It is such a perfect time for renewal, for clearing out the old and making room for something new to be born, created, or discovered. Can you feel it? I sure can. Perhaps we are all being challenged to come out of our usual patterns, and listen to what is calling us forward, lifting our energy, healing our hearts.
I think it is the right time for my book to be released too, and so it is. It will be available tomorrow on Amazon and (so I am told), shortly thereafter on Barnes & Noble. I will be riding the wave of this creation, and this season, to the best of my ability.
I have just finished reading The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level by Gay Hendricks. It is not the first time I’ve read this book, but it is the first time I can truly say it feels like Hendrick’s theory will stick.
His theory is this: We all inherited a limit in childhood for happiness, success, love, and abundance. This settling point became our belief about how much good we could have or feel in our life. According to Hendricks, this leaves most of us with an Upper Limit Problem. When we begin to exceed our own expectations, we will do something to sabotage that. The ways in which we sabotage are many, too many for the scope of this blog post.
Once we become conscious of this Upper Limit Problem, and change our beliefs about what we are really capable and worthy of, life becomes more fulfilling, abundant, and exciting. After reading his book three times, at three different stages of life, I can finally say I get it now. I’m a believer.
Whether we are talking about a project, a routine, or a whole life, there is something very satisfying about a reset. To stop and capture the status of our situation and regroup before reengaging, in my opinion, is a worthwhile pause. Sometimes this looks like brainstorming, journaling, or rewriting a task list. Other times, it may look like cancelling plans, clearing out a garage or office or pantry. A fresh list, outline, or shelf can go hand in hand with a fresh outlook. Spring is just around the corner. What will your reset be?
My memoir is “in production” as the publishers say, which means it is well past time for me to wake up to the fact that This Is Really Happening. In fact, it is ahead of schedule now and due to be published on March 21st, just three weeks away! So without further ado, here is one more endorsement that I received from a very gracious reader:
“This book is a must read for anyone interested in understanding the experience of Parental Alienation from the perspective of the child. The author’s first-hand account of how manipulation can be used by adults to undeservedly turn a child against a parent they love and intentionally sever familial bonds eliminates any doubt that Parental Alienation is a form of emotional child abuse with life-long impact. I’m grateful this book has been written, because the best chance parents and children affected by alienation have of finding their way back to each other is when those who once had no choice and no voice speak up.“
— Doris Newlun, child advocate and targeted parent
I’ve spent a fair amount of time lately getting various things in order so that I can fully focus on my memoir revisions. There is something about having my home, calendar and to-do list in good order that frees up my mind to write.
Doing deep work requires we stay in the moment. I don’t know about you, but loose ends tend to pull me right out of the moment. I feel fully prepared for this week of diving right in and doing the work to the best of my ability.
“Dana’s book is a moving story of alienation from the child’s point of view. It is heartbreaking to see her try to make sense of the trauma she was subjected to as a girl. Everyone who works with children of divorce should read this book so they understand why a child may not “admit” to wanting to see a beloved parent and how loyalty conflicts can last well into adulthood.”
–Ginger Gentile, Director of the Erasing Family Documentary and Creator of Reversing Parental Alienation Consulting
In another month or so, I will be getting my manuscript back from the publisher and will have a week to make the requested changes. During that week, I imagine myself hiding away in order to fully concentrate on the revisions. That act of complete focus on one project is a luxury and a gift in modern times. I somehow feel both intimidated by the task and elated at the thought of it. Do you know what I mean?
In the meantime, each week I will share one the blurbs I’ve received for my memoir, YOU-KNOW-WHO. Here’s the first one:
Family custody stories invariably focus on the dramas surrounding real-time battles over children, the tug-of-war syndrome. But what of the long-term effects? And how those effects shape those same children long into adulthood? In YOU-KNOW-WHO, Dana Laquidara chronicles a different kind of trauma, the time-released microbursts that continue to resonate not for years but for decades. The author’s mother was exiled from her life when she was just four years old (and the child’s life was “cleaved into before and after,” as Laquidara so searingly writes), long before academic and legal studies into Parental Alienation had gained traction. It has taken the author a lifetime to process, to understand, to heal. Her journey is one that she recounts with skill and compassion and boundless love.
–William J. McGee, author of HALF THE CHILD, a novel about child custody and abduction
There are several different types of clutter, and one that we don’t talk a lot about is emotional clutter.
Emotional energy is designed to move through the body, and with light emotions like joy, peace, and love, they do. Those feelings are easy to feel, so there is no reason to supress them.
But we tend to want to avoid or suppress the denser, heavier emotions of fear, grief, anger, or other unpleasant feelings, some of them being a result of trauma. Where do those emotions go if we consciously or unconsciously deny them? They settle into the body of course.
I cringe to think of all the things that are said to prevent people from feeling their feelings, such as Be a big boy (or girl) and don’t cry, Leave the past behind (without processing it), Don’t be sosensitive, Distract yourself with this, and Stay silent (this one isn’t said outright, but is communicated covertly). It’s no wonder there are a lot of clogged up humans walking around.
Emotional clutter compromises our energy, our happiness, and our physical and mental health. I cannot think of a worse kind of clutter to have. So while we are clean -eating and clean-sweeping, and clearing our calendars, we can’t forget to breath, get out of our heads, resist all the available distractions, and allow all the feels to come through.
Sometimes doing our best means having a day in which we make great strides on a personal or work project, or help someone else out, or simply stick to our new improved routine and habits.
Other times, doing our best may mean simply prioritizing one thing, and doing that.
Today was a “one thing” day for me. After a lengthy, unpleasant morning appointment, all I wanted to do was go home and rest for the remainder of the day. And I did rest. But at some point, I started to feel like I would regret doing absolutely nothing for the rest of the day. Doing just one thing felt doable and sensible.
So I brought my laptop to the couch where I’d been having my do nothing day. I organized some book edits. That felt good, productive, painless. It was just one thing. But it led to another. And another. Now here I am writing this blog post, because it’s Monday after all.
When we feel like doing nothing, sometimes that is what we need. And having too many things to do can be overwhelming. But I find if I pick just one thing, and do that, it starts a momentum, and other things follow.
Everyone can do just one thing, even on a bad day.
It is just over three months away from the publication date of my upcoming book, You-Know-Who: An Alienated Daughter’s Memoir.
Here are just a few things that are happening in preparation for that:
* I have begun to ask for comments on my book to use for back cover blurbs, press releases and my webpage.
* Awaiting the digital galley of my book and will soon be rereading it to look for any edits the publisher or I may have missed.
* Planning my trip to Athens, Greece where I will speak at the International Conference on Shared Parenting, an event very relevant to the topic of my memoir.
I have worked on my memoir for so long that you’d think I’d be ready to have it out in the world by now. And I am, sort of. But there are moments when I feel like I need another year, another decade, a lifetime. There are some things we have to do before we feel ready, because feeling completely ready may never come.