charge, not us."

Damn straight. I will NOT hold on to my self-judgment and disappointment anymore. I will embrace this latest development as a gift, knowing that Spirit is driving me towards something phenomenal. Starting today, I am going to get back on the horse, share my words with as many people as possible, and sell the shit out of my little book of inspirational stories. The right publisher for the second edition WILL present themselves at the perfect moment, because Spirit is in the driver's seat.

And if/when I waver, Dairy Queen is just down the street.


Please visit to take a peek inside Opening the Kimono!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Confessions of a Closet Cougar

I am back in the groove of my writing, and boy, oh boy, does it feel GOOOOOD! I just finished my latest "Sex and the Suburbs" column for Creative Loafing newspaper titled "Confessions of a Closet Cougar". I hope you enjoy reading it, and please share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, or any other way you stay connected to your peeps in this crazy, 21st Century world of ours.

As an aside, I must tell you how awkward it was to have my husband edit this month's "SaTS" column. I kept thinking, I wonder if he'll blow a gasket when he reads the line, "I almost splurted after peeking at his perfectly round tushie." (The aforementioned tushie not belonging to my beloved.) Being the confident and supportive hubby that he is, he merely smiled and told me how funny the piece was. Honestly, the man is a freak of nature. I think he is missing the jealousy gene.

To all you cougars out there, keep prowlin' and growlin'. There is so much delectable prey on which to feast!

Friday, September 11, 2009


So much has been written about the traumatic, devastating, and shocking events of September 11, 2001. As such, I am not going to bother writing yet another blog about what we already know: September 11th sucked. It sucked BIG TIME. It sucked as big as a thing can suck. We all watched in horror as those colossal buildings came crashing down, and we continue to feel the grief in our hearts when we think of tremendous loss of American life it exacted, both on that day and in the years that followed.

As expected, I was met with a barrage of 9-11 themed statuses while logging on to Facebook this morning. Several of my online friends took the opportunity to pay homage to the event, to our country and to the brave men and women who fight for it. All of that is really, really good. I was heartened to see that people were taking time to authentically reflect on the impact of that unforgettable day.

However, I did get my knickers in a twist about one particular comment. One of my Facebook "friends"* (NOT!) wrote in his status this morning, "Never forget that the demons are still out there waiting to destroy our civilization." Seriously, dude? You want me to start my day off making sure that I remember that there are imaginary devils lurking somewhere in the distance -- the Middle East, perhaps? -- that are biding their time, waiting for that perfect moment to "destroy our civilization"? Really?! Hey man, I have some advice for you: Never forget that listening to too much fanatical, reactionary talk radio and not getting enough hugs can destroy what's left of the mind and soul of a bumbling goober.

* (Needless to say, I de-friended this bozo after receiving one-too-many of his crazyman, racist updates.)

I don't think it's right to use this day of collective introspection as an opportunity to bathe in the shallow end of the victim pool. Only Spirit knows our ultimate fate. We may meet Our Maker by slipping in the shower, being splattered on the interstate, getting struck by lightning or having the treatment of an infected toenail go terribly, terribly awry. Or, like my paranoid former FB friend believes, maybe we will meet our end at the hands of a bomb-toting terrorist (which, unfortunately, happens with a tragic degree of regularity in other parts of the world). There's no escaping it; every one of us is going to exit the earthly plane one of these days. The key isn't about obsessing over the method of departure, it's about reveling in the experience while we have it. I personally think being a fearmonger isn't the ideal way of doing it. Fear only brings with it anger, bitterness, resentment, and smallness. Nobody wins when the venom of fear runs through our veins.

Let's truly honor the heroes of this day by becoming LOVEMONGERS instead. Share vast amounts of joy with extreme prejudice! Tell people to never forget that they are adored! Give warnings that today will be better than the last! Remind all of your friends that all is well, all of the time!! Send links to uplifting, funny web content instead of angry, fear-based crap! Be a beacon of hope instead of an obnoxious strobe light of imaginary doom!

If we have learned anything from that day eight years ago, it is to ENJOY life. To enjoy it, we must not fear it. Instead, let's try to be grateful for our juicy, amazing, fabulous, love-filled, perfect lives! They are so very precious, after all. Let's never forget that.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

In God I Trust

TRUST. It is such a simple word, yet it is sometimes so damn difficult to put into practice.

