For those of you who began this journey with me many blogs ago, you might recall that my steps to becoming an author have been challenging, to say the least. I had always thought of myself as a physician, corporate consultant and speaker, but not a writer. I began my blog with “I’m not writing a book. This book is rewriting me.” And it did.
On Feb. 17, the day I left on a family vacation to Goa (India), I turned in the first full draft of my manuscript. What a massive sigh of relief! I don’t actually remember a time in my adult life that I’ve cleared my schedule for a three-week vacation. What if I didn’t have access to work email? What if I got bored? I mean, how many movies can one human being watch consecutively? (By the way, my personal record is four). But the truth is, as soon as I landed, I was totally and completely present—it was blissful.
Each morning, I woke up to the best masala chai ever and then took a leisurely stroll on the beach. When I got ambitious, I taught my four-year-old niece how to float in the water and jump in the waves. I tasted fruit I thought I knew and discovered tantalizing new flavors. I was mesmerized by monkeys playing on rooftops and swinging in trees. I was awed by my ride on Natasha the elephant and refreshed by coconut water as we journeyed to see ancient temples. I met first cousins I’d never known and saw family I had known for years through new eyes. For the first time, I made time for what was truly important. Time to have my hands intricately painted with henna (see below). Time to meet my dad’s friends and be curious about their college tales of mischief. Time to walk the college campus and hear how half a century of students had changed it. Time to find the favorite hangout for cold coffee, chai and samosas. When I slowed down, I was delighted in the beauty, diversity and magic of India and its people.
But the real shocker was that I actually read two books … for pleasure! Are you kidding me? My life had been spent reading engineering textbooks and medical journals. Yet each night in India, I discovered what you avid readers have always known—there is such joy in curling up with a good book and losing yourself in it. Maybe my original resistance to becoming an author was that I didn’t believe it was possible to write a book that was as fun and engaging as it was practical and profound.
I am excited and proud of the book I’ve just written and at the transformation in my self-talk. Instead of being doubtful, I find myself having thoughts like, “It’s okay if my editor cuts out that story, it might fit better in the next book anyway.” Whaaaat? Did I just say NEXT book? Yep, I did. And I’m okay with that. I have a renewed sense of confidence in myself, almost like anything is possible.
Somewhere along this journey, I had to stop waiting for others to tell me HOW to write a book. I had to get clear, muster the confidence to believe in myself and pave my own path. And dare I say, I’ve actually begun to enjoy the process and gain an even deeper level of clarity on the material that I’ve been teaching for more than a decade.
So wanna go on vacay together? I’m inspired and excited to share with you this new and improved version of how clear, effective communication can reduce stress and mend our relationships and our hearts! Even though it will be several months before the book is published, I want to invite you to join me for a weekend retreat at Kripalu in Lennox, Mass., (August 14th – 16th) to preview the tools that I’ve spent the last few years writing about. Together we’ll apply these skills to solve the challenges you’re currently facing.
Hope to see you soon!