Friday, April 2, 2010

A Different Kind of Friday Feature: Living In The Moment With Dawn Garabedian-Weber

Happy Holidays, everyone!  Happy Passover, Happy Easter. Today, I'm presenting a very different kind of Friday Feature interview.  As writers, we often must place our hopes and dreams into the hands of others--agents, publishers, crit partners, book reviewers and the like.  We have to let go of the fear of being judged and the worry that maybe we're just not good enough.  The road is long and hard, and this past Wednesday I posted about how I use the support of coworkers to stave off the writing crazies.  Today, as a little holiday bonus, I am taking the Friday Features off of the journey towards publication, and more towards one possible way to handle the ups and downs and to keep the fears at bay.  One way to support ourselves, to have good thought hygiene (thanks, Tina, for coining that phrase), and to remember not to worry about that which we can't control.  

So this Friday Feature is more about one possible way of dealing with our fears and worries that are inherent in the journey toward publication and beyond.  Today, I welcome Dawn to the blog.

Dawn had an idea that she was the one making her life more chaotic, and so she decided to change.  For me, to see her living a conscious change in her life, is amazing.  I have gotten into the groove of believing that people are who they are.  But here is someone who identified what wasn't working for her in her life, and she changed it.  She has made a conscious decision to live her life in the moment, without baggage from her past, or fear for her future.  I think her simple message is one that helps bring some perspective to this crazy journey that we're on.  I met Dawn a year ago, when I invited her to speak at a mother's group.  I loved what she had to say, and when she got back in contact with me to let me know that she had put together her life ideas into a book, I decided to invite her here.

In her own words: Dawn Garabedian-Weber lives in Massachusett with her husband, and their children. At the age of 36, she had an awakening, when she realized her suffering was self-created.This transformational moment was the beginning of her journey to live fully in the now, a journey she continues to this day. 

Dawn--You have an amazing life philosophy. Can you tell us how you arrived there?

At age 35 my life was collapsing around me. My 57 year old mother was dying of ovarian cancer and my family and I were struggling financially. I was in constant turmoil.My mind obsessed compulsively over fears and worries. As I watched my mother dying, I thought of the many lessons, both good and bad, that I had learned from her. I began to ask myself questions.When our final moments come, have we made a difference in the lives of our children and the world? What would I be remembered for? What legacy would I be leaving for my children? What lessons have I taught them? I wondered what fears I was passing to my children, down to the core of their beings. At some level I understood that we all make our own lives and decisions. I had made choices. If life wasn't turning out as I had wanted, then I could choose to change what I didn't like. I realized I was the creator of my own chaos. I understood that if I could create the chaos, I could also stop it. My journey had begun.

What exactly is your new way of looking at life--how does it differ with how you used to live? How do you respond to stress in your life, and how has it changed this new outlook changed your life?

I am still learning to view life from the fresh perspective of the moment. Not with eyes of the past and future. I acknowledge all of my blessings throughout the day. I am in awe at my children, husband, and the world. It is so beautiful. I used to live in constant stress and anxiety. When life was smooth I was sure to create chaos. I didn't know why. Couldn't I just be happy? Now, I take time to center myself in the moment and respond to stressful situations, instead of reacting with the same old routines that went in viscious circles.When you are able to center yourself you see with more clarity exactly what is needed in that situation. It pretty much comes through me, without thoughts of my own. I am much more at peace with what comes my way. I still have my moments, but they are short lived.

Tell us--what was your journey like toward getting your book out?

Getting my book out was amazing. I was fortunate that my editor and designer were so knowledgable in what they do. They really guided me through out the whole process. I am just so excited to spread this message to anyone willing to be open to hear it. I realized we can do anything we set our minds to do. We create the life we want to live.

What else would you like to tell us?

Learning to live in the moment has been the catalyst in my life. I have never experienced such love, peace, and happiness. I was always searching for happiness and have now realized it was always there, in my heart, waiting to be found. My hope is many more will awaken to the bliss of living their life in the moment and finding the true inner peace they deserve.

