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Language of Letting Go Cards
available from hazelden.

28 comments

  1. artemis

    I am trying to get some information on seeing a sample of Melody’s The Language of letting go cards by email, can anyone help me please.

    • Melody

      Yes. Besides Chip posting some cards, we’re also going to make a new (not different — new) version of the audio book, Lighting the Path — for those of you who have patiently been waiting for that for a decade. I’m giong to re-record it.

  2. Melody

    Okay, the cards are up now — I just don’t know where …. will find out soon and type the copy from one or two. the Pictures show the illustrations, but it’s difficult to get the readings in focus. They’re for people who want a reminder thought about the process of letting go and self-care. Hope this helps. I forgot we had the cards out there — thanks for reminding me. Melody (I don’t like pushing my work or commercializing it too much — my job is about service.) Melody

  3. Pat Nicks

    This is not related to your cards (although I think they are terrific) but rather a reference you made in “The Lessons of Love” you said you edited a book on Not Quitting. What is the actual title of this book and is it available. It sounds as though it would be the right medicine for me at this time. Ho Pat

    • Melody

      Hi Pat. Comments here don’t have to be related to the cards — it’s a way for my readers to get in touch with me in a manageable, easy way. Out of the somewhere between 17 and 20 books I’ve written since 1979, only two have gone out of publication: “A Promise of Sanity,” which I co-authored with Carolyn Owners for Tyndale Publishing House, and “A Reason to Live,” also published by Tyndale. “A Reason to Live” was written as a response to the book “Final Exit” released by the Hemlock Society (I believe). “Final Exit” is an instruction manaual on how to kill yourself. I didn’t think of or query any publishers about “A Reason To Live.” The book wasn’t my idea. In this instance, the publisher contacted me, said they were concerned about how popular and easy suicide was becoming, and would I please act in the capacity of editor and writer, and quickly put together a book that didn’t confront Final Exit, but instead gave people options other than suicide when they were feeling suicidal. This offer came about 12 weeks after my son’s death when “leaving” was on my mind. My dilemma was that I don’t believe in suicide as a viable alternative for myself for many reasons, but that didn’t stop me from thinking about death, and wishing I wasn’t here — living life. See, problem is, sometimes strong-willed people can “will” themselves to death, and that’s what I was doing. By the sheer power of will and desire, I was shutting my body down. I had one child on the other side of the river of life; and another one here. I didn’t want to die — I waned desperately to see my son at least one more time. Not that this needs saying, but it was a low point in my life. So when I received that offer to write the book, I agreed — but on one condition: that I be allowed to speak/write honestly instead of saying what I was “supposed to say.” Tynale agreed. The book is written by a variety of people; it’s about 200 actions — simple, easy things people can do — when the desire to “leave” becomes overwhelming. These are all free, doable activities that connect our souls, heart and mind to life, and help us get us back into and stay in the flow of our life, no matter what we’re going through. I wrote about half of the short, easy-to-read “essays,” and a group of writers that Tyndale found wrote the rest. I edited all of them, pulled them togehter, an turned them from disconnected stories into a book. I didn’t do any publicity on the book — I wasn’t doing publicity then. One cheesy takl show that’s no longer on the air contacted me and wanted me to go on national live tv, have people call in who were on the verge of committing suicide, and have me either succeed at talking them out of suicide on the air, or have the person wanting to kill themselves win. I told the show’s producer it was the worst idea I’d ever heard of and refused to participate. Writing the book helped me and some others — it was really the start of learning the idfference beween living “a day at a time” and living fully in each moment as it comes, accepting whatever and however I feel. It’s a practice that doesn’t just help people in grief or people suffering from depression — it’s an all around good way to live (being in each moment). Back to the issue of suicide. It isn’t a popular topic. Some people are embarrassed or ashamed to admit that’s how they feel (suicidal). To “wish we were dead” or “wish we weren’t here” is taboo emotion to express. It scares people, makes them uncomfortable. Good therapists know they should get a contract with suicidal people where that person agrees not to hurt themselves if they want that therapist to work with them. Some people threaten suicide as a way to manipulate, control, or hurt other people. Some people mean it (but usually they’re not the ones takling about it). Other people takl about it because that’s how they really feel — suicidal. Some people have a code (like mine) that says: even if I feel like it, I won’t do it. (The truth is, just in case reincarnation is real, I don’t want to take a chance on having to come back and go through everything I’ve been through atain; I’d rather “get it right this time.” Plus experiencing it once has been bad enough; I can’t bear the thought of going through the experiences of this lifetime twice.) Feeling suicidal is a big ordeal in the feelings world, so many people who feel that way don’e