Toot, Toot

Horn-clipartI may be tooting my own horn, but then again, if I don’t, who will? My book has been available for 2.5 weeks and I’ve sold 5 copies (combining both paperback and ebooks). It’s available at Barnes & Noble (in paperback) or at Amazon (in both paperback and ebook). It’s pretty cool, right?

It’s more than that, though. While I’m happy about the sales, that’s not really what it’s about for me. To me it means that people are actually finding the information useful, helpful, and interesting…and that’s what’s important.

I didn’t write the book to become famous (quite the contrary…I much prefer being unknown), and I didn’t write the book to become rich (I mean if that was the plan, obviously, I’d be a starving artist;-). I wrote the book to help people be less fearful about death, and less upset at having someone close to them die.

My Life as a Psychopomp is meant to be uplifting and full of hope, and if the following review is any indication,Cover3 then I achieved my goal.

A joy to read; wished for more, December 21, 2012

I am honored to write this review and I enjoyed this book very much. I hope there are more!

This is a very enjoyable, and fast, read. I enjoyed the stories of real experiences with others, especially those with evidence. This is a very big time for humanity. People have lost their way. Death and hell and religion have either scared off, or turned off, many people who want to consider what their lives really mean.

 

Staying Happy

ovaldoveStart each day with an affirmation.

Tell yourself that you are special, and believe it. Each of us is special, but a lot of us tend to forget that in the crush of everyday problems and challenges. And many of us begin to tell ourselves that we’re unworthy in some way, shape, or form. 

Instead of telling yourself that you’re klutzy, foolish, or stupid, just keep repeating the phrase “I am special. I am important…” to yourself, because you are. 

Look for the best in people, rather than the worst.

It’s too easy to fall into the pattern of seeing only the bad things. Try to remember back to when you were a kid and everyone was nice until proven otherwise. (I sometimes wonder when that changed, don’t you?) But the fact is, people haven’t gotten worse as we’ve gotten older, we’ve just forgotten how to see the good in them. We can’t read minds, so we don’t really know the “why” behind the “what” that people do, So, instead of presuming the worst motives, why don’t we try to see the good behind what people do or say?

Stop worrying about what might happen.

One of the biggest enemies of happiness is worry, and while you might think that worrying is natural, it’s not helpful. Worrying doesn’t resolve anything, it only makes you anxious and afraid. If you have to envision possibilities to a situation, why not picture a positive outcome? Worrying about possibilities that may never occur, only leads to frustration, tiredness, and unhappiness. So, let it go. If you can’t fix it, don’t sweat it.

Give yourself a gift while sharing with others.

I’m not talking about a package tied up in pretty bows (although, those are nice, too). I’m actually referring to something even more meaningful. By sharing a smile, a kind word, encouragement, or a gesture of politeness or kindness, you give yourself a gift of joy and you brighten someone else’s day, too.

And don’t forget to end each day with another affirmation.

Remind yourself of something positive that happened during the day. It might be something as small as enjoying a brief conversation with a stranger, or something big such as completing a large project. It doesn’t matter, as long as you remember that each day is as special as you are.

It’s the end of the world…

or is it? My work computer certainly thought it was. It most definitely didn’t want to work today. However, I really didn’t think that my work PC’s reluctance to perform was going to be a sufficient enough excuse to declare the day an apocalypse. A call to my company’s help desk was enough to assure me that as far as they were concerned, life was continuing as normal. So, with a little help from a couple of co-workers, the PC finally agreed to come on and I could then do my job. And, so life continues…

It may seem like a minor thing, but to me it was a happy spot in what could have otherwise been an overwhelmingly frustrating day. It just shows that kindness can appear anywhere and any time.

While some might think that all of the awful things happening in the world, from mass shootings and bombings, to floods and major winter storms is a sign of the world’s collapse, I don’t. These happenings while horrible and tragic, don’t qualify as apocalyptic–even when you bundle them together.

