Yesterday Grant was upset at the dirtiness and untidiness of our home. He does his part, though, by vacuuming the house from top to bottom so what is my part in this? It is a Sunday, and I want to spend the day writing, but I knew how important it is for us to have a clean home. Cleanliness helps feeling good about our surroundings, so I joined the cleaning crew. I put on the latest James Bond Movie for background noise, so I could attend to our piles of "stuff" and put them away which lasted as long as the movie. I started cleaning the rooms Grant had vacuumed.
Beth called while I was cleaning and said, “ I’m going to the Fremont Market and wondered if I could drop by after that and give you my writing on a thumb drive.” I’ve known Beth for years, so I said, “Sure, I’m home cleaning.” Beth came about five and stayed till seven. I saw how powerful it was for Beth to give me her thumb drive so I could copy her poems and stories. She was telling me fearful thoughts about what I would say like, "What are you doing thinking these poems and stories should be in a book? These are ridiculous and silly things you've written. And, there aren't fifty pages worth of writing.” I told her, “Let's see how the book works out because the book always works out. Besides, I’m not going to say anything like that. It’s why I listen and take the time to know what the person wants as well as figure out the technical and creative aspects, so it’s a good book.
Beth left, and I called my Aunt Mary Jane in Chicago. She is the oldest in my bloodline, and I cherish our weekly conversations. But the conversation got cut short because Grant was running out the door yelling for me to follow him because Mason, our 14- year-old- beagle had escaped for the second time today. I said, “Good-bye,” to my Aunt, put down my phone to grab my coat and ran to the car. But then I had to run back inside the house to get my phone in case someone had left a message on my "Nextdoor" app. Sure enough, someone had. I was texting that neighbor when a black sedan pulled up. Aaron and Erin (our neighbors up the street we haven't seen in two years) stepped out and opened the back door to let Mason go.
He’s so old that all he has is his rabbi tags on his collar, so I must get his name tag remade. Lori, LuLu’s Mom didn’t even recognize Mason because he’s not young anymore. Lulu is a female beagle, and both LuLu and Mason had all sorts of escapades in their youth, so everyone knew who they were. But neighbors have changed so I must get a tag for him. We thanked Erin and Aaron for taking the time to find us. Grant and I ate a quick dinner, finished cleaning and went to bed.
March 13th, 2017.
It's Elena's birthday today, and she is eight years old. She was our first granddaughter born to my husband and me. I was working in pharmaceuticals and was at a conference in San Diego. We had taken the weekend and some time off to drive down the coast before the meeting began. We were having dinner with one of the other sets of grandparents who live in California when John called to say,” Shaina had given birth, and her name is Elena.” Together, we celebrated being grandparents for the first time. It’s hard to believe how those eight years have flown and Elena has become her own unique and terrific person. Elena lives on the east coast. She has her present from us, and we'll call her today to wish birthday greetings.
It's early morning, and I'm sitting in my clean office. My kitchen is clean, and the rest of the house is clean. It was good to clean. I go outside to feed the dogs and the hens. The outside is trying to sing spring into the ghastly winter we've had. Pearl (My foxhound) and I climb the steps to go into my yurt which is in my backyard. Lots of people come here to tell their story. I come in here to listen to my story. I grabbed a sacred moment with Pearl. There's a sky window, and the roundness of the yurt is protective. I forget my fears in this place. Kind of like camping but the feeling of security goes back eons of time with tribal communities and lost worlds.
Pearl and I sat, to take in the energy. I went back to the house and ate some breakfast. I said my prayer I say before opening anyone's folder to begin a story. I ask for guidance from the ancestors and my heart. I have my smudging stick going so energy is here and now – between me and the thoughts, words, stories that are going to make a book. I opened Beth's file and read her poems and stories. I cry.
I cry with every story, every book because people have amazing stories to tell. I know it is an act of courage for people to interview with me or give me their thoughts, ideas, and stories. I am here to nourish these stories because I know the power of these stories. I tend to them for a long time, so their power is a realization for all of us.
It seems like we're at odds with the sacredness of who we are somehow don't believe we are enough or good enough to tell our stories, our thoughts, our poetry. I say don't believe it for a minute. You are enough. Right here, right now to turn your ideas, your words, your voice, your poetry into a book you can reflect on. A ok you know is you.
Six years ago today, I had a dream. It was a strange dream. I dreamed I was with my manager, and he told me he was going to fire me. I rolled out of bed and told my husband the dream because I was meeting with Bill that day and thought nothing more of it. When I got to Bill’s hotel, he asked, “Do you mind if we meet with the new Area Business Manager for your review before we go out in the field?” I said, ” No.” The Area Business Manager joined us in a private room at the hotel near Sea-Tac as did the human resource director on conference call. They accused me of not fulfilling my obligations as a pharmaceutical rep. and before I knew it, I no longer had a job. The death was swift.
