I’ve Got Some Personal Stuff to Share with You.
Posted Thursday, October 7th, 2010
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything here, and it feels important to let you know about some things that have been happening in my life. There’s a lot to tell, and this is going to take a while, so I hope you’ll hang in here with me.
I want to tell you about some of the personal challenges I’ve been facing with regard to my book, Lessons from the Source, and how my role with it is changing; and also to let you know why you won’t be seeing much of me online for a while.
There is no way to convey how deeply moved and humbled I’ve been by the feedback from those of you who’ve read the book. It clearly is having a profound impact on your lives in lots of different ways, and some of you are continuing to use it daily for inspiration and encouragement.
And the frequent comments from those who haven’t yet had a chance to experience the book, but who have been reading the quotes I’ve been posting, have been equally gratifying. Simply knowing how important and helpful you’ve found them, and how often they seem to arrive with exactly the right message at exactly the right time, still gives me chills.
Four years ago, when I finally made the commitment to Source to share the writings with others, I dove into the process of creating a book with more enthusiasm and commitment than I had ever mustered.
It took two years until the book became a reality, and I spent most of my time almost every day working to make it happen. It had become a total obsession, but the end result was more than worth the effort.
Obsessions about making things happen are not new to me. One of the messages I kept receiving while I was growing up was that my efforts (no matter what they might be, nor toward what end) would never be quite good enough. My response, for most of the rest of my life, was to constantly try to prove myself – to show that I really could “accomplish” things or “make things happen.”
Well, I thought, I certainly was able to make the book happen, so as soon as it was done I shifted my obsession to finding ways to let the world know about it.
That opened the door to a whole new set of challenges.
Out There on My Own
I had taken out a loan to cover the costs of self-publishing the book, and those funds were almost depleted. So I had essentially no budget, no publisher to get the books into bookstores, and nobody but me to “make it happen.”
I’m a guy in his mid sixties who had never planned to publish a book, who didn’t know the first thing about book marketing, and for whom the internet – and especially social networking – was like visiting a new country. Nothing was intuitive or came easily.
But I felt like I had been given these lessons and had been encouraged to share them, so it must be my responsibility to find a way to get them into people’s hands, regardless of the limitations.
Stranger in a Strange Land
I read everything I could find about book marketing and learned that there are literally thousands of different approaches an author can take.
Creating a website was the logical first step, and I was blessed to find a young web designer who helped make it a reality. But what next?
For more than a year, I sat at my computer day and night exploring internet options for marketing the book and trying to figure out how to do things that my kids probably would understand intuitively. It felt like hiking a rugged mountain trail in the dark.
Needless to say, not many people were buying the book.
The most enjoyable and rewarding experiences have come from my involvement on Facebook and Twitter – even though I had to be dragged there kicking and screaming.
I had no way of anticipating that I would become part of such an extraordinary community of kindred spirits. It’s been an honor and a huge blessing, and I’m certain some of the friendships I’ve made will last for the duration of my journey.
But I didn’t (and still don’t) understand the nuances of using social networking as a marketing tool, and I’m finding that many of my friends and followers still know very little about the book and haven’t felt inclined to get a copy.
Frustration Sets In
All that struggle without seeing what my human mind would consider to be concrete results made me increasingly frustrated. It felt like the untold hours I’d spent at my computer weren’t helping me “making things happen.”
The more I tried to accomplish on my own without lots of people buying the book tapped into that old message about my not being good enough – so I tried even harder, and became even more frustrated.
It was a pretty nasty downward spiral.
Wandering Off the Path
The irony is, and a few of you pointed it out to me very clearly, that I was ignoring the very lessons I had been given and had shared with you in the book. All that I know and understand about letting go and trusting, and about accepting my good and allowing it to unfold effortlessly, fell by the wayside.
Even more embarrassing to admit is that Source had been making it very clear that this wasn’t all my responsibility. I still do this type of writing (Inner Dictation) after more than 30 years, and during the last year or so I’ve been receiving – and ignoring! – some very personal messages in that regard. Here’s a recent example:
“You are concerned about what to do next about sharing the teachings with the world, yet you know without question that I will see to it that they are disseminated appropriately. You have played, and are playing, your role, but you need not define it and make it happen.
We agreed together that you would be the recipient of these teachings, but we did not agree (though your human need to “accomplish” and prove yourself has constructed its own scenario) that it would be your responsibility alone to disseminate them in the world. I want you to feel totally comfortable and at peace with allowing a hiatus in it all. I am, in fact, asking you to do so.”
An Emotional Sabbatical
About six weeks ago, I finally began paying attention to those messages and allowed that hiatus to happen. I was able to step back and let go of the frustration. and I decided to take what I’m calling an “emotional sabbatical” from trying to find new ways to market the book.
That has made a world of difference, and I’m more at peace than I’ve been in quite some time.
A New Set of Challenges
Not surprisingly, that change of pace came at a point when other challenges were beginning to show up.
My dog, Ben, left the physical realm last week. His body had been encountering one problem after another, and his health was steadily declining. Letting go of my obsession with the book allowed me to focus more attention and love on him, but his physical issues became more than he could bear, and I decided to allow him to move on to the next level.
While Ben’s situation was deteriorating, another challenge presented itself. The wonderful woman who has been my partner since the first of the year was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Before learning about her cancer, we had planned a ten-day vacation in October. That trip still is going to happen, beginning tomorrow. She will have surgery on the 19th, two days after we get back, and I’ll stay with her as her caregiver during the first part of her recuperation. We will appreciate your prayers and positive energy.
So I’ll be away from my office for at least three weeks. I plan to use some of the time for reflection and re-evaluation of my personal role with regard to marketing the book.
Exciting New Directions for the Book
Regardless of how my role unfolds, two very exciting things are happening that will allow Lessons from the Source to reach lots more people.
1) I’ve recorded an audiobook version of the book that will be available next month.
2) The wonderful Fabiola Sandoval is translating the book into Spanish, and that version will be ready sometime next year.
I’m very excited about these two new presentations of the book and the possibilities they offer, and I promise not to become obsessed with them.
I’m Out of Here
While I’m away, you won’t be hearing much from me. I’ll try to post a few quotes occasionally, but that’s not going to happen often, and the audio e-mails will stop entirely during that time. I’ll check in at least once a day, but my replies to your comments or messages might not be very prompt.
A significant shift clearly is happening in my life, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it unfolds. Please know how deeply I appreciate your friendship, support and encouragement. Much love and many blessings to each of you.