The world is sometimes a harsh place, and occasionally the sum of all of these tragedies can seem overwhelming. But just as we’re about ready to give in and throw our hands up in despair, something or someone will come along and prove that life can be worthwhile. There are random acts of kindness out there, and even random spots of beauty. No matter how much you might try to ignore them, no matter how much you might try to retain your cloak of uninvolvement, these random acts and random spots are strong. They can pierce even the most hardened emotional armor and affect even the most deadened souls.

It can be someone willing to pay your parking fees for the day, or simply holding the door for you when your hands are full. It can be an unexpected rainbow after a bad storm, or a phone call from a good friend. Life is full of challenges, but it’s also full of goodness. I’ve been lost in the dark places of my heart, but the random glimpses of beauty and friendship that were directed my way helped me find my way back.

Save the world and keep it from ending by being the light that helps someone find their way out of the darkness…help them break out of that emotional armor that has them closed off to the world. All you need is a smile and you’ll light the way for many.

3-lit-candles-712347

 

The making of Escorting the dead: My life as a psychopomp

ovaldoveSo, the book is out there, and I’ll admit I have mixed emotions about it. Let me explain…my initial reaction was to write the book from the perspective of an outsider. I was going to be interviewing someone else, rather than making it so autobiographical. However, during the course of my writing this and pulling all the pieces of the book together, several people close to me died.

The best way I had of working through my feelings of loss was to write about them. This has always been my way. I express myself through words, rather than tears or hugs. (Oh, there are plenty of those, too, but when showing emotions physically, I find I have no words. If you want to know why I’m hugging you, you’d best read the note I’m probably handing you along with the hug.) So, here I was writing away my sorrows, and before I knew it, I had at least half a book going, though not quite the book I started out to write.

While I wanted to write about those of us who help others make the transition between life and death, I certainly didn’t want to be the focus of the book. But, here it was half done…and to try to rewrite it so that I wasn’t the lead would, (I felt) remove some of the honesty and authenticity. With the information already being slightly on the fantastical side, I certainly needed as much authenticity as I could get. Writing from the heart is the best way to get that honesty, and that’s what I was doing. So, I kept on writing, alternately wondering if I was being egotistical or foolish. After all, complete strangers, as well as close friends might read this, and I couldn’t even begin to imagine what they might think of me once they did.

At one point during the creation of this book, the anxiety became too much, and I found myself not sleeping and unable to eat. Then one morning, one of those who had recently died came to me. She stood in the doorway between the sun porch and the kitchen and wagged her finger at me. A moment later, I felt a warming embrace surround me, and the words, “Trust us…” slipped past my ear.

I let the anxiety go, and went back to work on the book. When I seemed at a loss for what to say, words seemed to just form themselves in my head. It seemed as if I wasn’t the only one who wanted this information shared. The more I began to trust, the easier the words flowed. What had begun out of self-interest, now seemed to have a fuller purpose.

One night as I neared the end of this project, I again began questioning whether I should publish the information. After all, I work in a rather staid, conservative industry at a very conservative firm. The last thing I wanted to do (especially in this economy) was to get myself fired because they thought I was a crazy person on the edge of lunacy. However, when I finally fell asleep I found myself surrounded by a bright white light and encircled by about 8 or 10 of my “crew”. The feelings of support and acceptance were strong, and the message was very clear. This is what I need to do.

So, the next morning, bolstered again, I went back to the computer and let the words flow.  And flow they did, until the pages were filled with information and memories.

If it helps even just one person, then I can say it was worth it, because that was the purpose: to help people understand about death, so that their lives (and deaths) can be filled with hope and love, instead of fear and anxiety.

Today is the day…

The paperback is ready and available. (Just follow the link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1481090569) The Kindle book will be available in a day or two (just waiting on Amazon to get it posted.)

So, hurra hurra hurra. Grab and copy and start reading. 😉

Cover3