Dawn--Thanks so much for hanging out with us today.  Many times, when it comes to fear about writing, I do create my own chaos.  I worry about the what ifs, the things that I can't control.  But your philosophy of letting go and living within each moment is something I can wrap my brain around. Everyone, Dawn is new to the blogging world, so please make sure she feels at home, here in our neck of the blogosphere.  And if I explained things well enough to her about the technical aspects of commenting, she will come by today and answer our questions.  So, please be sure to leave this wonderful woman a comment or question.


  1. Beautiful interview to you both. Thanks, Heather as always. This is really interesting.

    Dawn, I would love to see your book. Do you have a link to it? Who published it? And what was that process like?

  2. Dawn, thanks so much for being here today. I really love that you try to wrestle your thoughts into healthful ones. Has it been hard to maintain?

  3. Great interview. Love the message. So easy to forget when we get busy, but I admire Dawn for consciously changing her thoughts.

  4. Great interview, with a very timely topic for me. Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. I need this book.

    I am not a self-help book person. They scare me, but the way you conducted yourself during this interview made me realize that yours might not bite.

    "I understood that if I could create the chaos, I could also stop it." I know this much, I've told Heather many times...I just have no idea how. I second Tina's questions.

  6. Hi everyone, thanks so much for the nice comments and questions. I second Tina's question about how to find the book. (Or third that question, since Jon asked as well!) I had forgotten to ask when I asked Dawn for the interview, (I know, bad blog hostess!) and knew that we could straighten out that information, here in the comment section. Dawn is getting her children off to school, and I'm sure will join us when she's able!

  7. Thanks for this, Dawn and Heather. I am horrible about creating chaos for myself. I am a chronic worrier. If Dawn changed, it gives me hope that I can change too. I also wonder what fears I'm instilling in my kids without even knowing it.

  8. Hi Gang!
    Dawn - your interview made me cry today. I lost my mother to ovarian cancer when I was 6 and my brother was 4. It was my first life lesson and the thing that kind of hangs over me the most from my childhood. I'm still affected really down to the core of my being and I try never to be a 'meanie' or spiteful to anyone; I learnt very early on what loss is and any one of us could be gone tomorrow.

    Thank you for sharing those DEEPLY personal times.

    Never take anything for granted you guys-you never know what's going to happen...take pleasure in each and every moment.
    Most of all LAUGH and HAVE FUN in life ...but always keep your reverence of it, too.
    I'd love to read your book Dawn.

  9. Dena--I have the same worry--what fears am I giving to my kids? Or, all those moments that I overreact, due to stress, am I just teaching my kids to overreact?

    Ann Marie--So sad for your loss. That's something that changes you forever. Thank you for sharing so much here! I second your thoughts. Never take anything for granted. You just never know what life has in store! I'm glad you are in my life, Ann Marie--to give me lots of perspective and LAUGHS!

  10. Dawn- Great interview and great message! I love your philosophies. They actually mirror the ideals of the MC of my YA Evernow. Living in the moment and living fully within that moment is a main theme throughout the book.

    My sister's hubby just lost his mother to ovarian cancer last year. If all goes well, my sis will give birth to what would have been her first grandchild in June.

    I, myself, am a very lazy person as far as stress goes. I don't know why this is, I just am. I can physically react very quickly in a situation, but not much, even blood and gore, can upset me emotionally and mentally. The only thing that causes and maintains stress in me is my desire to get published... and even then what makes me happy is the writing itself, not the 'success'.

    Dawn have you ever ridden horses? That's a great activity for centering yourself because you have to learn to 'let go' of everything beyond the horse beneath you and the communication that's occuring between the two of you.

