What Matters is Who You Are, Not What You Do favorite_border

Conversations from the Heart - September 27th 2019

Author: Rachel Brathen

Topics: Self-Love

Links: Apple Podcasts / Spotify

About the Episode

In this episode, Rachel reflects on the process of becoming an author, the importance of making the New York Times bestselling list, and the healing properties of creation.

When Rachel published her first book, Yoga Girl, she made the New York Times bestselling list and for the first time understood the importance of it in the world of books. This time around, Rachel has been waiting all week for the list to come out. Will her agent call her with good news? What if she doesn’t make the list? How will she manage her expectations and disappointment if she doesn’t?

She realizes that regardless of the list, she has created a beautiful book, and through this journey of telling her story, she was able to heal. Her worth is not determined by doing, but by being. By looking within and sharing a story that she hopes will help other people moving through similar things, she realizes that creation comes from simply BEING in that state of flow, tuned into the heart. If Rachel has touched one single person, or just brightened one person’s day with this book, that is all that matters!

This episode will remind you that your worth is not determined by doing but that your worth resides in the quality of your being. You don’t have to accomplish anything to be worthy of love. You are already so absolutely lovable - just the way you are.

Yoga Girl 014604-min

Transcript

[001:04] Hi you guys! Welcome to the show. Before we dive into this weeks’ episode I want to share a little something. So, today is Thursday, I recorded this episode yesterday on a Wednesday and in it I talk about my book release, the release of To Love and Let Go, and I talk a lot about the New York Times best-selling list and how the book didn’t make the list. And the episode is about how I manage my expectations and disappointment when it arrives and how we can turn that to gratitude.

[001:35] Well, something amazing happened today. So, I just found out that we still have an amazing chance of making the New York Times’ Best-Seller’s list this week. The book outsold nine out of fifteen books on the list last week, so we have a huge, huge, huge chance of making the list this week, which means I want to take this opportunity to let you know that if you want to support the book and help me reach this dream, you have today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday) to still do that. So, if you haven’t bought the book yet, please do. Leave a review on Amazon. Tell the whole world about this book, because we really do have a chance of making this list, and it’s a huge, huge dream of mine. So, I hope you enjoy this episode. Thank you so much for your support, and enjoy the show!

[002:20] Hi you guys! Welcome to another episode of the Yoga Girl Podcast: Conversations From The Heart. I am really happy to be sitting here recording this right now. It’s been a whirlwind of a couple of weeks, and last week’s episode was a recorded meditation that I kind of pre-recorded before we headed out on our big book tour, because I knew it would be really crazy and hard for me to record while we were traveling. So, I feel like it’s been a while since I got to sit here and share with you and speak From The Heart and just … yeah. Talk. [laugh]

[002:57] I’m kind of sitting here with some mixed feelings right now. So, I decided today to record this podcast at the very end of the day. Today was a really important day for me, and things did not go the way I had hoped. I’m going to share all of that in detail in a little moment. But, how about right now we take a moment to close our eyes, to settle down, to center. So, wherever you are, if you have the ability to close your eyes and find a comfortable place to sit, go ahead and do just that. And then whatever space you’re in, let’s take a really loud and clear cleansing breath. So, imagining this breath as if, you know, if there’s anything that you have lingering inside of your body, in your heart, in your breath, something stagnant, something that you need to shake it off or get it out of your system, this is that breath, okay? So, go ahead and take a huge, deep, full breath in through the nose … Pause at the very top of the breath … and now, load and clear, exhale it out … Oh, let’s do that one more time, that felt really good. So, full breath in through the nose … And when you get there, pause for a second, hold that breath in and feel what it feels like to really contain this breath in this space … And then open the mouth, let it all go … Hmmm. So, feeling into your heart space for a moment, you can let your breath just return to that neutral space with the breath in and out through the nose. If you like you can take one of your hands and just place it to your chest and feel into that space beneath the palm of your hand right now.

