It’s time I start sharing about my first book: Gems of Delight: seasonal inspirations for moms to heal the hurry and embrace what is sacred.
For many years, readers of my blog and clients in psychotherapy and Compassion Coaching have asked me, “When will you write a book?!” It always humbles me to hear that they carry the words I write or speak with them as gems that support and nourish them.
The truth is I have been writing since I was in Mrs. Kostenbader’s third grade class. I wrote over six books that year – about love bugs in outer space, Christmas presents mysteriously disappearing, and haiku poetry. But then at some point, life called me to get “more practical.” But for decades, I carried a journal wherever I went (even when I worked and lived in Guatemala and El Salvador). I shared poetry with only close friends and family. Then one day, my mom gently prompted me, “Lisa, your words, prayers and poetry need to be out in the world.” She suggested I start a “blog” (there wasn’t really a word for it at the time I started).
Moms have a way of seeing our soul’s path even before we see it ourselves, don’t they?!
“What should I call the blog?” I asked my mom so many years ago.
“How about ‘Gems of Delight,’ Lisa?” my mom said. And instantly I knew that would be the name of my blog. And for many years now, I knew it would be the title of my first book.
It’s taken me a decade to write this book. Why? Because I refused to write a book about “healing the hurry” and “embracing the sacred in our everyday lives” without LIVING it.
One morning, pushing my son in the stroller up a hill in the rain and cold (because I had to get out! You know how that is as a new mom!), feeling the loneliest and exhausted I had ever felt, something in me broke. I didn’t try to contain my tears. A neighbor passed me in the car and later told me that she wondered why I was out in the cold and rain. But I didn’t even see her. All I saw was my brokenness. All I heard was my weeping.
But then, in the midst of walking and weeping, I heard God gently whisper to me, “Lisa, I’m here. I just want to be alongside you.”
That’s the day I heard the holy invitation to go about motherhood in a way that was radically different from what our mainstream culture promotes.
And for the last ten years, I have been on an adventure to live in a way that honors what is most sacred to me.
Here is an excerpt from the Introduction of Gems of Delight:
“Slowing down would nourish me and my family. Learning to “listen within” would be our guide. Honoring the truth within me would be my compass. Compassion and love would lead us. Delight, beauty, and connection would save us. Embodying my feminine, sensual self would awaken my power.”
You see how hurrying up to write this book would be the antithesis of what I am about?! So I took ten years. Ten years to “listen within” amid the chaos of raising young children. Ten years to “linger” instead of rush. Ten years to nourish myself while nourishing my children.
The truth is writing a book – and even more so SELF-PUBLISHING a book – is like parenting. The harder work isn’t getting up early and “making things happen.” The harder work is to pause, listen, and be guided by an inner compass.
Like parenting, writing a book is a courageous leap into the unknown. Some days, you think you totally suck at it and you want to quit. But you can’t because, well, you just can’t. So you learn to pound your fists on the floor, let the tears fall, ask a girlfriend to tell you that you are NOT crazy, and then let the sweet laughter and innocent embrace of your children help you begin again.
In Gems of Delight, I share with you prayers, poetry and reflections that nourish us in each season of the year. I live what I share. I couldn’t have it any other way. I’m not perfect. But like I say in Gems of Delight, I’m not going for perfection any more. I’m going for a life of embracing simple delights, extending compassion, and creating connection in everyday life.
My favorite mystical poet, Hafiz, said, “One regret dear world, that I am determined not to have when I am lying on my deathbed is that I did not kiss you enough.” I want to spend my life kissing my dear ones and filling this world with delight and compassion.
And so, dear readers, my approach to “launching” this book is the same as how I’ve written it: with faith, courage and play.
Faith in the Beloved to guide me. Faith in my community support me.
Courage to leap and share these writings. Courage to ask for support. Courage to follow the compass of the heart.
Play with the whole process!
I’d love to share with you the Blessings of Delight that I’ve written at the beginning of this book:
Blessings of Delight
May the gems in this book encourage you to slow down and pause in a busy world.
May you connect to a God of Compassion and feel the gentle presence of the Divine Within alongside you in the messy and miraculous of everyday life. May God delight you, nourish you, and renew your inner sense of vibrancy.
May you reconnect to what is sacred in your day and find the gems within you, your life, each other, and our world.
May you awaken to your inner truth, sensuality, and power as you rise with clarity and devotion.
Together, may we make time for connecting with our own hearts, our dear ones, and others. May we uplift, encourage, and accompany each other in the joys and sorrows of life.
Together, may we heal the harshness and judgment we have with ourselves and each other through our compassionate presence.
As we live with clarity and devotion to what is sacred to each of us, may our presence revolutionize motherhood and create a more compassionate world.
Dear Ones, whatever it is you want to do, it might take awhile – even decades. This is where you must have the courage to stay true to “listening within” and following the compass of the heart. The voices of doubt can stifle a dream even before you begin it. And if you are in it for the long haul, those voices are bound to get louder! But as you stay true to your heart — the Beloved within you – your everyday life actually becomes the fertile ground for your dream to birth into existence.
If you’d like to stay in the loop about Gems of Delight, sign up below! It’s due out in May 2017 – in time for Mother’s Day!