After over a year of hard work, phone conferences with authors, long editing hours, many, many meetings, downloads that didn’t work and frustration and emails…I am finally holding Dancing at the Shame Prom, our book, in my hands.
My husband bought a great bottle of wine and we toasted.
“How do you feel right now?” he asked, “You must be so excited!”
I had always envisioned that I’d be running around the house hooting and hollering when I finally received the book. But what I felt was much quieter. I held it, felt the weight of it, turned it over in my hands. I closed my eyes and exhaled.
The next morning I woke at 5am, and sat in the quiet of my living room reading it from cover to cover. What I felt was… humbled. Blessed. Honored. Transformed. A little bit afraid. Grateful.
I felt blessed to have been given the responsibility of helping to usher these stories into the world alongside my friend and partner Amy Ferris. What a magic carpet ride it’s been! And an intense lesson in how to collaborate with love and respect. During this year we’ve learned to allow each other good days and bad, not to overreact to miscommunications, to always have each others’ backs, and to put friendship above business. We learned what each of our strengths and weaknesses were. I let Amy shine where Amy shines best, and she does the same for me. We’ve learned the art of harmonious collaboration.
I felt deeply honored to have been a part of each of these women’s journeys. For many of them (and I might venture to say for all of them) writing the essay was a life-changing experience. We had some emotional phone calls. We pushed the writers to go deeper, to go to that uncomfortable place where the heart of truth resides. The results were that we irritated and pissed off a few of them, but it paid off in the essays, and the book shines with truth and courage.
I felt transformed. Releasing shame changes you. You can almost feel the proverbial shackles falling away. Even reading about it changes you. If you haven’t read the book yet, I implore you to, because I truly believe this book has a little bit of magic in it. Because each writer put so much of her soul and truth into it, I believe, as Gloria Feldt said, that this book just might change your life.
I felt a little bit afraid. It’s scary for all of us to open ourselves to judgment from the public. I’ve had a few phone calls from writers who said they were kind of a wreck when they saw the book had been released. Some hadn’t even told their families yet. We are all taking a huge risk, exposing our underbelly, being vulnerable in front of the world. (So if any of you out there have read the book and want to offer a few words of encouragement to the authors, don’t be shy! You can post here, or on our facebook page.)
Above all I felt grateful for Amy Ferris, and all the gorgeous writers in this book: Lyena Strelkoff, Amy Friedman, Teresa Stack, Nina Burleigh, Victoria Zackheim, Monica Holloway, Liza Lentini, Tracy J. Thomas, Julie Silver, Marcia G. Yerman, Rachel Kramer Bussell, Sharon Doubiago, Kristine Van Raden, Kate Van Raden, Jenny Rough, Kedren Werner, Colleen Haggerty, Laurenne Sala, Amy Wise, Robyn Hatcher, Meredith Resnick, Brooke Elise Axtell, Marianne Schnall, Elizabeth Geitz, and Samantha Dunn. This is “our” book. I share the honor with each of them. Their courage and beauty made it what it is.
Thank you to all of you who have bought it- ( just pre-orders alone have already put it on the top 100 in "Emotions" on Amazon!) and thanks to those who will, and thanks to all of you who have encouraged us on this journey every step of the way.