The goose bumps on my legs sprouted hair as I absorbed Elizabeth Gilbert’s speech at the inaugural 2013 Emerging Women conference in Boulder. Through a serendipitous series of saying YES! to my Soul I had scored press passes with a VIP tag; front row center.
Had I not been in that audience I might have been seething with defensive envy and shaking my fists at the Universe in the unfairness of my dream being hijacked right now.
In 2013 I did a life experiment following my divorce. My marriage had been one of conflict between what my Soul wanted me to do and what my spouse wanted me to do. After the divorce I realized that my Soul could do anything she wanted now.
“What if I said YES! to everything my Soul told me to do?” I asked myself. I decided this was a radical and worthy experiment. I would say YES! to everything my Soul told me to do from January to December of 2013. I kept a personal diary during the experiment and published it last November. It is the bravest and scariest thing I’ve ever published.
During my Year of YES! I found myself at the feet of Elizabeth Gilbert as she enlightened the crowd about how ideas are made manifest. She shared her experience of trying to come up with a novel idea after her raging literary success Eat, Pray, Love. She began a book about a highway being built in the Amazon forest of Brazil, with a middle-aged protagonist who was in love with her boss. She put that novel on hold for a year as she arranged for her boyfriend to get a visa.
When she returned to the novel she found that it had died. The juice was no longer there. The creative genies had moved on.
Months later her friend Anne Patchett shared that she was working on a book; it was about the Amazon in Brazil, with a single female protagonist, an unrequited love story.
Ideas are floating around in the collective consciousness wanting to be made manifest and brought into physical being, Gilbert said. Ideas are floating around looking for a person who is willing to commit to the project. When one lands on you, you either manifest it or it leaves to find another mother.
Anne Patchett did not steal my idea, the idea was dead to me, but she picked it up and made that book her own, Gilbert said.
I was so enamored and fascinated by this concept that I went home and wrote about it in my book, The Year of YES!
I have spiritual manifestation practices, ways of using energy to get what you want. I put a Super Soul Sunday logo and an image of me and Oprah having a conversation on her stage on my Dream Board.
A few weeks ago I sat with O Magazine in my hands reading exactly the article I had visualized for myself about a book, Year of Yes. Only the interview was with Shonda Rhimes, the biggest name in television as the creator of Grey’s Anatomy among others, who only days ago published her own book; same title, similar themes. And on Super Soul Sunday being interviewed by Oprah.
Shonda Rhimes is literally and literarily living my dream.
Did she hijack your energy for her own vision? my friend Alexis wondered.
I posted that question in several Facebook forums to get some input.
Most people were upset and defensive on my behalf.
Others felt that I should sue her for plagiarism.
An annoying proportion of people got all life coachy on me, based on the assumption that I was not taking this well.
My own prevailing emotion was curiosity. My thinking was that I should capitalize on all this free press that is drawing eyes to my book. I set out to do a publicity push. For the last few years I’ve been building coaching programs to teach others how to say YES! to their own Soul’s purpose. I finally applied for the trademark. I wrote another book, Soul vs. Ego Smackdown, how to say YES! to your Soul and put your Ego to work.
What’s obvious to me is that this idea … the idea of saying YES! to your Inner Voice … is a message that is demanding to be heard.