Several months ago, I was fortunate enough to have my book, Opening the Kimono: A Woman's Intimate Journey Through Life's Biggest Challenges, considered by a major New York publisher. If they decide to carry the second edition, it would most certainly be the easiest way I can get my work out to the largest possible audience. From a writer's perspective, having the support of one of the largest publishers behind my words is like reaching literary Nirvana. I have visions of Oprah, Ellen and Rachael dance in my head. (Oprah would most certainly LOVE Opening the Kimono! Can we say "Oprah's Book Club"?) Yet, I sit here in limbo waiting to receive the coveted email of acceptance. Maybe if I hit 'Refresh' one more time, it will magically arrive in my Inbox. I endlessly check my account, but the object of my desire keeps eluding me. states that trust is defined as a "confident expectation of something". To be honest, after one month of unrequited refreshing, I am starting to lose my confidence. I try to keep telling myself that no news is good news; maybe their lack of response to my status inquiries is the fact that they are busy figuring out the details of the lucrative contract they are going to present to me. However, as each day passes, my resolve is wavering. My insecure, inner nancy-girl fears that the answer will be "NO! We don't want your tacky little book of inspirational stories! NO! There is no market for your kind around here! NO! You are not a big enough name for us to gamble on! NO! NO! A thousand times NO!!!"

I guess I need a refresher course on trust.

My favorite tool I use when conducting intuitive healing sessions with people is the Osho Zen Tarot card deck. It has beautiful pics, none of which makes me feel like the Grim Reaper is waiting with his scary-ass sword to cut me to shreds. The insights I receive from them are always powerful and dead-on accurate. It just so happens that the Trust card, has always been my personal favorite.

Whenever I do a reading on myself, I invariably choose the Trust card. I have selected it so many times that I actually installed the image as my laptop wallpaper so as to remind me of its teachings. The card shows a woman enthusiastically diving into a beautiful pink void with outstretched arms, knowing she will safely land wherever she needs to. The commentary on the card states, "Now is the moment to be a bungee jumper without the cord! And it is this quality of absolute trust, with no reservations or secret safety nets, that the Knight of Water demands from us. There is a tremendous sense of exhilaration if we can take the jump and move into the unknown, even if the idea scares us to death. And when we take trust to the level of the quantum leap, we don't make any elaborate plans or preparations. We don't say, "Okay, I trust that I know what to do now, and I'll settle my things and pack my suitcase and take it with me." No, we just jump, with hardly a thought for what happens next. The leap is the thing, and the thrill of it as we free-fall through the empty sky. The card gives a hint here, though, about what waits for us at the other end - a soft, welcoming, yummy pink, rose petals, juicy...c'mon!"

This card reads like it was meant for me. After recently packing up all of our worldly belongings and moving across country to our new home in Minnesota, I feel like a bungee jumper without the cord. After having my husband quit his safe corporate job to manage my fledgling book and public speaking business, I feel like I am free-falling through the empty sky. As the card states, the idea scares me to death. Yet, Michael and I made the leap anyway, trusting that what awaits us on the other end of these incredibly terrifying choices is a soft, welcoming, yummy pink, juicy reward.

Maybe that yummy pink reward is a contract with the Mystery NY Publisher. Maybe it's not. As the card states, the act of trust isn't about knowing the exact details of the outcome. It's about taking that first step toward the unknown, knowing that whatever the outcome, it is always in the best interests of all involved. In Jason Mraz's song, "Make It Mine", Jason sings, "Leap and the net will appear". Well, God? I have taken the leap, and I'm waiting not-so-patiently for the net to appear. Can it appear please? Pretty please? Soon? Before I go totally insane?

The biggest piece of advice I give people when moving through a transformational phase in their lives is to do two things: 1) Watch for the signs from Spirit, and 2) Act joyfully upon them. I have most of that routine down, but I must admit that I sometimes omit the 'joyful' part. When a carrot so juicy, so delectable, so career-making is dangling in front of me, I have found myself forgetting that the object of the game isn't to reach the carrot, it's to have fun while doing so. Because once I actually grab onto the elusive carrot, another one will appear. It's just the rules of the game; nothing more, nothing less.

In order to insert the word 'joyfully' back into my world, I need to embody the trust that comes with playing the game of life. I must remind myself (yet again) that Spirit is supremely benevolent and wants only the best for me. I must remind myself that I have written an award-winning book worthy of international exposure. I must remind myself that whatever happens -- whether I get this particular contract or not -- is exactly what is supposed to happen. I simply need to trust that God knows what He (or She) is doing.

It turns out the hardest part of becoming an author wasn't writing the book, editing it, designing it, or self-publishing it. It's diving into the void that I am in RIGHT NOW and trusting that, no matter the outcome, that all is well, all of the time.

During my meditation today, I will ask Spirit to release me from my self-imposed burden of worry. I will ask for It to resume the project management role. I will fill my body, mind and spirit with that simple word until it pushes all of the fear and doubt out of me. Just to be sure, maybe I'll be like Bart Simpson and write it on the chalkboard over and over until it actually sinks in:

I trust.
I trust.
I trust.
I trust.
I trust.
I trust.
I trust.
I trust.
I trust.

And so on and so on...


For your consideration and/or comment:

In what areas of your life do you surrender to trust? In what areas do you hold on too tightly?


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