The book in my hands contains one of the very wise teachings of the Hindu spiritual leader and guru known as Amma. I picked this book up at a Mind Body Spirit Expo in Philadelphia, randomly opened to a page, and this is what I read:
“As we get older, we lose our enthusiasm and joy. We become dry and unhappy. Why? Because we lose our faith and innocence. Somewhere inside each of us, a child’s joy, innocence and faith lie dormant. Rediscover them.”
Amma is so right. I live in a high rise inhabited by many older people. Many of them walk around like cranky, dry old sticks. They are closed to new possibilities and ways of thinking. Their attitudes remain fixed in place, rigid and unyielding. They seem so unhappy!
Instead, here I am in my 6th decade, gathering my courage, empowering myself and “coming out of the closet” by bringing the amazing messages that were channeled for my book, They Serve Bagels in Heaven, to a much wider audience.
A lot of people find what I am doing to be glamorous, but I must admit that I often find it terrifying. I haven’t been on buses to NYC let alone subways all over the city since my twenties, but now I find myself getting up at 5am to catch the early bus into the city, then get on the subway to get myself to special bagel shops in Manhattan for my Book and Bagel Tours in the city. Will I find my way and get there on time? Will I stay safe?
I am also meeting all sorts of new people. I’ve never been a shy person but this is completely different. I am touching hearts and selling books, but I also grapple with rejection at times. Can I grow a thick enough skin to weather rejection and keep moving forward? I know some people think I am crazy to be doing all this, yet, most of the time, I find myself feeling happy, fulfilled and full of joy. So I keep keeping on, remaining rooted in my faith that this is meant to be.
I think of the first day that I set up at a Bagel Shop for my very first Book and Bagel Tour. It felt so strange to erect a banner promoting my book, to arrange the table with my books on it, to be actually promoting what has become a true labor of love, yet it also felt so right.
That very first day, a woman and her child walked by my table. She stopped and asked me what my book was about. As I began to tell her about the profound messages I had received before, during and after the tragic car accident that took my precious husband’s life, and how this experience had led me to a spiritual awakening that had changed my life, she began to cry. “I need your book,” she said to me. “I was very close to my uncle who just died. I miss him so. I feel your book is going to help me make some sense of all of this.”
There have been other frightening firsts, like the first time I was interviewed for a blog, my first speaking event, the first radio and TV interviews. I remain mindful to put one foot in front of the other, to not be so hard on myself, to remember that this is not about me, the messenger. It is about the message.
I find myself, like Amma’s proverbial child, filled with wonder each time I meet a challenge and pass through another milestone on this most amazing journey. I am stretching beyond my comfort zone more and more every day – everything is so new! There are occasional tears, but also excitement and joy about all the new things I am discovering and learning.
My first childhood contained a lot of suffering and pain. This time around, I am filled with joy at the wonder of it all. I am not only rediscovering the child within, this new journey is helping her to heal.