Saturday, May 08, 2010

Next Top Spiritual Author Contest - Winning Round One

It is Saturday, or in Hebrew, Shabbat.

Shabbat comes from the Hebrew root letters: Shin-Bet-Taf. These letters share the same root of the verb "to sit". Shabbat is a time to contemplate the week passed.

Today I am sitting to contemplate the last several weeks completed of Round One of the Next Top Spiritual Authors Contest.

Approximately 3000 authors entered the contest... 250 would be chosen to go on to Round Two. The ultimate winner of this contest, sponsored by Hampton Roads Publishing, will receive a publishing contract. The voting deadline closed on May 3, with the announcement of the 250 winners to be made by Thursday, May 6.

A few days can seem like an eternity.

My task was to stay on purpose, inside and to keep a steady pace moving forward. Regardless of the results, I made a commitment to complete Miriam's Secret by the end of this year. If I didn't win this round, would I be courageous enough to follow through? If I did win, would I be willing to meet my fears and move forward?

The contests' creators' sent an email promotion of their own projects the day following the voting deadline. Some of the authors were outraged and complained bitterly. The contest creator sent an email in response.

The path to one's goal is filled with detours.

I enjoyed many inner detours on the path of my own response:

1) Reserving my own judgment on both sides of the issue in favor of deepening my sense of equinimity.

2) My willingness to notice my judgements as they arose. I filled out Judge Your Neighbor worksheets of The Work by Byron Katie, to set my thinking free.

I appreciated the angered emails, reflecting that competitive voice inside – "no" – "won't move ahead"... it's a small fine line... in this place one gets to be righteous and indignant.

3) Appreciation of how the contest creator addressed criticism head on AND stood up for himself transparently, e.g. "you'll find in the… (xyz places) written that we will send announcements... etc..."

I knew this when I signed on. I chose to sign on to use this platform as a support to get my OWN VOICE out there. What I appreciate seeing modeled is how people DO PLAY BIG.

Stretching beyond the comfort zone.

If you spend all your energy trying to dart the bullets, how will you ever move forward?

YUP, people will criticize you when you move ahead. People may even want to attack. Yet if you spend all your energy trying to appease "them", where will you have the energy to appease yourself?

Courage is having the discipline to stand by yourself in times of doubt.

Holistic winning requires several things:

1) Compassion. Criticism may sting. It's not a comfortable place to be.

2) Self Respect. Leaders are those who are willing to tread the unbeaten path.

3) Remaining Open... Especially in the face of a big OUCH; such as when others criticize us for moving ahead. Seeing how the contest creator responded gave me courage to keep my heart open.

I wrote a response thanking them for showing up, and opening the door for me to show up in a much bigger way as well. We all benefit! Taking the time to acknowledge them and me, publicly is a BIG CHANGE, for me. The shift is in the focus, not upon the physical action. I have decided to WIN.

WINNING starts and ends WITHIN.

Here's what I wrote the morning following the cutoff for Round One voting:

My experience inside of me is shifting. It is a big payoff.

I guess we are all so used to sitting in our comfortable habits - with the mediocre payoff of getting to be "right" about our beliefs. Staying as much as I can in the NOW moment. In the end, we don't have final control (although it's so nice to believe that we do :-)!

I am in LOVE. And I appreciate YOU.


I credit the win to all of us. I acknowledge my response above as a major contributor.

The next two weeks are for finishing the book proposal and uploading it to the contest site.
Voting for Round Two will begin May 24th.

Every one who votes receives a membership in the online healing and transformational music site, and also goes into a raffle to win a free Transformational Journey Intensive with me in Israel, where I will personally take you to Miriam's Well and Magdalene's Well.

Come visit on my facebook pages:

Miriam's Secret:

My personal page:

Voices of Eden page

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