I was in complete shock since I had been a top earning rep.; thrown into a sense of victimization. Three men against a woman seem like bullying behavior, and I will always wonder if they would have done that to me if I were a man. I didn’t know how to counter it because I felt shame and that knocked the hell out of any fight in me. I was an Institutional rep which means I am part of a group that’s on the highest rung in selling products. We have to get to the thought leaders, form a relationship that those leaders trust, thus gaining a strong foothold on influencing that person. Creating this relationship takes time and dedication because these people are busy doing research, teaching and talking at conferences. Later on, when talking to my Institutional Team, they said, “ Beth, we have entirely different rules of daily obligations. Why didn’t you say that?” I replied, “I was in shock and couldn’t think of anything to defend myself, so I signed their paperwork of my guilt.
We checked me out of my storage unit with their products, they drove me home to pick up their printer (I had already given them my laptop) and they drove away in my business car. Grant met me on our porch with the printer, so the death was as quick as possible. The shame and humiliation of this event were a tsunami, like the one that happened that Friday in Tōhoku Japan. A Tsunami is fast and furious, leaving devastation and loss everywhere.The clean-up takes years.
The Tsunami is a great metaphor for the change happening in me. I had lots of anger to work through. But it gave me an opportunity to see what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I could go back into Occupational Therapy or Feldenkrais, and I interviewed in corporations again just to make sure I didn’t want that. I decided to write. In taking that bold step, I formed this company: Beth Lord’s Annie Piffaknee, PLLC and Beth Lord’s Write Heart Memories® – Turning your 30 minutes of words into a fifty-page softbound book. I also have many options for turning your story into books on your own too. Turning your stories into books are terrific biofeedback mechanisms that take you into the wholeness of who you are, your business brand, a family legacy or something creative. It's an easy way to remember key events, people, and situations that brought you to where you are now. These are inspiring, motivating and moving for all of us. I am grateful for the firing because now I have the work I’m doing the rest of my life. “What did I do in surviving a firing from a job I performed well?” The key point to this story is I opened a door into myself and peeled layers of self- doubt to understand my self-worth. My tools for crossing this bridge of uncertainty was self-care.
Yesterday, I was the mediator at Melissa Peterman and Katelyn Peters Townsquared “Women’s Business Breakfast event.” I moderated a panel of four business women in different fields of self-care, and we asked questions and answered them. Self-care doesn’t come in just one size; self-care involves going to the core of who you are and peeling layers of being your authentic self.
If I had known what I would have had to have gone through to get to this point, I would gladly have said, “No thank you.” But I had no choice; this trauma was major. But traumas can lead to greater potential if you face the monsters and jump over the hurdles. I am happy to be here. I’m happy being myself in this company and helping you write your stories.
In honor of my six year anniversary, anyone who is interested in getting my, “Self-Care Question & Answer Journal, as a gift, have until March 11, 2017. Send me your physical addresses for shipment via email@example.com
If we know how to self-care ourselves, we make ourselves a much better person in the community, business, and the home. #yourthinbooksrock
Next week, I am mediating a woman’s business health care panel on Self-Care, put on by Townsquared Seattle in The University District. You have an open invitation, just follow this link http://townsq.co/2m9ISL9 and find out more. You’re more than welcome to come and It’s free, you just have to register. This event has been in the works for a while but was formalized last week when Melissa asked if I’d be the mediator. I was thrilled but my husband and I were planning to leave for The Farm. I asked him if we could wait till after this event to go back to the farm and it turns out the change in our plans works for him too.
So NO more excuses now, I had to finish my Self-Care Question and Answer Journalso I spent forty hours putting it together, proofing and ordering a hundred books. I paid extra for priority shipping with no guarantee the books would get here by Monday.
Today, I had my weekly meeting with Najee, my website designer and wanted him to add two more products to my website – The Self-Care Question & Answer Journal and My Secret Journal.I haven’t looked at My Secret Journal in over a year. It was written in 2015. When I looked at the journaltoday. I said, “Wow” when I realized it would have been fine for this Self-Care Event. In fact, I could have put in an order on Monday, and these books would have arrived today or Monday. This week would not have been so stressful if I had recognized I had these choices. If my computer folders were a tad bit more organized, I would have known this. There are many folders for one book project. I am in the process of streamlining the system, so it works for me and I’m not nutty looking for something I know I have but trying to figure out which folder I put it in. Life throws us enough chaos for us to manage without making it worse by our own disorganization.