express it. I can’t prove it, but I suspect that almost everyone has felt that way from time to time. This book is for people feeling that way — both those who would’t ever actually kill themseves, but are wishing they were dead — and it’s for people seriously considering ending their own lives. It’s not a “don’t do that” book — it’s a book about options: things we can do instead of killing ouselves when killing ourselves is what we’d rather do. It’s about small steps we can take to reconnect with life. I wish I knew then what I know now — that most people feel that way at times. I also have a larger grasp on ways we can connect with Life and get back in the flow. I would have written that book a little differently — but hey, it is what it is. And I was so raw — so connected to that feeling then — that I think my state of mind helped me have enormous compassion and understanding for people feeling that way. But — the book is out of print. However, if you search Amazon using the title “A Reason to Live” by author Melody Beattie, it should offer options for used copies of that books. You could probably find a used one for anywhere from a quarter to a dollar. Search it out, and let me know what you find, or if you need some help. Plus you’ve given me an idea. Maybe I’ll redo that book, make it more up-to-date, then put it on one of my websites and let people download it for free. The problem is, there are other writers involved, and I don’t know how to contact them (or if Tyndale does) — but maybe I can do a remake of it, using essays written by me. Or maybe I could put it on the grief site, and invite readers to send in or write essays for the books — make it a collaborative venture. It’s food for thought. It would be interesting to write the book collaborating with others who have “been there” and see the results. I wrote that book before 911 and all the other tragedies that have occurred since then — before we learned as a group how vulnerable we all our, and that happiness and good times aren’t necessarily guaranteed. Sorry to overwhelm you with so much information, but it’s a subject close to my heart, and a subject that most people don’t want to talk about. Now, finally, to answer your question: try Amazon, for used and out of print books. You should be able to scrounge up a copy for little or almost nothing. I didn’t write the book to write a bestseller; I wrote it because I could relate at the time, and I wanted to talk to other people who felt the way I did. I admire your bravery and courage for asking about it and wanting to do differently (if you’re asking about the book for yourself). If you’re looking for it for someone else, you’re a good friend or relative. Being courageous doesn’t mean we’re not afraid. It means we’re scared, but we take positive steps anyway, and that’s what I see you doing. And if it’s for someone else, it takes a good friend or relative to admit that’s what’s going on with someone we love instead of reverting to denial. Please stay in touch and let me know how it’s going. But before I end this very long, long comment, let me add on more thing. Beyond suicidal ideation (thinking and contemplating suicide), many people — as part of grieving — have lost faith not in God, but in Life. They don’t trust the process or the flow anymore. Some people wish they were dead because feeling like that is a stage of grief, one of two or three mor stages I’d add to Elizabeth Kubler Ross’s five stages of grief: denial, anger, negotiation, depression, acceptance. Either as part of those, or in addition to them, I believe that: guilt, a desire to be dead, and obsession all go hand-in-hand with grief. Whether they’re stages by themselves, or parts of other stages — I do know that they’re a symptom of grief. (Just because they’re a symptom though doesn’t mean they aren’t real.) Suicidal ideation can also be a side-effect of certain medications. I wanted to put those ideas out there for you to think about. Although I can’t — and am not — acting in the capacity of therapist and I’m not giving medical advice, I did want to pass on — as a friend — some different ideas to think about. Good luck in finding a used copy of that book. I don’t have any copies left, but I’m also going to go to Amazon.com and try to find one and post the book for free downloading on one of my sites. Just look up “A Reason to Live” by Melody Beattie, publisher Tyndale, year or date of publication: either 1991 or 1992. Again, please stay in touch. It might make an interesting group activity for the grief site. many different people can write essays about what helped them (specific and tangible things people can do to feel better when they’d prefer to be dead). It might make an interesting book. More than one person has said it helped prevent them from committing suicide. Getting through the urge to kill ourselves is step one -= but reconnecting with the flow of Life and our place in it is just as important — and that step comes next. THIS NEXT PART IS FOR ANYONE AND EVERYONE WHO READS THIS COMMENT: Frequently I’m asked for the rules — the rules for not being codependent, the rules for a healthy relationship, the rules for dealing with feelings. They often get frustrated with me because I don’t ascribe to giving “rules.” I believe in empowering people to discover what’s best for them, instead of doing their thinking, myself. The only two rules I’ve ever had are: DON’T HURT ANYONE ELSE (PHYSICALLY) AND DON’T HURT YOURSELF. Under the category of not hurting yoruself comes not allowing oher to hurt you, an not killing yourself. With that, I’ll stop. I’ll know from comments I receive if you want to hear more about this subject or if I’ve alreay said too much. Best, Melody Beattie

