Friday, June 12, 2009

A big drumroll -- Here's Stephanie Riseley

I'm thrilled to welcome Stephanie and all of you WOW followers to my blog today. Here's what she has to say about writing to heal, getting a memoir published, and of course, it's all about "choices."

Writing to Heal

Choices. Yes, life is all a series of choices, all made one choice at a time. Some of them, however, get made without your conscious consent, don’t they?

If you go to my website, and click on the picture of my book “Love From Both Sides,” you can skim through the first four chapters. And that will give you a sense of what writing to heal is all about. You’ll understand that I had no choice – I had to write this book. Here’s the first page:


I had my hand on my husband’s heart when it stopped beating. To feel his big, strong heart come to a complete and utter stop under my hand was so shocking, I didn’t have time to even think or react. Because just as his heart stopped, I felt “him” whoosh through me like a wind, and then from behind I heard, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, I’m free at last!” What? Had Dan become Martin Luther King? I turned to look behind me. Was he on the ceiling? No? Where then? What? Free? Free! Free of me? Of our life?

This is not what you want to hear after you’ve just spent six manic, exhausting months doing everything possible to save a man. I turned back to look at the face I loved. The man that I’d married just twelve years before – the love of my life – the man I’d waited for so long to come. That man. The man who asked me to marry him on the fourth date, the man who worshiped my body when he made love to me – the man who could make me scream. The man whose soul I thought I knew so well. The man I fought with, the man I hated sometimes, the man who hated me. The man whose smell I couldn’t get enough of? That man? And the asshole died? He died! How could that be? He’d leave me? I wanted to scream, “No! Don’t go! Come back!” But all I could do was whisper, “No, no, no. Please, no.”

Samuel, my straight-arrow, twenty-eight-year-old stepson, who stood stock still next to the bed there in the Intensive Care Unit at Kaiser, would say later that Dan, my husband, had whipped into him and said, “Sam! Sam! I know it looks like I’m dead, but it’s okay! It’s really okay. I mean, I’m dead, but it’s all right.”
That night as I roamed the rooms of our little duplex, just screaming in the unbelievable pain of loss (thank God, my neighbors are Russian – Russians understand wailing grief), I thought that this was the end of our particular “love story.’’ But I was wrong. Completely wrong – for it was really only a beginning. It was a reclaiming of our own authentic love, and a reconnecting to a love story that began a very long time ago.

It took me months to understand and to trust that what I experienced that night in the ICU wasn’t just shock, grief, and utter craziness. It is why I write this book. My experience with my husband after he died was very specific, but was as real to me as oxygen. Can you see oxygen? No. But you know it’s there because you continue to breathe and you continue to live. And, so it is, with your own “connection” to the source. You may not see it, acknowledge it, but you know it’s there just the same.
If you were drawn to pick up this book, then these words were meant for you to hear. You have a love – you have a husband, a wife, a lover – a sacred-sex-partner, and it is my job to share what I thought was the reality of our own love story and then to tell the “truth” of what was really going on. For what was going on with us might just help you to understand and appreciate more about your own sacred, sexual, eternal relationship. Unfortunately, don’t think for a moment that it means uneventful and blissful. When you meet the love of your life, you’ve got business together and Sacred Agreements that need to be fulfilled.

So, yes, “Love From Both Sides,” tells the story of my husband dying in my arms and coming back to chat (and having sex!) while doing it. Certainly “connecting” with my husband during the first year of mourning helped my own healing. Then writing about my experience brought closure – and more importantly, finally set me free and onto the next phase of my own life.

How do you juggle it all? Work full time and write? Go to bed early, then get up early and write. At least that worked for me. In my book, you actually see the process of writing… and feel the exhaustion of the channeling. At one point, because the house next door was being torn down, I was getting up at 4:30 a.m. so I could concentrate. But I got the book finished -- eventually. I edited it within an inch of its life. I had friends read it and re-read it. I checked it again and again. And then it was ready to be published – but no one wanted it.

Now, how did the book get published? This is the totally magical part. And I believe in magic – and magnetizing! Right now on my desk sits the newest “Writer’s Digest,” (July/August 2009) with a great article in it: Publishing 101. It tells you everything you need to know about publishing your book. Go get it and read it, and do it all. I did everything every book on “Getting Published” suggested, but still, no one wanted my book. I wrote to agents, I wrote queries galore, but no one wanted the book. Fine, I thought, and then I just forgot about it trying to get it published, but in my little goddess group, I always saw myself in New York, at my book publishing party. I visualized my book finding a home – sitting on the shelves at Barnes & Noble’s.

Then because I do Past Life Regressions professionally (I’m a hynotherapist), one day someone wrote to me asking me questions about past life regressions. I answered her questions, and she asked some more. I’d answer her questions and she’d write me more questions, until finally I said, “Look, I wrote a book that will give you a different perspective on this. Why don’t I send it to you?” So I did. And she wrote back, “This is a fabulous book! Who’s publishing it in England?” I thought, “She’s in England? Who knew?” But I said, “No one’s publishing it in the United States, let alone England.” And then she said, “Well, I know of a publishing house that I think would love it – Findhorn Press.” And she gave me the publisher’s name, and I sent it to him and he said, “Not only do we want to publish it, but we want to fast track it!” So instead of the year or two that it takes, my book hit the street in six months. The problem was that there was no “advance publicity,” no advance anything put in place. And it’s all good, because my book is out there – I think because the “gods” interceded. The information contained in “Love From Both Sides,” is incredibly healing because it affirms in a very down-to-earth way that consciousness goes on after the body dies, and that love never ever dies. You’re always connected to those you’ve lost – you just need to “tune in” to their trying to “connect.”

And that’s the work I do day-by-day now. I help people access the power of their subconscious mind so that they are able to connect with those they’ve lost and their Higher Selves. And mostly I help my clients get happy. Happiness is contagious – so go out and spread it around, okay? Hope this helped! Cheers!

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