But, I’m still working with this process and have to laugh about me. I know I’m working towards these folders getting clearer and simpler. Less stress is better. I know, greater organization simplifies my life, so I’m not so anxious about meeting deadlines and taking care of me too. It doesn’t have to be an eitheror proposition. I can be present in life every moment of every day if I pay attention to the continuum of organization and chaos. That’s also the main reason why I love turning your stories into thin books because the intensity and requirements of utilizing a variety of applications and processes to turn your story into a book is easily managed by me. I love turning your stories into thin books. They nourish me and I know they nourish you. So my mistake if the journals don’t come by Tuesday. If they don’t, I’ll email journals to people who have attended the event or the PDF of it . If you like a PDF of either journal just send me a request.
And right now? What am I doing? Well I’m sitting in front of my computer organizing my folders so I have as little chaos in my life as possible.
I met Joellla at Third Place Books. She’s been writing books for over twenty years, and now she’s retired. Mainly, she’s written very expensive books; nicely bound for artists, musicians, and business people. She pulled out of her bag a beautiful book she had done for an artist with colored templates. It was a beautiful book. Joella went to get herself a cup of coffee. I looked further at this book and knew this took years to do. I don’t have this kind of time because my plan, my choice, and my passion are writing the heart of your stories in a simple fifty-page book, so it’s easily read by you and by other people.
Joella sat down with her cup of coffee, and we talked. She told me what it was like writing her books of famous individuals and business people. I pulled out my books that are simple, thin and easily read. She liked them. She liked the idea and asked me how much I charged. I said: “Well, for right now, it’s ninety-nine dollars for the special or three hundred and fifty dollars if I see somebody one-on-one.” Joella was bug-eyed and astounded when she heard those prices. “You must put 10 to 20 hours into each book, and I said: “Yes, I do. What’s important to me is writing the stories, the thoughts, and the poems in such a way for people to want to read them.” She agreed that people need to get drawn into books. She loved my concept. She liked my idea. We spent the rest of the time talking about the logistics of life and our ephemera – our stuff that our children may or may not want to keep.
For instance, when her first child, her son was born, her father felt it was vital her son receive a set of Children Classics, so that was his present to the new born. They weren’t bound the best but still in all; this is what her father wanted to give her son. He passed away the next year. When her son grew up, he didn’t want these books. Still in all, Joella wanted her son to know the story behind this item, so she wrote a story and then gave the books away.
My question to her the next time we meet is: “Why not turn that story into a book, so it’s a lovely keepsake of her Dad.?”
When you turn stories into thin, inviting and intoxicating books, the lack of cumbersomeness invites the reader.
A thin Book
Elroy is a Navajo Medicine Man from Arizona, and he needs a kidney transplant. Valerie is an author, writer and speech pathologist from Australia who needs to write his story. Buy this book so Elroy can get his kidney transplant. Read this narrative because it celebrates life and acceptance of life on all levels. Elroy shares his medicine and Valerie crafts his stories into his medicine for us to take in as we read his words that are fervent prayers; mystical chants dancing into our hearts so we might experience a meeting of healing with Elroy, The Medicine Man.
I read most of this book as the day was folding into the dark and finished it in the morning of rain. I am super critical of books because I require the books to move me in my heart, so learning, feeling, and transformation happens. The book must tell a beautiful story. This book does all of these things, and I’ll read it over and over from now on because it is a meditation and a ballad of acceptance even with pain, injustice, and disability because Elroy is in a wheelchair and can’t walk. You get to live life thru Elroy’s storytelling of living his life as a medicine man and what that means for him in all life stages. If you are familiar with Songlines, the 1987 book written by Bruce Chatwin, about the aborigines in Australia, consider this book as a counterpart with a Navajo Medicine Man. Buy the book for all these reasons and have an experience you could not get anywhere else.
I met Valerie at a UW Nursing Continuing Education Conference in 2010 in Shoreline, WA. I was promoting pharmaceuticals, and she was promoting her first book, Search for Mother. Our tables were side by side, and we talked the entire day. She was living in a home a block away from me, and I drove her home. We continued our conversation on the way home and into the next day at my home before she left to go to Arizona to interview Elroy. Since then, we’ve continued our friendship and have supported each other’s growth and acceptance in the honest truth of who we are. I have been an occupationaltherapist for as long as Valerie’s been a speech therapist and both of us utilized holistic and alternative medicine in our practices.I no longer work for Pharma. Instead, I am a writer and own a company that helps people turn their stories into books. Your story telling turned into books is powerful medicine.
Get this book and be riveted by what Elroy shows you.
Book Review The Story Behind The Story
This story is also a podcast on my website, in my videos and on Youtube at:
If you’re going to go out and cut your Christmas Tree so it’s fresh-cut for the Holidays. Make sure you get the proper tools and the knowledge behind the tools for Doing It Yourself so your story has a happy ending.
See What Shawn Suggests.
Make sure your Holiday stories are healthy and happy.