Why did it hurt so much?

What was the most difficult thing you had to deal with after writing and publishing your personal story or memoir?

To understand what I’m about to reveal, let me explain that in 2008 I was given 6 months to live! I was diagnosed with a heart condition that I didn’t know I had but the symptoms had been with me for at least a year. After months of treatment and absolutely no improvement, the doctors told me to “get my affairs in order”—and they weren’t referring to my love life!

Writing LOVE The Beat Goes On was the most amazing experience for me, and yet, so highly personal and revealing. I cried a lot and laughed too. There’s a great quote I read after I published it: When you write a memoir, there’s no place to hide. I also read a comment about memoirs that said there is rarely truth in a memoir. Two very differing points of view and both equally correct.

The book won medals, and was chosen as a Book of the Month club selection, and read by groups, and sits at 4.5 Stars in the top 25 of Amazon Health, Fitness books. BUT, I got one super hurtful nasty review. The writer compared me to Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat Pray Love which I loved, but the review said basically that I (and Liz) was a woman of passion and privilege. I can’t argue the passion, but what hurt so much was the “privilege.”

My immediate thoughts went to my upbringing. My Dad was a military guy with all the challenges of returning from war. He drank, he smoked and I only recall bad times that ended in arguments between my mom and him. I also remember bearing the brunt of his anger and leaving the supper table daily in tears. But those times helped me become independent and self-sufficient.

We moved every three years—I still have difficulty staying in one place and forming attachments—including marriages. I found out I divorce very well. I had my first job at the age of 11, washing hair in a beauty salon on the weekends. And I worked my butt off my entire life—built businesses, lost them, and kept on going. Hardly a privileged life.

I don’t say these things for pity. I don’t believe in self-pity or blame. I mention them as facts. The same way I might smile when I buy a new pair of shoes. When I was a kid, I got a new pair of shoes when there was a hole in the sole and the cardboard that blocked the hole didn’t work anymore.

This was the only life I knew. And I learned from it. I came away strong and independent and determined to make a place for myself in the world. I brought up my boys, I supported my family, and when fate gave me 6 months to live, I never ever gave up my belief that I could and would heal myself.

It’s okay to dislike my personal story or not feel hope and inspiration for the way I fought through those challenges and defied the doctors’ diagnoses. But the personal attack, that was so painful. It brought back a ton of memories, you know, those deeply buried bad things that you never tell anyone!

When you write about your life, you will always be scrutinized. And let me tell you, it’s really hard not to take it personally. But the good news is, I get emails almost daily from people that have been inspired or are suffering from the same condition as I was, and I know I’ve made a difference in their lives. And for that, I would tell my story over and over again.

Thanks for asking.

Answered in Quora


I am who I am looking for…

I am who I have been looking for…

We are all searching for something. And maybe this message is it.

I want to give you something of who I am and how I see the world. I hope this video will make you smile. 

I’m counting down the days to my voyage of discovery. I visualized this journey for years. And now that I’ve made the decision to travel for a few months, I admit it, I’m nervous yet so very, very excited.

Still, let me not forget that no matter where I go and what I do, I take myself with me“I am the one I’ve been looking for, and I am already enough.”

I’ve spent an hour listening to this video over and over again. This is my gift to you. I hope you love the message and that it’s exactly what you need to hear today.

I am enough.

ALMOST EVERYTHING by Anne Lamott

I want to share this with you. I received an invite to listen to a Podcast, an interview with Anne Lamott. If you’re unfamiliar with her work, she’s predominantly and non-fiction author of the most memorable Bird By Bird, a must read if you have ever thought of writing a book or doing anything creative at all. 

By Stacey Camp on Goodreads

5 Stars:

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”

“Haters want us to hate them because hate is incapacitating. When we hate, we can’t operate from our real selves, which is our strength.”

Oh Anne Lamott, how do you manage to rip my heart into pieces and then mend it ever so carefully back together? This is what Lamott calls a paradox or conundrum, that life brings both immense joy and heart-wrenching pain, pain that, at times, is unbearable. Take her discussion of having children:

“We are consumed by the most intense love for one another and the joy of living, along with the grief and terror that we and our babies will know unbelievable hurt: broken bones, bad boyfriends, old age…Every day we’re in the grip of the impossible conundrum: the truth that it’s over in a blink, and we may be near the end, and that we have to live as if it’s going to be okay, no matter what.”

