Tag Archives: self-help

First Chapter Reveal! Unlocking the Mystery of You by D.L. Anderson

Unlocking the Mystery of YouTitle: Unlocking the Mystery of You: The Pinnacle of Purpose
Author: D.L. Anderson
Publisher: Author House
Pages: 195
Genre: Self-Help
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

Do you know who the most important person in your life is? Just look in the mirror and you will see – it’s you. Whether you’re a college student, a housewife, a salesman, or the president of the United States of America, the most important person in your life is and will always be you.

That being said, your primary objective in life should be to know who you are so that you can position yourself to succeed in offices aligned with your purpose. After all, your purpose is the collective reasoning behind your existence. As one philosopher puts it, “Purpose is the only real reason you are here, for you exist because your purpose exists. Thus apart from purpose, you have no authentic motivation for living. You may very well exist, but when you’re gone, very few will ever know that you were here.”

Now for some of us discovering our purpose is simple. We understood it long before we ever became adults. For others it is not so easy, and for more reasons than I can gather. This is why the process of personal discovery is so critical; for not only does it allow you to discover your purpose. It also positions you to persistently follow the evolution of your purpose.

This is important because we are all changing every day. Consequently, our purpose will also change contingent to the season of life we are in. Still, in spite of this inevitable change and all the complexities which make understanding your purpose difficult, you will always be able to detect your purpose simply because it is the source of your fulfillment. So if you’re in a job, relationship, or any office which is persistently unfulfilling, odds are it is not aligned with your purpose – and unless you are willing to concede the awesome measures of fulfillment you would experience otherwise, you need to start thinking about making a change so that you can both enhance your life and have profound impacts in the various groups and societies you are in.

“Unlocking the Mystery of You” champions this cause focusing first and foremost on purpose and the crucial role it plays in achieving personal fulfillment and setting the stage for the individual to be a catalyst for group fulfillment. It accomplishes this goal by utilizing a purposeful roadmap designated as the Pinnacle of Purpose. The Pinnacle of Purpose is a progressive path illustrated by 7 ascending levels which, if followed sequentially, not only have the power to transform your life. It will provide you with the greatest measures of fulfillment and success life can offer. All you have to do is follow the crucial, yet simple order of purpose, beginning with confidence and concluding with peace.

So if you’re ready for a change; if you’re ready to stop sleeping on your dreams and your truest passions; if you’re tired of the status quo and living a life which feels incomplete; if you’re tired of wishing your life was better and are now prepared to do something about it; if you’re finally ready to take that ever-difficult leap of faith, then this is a book you must read. Because in this book I show you how to take that leap of faith without falling, for when you leap towards your purpose, you will always land squarely on your feet.

This is true first and foremost because your purpose is what makes you unique to every other individual in the world today, a premise which thoroughly validates the existence of every man and women on the earth. The problem is that many don’t understand their purpose. Once upon a time I didn’t either. That is until I got serious about life. It was then that I realized what purpose is.

It is the collection of all your authentic desires; it is your passion. It is your North Star and your direction; it is your life-long teacher – and above all else, it is that which causes you to press through any form or measure of adversity until you unleash your maximum potential, for it gives you the strength to hold on when you have no strength left within you to hold on.

First Chapter:

I DID IT ON PURPOSE

“I didn’t do it on purpose” was one of my favorite sayings as a child. Why? It is because this confession had gotten me out of trouble on possibly 1,000 occasions, a minor exaggeration to be sure. In any event, these 6 words were priceless because they constituted my original “get out of jail free card” and saved me in several sticky situations.

Now this card didn’t work all the time, mind you. After all, there were some things I did which I could neither honestly nor semi-honestly justify with my patented excuse, and I wasn’t going to compromise the longevity of my lucky card for any incident which was clearly inexcusable. No sir; I was going to drink from this well until the water ran dry – which it did and much sooner than I would have liked. Alas, all good things must come to an end.

Fast-forward several years in time. Here you’ll find me with a much different outlook on life and a new preferred saying. That would be, “I did it on purpose,” a definitive statement which speaks to one of the most profound realities in life. As such, I will offer it as an interest point.