[004:54] How are you doing? What’s up? What’s new? How are you feeling? How has your day been so far? Have you had a good day? Easy day? Hard day? Heavy day? Maybe a little bit of all of the things? And just feeling how that energy of whatever you’ve moved through today so far, or perhaps you have something lingering from yesterday, or maybe you have something big lingering from many weeks or months or longer than that that you can feel present in your heart right now. Just noticing what that’s doing within your body, what this energy is creating for you. If it’s heavy, then feeling that sensation of heaviness. What does heaviness feel like in your body? How does heaviness resonate and translate through the breath? If you would put a word to that feeling, or a word to that emotion, what does it really feel like, whatever is there? And if you feel lightness or joy, and then yeah, same thing, what does it feel like to sit here right now and feel that sense of lightness in the body? Can you describe it? See if you can, just for a couple of more breaths, allow yourself to be super super present with everything that’s here.

[006:19] The moment you feel yourself really connecting to that place inside of your heart, sometimes in the face we start to reflect that emotion in our hearts. The moment we really tap in and tune within. So, sometimes, just by doing that for a really brief moment, we immediately start to cry. Maybe you immediately start to smile. Maybe you feel your face shining. Perhaps you feel a little numb. Maybe your jaw drops. Maybe you look a little frowny right now because you’re angry about something. Just notice how whatever is moving through your heart is automatically reflected on your face.

[007:06] So let’s take another really deep, full breath, inhale in through the nose … One more time at the top of that breath, see if you can hold the breath and linger there a little bit longer. And then let it all out. If you like you can open your eyes and let’s take a moment to look around and feel very present in your body here, now. So speaking From The Heart in this moment, how am I feeling? [laugh] I have a whirlwind of emotions moving inside of me. So, to back track a little bit, my book was released a little more than a week ago, and yeah, if you’re listening to this on a Friday it’s been already 10 days, or a week and a half, and Dennis and I embarked on the first leg of the To Love and Let Go Tour, which was five states in the U.S. in five days. Super, super crazy. We had a really really beautiful trip. I mean, it was really hard, the intensity of a schedule like that was crazy. We literally started off … We flew from Aruba to New York City, which was a four-and-a-half-hour flight, had a nice dinner in the evening, and then like a minute in New York City, I felt, before we headed off all the way out to New Jersey, to Manasquan, where we had a whole theater filled with people, completely jam-packed, beautiful with people where I had a conversation on stage and then, you know, got to sign books and hug people. It was so, so nice. It’s been a really long time since I did these kinds of events, where I got to, yeah, be face to face in any other space that isn’t my own yoga studio. So, it almost felt like I was kind of dipping my toe back in the space of getting out into the world.

[009:02] And it was such a nice reminder, you know, to meet you guys, to meet everyone who is listening to this podcast, meet people who are reading my words every day, people who read the book. I mean, it was absolutely fantastic. And then from there we flew to Boston and had a huge event in Boston, which was amazing. I think I hugged like 500 something people in less than two hours. It was really amazing. And from Boston we flew to Austin, Texas, which, I mean, the U.S. is just a massive, massive country. I did not know how long that flight was. [laugh] It was super crazy. And we had just a really beautiful evening event there, and then from there we headed back to New York City where we had, the next day, an event, again in New Jersey in Ridgewood. And then another event which was in Connecticut. And Connecticut was like a four-hour drive because of traffic. So all of this, you know, five states, five locations in five days. It was so intense. Man oh man. I mean, it’s been a while since I traveled with that intensity. So, in a sense those kinds of trips are always really hard, but the fact that I got to literally hug thousands of people was … Yeah, I could cry just thinking about it. And, of course, the first event, the book wasn’t out yet.