Lamott’s Almost Everything: Notes on Hope is meandering and rambling in the most poignant way, a method of writing only Lamott can get away with. It is structured around themes that she wants to share with her grandchild, stories she wants to pass on that she deems critical for one’s survival in a brutal world.

As with Lamott’s other books, I highlighted nearly everything. So many beautiful passages, so much wisdom that has come from the pain that Lamott has known well. This is not a pain she monopolizes. Rather, this book is about how pain is part of the human condition. And because it can happen to any one of us, Lamott believes that we must find peace and happiness every single day. That joy cannot come from a number on a scale or your paystub, though:

“Could you say this about yourself right now, that you have immense and intrinsic value, at your current weight and income level, while waiting to hear if you got the job or didn’t, or sold your book or didn’t? This idea that I had all the value I’d ever needed was concealed from me my whole life. I want a refund.”

“The opposite of love is the bathroom scale.”

Lamott argues that happiness is not found in materiality but something that is omnipresent, waiting to be found in the most mundane places. There is also beauty in grief and beauty in tragedy, though she certainly does not argue that there is a rhyme or reason as to who gets saddled with grief in this universe. Grief is not a lesson to learn, forced upon those who have sinned.

“We do get a taste of the spheres in birdsong, eclipses, the surf, tangerines. In the dark, we see the stars. In the aftermath of a devastating fire, the sun rose red. To pay close attention to and mostly accept your life, inside and out and around your body, is to be halfway home.”

How do we cultivate this love of the quotidian? Through play, observing the world around you, through helping others, and, of course, through reading:

“Books! To fling myself into a book, to be carried away to another world while being at my most grounded, on my butt or in my bed or favorite chair, is literally how I have survived to be here at all. Someone else is doing the living for me, and all I have to do is let their stories, humor, knowledge, and images – some of which I’ll never forget – flow through me, even as I forget to turn off the car when I arrive at my destination.”

As always, Lamott also has some brilliant things to say about writing:

“Write because you have to, because the process brings great satisfaction. Write because you have a story to tell, not because you think publishing will make you the person you always wanted to be. There is approximately zero chance of that happening.”

“We have to cultivate the habits of curiosity and paying attention, which are essential to living rich lives and writing. You raise your eyes out of the pit, which is so miserable and stifling to be in and which tried to grab you and keep you there, until something sneaky hauled you out and changed you.”

Lamott won’t give you easy answers about life in this book, but she will give you a lot to chew on. She challenges you to be reflexive, to examine what’s holding you back in life and what you need to move forward – that these things are not a one size fits all sort of solution. We need to dig deep and find that with which we struggle: confront it and learn to live with it the best we can.

Above all else, she asks her reader to sit with the world: watch it, learn from it, listen to it, breathe it in. For “God is often in solitude and quiet, through the still, small voice – in the breeze, not the thunder.”

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I loved this book. I love nearly everything Lamott writes ( Bird by Bird is one of my all-time favorite books!). Thank you to Edelweiss, Anne Lamott, and Riverhead Books/Penguin Random House for an advanced reader copy of Almost Everything.


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ALMOST EVERYTHING Screen Shot 2018-10-08 at 11.52.02 PM

 

And let me add this NUMBER 1 Best Selling book by Anne Lamott. This is every author all time favorite handbook. It’s been described by many as a book with advice on writing and on life in general!

 

BIRD BY BIRD

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“Meet me at the door naked.”

 

I have the power to chooseI choose LOVE

I’m not the first person to be told I’m dying, or to get my affairs in order, or at most I have six months to live. But there’s something about my story that is resonating with readers. And one person tells another, and another, and buys a book for a friend or a family member. And that’s how it starts.

Birthing this book has been super emotional. How do I write a story that isn’t too personal or what should be kept private? What’s the difference between telling the truth, and telling my truthHow can I be true to myself and the reader without divulging potentially dangerous confidences?