  4. Melissa

    Do you have any workshops, events or public appearances this year? I have your books, daily mediations and just ordered your mediation cards for Christmas gifts. I would love to attend one!

    • Melody

      Hi. Unfortunately, I don’t do workshops, etc. I put the best of what I have in my books. However, I just did another one-hour radio show where I tried to cram in a lot of “how-to.” I’ll be posting that soon. There’s also another recovery “talk” on my main web site. I may do some webinars in the future, but I’m not an expert and I’m not a guru — I’m just one more human being trying to make my way through thie lifetime. What I am is a writer, and I put the best of what I’ve learned and discovered in my books, screenplays, and websites — and connect with my readers through my websites, which gives me (and hopefully them) pleasure (plus we don’t have to leave our houses). Best, Melody Beattie

  5. Susan

    Dear Melody – Thanks so very much regarding your comments about suicide / suicidal ideation and your book “A reason to Live”. When that book came out, i was a dual diagnosis clinician at a hospital in NY. When we discussed your book – I actually brought it into group with me and read it to patient’s (the preface you wrote was beautiful) and spoke to (I think) the importance of ego strength and how very difficult early recovery is when feelings (the real tough ones like vulnerability, abandonment, hurt, shame and guilt) show up. I would read the preface you wrote and then we would discuss coping skills based on my patient’s definition of their feelings / emotions which triggered their addictions. I wish you would update “A Reason To Live” – even as a pdf that you do independently. It was so great – there aren’t enough books out there and yours was excellent. The thing I’ve found (since 9.11 and DC sniper shootings we had in Washington DC – where I am presently) is that sometimes the “end game” of trying to deal with the intense feelings that lead to suicidal ideation or addictions isn’t so much about “closure” (i.e. – figuring how to deal with them and then go on) as it is learning how to navigate the feelings and emotions we have in a way that matches their intensity. I think it’s sometimes better to sit with them in a mindful way so that we can understand them instead of rushing and figuring out how to deal and then leave them behind us. – I use the metaphor of cooking when discussing this with patients – that there’s a few ways to have stew: A) you can get the can of dinty moore beef stew – put it in a pan, turn it on high and have stew in about 5 minutes or B) you can buy the carrots, celery, potatoes, stew beef, gravy, seasoning and put it all in a crock pot where you can slow cook it for 8 or 10 hours. End result either way is stew – but I’ll take “plan B” every time – because (when I’ve done the navigating of the events in my life that I’ve had) I’ve usually been the recipient of a much stronger lesson having navigated the mucky ruts. The other great lesson I had from “A Reason to Live” is that a counselor is only as good as what you feel comfortable telling them. When you discussed the coping for the feelings you had (I can’t remember the exact sentence but it was something along the lines of “I can’t tell you your way to cope, you can’t tell me mine”) I realized that unless i understand what’s really going on with my patients (i.e.: “what happens when they become angry” or “what happens when they feel abandoned or suicidal?”) then I can’t help them. I learned I had to be with them on their level – not anything I learned in graduate school or maybe I slept through that class. Either way – “A Reason To Live” is an excellent book. If it’s not on Amazon, then maybe Ebay but I would definitely love it if you would republish. Thanks for the great work that you do – As my friend, Rev. Lark says: “be blessed, be a blessing for others” Susan

    • Melody

      Thanks for your extremely kind words, Susan — and I’m glad you were able to use that book. Because there were other contributing writers (the publisher contacted me on that one, and asked me if I’d write half of it, or so, and then edit it — pull it together and I agreed as it was a Reason to Live for me then; they contacted me only a few months after my son’s death) and geez, this is a long sentence — but because of other writers being involved, I don’t know if the rights reverted to me or if I have the right to sell it. I suppose if I did, I could put it on Amazon print on demand for a couple dollars — right now I’m up to my eyeballs in paperwork concerning being embezzled last year, hoping to finish by New Year’s so I can get back to the love of my life — writing, telling people stories that help them make sense out of their lives when their lives don’t make any sense on the surface. Best, Melody