[010:19] If you haven’t bought my book yet, please go buy my book. To Love and Let Go, it’s available everywhere and ToLoveAndLetGo.com. And it was kind of cool on this tour because the first two stops that we had, you know, the book wasn’t officially out yet. So I was meeting people who hadn’t really read the book. And then the further we went in the week, for every day that passed, more and more people actually got a chance to finish the book, and I actually, for the first time, got to meet people who could look me in the eye and tell me in person what they thought about the book. And I have received, literally, I’m screenshotting as many as I can, as many as I see because I’m receiving so many of them. But I’ve received thousands, literally thousands of comments and direct messages and emails and reviews, you know, and ways in which you guys have reached out to me to tell me that the book meant something to you. I could cry just sharing that, that the book moved you in some way, that the book helped you in some way, that the book is something that you can use on your journey towards healing. Even a lot of you guys that the book has changed your life in some way. And, you know, I’ve been very very close to this book for a really long time that I think I lost a little … I can’t be objective. I don’t … At the end of the day I’m like, “I don't know if this is a good book or not!” I’m too close to this work. I need a little space between me. It’s hard for me to read this with objective eyes. I, of course, have this very strong feeling that I wrote something worthwhile, that I had a story that I needed to share with the world and that it was really important that I did that. At the end of the day, it’s not until now that I actually get that response, that yeah, that was true. That this book is a really important book and it’s moved so many of you. It’s been, yeah, nothing short of amazing. Amazing. So I want to take this moment to thank each of you. If you bought the book, thank you. If you read the book, thank you. If you gifted the book to someone, thank you every single person that wrote me that comment, DM, review, email …. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

[012:33] I have been responding to as many as I can, but it’s been … I don’t think I’ve been on my phone in my life as much as I’ve been over the past week. I’ve been really trying to read every single DM that comes through and wanting to be up to date and not miss anything. I’ve had that feeling of like … I want to know what you think! I really, really do. And I want to feel what you feel, and I want to read your words. I don’t want to forget this. That’s been the feeling that I’ve had, that this response has been so beautiful, I don’t want to forget it. And so many of you have written me to tell me that you cried so many times reading this book and that it’s been a really emotional journey for you. And I just kind of forgot that that’s possible, in a sense. And I kept telling Dennis, “I have to make a scrap book of all of these messages and print them, or put them on a wall, or frame them. I can’t forget!” One day I’m going to be 70 or 80. I don’t want to forget that once I wrote something and it meant something, because that’s what this book is. It really means something. And it’s so beautiful to know that it means something not just for me but so many of you. So I’m just really, really, really grateful. Oh my god.

[Commercial Break]

[015:08] So yeah, so the tour, this was the first leg of the tour. We still have a couple of stops. We’re going to New York City for our big live podcast. I think we have five open spots [laugh] or something ridiculous like that. But it’s basically a sold out event by now. But we still have Miami, San Francisco, Chicago, and Los Angeles where I’m teaching classes. So there’s kind of three legs to this tour, I guess, and the first leg is now finished.

[015:38] So, we came home. And here’s the thing: For people who aren’t in the book industry, I guess, it’s a really particular and weird kind of industry to be in. And because I’m not … I don’t consider myself a writer, per say? [laugh] Which is interesting, because I’ve written and published two books now. But, you know, I’m many things. I don't know, I don’t like to label myself at all, but if I … if someone would ask me, “Who are you? What do you do?” I think I would turn towards yoga or something around healing before I turned toward writing, or, “I’m an author.” Which, I guess, someone told me once that it’s not until you’ve published your second book that you can officially call yourself an author. Which, I don't know if that’s true. I feel like one book is enough. [laugh] But I mean as long as you’re published, I think that’s pretty amazing. But the book business is such a particular business to be in. I mean, one, everyone knows that print media is kind of a hard space and has been for a long time. But then in the book industry there is so many specific and particular ways you have to go about things, especially during the week of publication.

