Tag Archives: Meditation

STAYING GROUNDED IN SHIFTING SAND: Interview with Dr. Linda J. Ferguson

Dr. Linda J. Ferguson is an author, speaker, coach, and seminar leader to support people leading a joyful and awakened spiritual life. Linda’s website, www.lindajferguson.com , contains videos, meditations, affirmations, and other useful resources for spiritual growth and personal development. Readers find inspiring and informative ideas in Linda’sblogto enrich their spirituality for everyday living- www.lindajferguson.com/blog/.

Dr. Ferguson is author of two books “The Path for Greatness – Work as Spiritual Service” and “Staying Grounded in Shifting Sand- Awakening Soul Consciousness for the New Millennium“. Readers find the exercises at the end of every chapter valuable and practical. They can apply the ideas immediately in their life and see results. Linda has conducted three national book tours, presented at national conferences, and conducted worship services to inspired and appreciative audiences. Linda also leads Shamanic Journeys, spiritual study groups, and retreats for people who want to dive deeper into the insights and ideas offered in her books on spiritual growth and transformation.

Linda has developed a seven step process of Transformational EmpowermentTM, for personal mastery. She developed this powerful process of manifesting and creating positive life changes from her own life experiences, her work with her coaching clients, and her study of mysticism.

She uses the spiritual principles found in her Transformational EmpowermentTM process in her coaching practice so that her clients more effectively move through their important life changes. Her coaching provides a structured and consistent venue so that people can make positive changes in their life easefully and confidently.

Linda has been on radio interviews and has featured articles in Interbeing, a journal of personal and professional mastery. She also writes a weekly blog to support people’s desire to integrate their spiritual life with their professional life- www.managementhelp.org/blogs/spirituality/

Dr. Ferguson earned her Ph.D. from Indiana University (I.U.-Bloomington) in Organizational Behavior with a Masters also from I.U. studying Social Psychology. She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in psychology and management. Linda did her coach training in 2004 from Coach Training Alliance, completed her certification in Team Coaching, and has CCE credits from International Coach Federation (ICF).

In 1994 she traveled abroad for six months to Asia, Australia, Israel, and Europe before moving to Virginia where she currently lives. Her personal spiritual practice includes daily prayer and meditation, Sufi Dances of Universal Peace, Integral Yoga, Native American Sweat Lodges and other Earth-based ceremonies.

Q: Thank you for this interview, Linda. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

This is my second book. My first book is called “Path for Greatness: Work as Spiritual Service” published now with Infinity Publishing. My second /latest book is “Staying Grounded in Shifting Sand: Awakening Soul Consciousness for the New Millennium”

Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

I got an offer with a small press initially, but turned it down as they were a new company and I was uneasy with their contract. There was no real promise that the book would be published and I’d have to go to court to get the rights back. So I decided to self-publish.

Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

With the self-publishing route it took me about 6 months initially and then when I re-issued my first book, only 2 months. With the second book, I self-published and it took me about 6 months to get into print.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

I was thrilled when I got the initial book contract. It was only in further conversations that I was more uneasy. I was very excited to see my first book (and latest one) in my hands! What a feeling of accomplishment.

I celebrated my first book with a big party with friends. With the second book, it was a smaller gathering with friends as I have moved. I will probably have a book party now where I live for the 2nd book.

Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

I don’t remember the first thing I did. I probably made some flyers and gave some talks around town. I set up 3 national book tours over the course of 2 years. It took A LOT of time but I was glad I did it and glad I had a job where I could take that kind of time off.

With the second book, I’m setting up speaking engagements and doing workshops. Now I’m promoting it a lot via Facebook and other social media outlets as well as my own website – www.lindajferguson.com

Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?

I think I write a bit more clearly. I did a lot of academic writing prior to writing my book, so I write more as a lay person now. I’ve written a blog for 2 years and have learned to scale down the length and complexity of words I use. I can’t say I completely dumb down what I write, but I do write in more of a conversational style now.

Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?

I was surprised that Amazon won’t tell me how many books of mine they’ve sold!! They said the only way I could get those records is to subpoena them! What a crock!

There’s no way to know how many books are sold on Amazon and since that’s probably the largest book seller now, it’s hard to know how well my book is selling.

I also learned that Author Solutions is horribly mismanaged and I wouldn’t recommend any of their divisions to anyone to self-publish.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?

Having people email me and tell me how much they like my book, how much my book has helped them or spoken to them.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Stick with it. You’ll have to do a lot of your own promoting these days. You can’t just write a masterpiece and let it sell itself. You have to be willing to sell your work and do a lot of legwork on your own.

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Blog Tour + Interview: Whitney Stewart, author of ‘Give Me a Break: No Fuss Meditation’

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Whitney Stewart began writing young adult biographies and meditating after she met and interviewed the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, the subject of two of her books, and lived with a Tibetan family in India. For her next biographies, she trekked with Sir Edmund Hillary in Nepal, interviewed Burma’s Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi in her Rangoon home, and climbed along China’s Great Wall to research the lives of Deng Xiaoping and Mao Zedong. In 2004, Stewart published a picture book about the Buddha, which contains a foreword and a meditation suggestion from the 14th Dalai Lama. In addition to nonfiction books, Stewart has published three middle-grade novels. In August 2005, Stewart was trapped in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and evacuated by helicopter from a rooftop. She returned home and volunteered as a creative writing teacher in the public schools. She discovered that her students suffered from post-Katrina stress. Using meditation, improvisation, and word play, Stewart taught her students to write about their lives.