  6. Marianne

    Hello Melody, Many years ago … probably in the late 80′s or early 90′s I bought a set of cassette tapes that included Codependent No More, The Language of Letting Go, and a guided meditation tape. There might have been one other book tape in the set, but I think it was just those three cassettes. I am currently having to deal with some stressful codependent issues in my life and I’ve re-purchased the books for my Kindle. I have been searching for the guided meditation tape, but can’t find it. It worked so well for me all those years ago … helping to clear my mind and fall asleep. I would love to be able to use it again, but I can’t remember the name of it. The only part I can remember is a wonderful male voice who talked the listener through the experience of floating down a river in a boat. It was wonderful and I don’t think I ever made it past the first two scenarios before I was sound asleep. I’m hoping that maybe you or someone will remember the set that was sold together and can tell me the name of the guided meditation tape. Hopefully, it is still available and I can find it online for purchase again … and hopefully, it will help me find some restful sleep again! Thank you, Marianne

    • Melody

      Hi, Marianne. I’m glad you like that set. The tape you’re talking about is actually the audio version of Language of Letting Go. I know, it’s entirely different from the book. (Your request is timely, as well. I’m in the middle of a bru-ha-ha with Hazelden as they’re only paying authors pennies for digital work, when they have almost no overhead. But don’t worry kids — mom and dad still love you — and we’ll work this out.) Meanwhile, I told them in 1991 they couldn’t just read a meditation book on tape. How were you going to ever find November 2? We didn’t have cds back then, at least not very many books on them. Besides for a listening experience, I thought the guided imagery would work better. Thanks for your complimenets. I liked it too — I’m just the messenger, and I enjoy being surprised by my own work. You should be able to purchase the book on cd at any bookstore — I would think…. If I find out any different, I’ll let you know. Best, Melody Beattie. (Easn’t sure how to take that at first — that my writing acts like a sleeping pill — I’m just kidding. It’s a relaxation tape. It’s meant to help you relax and go with the flow.)

  7. Chris

    Hi Melody, Your book “Codependant No More” has helped, and is helping, me tremendously. You are an inspiration to me. I went to rehab this past summer. I was devastated and broken. During my time there I was told by my counselor I had to read your book. I had heard the term “codependent” before, but I never knew what it really meant. To my surprise, I am a raging codependent!!! Your words and suggestions are helping to make my recovery a peaceful one. I am starting to find a peace and joy in recovery that I have never known before. Thank You. I am part of an organization that is in need of speakers. How would I go about asking you if you were willing to speak at a function (this summer)? Chris

    • Melody

      Hi. Congratulations for taking some not-so-easy to take steps. I was really angry about having two problems (especially when “the other person” was acting out). In the end, I learned that my relationship with the other person was a symptom — not the problem. That’s when my recovery began to work. I’m amazed, as I continue to learn more about codependency, addictions, and grief each year — and am encouraging treatment programs to add grief work into their treatment model. It can be the magic touch that works. And you did (contact me about speakg). But I don’t (public speak) anymore; I never really did. I’m a writer — besides my plate being full, since my back surgery in 2005 there’s no place like my home bed. But I wish the program sucess with what they’re offering to people in the field. Best, Melody Beattie

  8. Caryl

    I am trying to locate some audio tapes for my step-daughter that I listened to over 15 years ago. They were meditation tapes I believe by you. I remember walking in a garden of flowers was part of it. What were those tapes and where can I get them. I no longer have my copy and she could really use them right now in her life. I remember they helped me a great deal. Thank you. Caryl

    • Melody

      I’m not certain if my reply got lost or posted — so I’ll say it again quickly: The tape you’re referring to is “Lighting the Path.” I think it’s the best one I’ve ever recorded/made. But it slipped between the cracks when I changed agents and after Shane’s death. I’m going to re-record it an offer it for sale on the site — so keep watching. Thanks, Melody

