|"Letters to Siena" book signing at RiverLights Bookstore in 2009|
To stand in front of a group of people I really admired and to feel their support was overwhelming. But to meet complete strangers who are there to buy a copy of my first book was honestly terrifying.
When I published "Letters to Siena" in 2009, I didn't even consider a signing until it was suggested to my by a friend. So I thought, why not? Not biggie, I'll bring cookies.
I showed up at Riverlights Bookstore in Dubuque and was greeted by the owner, Sue Davis. She is a really lovely woman and welcomed me instantly. She had a huge bouquet of flowers waiting for me and now the fresh daisies I had brought with me seemed a bit inadequate. I was feeling jittery mixed with extreme gratitude.
Then everyone showed. I was lit up like a firefly. My kids were reading books in the children's section and running around exploring and playing with the bookstore's cat (who I think truly owned the place.)
I gathered all of my inner fire and managed to read an excerpt from the book. As some of you know, it is not an easy read. The subject matter being one of loss can easily bring even the toughest person to tears by just glancing at the title.
This is where my learning came in. I literally FELT my soul EXPAND.
Just before I started to read the passage, I felt my gut tighten. In my yoga teaching I learned that this area of my belly is known as the Solar Plexus. It is always speaking to me; mostly with butterflies, sometimes tightness.
This tightness was nudging me to make a choice -
I took a break in the bookstore's restroom to catch my breath. Taking slow breaths...I felt my belly expand with my heart, then my throat, and finally my mind. It was in this moment that I learned this lesson.
LET YOUR SOUL EXPAND EVEN IF YOUR MIND ISN'T QUITE READY.
YOUR MIND WILL CATCH UP.
I left the restroom feeling excited and calm. I read the passage. I didn't cry. I didn't hold it in either. Holy cannoli. That happened.
This is a year of great expansion. What will you do to expand your soul?