[016:48] It’s a really … it’s kind of hard to explain. I’ve been talking a lot about these pre-orders for this book which are super important, and then the reason they are important is because the pre-orders count toward the New York Times’ Best-Sellers list. And the New York Times list is one of those things that, if you don’t really … know about it or care about it, it doesn’t really mean anything. Every single book you pick up at any major bookstore that’s on the top list, or any airport, or any of those big books that everybody reads, all of them, I mean, you know, have New York Times’ Best-Selling Author, or #1 New York Times’ Best-Seller, it says at the very top of the book. And it wasn’t until I published Yoga Girl, my first book, that I even … I had read, of course, New York Times Best-Selling book, or whatever, but I had never actually seen the list. It’s not like I’ve bought the New York Times and looked at the list. I wasn’t really present and aware. And then it was my editor and the publisher and then my agent started talking about this list, the New York Times, and I remember then I was like, “Oh, is that a big thing?” And I had to have it explained to me, like, “Yeah, it’s a huge thing. It’s a really really really big thing. It’s the most important list to get to when you publish a new book. It’s so so so important. And once you’ve ever had a book on the New York Times Best-Sellers list, you can forever and always call yourself a New York Times’ Best-Selling author, which is basically … I don’t even really know … Aside from the fact that it helps you sell the book, it helps more people see the book, and it’s this … I don't know, I think it’s a thing about prestige? I kind of wish I had my editor, Lauren, who is amazing. I wish I had her here so I could interview her a little bit. Because, honestly, I am not in the book business, and even though yes I’ve had two books published by now, I am not an expert in this at all. It’s not, you know, like writing is the one thing I do, publishing a book is my one thing that I’m focused on. It’s a small … it has been, at least, up until this book it has been this small, small part of who I am and what I do.

[018:55] So anyway … And I remember from the first book that they explained to me what it means and the list and this and that. I remember immediately it was like, you know, “But it’s highly unlikely. Highly unlikely that you reach the New York Times list. Very very … it’s a really slim chance and it includes all of the releases of that week, and there is different categories of stuff. So I remember my editor then was like, “You know, let’s not even talk about that, because it’s just … it’s just not going to happen.” So then I wasn’t really thinking about it, because I had never had that experience at all. And then I can remember this so clearly. I was with Dennis, we were in San Francisco. We were at a Whole Foods and I was in the produce aisle and I was picking peaches, I think, just to buy some produce at Whole Foods when all of the sudden my agent calls and my editor calls, and they’re both on the phone at the same time, and I’m like, “This is weird.” I remember thinking, “Why are they both on the phone?” And they were just shrieking, like, screaming on the end of the line like, “You’ve made the list! You’ve made the list! Holy shit, holy shit!” And it wasn’t until we made the New York Times Best-Selling list for the first book that I realized what a massive, massive thing that is. I had no idea. It’s a really, really big deal for an author to reach the list, for, I guess, a variety of reasons.

[020:11] Immediately all the reprints of the book, they changed the cover and they put New York Times’ Best-Seller, and they put it on the cover of all of the reprints of all of the books, and from that point on, any book that you publish will have New York Times’ Best-Selling Author of [and then that book] on any other cover of any other book ever published. So this is a huge deal. I remember we got a bottle of champagne. I took a photo in the streets of San Francisco popping a bottle of champagne with champagne spraying all over me. It was a super fun day! And, you know, since that moment in every bio that I’ve ever had about myself in any site or interview or whatever, it includes that I’m a New York Times’ Best-Selling Author, because that’s how big of a deal it is. So then it was a big deal, but it was also unexpected. So it was just this joyful thing. I don’t think once I even had like a worry, like, “Oh my god, what if I don’t make that list?” Because I didn’t really know it was a big deal. So that’s like the back story to this.

[021:04] So, fast forward to this book. So many things have changed since I guess 2015. 2014 I released Yoga Girl in Sweden, 2015 it came out in the early spring in the U.S. Back then it was very … You know, when it comes to social media my life was very, very different. The type of work that I did was very different. I had a … I don’t want to get into Instagram algorithm because it’s the most boring conversation of all time. But I had a much wider reach of people that actually saw the things that I shared then. Which is super strange, because I had less followers, and it was years ago, right? But there’s something with this Instagram algorithm that now I actually reach fewer people than I did when I had half the followers. Which is really, really strange. But back then it was this chronological thing so every single person that followed me saw what I wrote. I think it was way easier at the time to share, like, “Hey, I wrote a book. Go buy it!” And there was this big excitement. I was in kind of a hype, it was this hype of Instagram and stuff … It was just a different time.

