Last year was a busy year for Dolly Parton. She compiled a coffee table book called Songteller, My Life in Lyrics, recorded a new CD of Christmas songs titled A Holly Dolly Christmas, created a musical special of the same name for CBS, and filmed a holiday movie for Netflix titled Christmas on the Square. There was a media blitz to promote these offerings. Dolly was interviewed on dozens of talk shows and podcasts. She was everywhere! Everywhere that is, except my local Barnes & Noble Bookseller and the Amazon.com warehouse.

My partner is a singer and songwriter, and to say he is a huge Dolly Parton fan would be an understatement. He was in heaven when the airwaves were saturated with Dolly over the holidays. I was planning to put a copy of Songteller under the Christmas tree for him way before Oprah mentioned that it would make a great holiday gift during her conversation with Dolly on Apple TV +. The look he gave me when she said it was confirmation, so I forbid him to purchase it when it came out.

The book was released the week before Thanksgiving. Shortly thereafter, I searched for it on Amazon, saw that it was on sale for $30, put it in my cart, and decided to purchase it later. Big mistake! When I went back a week later, I discovered the book was out of stock. I checked every day for the next few days, but nothing changed except the price of the book from private sellers. The law of supply and demand was in full effect and the price kept going up and up. Needless to say, I was kicking myself for not clicking “purchase now” the week before. 

I remembered there was a Barnes & Noble not far from our house, so I decided to drop by to see if they had any copies. The nice woman behind the information desk confirmed the book was a hot item this year and was flying off the shelves. With a few taps on her keyboard, she discovered there was one copy in the store, but it was at the checkout counter being held for another customer. I’ll admit the thought crossed my mind to ask if she’d be willing to sell that copy to me instead, but my conscience helped me keep that thought to myself. While I was having my mini moral crisis, she continued searching the inventory of other local stores with no luck. That’s when she offered to special order a copy for me. She said when the book arrives someone will call me. Problem solved, right? Wrong.

The very next day I received a call from someone at Barnes & Noble informing me that my order had been canceled. Apparently, the warehouse received way more orders than they could fulfill so they simply canceled all of them. I was back to square one. Checking on Amazon and calling Barnes & Noble became a daily ritual. I tried a few other stores that sell books to no avail. I even thought about asking my sisters to look in their area but decided that was too much to ask during the holidays. One day about two weeks before Christmas, I asked the person who answered the phone at Barnes & Noble to tell me honestly if he thought there was any chance the book would arrive before December 25. I am grateful he told the truth and said no, try again after the New Year.

By this point, I had invested a lot of time and energy into getting this book before Christmas. I allowed my ego to tell me that I was not a very good partner if I couldn’t make it happen. Beating myself up for not purchasing the book when I had the chance certainly wasn’t helpful. Purchasing the book from a private seller for a lot more money and praying it would arrive on time did not feel peaceful either. That left only one option…surrender. I let myself off the hook and stopped calling the store and checking online. Instead, I printed a copy of the book cover with a funny little note saying that Dolly was so busy with her other projects that she didn’t print enough books. I taped it to a piece of cardboard, wrapped it up in a big box, and put it under the tree. My partner was very surprised when he opened the box on Christmas Day. It was so light he did not expect it to be the book. He laughed when he read the note and assured me that he didn’t mind waiting until Dolly printed more books. 

There are a few miracles in this story. The first miracle happened when I shifted from fear to love and surrendered the false belief that it was not okay for the book to arrive after December 25. Peace returned once I let that go. But Dolly wasn’t done working miracles yet. Ten days into the New Year, I called Barnes & Noble to inquire about the book’s availability. I had to smile when the customer service representative told me they had one copy, but it was on hold for another customer. No, I didn’t ask for that one, but I did ask her to order a copy for me now that the demand was less. The second miracle happened when I got a call from Barnes & Noble nine days later. My book had arrived. (And yes, it was being held behind the counter for me.) Why was that a miracle? That day, January 19, just happened to be Dolly Parton’s 75th birthday, so I was able to surprise my partner with a special gift from Dolly on her birthday. Looking back, I see that it could not have unfolded more perfectly!

Are things unfolding for you in a way that feels peaceful? If not, could you use some assistance with that scary word “surrender?” I would be honored to help you experience more peace with a series of Life Coaching sessions or a private Family Constellations session. Both can help you see things from a different perspective and release false beliefs that keep you stuck. For more information and to schedule a session, please look around my website or send me an email.

Until next time, I invite you to examine your beliefs and release the ones that take away your peace. 

I could see peace instead of this. 

Lesson 34 from A Course in Miracles

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