“Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forward.” – Soren Kierkegaard
My book/baby, Twelve Mindful Months, came into the world October 18th and it was an exciting birth: Its beauty exceeded my expectations. (It’s okay to brag about your baby, right?) Thank you all for the warm welcome so many of you have extended. People (even men!) are stroking its cover as if it was a baby’s soft head, oohing and aahing over the richness of the color photography, the softness of the pages, and the divine smell of a freshly inked book: all due to the meticulous work and loving care of my publishing team of pros. I wanted the book to be an object of beauty because I believe we still need books. Real books. I’ve been an avid reader my whole life, but reading on a Kindle is just not the same. Yes, for travel, I get it. But the rest of the time, why not indulge your senses in a simple, mindful experience? If we can get back to our senses – we can come to our senses. When we lose touch with our senses, we become unmindful, and then we are less able to control our emotional reactions, our eating, and our ability to balance work and self-care time. Hold a beautiful book in your hands, feel its weight, flip through the pages, admire the design, the font, the artwork or photography, enjoy what a book smells like. Now you are present. It slows you down, allowing more focus and absorption of the words. It’s been an absolute joy for me to witness people doing exactly that as they view Twelve Mindful Months for the first time.
However, after a week of soaring emotions, I crashed. Like a new mother with post-partum depression, I wanted nothing to do with my book. A dark cloud of fear – of having to market it and promote myself – obscured my horizon. So I did what any midwife would suggest: I took a break from my book. I disconnected from the Internet where I’d been spending more time than ever since the book came out, and reconnected to nature and my more mindful pre-book world. I went on a hike with my husband, did a long and soothing yoga practice, meditated, journaled, and read. (Yes – it’s SO much easier to detach from a book than a baby.) Oh – and I cried. Miraculously, when I awoke the next day, I was cured. (And I DO realize how fortunate I was to have such a quick recovery.)
This new mountain I have to climb – book promotion – is daunting, but I will not fall back to old ways of thinking and stay inward. Instead, I will move forward to new ways of expressing myself as I market my book. At a yoga conference last summer, these words resonated with me: “Inhale the power to know yourself, exhale the power to express yourself.” I’ve been taking time in my yoga practice to take deep breaths and repeat this mantra to myself, and I’ve also been sharing those words with my yoga students. Wise words to fall back on this November: Inhaling, I rise up and stand tall to the light of my true self; exhaling, I send my message out to the world.