I know, I probably get over excited about these things, being a relatively new author, especially as rankings change from hour to hour. But, my jaw dropped early this morning when I checked the GVWC’s Canadian Amazon listing. I noted that the top two spots in their (non-vegan) “Brunch” category were both occupied by vegan cookbooks: Vegan Brunch and the Global Vegan Waffle Cookbook. Canadian vegans rock! Thanks for an awesome morning.
On a more serious note, I’d like to apologize to Isa Chandra Moskowitz and her fans about a recent posting that I edited and later removed, referencing perceived competition between my book and Isa’s. This isn’t about the facts themselves, but about the energy behind my posting them and a few of the broader inferences I originally implied. (Edit: As I’ve gotten a few follow-up questions re: “What’s this about?” I’ve added a short explanation at the bottom.)
A former life coaching classmate once reminded me that most actions come from one of two places: love or fear. And at that particular time, I was acting from a place of fear. It included, “Poor little me, I want others to know some of the facts and where I’m coming from,” and “There’s not enough to go around for everyone.” I wasn’t prioritizing the larger good.
All of us will find fear-generated energy directed at us at various times, and one of life’s challenges (at least for me) is to simply observe it, allowing it to dissipate and pass on, without holding onto it and reacting. I believe I’m borrowing a bit from Eckhart Tolle and Wayne Dyer here. In following the more common path of reacting, we may simply feed the negative energies and sources of the fear. We also risk drawing others into it as well. On this last note, I also apologize to Gary Lowenthal, coordinator of The Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale. It may have been better off just to keep a few things to myself and allow them to dissipate.
Coincidentally, as I was drafting this post, I had an opportunity to practice what I’m preaching. Two women from a religious organization knocked on our door, and wanted to spend a minute speaking with me. On some days, I would have uttered a polite “Hello” and “No, thank you” without even hearing much of what they had to say. This was out of fear that they would be trying to proselytize. This was out of fear that if I gave them a few moments, they would then take a few more. Instead, I decided to give them a few moments and simply observe the energy they wished to send my way.
The content of their words and their booklet wasn’t even the key takeaway. In those moments, I realized I had much in common with the two women. They are trying to spread information that they feel is very important, but not everyone will be an audience. In fact, only a small minority may be willing to listen. With most doors they knock on, they’re up against a lot of fear. Nonetheless, they interacted with me in a very kind and gracious manner, before continuing on to the next home. That realization of connectedness made it well worth a moment of acting from love rather than fear.
*Explanation referenced above:
In summer 2008 I began work on The Global Vegan Waffle Cookbook, starting tester recruitment in late October and announcing the idea of the book on WaffleParty.com on November 6. On November 11, a preview of Vegan Brunch appeared on theppk.com, featuring a stack of vegan waffles on the draft cover and promising lots of new vegan waffle recipes. This, alongside several other closely-timed occurrences (which may have been coincidences), resulted in some perceiving my work as competition for an author with an exceptionally large and devoted following—certainly something I never intended. The Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale got tied into this because it started shortly after the Vegan Waffle Party went multi-city, and happened to be actively promoted by Isa.
I became frustrated by some feedback I had received (possibly from instigators), and posted a timeline of events to illustrate that if anyone was being very competitive, I was not that person. My accompanying interpretation implied that others intended to be, which may not have been the case.