Many people have been asking me lately, "Stephanie what was the hardest part in writing your book"?
My reply, "Not the writing"! What I learned was that the "work" of actual writing was rather effortless.
The real work came in the discipline required for me to continue sitting every single day to meditate and visualize the outcome.
What do I mean?
Meditation enables me to relax my mind. From this place I was able to receive the "information" to write about.
Another way to say it is -- I am a channel, a conduit, a messenger. All of us have the ability to be a channel to receive when we practice meditation. I like to say meditation is the art of getting ego out of the way (emptying) so that we are able to receive divine intelligence. Consider it: when we are full, it's hard to receive.
Visualization, which I talk about in Chapter Three of Reclaiming JOY enables me to focus on the outcome I desire. It's the practice of releasing worry about "how" something will happen. Visualization moves us beyond our limited mind.
Meditation and visualization are powerful practices, when done consistently. For those new to meditation or first starting out, I will tell you after 16 years of practicing, the most important thing you will do is show up. Day after day, whether you want to or not, like to or not, you simply commit. Showing up consistently is the necessary action that fuels dreams.
Lastly, I want to acknowledge 3 key helpers -- see pictures below -- who helped make this book happen.
How you ask? Stop worrying about that...start meditating and visualizing and you will understand.
An excerpt from the Introduction of my book, Reclaiming JOY, talks more about why I had to write:
"My story is about how I spent the first chapter of my life living by the principle of driving myself really hard. I was driving to do and to accomplish. I was driving to control. Ultimately, I was driving to be someone I was not. This was exhausting and not sustainable.
I believe our bodies don’t lie. While we may push ourselves into driving hard, at some point the body says STOP. Often, the body actually does stop, or at least gets our attention. For me, this moment came the day I felt in my
own chest what I knew my father had experienced as a heart attack three years earlier.
He didn’t survive. I was determined to."
Reclaiming JOY is available to purchase here on Amazon.
My father would have been 81 years old today. I have learned that his death saved my life.
As I talk about in Reclaiming JOY, I didn't think I would make it past 40 myself. I did.
What I have accepted is that all experience - in particular the most painful ones- happen for us, not to us. Experience becomes another one of our teachers when we have the courage to see it as such.
Today I celebrate my father.
I am grateful for the ultimate sacrifice he made. As a result, I was given the chance to stop, look and listen.
To turn my pain into the fuel it takes to choose to live fully, in-JOY, being myself...no matter what.
One of my favorite pictures of us ----in New Orleans after my graduation from Tulane University.
We were smoking cigars, eating great food and laughing...en-JOYing the moment. A gift.
A reminder to stay present for the moments. Jai JOY!