  11. Thanks for sharing this Heather. Dawn is an inspiration to us all!

  12. Dawn, what a wonderful way to approach life, even in the midst of grieving and loss. Thanks Heather for hosting her.

  13. Dawn Garabedian-WeberApril 2, 2010 at 1:22 PM

    I am so grateful to Heather for having me here.I am deeply touched by all of your wonderful words.To know I am making a difference in the lives of others is so fulfilling to me. I agree so much,that we should never take anything for granted, every moment is so precious. I am just so grateful to be alive and living my purpose.We can all do this. Just believe and never give up! We hold the answers to life deep inside of our hearts.I would love to share my book. My email is: Losing someone you love is one of the most difficult experiences.However, I feel I now can be there more for others who have had the same experiences.To know they are not alone.Love Life and love each other.

  14. Welcome Dawn! Thanks so much for stopping by--I know you have a very busy schedule today! Thank you for giving us this time! So, if people are interested in your book, they should email you?

    I am so happy that you are living your purpose. And glad that you got a chance to connect with everyone here. I got so much out of the talk that you shared with me (such a long time ago!).

    I think that everyone here feels like they are struggling with living their purpose--most of us are writing children's books with an eye toward publication. And it's a very long road. The ability to live within each moment of the journey is something that would make it seem more attainable.

  15. A. Grey--I'm so sorry for your loss--the impending birth of new life must feel a little bittersweet. It's been such a long time since I've been on a horse--I'll have to get back in the saddle. You make it sound irresistible.

    Kris--I agree! An inspiration!

    Laura--It was absolutely my pleasure to host Dawn. She's an amazing individual.

  16. Dawn Garabedian-WeberApril 2, 2010 at 2:02 PM

    Hi Heather, Yes,everyone can email me! I would love to hear from them! I can mail them a copy of the book.

    It was great to connect with all of you. I am glad you enjoyed the talk all that time ago. I loved being there.

    Has anyone tried to self-publish? What are the books about?

    I do realize one thing that I would love to share: Our words create our lives. Use your words to speak blessings over your life. Believe publishing that book is a reality. I use affirmations and they have really made such a difference in my life. I always start with I am- then fill in what you would like to accomplish. I am are the two most powerful words in creation. They are affirming what you are now- not what you would be in the future. There is only ever the moment! You can do and be anything you desire to be.

  17. Dawn Garabedian-WeberApril 2, 2010 at 2:18 PM

    Thank you Tina!

    Heather, Sometimes I fall back to my old self, but it is short lived! I remember I have a choice how I act and react to situations. I think that is the key.

    Thank you Terry Lynn!

    So happy to be sharing, Sarah!

    Jonathan, I think you will love the book.The message is simple yet powerful.

    Dena, You can change, and that belief is what makes it possible!

    Ann Marie,Your mom will always continue to be here in your heart and memories. So sorry for your loss at such a young age.We are all here to love, live, and learn.Thank you for sharing your story.

    A. Grey so sorry to hear of your loss too. May the new life that is coming bring much love and peace to all of you. I have never been on a horse, sounds a bit tricky!

    Thank you Kris!

    Thank you Laura!

  18. Will your book cure fears?

    Haha, I had to ask, this group knows I am full of them and horses happen to be near the top of the list, so that's where this asinine questions comes from.

  19. Dawn Garabedian-WeberApril 3, 2010 at 2:22 PM

    Jonathon, I can't say it will cure fears. What I can say is that fear is an illusion in our mind, unless of course you are in immediate danger. Releasing your fears is part of learning to live in the moment. It is a process of seeing it never did you justice in the first place. It holds you back. We all have things to work on especially fear.Many blessings of love to you.

  20. Great Friday Feature! I like Dawn's philosophy. The NOW is all I can personally handle, and when I'm in it, I realize it's usually a pretty dang good place to be, even when it's hard.

  21. Lori--I like the living in the moment way of life too. Otherwise, I just get a bit overwhelmed! I like how you have the positive attitude about the moment--even when it's hard. That's great!