So I waited to write this story. But I realized the time might never be right. I mean, if I waited to be sure that my healing “took” then I’d have to wait until…I never died? I know that’s just too weird. How do you measure a successful healing? When do you determine a safe time to say: I’ve been healed long enough to make the claim that I’m healed and therefore I can/will/should write my story now?

I started this blog, or rambling journal entry, because I think I know why so many can relate to my story. I’m so open, so raw. You can ask me anything and I will answer. I put it all out there, and suggest that you pick out the parts that you think will help you on your journey,  and throw away the rest.

Most of all I remind you that it’s all about LOVE. I have the power to choose. I choose LOVE.

It makes my heart sing to know that you can relate and that I have helped you or someone you love, in some small way.

What I really want to say is thank you.

 

 

Jan’s TOP TEN Books 2017

“Stories that affected me and lingered long after the last page.”
LOVE The Beat Goes On. Thanks, Jan.

#5

https://www.amazon.com/LOVE-Beat-Goes-Lynda-Filler-ebook/dp/B06XWGGS1L/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

Writing and Music

JAN'S TOP TENBOOK LIST20171 (1)#1

For_You_To_See_The_Stars   PURCHASE LINK

Hands down, this book easily takes the #1 spot this year. This is Foster’s first print publication. It is classic storytelling at its best. Foster writes with an uncommon depth of emotion, humor, empathy, and clarity.  Adding another dimension to this collection of short stories, Foster, a seasoned songwriter/musician, recorded a music CD which accompanies the book. Together, they make an unforgettable read/listen!

#2 

Heart_Of_A_Texas_CowboyMarryTexasOutlaw

PURCHASE LINK Heart of a Texas Cowboy

PURCHASE LINK To Marry a Texas Outlaw

Yes, I know there are two books sitting in this spot, but I couldn’t find a way to separate them. This “Men of Legend” series was amazing from beginning to end, and it just happens that parts two and three were both released this year. “Some Legends are born and some are made” describes this series perfectly about a father, Stoker Legend and three sons, Sam, Houston…

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My 10 All-time favorite books

 

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You know I’m right in the middle of the action in a great plot for novella #5 in my JET Kindle World series, but I can’t resist answering this Quora question. But it’s not going to be what you expect at all. Each book has affected me on an emotional level or given me “ah ha” moments that stayed with me forever.

  1. Outliers: The Story of Success – Kindle edition by Malcolm Gladwell. Politics & Social Sciences Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com. (Ah ha) He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? Brilliant. As a Canadian, the explanation about hockey players and their success stays with me.
  2. LOVE The Beat Goes On – Kindle edition by Lynda Filler. Self-Help Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com. A journey from incurable to healed. “What would you do if the doctors gave you six months to live?” Everything in this memoir has changed my life and is changing the lives of others.
  3. Dreaming the Soul Back Home: Shamanic Dreaming for Healing and Becoming Whole – Kindle edition by Robert Moss. Health, Fitness & Dieting Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com. In 2017 I published the above book—a memoir of a healing journey. In desperation for a cure for an ‘incurable’ diagnosis, I traveled to Sedona Arizona and worked with a Shaman named Akal. He introduced me to Robert Moss. I’ve been analyzing my dreams as a way of healing my soul ever since. This book has a special spot on my shelves.
  4. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life – Kindle edition by Anne Lamott. Reference Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com. (Emotional-for me) An authors’ handbook with all the encouragement and acknowledgment of what it takes to continue on a path that seems impossible at times.
  5. https://www.amazon.com/Lone-Wolf-Novel-Jodi-Picoult-ebook/dp/B005JSV0ZW/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr= (totally gut-wrenching reaction to an incredible story) The reviews are very mixed for this book, but there was something in the story of wolves that rocked my world.
  6. You Can Heal Your Life – Kindle edition by Louise L. Hay. Religion & Spirituality Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com. I bought my first copy at a psychic convention in 1985 with my sister. Then I bought the 25th year anniversary copy. I lived with this book for most of my adult life. I’ve since written my own book on healing from incurable LOVE The Beat Goes ON.
  7. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change – Kindle edition by Stephen R. Covey. Self-Help Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com. Yes, you can learn from books that are perennial best-sellers.
  8. Eat Pray Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia: Elizabeth Gilbert: 9780670034710: Amazon.com: Books I remember where I was sitting on the beach in Puerto Vallarta when a 26 year-old-woman who had recently graduated in Marketing told me about this book. The recent graduate had landed a job with a PR firm to work with this relatively unknown writer who’d penned a ‘travel’ book. A few months later I began a journey, a drive from PV, Mexico to Canada, that would change my life forever. On that trip, I stopped in a bookstore in a mall in Arizona and saw stacks of Eat Pray Love and bought it. Yes, LIz Gilbert affected so many women including myself with this amazing ‘travel’ memoir.
  9. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Series) – Kindle edition by Stieg Larsson. Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com. It was so incredibly different than anything I’d ever read.
  10. The Kill Artist (Gabriel Allon Series Book 1) – Kindle edition by Daniel Silva. Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com. I have several authors I read in the thriller/suspense/spy genre. I don’t care what any critics have to say. I don’t bother with reviews. These authors are my constant companions. And Daniel Silva is #1. I LOVE Gabriel Allon. How could you not fall in love with an Israel spy who’s also an art restorer and lives in Venice, restores works for the Vatican, and chases bad guys?

