When the holiday season approaches, let’s turn our thoughts to gratitude. Focusing on gratitude can bring magic and blessings into our lives.
We’d like to share a little story with you.
Our First Book
Seventeen years ago, our first book, The Shared Heart, was printed and ready for distribution. Because we were unable to find a publisher, we had the book published ourselves. Now before us lay the monumental task of trying to distribute the copies.
Our friend and mentor, Ram Dass, had edited the book for us and had written a forward. He also gave us his mailing list of 6,000 people to get us started. We designed our first flyer to send to the list and felt proud of it. The day before Thanksgiving, 1983, we spent the last of our savings at the post office as 6,000 of these flyers went out across the United States.
A Thanksgiving gathering
That evening, we had a group of friends come to our home for a Thanksgiving service, where we focused on our gratitude for those things that were hardest in our lives. It was a beautiful evening.
Before we closed the service, we brought out copies of the flyer for people to bless. Each person held a copy and said a prayer for the book. Our friend Nancy spoke up hesitantly after studying the flyer, “There is no price anywhere on this flyer.” Sure enough, we had neglected to put the price on it.
Our hearts sank! How could people buy the book without knowing the price? They would probably think we were very spacey and would just throw the flyer in the garbage. We felt our one chance for distribution was gone.
Our friends lovingly gathered around us and reminded us of the importance of gratitude in difficult times. We stayed up late that night trying to be grateful, rather than freaking out about our mistake. By morning, we were thankful that some good would come of the situation.
Our next step
Though we’d never borrowed money from our parents before, we humbled ourselves and borrowed enough to print a postcard and mail it out. In this mailing, we told the story of our mistake: that we were so excited about our book we had neglected to give the price. We shared the price of the book along with our efforts to be grateful and move on.
Well, the magic happened! People were so touched by our story in the second flyer that orders came pouring in. Many people shared that the first flyer looked like so many others, and they threw it out immediately. It was the second one in which they saw our hearts and our intention. Within a matter of weeks, the first printing of 5,000 was sold and The Shared Heart went on to be a bestseller for several years in a row. To this day, we believe that it was our gratitude in a painful situation that allowed this book to be launched so successfully.
Gratefulness in Difficult Times
It is easy to be grateful for all the good things and wonderful people in your life. The power comes from being grateful for the hardships, mistakes, and heartaches, knowing that in time our souls will learn valuable lessons from these experiences.
Years ago, when I got the news that our baby had died inside of me, I could not feel grateful. In time, I began to feel thankful that one day I would understand and be able to feel truly grateful for the experience. It was my thankfulness in hope that brought me through that experience and allowed me to receive the gift the pain was bringing into my life.
And, so, we leave you with the challenge of gratitude and the possibility of miracles and magic happening in your lives.
Call 831-684-2299 for further information on counseling sessions. Visit their website at SharedHeart.org for their free monthly e-heartletter, their updated schedule, and inspiring past articles on many topics about relationships and living from the heart. For opportunities to bring more love and growth into your life, please visit Barry and Joyce Vissells’ events page.