As part of my book launch, I recruited close to two hundred early readers. A high percentage of this group are people who know me from various places and times during my life. Some of them are an intimate part of the stories that I tell throughout Adopting Grace: A Parenting Journey from Fear to Freedom. As the day approached for me to share the manuscript with this group of people, my anxiety began to rise. It was complicated by a mini-crisis with one of our children that had led to several nights when sleep was elusive. I wasn't going into this day in the strongest emotional space. But I had promised these generous early readers who were willing to help me out that July 12 was the day they would receive my book manuscript.
On the evening of July 11, I was walking down my sidewalk where various neighbors often congregate in the relative evening cool of sometimes oppressive North Carolina summer days. These people are my day in and day out community. They feel like family.
One of the moms offered me well wishes as I was about to share my book. Another mom of grown children said, "oh, is tomorrow the day?" My reply was, "yes, if I press send..." Then she offered beautiful words of blessing. "You were born to do this."
I went to bed with this blessing running through my heart, yet sleep was again elusive. I set my alarm for 6 am so that I could go to one of my favorite yoga classes. I woke before this alarm went off, dressed, and headed to the class. When I arrived, there was a mix-up, and the instructor did not arrive. People who show up for a 6:30am yoga class are not happy when this happens...
I felt a bit desperate. If there was a day in this calendar year that I needed to practice yoga, it was July 12. The anxiety continued to bounce through my body accompanied by waves of practically panic. I took a number of deep breaths and made a decision. I would stay on the mat and practice yoga.
I spent 45 minutes on the mat. I tuned in and listened closely to my body and what it had to say about this day and what I needed. One by one, the other class members rolled up their mats and left this space. Soon, I was alone in this room. Peace began to make its way back into my body and soul.
Some life journeys are made in the midst of community. I certainly prefer to practice yoga in the company of others. But some things can only be done alone. The writing and publishing of my story combines the human need to be and act alone as well as in community. Much of the work happened in a small space that contained me and a laptop. Along the journey of Adopting Grace, there were many times that I could only move forward with the help of another.
On that July 12 day, I rolled up my yoga mat, drove home, and then I pressed "send." Within hours I heard from several people. I got words of affirmation and compassion as I took a leap and invited a wider group into my intimate story. I am ready to share this story to an even larger community. I am pressing send once again. I would love it if you would join me. All are welcome.