When it comes to books, are you a listener or a reader? Or both?
I remember when I received one of my favorite books as a holiday gift, The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron. Despite my good intentions and enthusiasm for the topic, I just couldn’t bring myself to sit down and read it, cover to cover, even though the promise of its contents captivated me. I managed to get ahold of the audiobook on cassette tape-back in the day. Hearing author, Julia Cameron’s voice brought the book to life and transformed the manual into a vivid, visceral experience. I listened to the entire program a few times before delving back into the paperback for reinforcement.
That love affair launched many years of audiobook-listening to follow, including a subscription to Audible. It’s still my preferred way to take books in—particularly non-fiction. I love to listen and learn—on a hike, cleaning the kitchen or in the car.
When my first book, IS: Your Authentic Spirituality Unleashed, was published (Hay House 2013), I yearned to create an audiobook for those who, like me, prefer to listen rather than read. So, I’m delighted to announce the audiobook of IS, available on Amazon Nov 2nd. Hey, life is busy and we’re on the go. Why not do your “reading” through ear buds in the sky on your next plane flight? That’s how we roll, right?
Creating an audiobook was not just an artistic undertaking, it was an adventure full of spiritual lessons. Here’s a look at how my experience relates to some of the principles you’ll find in IS:
There’s a certain balance that happens between hauling ass to reach your goal and letting go. In IS, this process is referred to as Intention/Surrender. Creating an audiobook began with an unshakable intention to make IS available in my favored format. And certainly, surrender was a necessity: surrender to divine timing, surrender to assistance, surrender to faith. When things got really tough, I had to give it up to Infinite Source, trusting that somehow, this audiobook would be birthed. Because IS honors authenticity above all, I wanted to narrate my own book, even though hiring a pro is a much easier road. I planned to record from home for convenience and economy. Little did I know what I was signing up for! After purchasing equipment on Amazon.com (some right, some wrong) and setting up the recommended software (Audacity), it turned out that intermittent street noise was audible, despite the padding of foam squares, blankets, yoga mats and towels that covered the walls and floor of my home office.
For my next attempt, I was advised to create a box to record from, using a huge storage container, spray glue and a foam mattress pad cut to fit inside, within which the microphone would sit. With the help of my family, we followed the YouTube video instructions and built the soundproof box. Then, I moved the project into my bathroom closet where I would be further insulated from noise. Still not meeting the requirements for sound quality, I was forced to turn off the A/C in the dead of summer. Needless to say, it was hard to sustain the awkward discomfort in the cluttered, hot closet for long stretches. Perseverance was put to the test. Surrounded by clothes and shoes, foam on the walls, a padded floor and the remains of the cut up mattress pad hanging from a shower rod, I was ready to go. I put my headphones on, put my head in the box and hit record on my laptop. Doh- how do I read a printed paper script from a 3-ring binder within the box? Hadn’t thought of that. Things were getting comical.
Even as I struggled, clearly not yet In Sync, I kept the faith, remembering my mantra, IS in Charge. Reliably, there was meaning in the mystery, as much was learned during those early attempts to do it myself. Once I got out of the closet and into a neighborhood studio, engineered by a friend of a friend who is mentioned in the book (how’s that for In Sync?), things were on track and in the flow. We never really have to go it alone, because we have the support of Infinite Source behind us– not to mention the many people that support us in myriad ways. It’s beautiful to see folks doing what they do best, each with an invaluable role to play. Those of us who choose work that aligns with our passion benefit us all by being In Service through giving our gifts gladly. I’m so grateful to any and all who helped at various points on the audiobook journey. A sparkling shout out goes to Tina Dietz, an indispensable beacon of inspiration, throughout and still. Big thanks also to Jermaine Hamilton, who sat by me with good humor and great skill in the studio.
Asking for help isn’t always easy. It takes humility. But even as we partner with universal forces unseen, things tend to go better when there’s a team. We’re InSeparable, after all. For those of you who read, listen to and review IS, I extend my deepest gratitude. I hope the love that went into its spoken expression finds its way from your ears to your heart. As for myself, I add the realization of this audiobook to my gratitude list and consider it a miracle, manifested.