Her latest book is Give Me a Break: No-Fuss Meditation.

You can find more about Whitney Stewart at her website at http://www.whitneystewart.com.  Follow her at Twitter at www.twitter.com/mindfulneworlns and www.twitter.com/whitneystewart2 and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/New.Orleans.Kids.Author.

About Give Me a Break: No-Fuss Meditation

Whitney Stewart’s straightforward, non-denominational guide makes meditation simple. It covers the basics in a concise thirty-three pages: Why meditation is good for you, how to sit, how to let your mind rest, even what to do if you feel weird or uncomfortable during meditation. Most important, it provides sixteen accessible, useful meditations you can easily learn at home. Age ten to adult.

Stewart’s top reasons to meditate:

*To focus inwardly

*To slow down internally

*To develop awareness

*To understand your mind

*To increase tolerance

*To experience “BIG MIND”

* * * * *

Q: Thank you for this interview, Whitney. Can you tell us what your latest book, Give Me a Break: No-Fuss Meditation, is all about?

My ebook is a simple, nondenominational guide to meditation. I include a short introduction and sixteen meditation practices that will help focus the mind. I also include answers to common questions people have about meditation

I wrote this book to communicate the benefits of meditation to anyone who wants to reduce stress, improve health, develop inner wisdom, lead a happier life, and experience a natural state of mind.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for your book?

I have been a meditator for over twenty-five years, and I see how it has changed my life. During Hurricane Katrina, my son and I were trapped in a building in downtown New Orleans. We had to wait five days for helicopters to rescue us. During that time, I used meditation as a means of staying calm, alleviating fear, and being mindful. When I returned to New Orleans, I volunteered as a creative writing teacher in a public school. I discovered that my students were often stressed, unhappy, and frightened every time the weather turned stormy. They could not concentrate on their work. I taught them to meditate before we did our creative writing exercises. Many of them told me how much they loved to meditate at the beginning of class. This gave me the idea of writing a nondenominational meditation guide that was easy enough for children and detailed enough for adults. My guide is meant for beginners.

Q: What kind of research did you do before and during the writing of your book?

I first learned to meditate when I was in high school. And then in 1987, I joined a meditation center and studied with several Tibetan Buddhist teachers. That led me to taking multiple trips to Tibet, Nepal, Burma, Thailand, Japan, and India where I practiced meditation with teachers. I also have a full personal library on Buddhism and meditation.

I have written two children’s books on the 14th Dalai Lama, which were based on interviews with him. In one interview, he suggested a meditation technique that was simple enough to teach children. I included this technique in my picture book Becoming Buddha: The Story of Siddhartha. Readers asked me for more techniques like that one, so I wrote this book, in part, because of their request.

Q: If a reader can come away from reading your book with one valuable message, what would that be?

That meditation is a path to discovering your relaxed, open, natural state of mind.

Q: Can you give us a short excerpt?

Why Meditate?

Let’s face it. Life knocks you around. One minute

you’re happy. The next you want to scream. You don’t get

everything you want, and you don’t want everything you get.

You need a break. Meditation could be the answer.

Meditation calms you down. It helps you find your own

wisdom. It settles your nerves and fills your mind with

space.

 

Lots of people meditate——athletes, actors, dog

trainers, writers, and people like you. They do it wherever

they find a quiet spot——in the living room, in the back

yard, under a tree, in an empty classroom, in the library,

in a tent, on a mountaintop. You don’t have to join a

religious group to meditate. And you don’t have to change

anything about yourself. Meditation is about accepting

yourself with all the bumps and bruises.

 

So go ahead and see for yourself. This book gives you

different meditation exercises. You may not like them all.

That’s fine. Try them and see which ones work for you.

Q: In your own experience, is it hard to get a nonfiction book published today?  How did you do it?

Yes, it is hard to get any book published by a reputable publisher. I started publishing twenty years ago. I researched what publishers wanted and submitted selectively. I also researched my books thoroughly. I started by writing biographies of Nobel laureates and adventurers. If they were still alive, I interviewed them and people who knew them. I tried to find both a narrative hook and a marketing hook; I wanted to give my readers something they had not read before.

Q: What’s a typical day like for you?

I wake up, meditate, and exercise (yoga and cardio) in the early morning, and write for the rest of the day, every day. Sometimes I take short meditation or movement breaks while I am writing, but I don’t answer the phone or chat with friends until my day’s writing is done. I work at home and often have to wear headphones and listen to ambient music to block out the noise of construction and lawn mowers in the neighborhood.

Q: What’s next for you?

I just finished revising a middle-grade novel set in New Orleans and sent it to my agent. It’s the story of a 14-year-old boy who is accused of a crime he didn’t commit. I look forward to the sale and publication of that book. I also have a picture book coming out with Windy Hollow Books in Australia. It’s a companion book to my Becoming Buddha and will be illustrated by the same illustrator, Sally Rippin. Last Spring I started writing an edgy young adult novel, and I hope to return to that manuscript in January.

Thank you so much for this interview, Whitney.  We wish you much success!

 

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