Behind the Book with Heidi Connolly
When I was invited to submit a chapter about miracles I’d experienced to Hierophant Publishing for consideration to be included in When Heaven Touches Earth, a compilation book by James Van Praagh, I did a little jig for joy. I’d had so many huge miracles in my life since my husband Randy had transitioned in 2012 that I was having a hard time remembering them all. Embracing all offers to talk about them and write about them would be to share their magnificence with the world. When my chapter was accepted for the book, I was over the moon. That’s the short of it.
The long of it? Not so simple.
Now if you read that chapter, the one called “Life after Death,” you’ll know what really happened.
The invitation came on September 15, 2015 from the publisher’s assistant, who was pleased to inform me that the chapter I’d submitted to be included in their compilation book had been accepted by the editorial review board. The deadline (such an interesting word choice given how much of my time is now spent communicating with the dead) was about six weeks away. Easy!
Clearly, the Universe was inviting me to write this chapter! Clearly, there was plenty of time to write it! Clearly, the Universe would help me because I’d been guided to enter the contest! Clearly, I needed to get a hold of myself. I decided that no matter my level of excitement, I would stay with the “detachment from outcome” philosophy, and trust that if the Universe wanted to partner with me to write a chapter for the book, we would get it done. No pressure!
None at all….
A couple of weeks passed in a relative state of calm. I went about my daily life of writing, editing, playing music, and hosting my Afterlife Meetup, but in the background a little chorus was singing, “Any day now, any day now, there will be relief.” Oh, yeah, that’s “I will be released,” the Bob Dylan song from 1967. Sorry.
Anyway, in the meantime, I’d written a few things, but nothing that felt right. I’d decided to stay away from the topic of my husband’s death and my subsequent processing of grief and healing. (In other words, I was resisting.) After all, I’d written Crossing the Rubiconwith him. It said it all, so why beat the same old drum? With all the miracles in my life, surely one or two would stand out enough to warrant writing about.
But as the days passed, I was at a loss. I felt no divine intervention. No inspiration. No hit-me-over-the-head brilliant thoughts striking the match to light aflame my computer’s hard drive.
Three weeks into the allotted time frame for submission, I was no closer to my 4,000 words than when I’d started.
Four weeks and five weeks into it, I still had nothing worth the virtual paper my few words were written on. By this time, all I could do was keep up what was now my daily mantra: If you (Universe, Spirit Team, God) want me to write this chapter, then you’d better give me something soon because the deadline is coming up and I got nuttin’. If you don’t, and the orchestration is for nothing to happen, well then, okay…. Not that I wouldn’t be happy if it DID happen…. But still…I mean, why set this up if you don’t want me to do it?” And so it went until five weeks and five days had passed.
The chapter was due on Friday morning. It was now Wednesday night. I faithfully repeated my mantra of trust, but at this point it seemed pretty certain that any window of opportunity had closed. To me, it felt more like painted shut.
I went to bed that night with a big sigh. Okay, well, it’s pretty much the end of the road, isn’t it, Universe? We’re really getting to the point of no return…. This was actually a funny thing to say because it’s the subtitle of Crossing the Rubicon: Love Poems Past the Point of No Return, something I failed to see at the time until it came out of my mouth. I fell asleep with a sense that I could feel disappointed, but only if I chose not to trust in the orchestration. I was only partially successful.
The next morning I woke up suddenly to ten words loudly ringing in my ear. “THERE’S LIFE AFTER DEATH. ON BOTH SIDES OF THE VEIL.”
I sprang out of bed. I had just been given the last two sentences of the chapter—the one I hadn’t yet written. I wrote all day. I edited until midnight. The next morning I read everything I’d written again, held my breath, and then shipped it off to Hierophant. It was a while before I heard anything. Then an email arrived in my inbox. “From the many submissions that were received, our editorial committee found yours to have the right style, attitude, and eloquence for this book!”
I have added this miracle into my own personal “book of miracles.” The one that says miracles happen every day, if we can only let go and trust long enough to let them happen.