I've wanted to write a book for as long as I can remember. My gratitude for the whole experience is deep and it's a joy to acknowledge some of the major players.
First, I want to acknowledge Erin and Andy at Central Market who so generously let me grab fries off of their plate and 70% cocoa dark chocolate out of their chocolate box. I fulfilled a long time fantasy of grabbing fries off of people's plates here at CM, and they were as good as I'd imagined. Thank you for your openness and welcoming energy. You inspire me to keep on loving!
This is how the acknowledgments could go . . . thanking everyone I've come across who has opened their heart to me. This is what pulls me into the world and gives me fuel to create and share.
Reaching way back - and if you went to Douglas Elementary School in Columbus, Ohio in the 1970s, you can join me in this - I thank the teachers and principal at Douglas Elementary. You all honored every student in the school with generosity and love. You gave us all the room in the world, if we could handle it, to be creative and self-expressed, and you stayed close if we needed extra care. I give you tons of credit for the creativity and individuality I've been able to express.
Similarly, though this was many years later, I am grateful [no pun intended] to the Grateful Dead and the world that surrounded the band. I learned how to dance with absolute abandon at your shows and I found a place I could be comfortable if I couldn't find it anywhere else. I know that I'm fortunate beyond description to have experienced this unique world that will never exist again. Thank God for the tapes!
Big love and giggly gratitude goes out to my amazing Pen Friends: my loved ones all over the world who honor me and encourage me and with whom I can share absolutely anything. This helps me be a better and more honest writer, which I think makes a difference for us all.
I'm grateful to the great Wallace D. Wattles who wrote a little book in 1910 that has opened my heart and taught me to relax about my path in life. Mr. Wattles infused in me that the creative - rather than the competitive plane - is where everybody wins, and that this is that natural order of things.
Almost a spin-off of Mr. Wattles' book, I'm grateful to Julia Cameron and her masterpiece, The Artist's Way. Ms. Cameron helps us slough off the parts of us that are living other people's dreams and gets us on the path of our own natural creative expression. The birth of my column, Stay Open: Spiritual and Self-Care Space (http://www.nowstayopen.blogspot.com/), came effortlessly out of my first time through Ms. Cameron's course. I'm so grateful and recommend it to everyone.
I'm grateful to Ryan Adams whose honest blogging pulled the writer in me out of its cave and got me writing again and whose music became the soundtrack to my life. You are amazing. Please tour again soon.
I'm thankful for my beloved man, Andrew, who is a source of groundedness when I start to fly off into the ether. He helps me be in the world all the while opening my heart to the present. Our story is miraculous and wonderful, honey, and I couldn't have made it up any better.
To Eckhart Tolle, my great teacher. I really thank the good Lord who created you and allowed you to be such a clear communication for truth. None of what I'm up to now would be happening without my learning from you. I believe when you speak, you are speaking from true presence, allowing all who can hear to know our own true nature, that same presence.
I thank all of the men I've loved and cried over. You all have helped me learn love songs to sing in my devotion and heartbreak and have given me a place out of which true compassion grows. I love you all and bow to you.
And to my sister, Rachel, I have ultimate gratitude. I mean, where would I be today without my Poodle Boucle? Nothing would be possible without having grown up with you. You bring humor and love into my world like no one else.
And finally to my parents . . . you created me with intelligence and curiosity and always fostered the writer in me. I can't imagine life without such brilliant folks leading the way. I know I've driven you both crazy and mystified you, and I thank you for not kicking me out of the family, even when you were tempted to! I love you both and am thrilled to dedicate this, my first book, to you.
I could go on and on and on here. I want to thank Austin, Texas for being the greatest town to be a person of individual expression and the cast of The Office for getting me through shingles. Tony, my acupuncturist. My Giraffe and me Meowmee. Debbie Phillips, my champion and Love Bug Sister. Baba Neem Karoli and the NKB satsang all over the world. You are my family.
See? On and on and on.
And if I missed you here, rest assured, I love you and am grateful for you.
Finally, I thank the One Formless Substance out of which all things arise, and out of which we all create. We are all fingers on the hand of the Divine dreaming ourselves into mind-blowingly generous and magical existence. I'm humbled and thrilled to experience it in this form.
Big love from Austin, Texas! I hope you love the book.