As I sit here and ponder my book launch this past week and a half—yet another book born into the world, now ten days old—I am thinking about the events of the past days… all the podcast interviews, the Hallmark Home & Family show, the book launch parties and events and signings yet to happen; it’s all been a whirlwind of joy.
But I did move through some fear in anticipation of the book launch (which is normal for me). I do, after all, hope the book gets out there into the hands of those people who will resonate with its message. And just like for any project into which we pour our heart and soul, the day the book dream became a reality was huge—and certainly lined with the underbelly of anxiety.
The questions inevitably hit my heart, one after the other, leading up to the book’s release day: Would the book matter? Did I invest enough of my story into it that people would feel how much I care? Had my team worked hard enough to promote it? Would my fellow authors help spread the word? Should I have sent one more email, tweeted one more tweet, written one more chapter…?”
Those questions, full of fear and anxiety, have the power to knock us by the wayside. They so easily cause us to miss the big picture. And they can certainly exhaust our emotions to the point of fatigue.
People ask me if I was exhausted after the launch of From Heartbreak to Wholeness, but you know what? I wasn’t. I’ve learned to acknowledge fear and anxious questions, but to not give them room to breathe and expand. There is a choice to silence them and tune into the passionate and excited whisper of our hearts instead.
I’ve learned how to show up as me—and with little or no preparation; it makes all this easy and fun. Over the years of many books and launches, I have learned the what I call “ease and grace method”: the best way to be is to be yourself. The more present you are, the more people feel you. It’s very difficult to be present when you are trying to hold onto a rehearsed speech and cling to your talking points. What you say is not nearly as important as how people feel when they hear you speak. I learned that from Richard.
What’s tricky about this “ease and grace” thing is that our culture loves to prepare. We are good at training ourselves to memorize the right words and wear the right face. But there is no preparation for being yourself.
This being ourselves—living out of the most true essence of our hearts—is a process of letting go of the ego’s need to protect and guard your image. It means allowing your authentic nature to emerge, to be seen and heard.
So, relax. There’s no one else to be; you are enough. What you have to say from your heart matters. How you share your story matters. You have nothing to prove, and you know that when you choose to view yourself as one beautiful, important human in a community of many beautiful, important humans. We all learn from each other as we inspire and teach by our example.
It’s as Ghandi says, “Your life is your message.” So just be yourself in all situations. In everything you do, do it with great love. As you show up with an open heart and live to love… well, that’s joy.
Be in joy. Be yourself. And play on! This is how to live your most vibrant life. There’s no one that can be you as you can be.