      • Linda Wildes

        I have been looking for a new copy of this for YEARS! Please make a new one. It was wonderful!! (this is the one that also had a visualization about being on a raft?) Thanks

        • Melody

          No — the one you’re talking about is the Language of Letting Go audio book — and that is an MP3 download and CD (I believe). The one we’re discussing is Lighting the Path, which accompanies Codependent’s Guide to the Twelve Steps but isn’t an adaptation — it’s a completely different “work” and written as a meditation tape to accompany the book. It got lost in the shuffle of changing agents and Shane’s death. The rights have reverted to me. But I need to find a way to get it transcribed and then a studio where I can record it. Melody

  9. Melody

    Here you are, Caryl. I’ve been looking all over my sites for where you posted. That audio book fell between the cracks after my son died and I changed agents. I think it’s the most powerful one I’ve recorded. It’s on my to-do list to re-record it and then sell it off from my MelodyBeattie.info site (not up yet) and it’s called, “Lighting the Path.” So many have asked about it that I decided to produce it myself as I make only pennies when the publisher produces it. Best, Melody (Not that it’s all about the maconey, but c’mon — pennies per cd? Best, Melody

  10. Melody

    For any of you who don’t see your posts or answers, I’m just now receiving copies of some in my personal inbox that are months old. I’m sorry for the delay and the mess-up, as I try to answer question as soon as I can. If you don’t find you answer here, look at or scan the other sites’ forums. Best, Melody

  11. Emma

    Hi, I am trying to track down an audio copy of Lighting the Path, this has proved extremenly difficult. I noticed in a reply you made on here that you were intending to produce a new cd version of it, is this still the case? My partner had it on audio tape and, having lost it, is keen to get hold of it again. We have both looked online, and whilst a tape can be found on amazon.com for a few dollars, being based in the UK I can only find it for considerably more on the UK site. Also, being a cassette, we are increasingly running out of the ability to play such things as I am sure you can appreciate. Thank you for help. Emma

  12. Melody Beattie

    Emma, getting Lightng the Path transcribed, and then recording it in MP3 form, is second on my goal list for 2013. God willing, it shall be done as I believe it’s the most powerful audio I’ve recorded. Best, Melody (I’ve already tasked someone with finding a transcription service to type up the script so I can re-record it in a way that people can access now.) Thanks for reminding me, as it’s something I want to do. It “fell” through the cracks of changing agents, my son’s death, etc — and it’s too bad. It will bring me great joy to revive it.

    • Patty Fannin

      Have you recorded or transferred “Lighting the Path” yet? It is my absolute favorite and my audio cassette broke. I ordered one on Amazon but I am quite sure you don’t get a cut of that. Please if you haven’t done it i hope you will soon. Cd. Mp3. Whatever it takes ! Lol. Patty

  13. Patti M.

    Melody, is there any way to “subscribe” to your Daily Meditations so that they show up in my Inbox each day?

  14. Robert Weeks

    Hi Melody. Thank you so much for your courage to confront and keep on confronting all the obstacles in your path, and for the willingness to share your struggles with everyone. We are all bettered by your efforts and I cannot even begin to express my gratitude for your work and how it has helped me. I have both a spiritual question for you and a practical/tangible one. I love and frequently use your work “More Language of Letting Go”. I have been an adherent of the 12 steps as my spiritual path since 1984. Over the years I have worked and been successful in detaching and letting go. I have made progress. Your two meditation books on that have been a big help. I was brought up short in the second when I read your passage about “two things” you would give, both letting go and gratitude. Gratitude? Oh, crap. Now I pay attention to that. Now I work on that. Now I try to be grateful. I see its truth. I recognize the wisdom and necessity of it. I long for it. And it still very often eludes me, like a ripe fruit dangling just out of my reach. I don’t know how to be grateful when I am disappointed with my life and my failure to realize my hopes and dreams (which include being a writer). I can say that I AM grateful for much in my life. I am VERY fortunate. But my hopes, thus far, elude me and I live with the unhappiness of that. And so I ask for any words of wisdom you might care to offer without expectation that you should have any greater knowledge to give than what is already knocking at my door. My practical question is about the “letting go” books themselves. I have gone through many copies of these. I use them up. The bindings on these books are extremely poor and fall apart very quickly such that the books really don’t lend themsleves to re-use. Is it possible to get a hardcover copy of these? Thanks very much for your time and consideration. Robert

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