[022:10] So, for this book I didn’t have this expectation of “this book is going to do explosively well.” I just didn’t. Yeah, I just didn’t. I know I’m just not speaking to as many people maybe as I was then. And I also, when I wrote this book I didn’t have this thought of selling the book. I didn’t have any thought to that. I wasn’t thinking about the best-seller list, I wasn’t thinking about numbers. I mean, not at all. It’s been such an emotional book for me to write, such a healing book for me to write. I didn’t write this book to sell a bunch of books, not at all. I mean, I wrote this book because it was a story that had to be told. I wrote this book because … I wouldn’t have gone to this place of healing if I didn’t write these words down. I had to write this book. It was a book that had to be birthed through me. So, there has been no other, you know, I haven’t even thought about all of these other pieces of it. And I can’t remember who, you know, for the first time … It was kind of like we were getting close to release date like a couple of weeks before the publication date where, you know, someone reminded me, “You have to promote the book a lot because the pre-orders count for the New York Times list.” And I was like, “Oh!” And I had this realization of, “Oh, yeah! Oh god, okay, that list. Oh yeah, okay, that’s a big deal. Okay, you want it to become a best-seller, that’s a big thing, okay.” So I’ve been promoting this book like crazy because of course I want you guys to buy it. I want it to sell. I want the book to do well. I want this story to reach as many people as possible. And when we got to the U.S. and I got to see my editor and I just kind of asked, I was like, “Hey, so for that list thing …” And she was like, “Yeah, let’s not … let’s not get our hopes up. Let’s really not. It’s such a different climate. Everything is different with the news cycle of the U.S. right now, it’s so different. And you’re in a different place in your life.” And I’m like, “No, no, I don’t have my hopes up.” And then she was like, “But, you know, the book is doing really well, so …” And I was like, “It is?” And she was like, “Yeah! Yeah yeah yeah, of course! It’s in Target.” Target picket it up, which is a really amazing thing. We’ve had amazing reviews on Amazon. I think I have as many reviews on Amazon for this book after one week as I have for Yoga Girl after four years. Can you believe that? I have almost as many reviews for this book in the first week than I’ve had for Yoga Girl in four whole years. I mean, that just blows my mind. Four and a half years.

[024:27] So we have so many things going for us. All of the events during this week were all sold out. It’ s just like, you know … And I can kind of see like “Hmm, she’s positive.” And I didn’t think that I should even think about that. And Dennis kept telling me, “Don’t get your hopes up, don’t get your hopes up.” But I had my hopes up. All week I’ve been kind of thinking about it a little bit. And I’ve also been sharing it through social media, you know, “This week is a really important week. If you’re thinking about getting the book, the publication week is the most important week because those count for the best-seller list.” So many people have supported me through that. I have so many people who wrote, “Oh, I didn’t know that that mattered for an author. I was going to get the book but I was going to get it for Christmas, but I’m going to get it right now.” I had so much support.

[025:07] I’ve been doing this thing … And this is something that I do in life. I don't know if anybody else does this kind of like me. But when I’m afraid to fail at something, or when I have this feeling like maybe I’ll get disappointed, I kind of act as if I don’t give a shit. And if anybody does that, if I’m heading out towards something new and it’s something that I don’t know if I’m going to do well, or if I’m not going to make it, or if I’m not going to succeed in it, sometimes I just don’t even really go all the way for it so that in case I fail, I won’t have the embarrassment of failure. I’m trying to articulate this because I don’t talk about this a lot, because it’s a theme that just … It’s not super … I don’t come across it very often in my life. But I have now for this list, for this book. And almost like I was kind of scared, almost, to go on social media and tell the world like, “Hey, you guys! I really want to make the New York Times Best-Seller List. It’s the most important thing for me because then if I don’t make the list, I’m going to have to kind of … not like it’s embarrassing, but it’s going to be like, yeah, I guess I suck. I guess I’m terrible. I didn’t make the list. Uh-oh, oops!” It’s almost like … I don't know. And of course that’s not the case!