So there you have it.

I’d love to add my own books to the mix but if you’re interested you can check out what I’ve written. I published 3 this year and should be working right this minute on a 4th to add to my JET series.

Happy Holidays!

And don’t forget to check out my books on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Lynda-Filler/e/B00JNP2CS6

 

 

 

You say what???

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Years ago I lived in a ski-resort called Whistler, B. C. I worked in a high-powered sales environment with a lot of very successful people. When you are at the top of your field there will always be jealous and nasty people putting you down behind your back.

One month we had a sales contest and the winner received some awards and … a trinket a friend of mine brought back from Hawaii—I think it was a hula dancing doll dashboard ornament. I won the contest. But it wasn’t the dancing doll I wanted. It was a bumper sticker with a pink Barbie doll on one side and this expression in pink glitter across the sticker:

“You say Bitch like it’s a bad thing!”

Call me a bitch anytime. That means I’m on your radar and I will whip your butt any day of the week!!

And by they way, if you ignore those guys that call you a bitch, it will make them crazy and they will come chasing after you!

Remember being called a “bitch” is only an insult if you let it be one!!

I found you this fun Face Book page to follow:  Say I’m a Bitch like it’s a Bad Thing

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Buy my poetry and you will see how ‘bitchy’ edgy and punchy I can be! Enjoy!

I love you. I hate you.

 

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Elle MacPherson, Instagram  aka: The Body      ellemacphersonbody

I was asked a question on Quora tonight. “As a model, did your body image worsen or improve when you began modeling? Why?

At first I hesitated to answer. And then, I thought back to the conversation I have on a daily basis with myself. I come from a generation of women who grew up with role models who had perfect bodies. Supermodels were tall, slim, sexy stunning faces, perfect bone structure, and wore their clothes like they were custom designed for them. And of course they went on to marry the super wealthy, influential, high-profile perfect alpha males. The only challenge was, the average woman was created with “imperfections.”

I also came from the generation of women who were told we could have “it all”–the perfect marriage, career and family. Yet we constantly compared ourselves to the cover girls of our era. The pursuit of perfection became our goal in all aspects of our lives.

So this is what I answered. And it immediately set off a series of “upvotes” on Quora and surprisingly to me, from young women.

I attempted to model in my 20’s. I was attractive for sure, but never skinny or tall. I think the experience might have contributed to my relentless pursuit of the perfect body weight—which I can say with certainty, I’ve never achieved. In other words, I never thought I was pretty enough, slim enough, and always quietly obsessed about what I believed were my body faults.

It saddens me when I see young women who are gorgeous and still think they aren’t enough. All that leads to a constant obsession with perfection. Guys don’t have this problem. It’s quite acceptable to be imperfect if you’re a man.

I moved on from modeling after a short period of time. I did do shows and fashion showroom modeling but I knew it would never be a career for me. I went on to start retail stores, then became a fashion buyer and eventually manufactured clothing. The industry allowed me to live my passion-for-fashion quite successfully.

I never lost that stupid obsession with body image. Even now. I routinely announce: I love you. I hate you. And I’m way beyond the age when I should care. But I still do.

