Next month I will be celebrating the second anniversary of my advice column for “Ask The LifeQuake Doctor”. My first book celebrated its second month in release, and I just passed the 50th post of my blog. A few days ago, I was gifted with a lovely book launch party and it really made me realize the importance of rituals. With the advent of the internet, now when you release a book, there is no time for taking a pause from writing about the subject you’ve just spent three years of your life doing nothing but writing intensively . Now you have to blog every day, write articles, twitter, facebook, and do radio and tv.
Until the party I had not really taken in what I had accomplished here. This made me realize the importance of such things as weddings, baptisms, and bar mitzvahs. My girlfriend who hosted the party kept calling it my baptism after giving birth to the book. I see it, however, more like a college graduation. The change model of LifeQuake came to me 22 years ago this Fall. I initially took it to major publishing houses two years later. They wanted me to take out the spiritual stuff and make it a psychological model. Needless to say, the book proposal did not sell. What did happen, just like the journey we take from first grade through university, was one hell of an education!
For me to qualify to write a book that will help people make changes before catastrophe happens to them, I had live the mistakes ( if such thing exists) that I would eventually write about to show people as to what not to do. In retrospect, losing everything I owned along with my health, my only regret is that I wasn’t more courageous. If I had anticipated through signs that were showing me I had to change, I might not have had to endure so much catastrophic change.
I also think that even if I was destined to lose it all, the thing that really compromised me was the fear and worry I brought to the experience. Truth be told, you survive. Somehow you survive. And if you are really wise, you extract as much knowledge from your so called mistakes as you possibly can. And then you write a book about it so others can learn from you and perhaps avoid a little drama and trauma of their own. Just remember to create rituals for the ending of cycles like a graduation so it doesn’t feel like an Italian funeral – lots of old women in black crying for three days. Yes, we dont like to let go of what is familiar but if you take a moment and celebrate an ending even if it is in the form of getting fired, receiving a life threatening diagnosis, or your husband leaving you, etc.
These rituals will mark not just an ending but a beginning of a chapter of not knowing. If you celebrate moving into the unknown, you reframe it as an adventure in discovery and the beginning of new learning. The last twenty two years were more like getting a PhD in faith and trust and I am still doing the “dissertation”!
Dr. Toni Galardi is licensed psychotherapist, author of The LifeQuake Phenomenon, advice columnist, and public speaker.