[Commercial Break]

[027:38] This is a big theme for me, the idea of succeeding, whatever the hell that means. And I keep coming across, especially these past couple of weeks, I keep coming across in different ways or forms, people telling me or me reading it somewhere, or me having this dropped in my lap as a sign that my worth lies in who I am, not what I do. My worth lies in who I am, not what I do or what I create. And I’m taking this astrology course right now. I’ve had that … I had a friend tell me that. I’ve been talking to my mom about that, because sometimes I can get really stuck on this thing of like, “I’m creating something, I’m making something, building new businesses, new projects, new this and that.” And I get really caught up in this idea of doing all the time, of becoming something, of succeeding at something. And then I started taking this astrology course with my friend Debra. Debra Silverman, she’s been on the show, you guys have heard that episode, the astrology episode we did. She’s amazing. But I’m doing this Level 1 Astrology Course again. I’ve taken it before. [laugh] And we’re in this group. It’s a super sweet group. The teacher in my group, here name is Amanda, on the first class she repeated that, and I’ve had it told to me over the past two weeks, I don't know, like five times in random ways. And she said, you know, “In your chart, this is your big life lesson. It’s that your worth is not in all the doing. You’re not here to do. You’re here to be. Yeah? The value of your heart is just you being who you are, just you existing. You’re just here to be. You’re not here to do. And it was just this big, like, “Oh man!” I get it. I really get it. And I can also sense it in different ways when I can tap into a space of flow, which I’ve talked about a lot on this podcast. Especially recording this show, for instance. You know, when I’m guiding you through a meditation or feeling into the heart or when I’m teaching yoga, anytime I’m teaching a class, any time I get to speak on things that really move me. When I get to do any kind of story-telling I can tap into this space of flow. And it’s so easy, right? I don’t feel like I’m doing. I just am, and that’s enough. And sometimes at the end of that I’ve created something. Like, I recorded a beautiful podcast episode, for instance, but that podcast episode, if it’s from that space of flow, it doesn’t come from me doing. It just comes from me being, if that makes any sense.

[030:11] So I’ve had this theme so recurring in my life over the past few weeks, and I’ve been kind of reminding myself of that, especially during this tour. I would find myself thinking about this list, the New York Times list, and at the end of the day why is it so important? I’ve been kind of kidding myself saying, “it doesn’t really matter, it’s not that important.” And even to Dennis, I’ve been like, “If I don’t make the list, it’s okay, it’s not a big deal.” Bit it is a big deal. It is a big deal. And I’ve been kind of afraid to admit it to myself that it is a big deal, because I’ve been afraid of failing, like not making the list would be failure.

[030:45] And then of course, so, if you’re not in the book industry or book business or whatever you probably don’t know. But the New York Times list comes out for the week that’s passed every Wednesday after 5 o’clock you find out, the list is released. So even this, like yesterday I was kind of asking my editor, like, “Hey, it’s almost Wednesday.” She was like, “Yep, it’s almost Wednesday.” And I was like, “Don’t worry, I don’t have my hopes up.” But she’s like, “… I kind of do.” You know? Because we both … we did. And then today I texted her, I’m like, “It’s Wednesday,” and she’s like, “Yep, it’s Wednesday.” And then all day I’ve been quietly excited and terrified. All day. Dennis is on a flight, or he was on a flight today. He flew to Augusta to do a Half Ironman. So he hasn’t been here. I’ve been telling my mom, and then the clock is ticking closer to five o’clock and I’m getting more and more excited, but I’m scared to say I’m excited. I’m scared to have my hopes up. So I’m acting all casual and cool and like it’s not a big deal. And then at five o’clock I’m like, “Mom. I’m just going to put my phone here. I have a feeling,” so Lauren, my editor, I’m like, “I have a feeling that if we don’t make the list, she’s just going to text me, you know? And if we do make the list, she’s going to call. That’s just a feeling that I have.” But she’s the type of person who is really so sweet and kind. Maybe she would call if we didn’t make the list just because she wants to give the news in person, either way. But I’m going up and down and I was like, “I’m going to leave my phone on so that if I hear the bing from the text, then I know we didn’t make it, but if she calls then probably we made it.”