 

I’m not that kind of girl…

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“Powerful and unforgettable” JackMagnus, 5 Star Readers’ Favorite

This is a book every human alive should read and take away the lessons given. If I could give it ten stars, I would. It’s that good.”J. Sikes
excerpt from LOVE The Beat Goes On:

 

7

Event One: My Cowboy

I’ll always remember his faded tan cowboy boots — scuffed, old, comfy — and the sky blue denim shirt stretched taut across powerful broad shoulders — my cowboy, as I refer to him. And I’ll definitely never forget that lustful smile on his lips when I answered his knock on my hotel room door.

I was naked… sort of.

I’m not usually that kind of girl… except the times when I am. And that was one of those times. I stood just inside the door to a room with a luxurious king-sized bed, surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass, on the twenty-eighth floor of the Sheraton Wall Center, and was wrapped in a gauzy pink beach wrap. A girl has to meet a dare, right?

“So even though you’re cheating with that pink sheer wrap, I’m impressed.” Standing six feet and a few inches, Dr. Evil flashed that silly, young, boyish smile and kissed me softly on my lips.

I brushed stray strands of the softest, dusty-brown hair out of his sexy, grey eyes and laughed, proud of my sophisticated nakedness and ready for wherever the evening would take us.

It may be difficult for you to align your thoughts that a spiritual woman and a “meet me at the door naked” first-date type of girl can exist within one person. But that’s who I am. By now, you may have deduced that there is nothing traditional about me. I don’t believe in picket fences, and for some reason, have always been allergic to wedding bands. It’s not that I don’t want to be married. Not at all. I love the idea. I just can’t seem to figure out how to make the happily-ever-after part of it work.

But then, as I write these words, one of the secrets of my healing stares right back at me — How could you love another, Lynda, when you’ve never really felt you, yourself, was worthy of love?

Definitely a bad affirmation, but at that time in my life, I still had a lot of self-love issues that needed my attention.

It was December 21, 2007, just four days before Christmas, and in front of me stood my dream man. I had visualized him in my mind and had written down my wish list of attributes — age appropriate, successful nerd (he even looks like Bill Gates), living in Seattle (only because that’s the home of Starbucks & Amazon), handsome, fun, and single.

His seventeen-year-old daughter and her girlfriends were the ones who’d prepared his online profile — without a photo — on the dating site where I’d stumbled across him. Yes, he’d known about it, sanctioned it even, but they’d had to do the work. They’d tirelessly sifted through numerous responding women, and I was one of their top choices.

After many hours getting to know each other on Skype and Yahoo, as much as two people can know each other who’ve never actually met, there he and I finally were, meeting in person.

As I previously mentioned, our online-relationship began while I was still living in Mexico and I was supposed to stop in Seattle so we could finally meet in person. But I’d gotten lost and stood him up. However, I was forgiven and have been ridiculously infatuated ever since I looked into his mischievous, gentle, grey eyes.

There was also sadness within those eyes. Throughout our first evening, I learned about the woman he’d loved, who had died a few years before from Multiple Sclerosis. With all my man’s scientific brilliance, he cursed himself because he hadn’t been able to find the answers to save her.

As our night unfolded, and well into the next day, we shared our pain and our hopes, and continued to build a strong bond. I knew from the first time we chatted online we had something special. And now that we were physically together, I only wanted to hold him and take away his pain.

This would turn out to be a major event in my life. Our time together was magical.

But life has a way…

 

 

© LOVE The Beat Goes On

 

 

What is the one skill that, if you have it, will completely change your life? Q

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I’ll share with you something that took me the first 50 years of my life to learn: “I love and approve of myself exactly the way I am, and I’m willing to change.”

It’s been on my daily calendar since forever. It allows me to accept the things I cannot change about myself—hey, I’m getting older, it’s inevitable. And I know that I’m worthy of love no matter what life tries to tell me.

If you can work on acceptance of what you see as your ‘faults’ physical or mental, you will have a happier life. And that doesn’t mean that we don’t grow and gain knowledge and wisdom, it means that we no longer have to depend on someone outside our self for our own self-worth.

There is no lesson you will learn that is more important than looking in the mirror and saying “I love you. I am enough.”