This year I’m co-creating a book called “Live the Gift” a collection of stories of people who inspire me to live life more fully. They have embraced their gifts and offer them with generosity of spirit. These are the stories of musicians, designers, speakers, comedians, dancers, mathematicians, writers, gardeners, planners, all storytellers and lovers of life’s gifts.

The Laughter of Pomegranates by Rumi

If you buy a pomegranate,buy one whose ripeness
has caused it to be cleft open
with a seed-revealing smile.

Its laughter is a blessing,for through its wide-open mouth
it shows its heart,
like a pearl in the jewel box of spirit.

The red anemone laughs, too,
but through its mouth you glimpse a blackness.

A laughing pomegranate
brings the whole garden to life.
Keeping the company of the holy
makes you one of them
Whether you are stone or marble,
you will become a jewel
when you reach a human being of heart.

Plant the love of the holy ones within your spirit;
don’t give your heart to anything
but the love of those whose hearts are glad.
Don’t go to the neighborhood of despair:
there is hope.
Don’t go in the direction of darkness:
suns exist.

The heart guides you to the neighborhood of the saints;
the body takes you to the prison of water and earth.
Give your heart the food of holy friends;
seek maturity from those who have matured.

Whoever has opened a pomegranate and picked out its seeds will know that every corner and crevice is filled with these beautiful ruby coloured seeds rich in Vitamin C.

If you have a mature pomegranate, one that has nearly cracked open, the seeds fall out by themselves. And if your fruit wasn’t mature? It becomes a forceful and messy process that splatters red juice all over your clothes, walls and floors. Many seeds bleed out and are destroyed in the process and such is the painful experience of working with people whose creativity wasn’t allowed space, support and encouragement to mature. So many break-downs, so little progress! I should know – that was how life was like for me before I started my regular writing and creativity practice to build the life I want.

And the life I want?

I’m a memoir writer who helps others get their stories off their chests and onto the paper. That’s when I’m living my gift.

“Live the Gift” is made up of twelve stories of people, whose gifts are abundant and easily flowing out of them. Their creative gifts have nourished, healed, supported, inspired and shone a light for me on my writer’s journey.

Within the pages of “Live the Gift” you will find profiles of people gifted in picking up the energy around them and transforming it into something tangible, beautiful and positive for others to experience.

Jose Ucar – TedX Speaker, speaking coach and courageous man who overcomes the fears to stand on stage to connect with himself and the people around him.

Melissa Indot – Musician and healer overcoming societal conditioning and intergenerational trauma. Her songs wrap your heart up like a warm blanket and are a cup of hot chocolate for the soul.

Stephen Knox – A fellow writer in residence, whose passion for cars has taken him to many places driving his dream cars.

Bridget Kennedy – Artist, gardener and independent councillor for Lane Cove Council, she inspired me with her International Women’s Day speech two years ago to go for it and create.

Nacho Pop – Neighbour and talented hip hop dancer and choreographer. Definitely Nacho Pop.

Ed Zia – Neighbour and super-connector. He along with his wife is growing an international business.

Peter Morley – His book cover designs and vision brought my books to life.

Tristan Scifo – He’s shown me that money is yet another tool for us to use. We can choose to understand and have a good relationship with it or hoard, control, fear and hate it.

Julie Nelson – Her art, intimate knowledge of essential oils and psychology, as well as the masterful, authentic and creative way she leads her life inspires me to no end.

John Knowles – His gift for seeing the funny in life’s bittersweet moments has helped many speakers light up a room.

Tanya Wasylewski – She’s my writing and creating buddy, who has incredible insight into astrology and psychology and inspires me to look up and inwards when the outer world stops making sense.

Simon Kennedy – A neighbour and a comedian who inspires me to choose happiness no matter what happens in life. He challenged himself and wrote a memoir “9/11 and the Art of Happiness: An Australian Story”.

Nick Wasiliev – A fellow writer who took a chance and self published his first book “When Men Cry” and it opened many doors for him, including a job in the publishing industry.

Bethany Loveday – My dream interpreter and finding her on Clubhouse has literally been a dream come true…

My greatest wish for anyone who reads this book is to become curious about their own dreams and go exploring within. You will find many ideas and some of them may come to fruition and I will be here to hear all about it!

The book will be available in November and you can purchase copies (pay whatever you want, or barter skills like screenwriting, film making, Tik Tok) at the Author Talk Event on Nov. 2nd (my birthday) 6:15Pm at Lane Cove Library.

*November is also the month of jacarandas painting the skies indigo in the Southern Hemisphere and pomegranate harvest season in the Northern Hemisphere.

Over to you…

Please e-mail me, to introduce yourself and let me know if you can join us for the debut of this book. I look forward to meeting you my gifted friend.