[032:12] She’s like, “Oh my god, just relax, relax. The book has done so well! Even if you make it, even if you don’t, it doesn’t affect the value of the book.” And I know all of these things are true, but still I was really really excited and terrified. So I go into the bedroom, it’s like 5:15 by now, and Dennis is like, “And did you hear?” I’m like no. He’s on the plane. I’m like, “No, it’s 5:15, I really think she would have called by now. I don’t think we made it, I really don’t.” And then a friend of mine texted like, “Hey, did you make the list?” And I’m like, “No.” Now it’s 5:16. “I don't know, I still haven’t heard. I really feel like she would have called by now, so probably not.” And the baby is in the bath and I’m like sitting on the floor in the bedroom watching her in the bath. And then for every passing second, my hopes are just going down down down down down.

[032:58] And then my phone rings. It’s a phone call. And I can see it’s my editor’s office. And I pick up the phone and she’s like, “Hey!” And I can’t tell by her voice at all, is it good or bad? I have no idea.” She goes, “Hey, let me patch Margaret in.” Margaret is my literary agent. And then as she patches her in, the phone call drops out, so it just hangs up. And I’m like on the edge, literally, on the edge of my seat. One, she called which means it’s probably good news. Two, she’s patching in my literary agent. Why would she do that if it wasn’t great news? So then by now I’m like bouncing, kind of like, “Oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god.” But the call dropped out. And then she calls back and she’s like, “Heyyyy…” And I hear the voice. “Hey, so we didn’t make the list.” And I’m like … Like, it’s been this emotional roller coaster. And it’s not, you know, nobody’s fault. It’s literally inside of me and my expectations. Of course I have a hard time managing my expectations. But she’s like, “We didn’t make the list.” It wasn’t until she said it, and then she said it twice, and I was like, “Really!?” Like, “Are you sure?” Like it was some cruel joke. Which, of course, it wasn’t. “Yeah, you know …” Both her and my agent, they’re really … yeah, upset. And it’s also hearing in their voice that they really thought we had made the list. You know, we have really strong numbers, we have the numbers to make the list, we have diversity of all the sales in different places, and really really really good numbers. We’ve had an amazing week. They were both really expecting it. It’s just, like, New York Times, they have this algorithm and this way of doing things that nobody really know how it works, and it doesn’t always make sense, but it is what it is.

[034:45] And I can hear the disappointment in their voices. We’re going kind of in circles with it. The more we’re talking the more I realize, like, oh my god, this is such a huge deal. And it is a huge disappointment and it is this huge let down of not making this stupid list! Finally, I’m like, “It’s okay, it’s okay. I didn’t have my hopes up that high.” Which was a lie. [laugh] Obviously. And we hang up. And I’m like, “Okay.” And before I text anyone or anything, I kind of just sat there on the floor. I’m like, “I’m just going to give myself a little space. How does this feel?” And I do this thing sometimes where I kind of skip from a disappointment straight to like, “But that’s okay, it’s okay. I have so much. Everything is so beautiful.” And I do that and I start to think of all the amazing people I met this week, all the amazing reviews I’ve had, the people that have really reached out, all of the good things that this book has already brought. And I start to think about all of the beauty and the healing that came from writing this book, and I start to think of all of those beautiful, positive things. But actually, you know, jumping straight to that gratitude isn’t really real, right? It’s not, because there is that space of disappointment there, that space of sadness there.

[035:58] And, you know, Lea Luna is in the bath covered in bubbles, super joyful. My mom was in the other room cooking something. Everything is fine where I am, everything is beautiful where I am. But I just kind of gave myself that space of just feeling sad. And then I felt almost like, “Ugh, how silly of me to be sad over something like this. Like, it’s literally just a list. What does it matter?” But it’s true. And bypassing that sadness doesn’t mean it’s not going to be there, you know? Bypassing that sadness isn’t going to make it go away. It’s just going to mean that I’m glossing over something that actually was important to me.

[036:40] So I just gave myself that little bit of space of like … And then I texted Dennis and said, “Hey, we didn’t make it.” And he was like, “What!? Oh man. I know this is heartbreaking, I know how sad you are.” I just kind of let myself be low a little bit. And then that was that. And then, you know, baby has to get out of the bath, she has to eat, and getting ready for bed and all of this stuff. And then, I don't know, 20 minutes passed, and then I kind of forgot! [laugh] I don't know …. You know, I kind of just forgot that I was sad. And then we were doing something else and a little more time passed, and then my mom was like … she asked me something and I said, “Yeah, I don't know.” She said, “Hey, are you sad? Did you get the news?” And I was like, “Oh, I didn’t even tell here.” Like, I kind of forgot. And I’m like, “Yeah, we didn’t make the list.” And she goes, “Oh, that’s okay. There’s always next week!” [laugh] And I’m like, “What do you mean?” And she’s like, “But there’s always next week!” And I’m like, “Well, I guess?” [laugh] And it’s just like … making me cry with laughter right now. Of course the week of publication, if you’re going to make the list, that’s the week, because all the pre-orders count, all this stuff. It’s the big week where you’re promoting the book. But, of course, they release this list every week. Every week you have a chance of being on the list. Anything can happen. So basically, say, Oprah would tweet about this book tomorrow, the book could still make the list. Reese Witherspoon picks up this book for Reese’s book club … the book could still the list. Word of mouth, something explodes with the sales of this book. It turns out it’s the next Eat, Pray, Love. It’s changing peoples’ lives, it’s amazing! You know, you can make the list any time. And I just … So it’s not like all the doors have closed. It’s just this one specific door relating to publication day. That door has closed. But, I have a hundred doors and windows that I haven’t seen yet, that I haven’t thought about, that I haven’t focused on in the unknown that can be opened at any moment to make this list. Because, of course, I really want to, and I don’t want to pretend like I don’t care, because I do care. It is a big deal. And it wasn’t until my mom said that, she’s like, “Oh, that’s okay, there’s always next week,” that I was like, “Yeah!” [laugh] She’s so fucking right! There’s always next week. Hell yeah there’s next week. Oh my god. Having one disappointment is not the end of the world. It’s also not the end of getting to where you wanted to go. It’s not the end of accomplishing the thing you wanted to accomplish. It’s not. It usually just means that, yeah, it’s not going to be exactly the way you thought it was going to be. It’s not going to be the exact timing you wanted it to be. It’s not going to be this picture perfect thing that you plan in your head. No. Because the universe is bigger than you. God has bigger plans. I really think so.

[039:32] And to me it’s such a beautiful thing that this book, if you read this book, I share so many challenging things around my mom and our journey and, you know, now here we are and she’s the one who is making me feel better about the fact that the book didn’t make this list. [laugh] That even just telling the story now, it’s like, oh my god. You know here’s the thing … and here really is the thing: I wrote an amazing book. [laugh] I did. I mean … and I know, in my heart of hearts, I know I wrote an amazing book. It’s beautiful. It really, really is. And that is all! That is all. I had all of these things come my way, and it hurt like a motherfucker. It hurt like hell. It almost killed me. At times I thought maybe I’m not going to make it through. And then I did. And then I told the story. And it’s a beautiful story. It’s a really, really beautiful story. And it’s a story that I know has the ability to help other people heal too. For every person who picks up this book and reads it, something shifts in this world. I wrote a beautiful book and it’s making an impact. It’s changing something, it’s changing someone. And honestly, if one single person, one single person out there right now moving through something heavy and hard feels a little bit lighter after reading this book, then what else could possibly matter? That’s it! That’s literally it. That’s … That’s all I could ever wish for. I could ever wish for is to have some kind of impact on even just one person’s life.

[041:22] So I’m crying now sharing this, and I’m also smiling because I just feel … I feel so grateful. And I know I can sit here and I can sit this grateful because I also let myself feel disappointed, and I also let myself feel sad. And this is just what life is. It’s this beautiful mix and blend of all the disappointment and all the gratitude and all the death and all the life and all the loss and all the love and all the letting go wrapped up into one beautiful experience.

[042:04] So, again, thank you for holding space for me to feel all of this. Thanks for reading. And thanks for listening. I’ll see you next week.

[End of Episode]