Classically this is where the rubber meets the road; for as everything we do is incontestably on purpose, our consistent actions reveal who we are with regards to our inner self as opposed to our personal face-value. Accordingly, it is our actions more so than our words which tell the tale of the man or woman we’re trying to be.

Notwithstanding, this tale does not always reflect who we truly are. In this regard, some of us at face-value are pretenders who are trying to be someone they’re not. This is why establishing our life upon a firm foundation of purpose is so vital, for the consistent inundation of purpose ensures our intentions and consequent actions are perfectly aligned with our destiny. Therefore, the first step in unlocking your personal mystery is dedicating yourself to being yourself and living a life of purpose.

TRUE YOU

Now if you’re like me, you know very few people who consistently say what they mean and mean what they say. You know even fewer people who without fail practice what they preach. Why the inconsistency? For the most part it’s because their lives are established on conflicting purposes; hence the irregularity.

Then again if you’re like me, you may have noticed this contradictory trend a time or two in your own life. So what did you do? I’ll tell you what I did – I set out on a personal journey to discover a path where everything I did was not only on purpose, but with purpose; specifically purposes which reflected “the real me.”

Who am I referring to when I mention the real me? Definitively I am referring to the man I would turn out to be after I successfully established my purpose in life. That is the man I was destined to become before various conflicting factors set me off-course and led me down paths contrary to my destiny. Consequently, if there is a real me, there must be a version of me who is not as real.

I’ll never forget the first time I heard someone teach on the concept of true north. It was during an astronomy lecture at Ball State University. I remember thinking to myself, “If there is a true north, then what is the regular north I’ve been learning since kindergarten?”

Of course everything made more sense at the end of the lecture. Without going into the details, there are multiple manifestations of the astronomical concept of north. However, only one of these manifestations is true north; that is the direction along the earth’s surface towards the geographic North Pole. The other variations may at times be congruent and persistently similar. Yet they are not consistently the same as true north.

The same rule applies to all of us. See the majority of us exhibit multiple manifestations. The two prevailing manifestations are “you now” and “true you.” You now is the person you are at this present moment. True you is the person you will become once all of your singular purposes are properly aligned and consequently coherent. Accordingly, the search for purpose in life is actually a search for the most authentic version of you. It’s the elongated process in which you discover and are converted into true you.

STRENGTH IN DIVERSITY

The next question we must attend to is this – why is it important for us to be true to ourselves? Honestly I could provide over 100 reasons why this cause is beyond essential. However, I would like to focus on 1 in particular; that is diversity.

Certainly diversity is a prominent pillar of every progressive society. For an example consider a football team and ask yourself this question – how effective would a team be if everyone on the offense was a quarterback and everyone on the defense was a linebacker? Trust me; not only would this team be unsuccessful. They wouldn’t be very enjoyable to watch (unless perhaps you were rooting for the opposing team).

Therefore, I would ask you to consider this follow-up question – if everyone in your society (e.g. business unit, family or organization) were a carbon copy of the person next to them, how successful would your society be? Think about it.

Here’s the next point I would like to make – every progressive society is depicted by roles which are fulfilled by the successful administration of an over-arching, correlating assignment (which I will consciously refer to as an office throughout this composition). A principal key to the success of each society, then, is that each office is occupied by the person best suited to fulfill its corresponding roles. In every other case, the inclusive lack from a poor arrangement will prevent the society from reaching its full potential. As such, it would continually degenerate until corrective actions are taken.

Almost 10 years ago I was the Director of Consulting Services at one of the largest IT firms based out of Indiana. There I enjoyed managing one of my favorite and most successful teams. It was also one of my most diverse teams, a crucial factor which positioned us to incur awesome measures of success; more success than we would have achieved otherwise.

Upon understanding this development, I began actively looking for ways to increase the diversity of our team. Thus whenever I interviewed potential candidates to fill open positions, I first considered the members currently on the team. Then I not only looked for the candidate who exceeded my expectations; I also looked for someone who would add diversity to our group.

Masterfully my strategy proved correct every time the team grew. By gradually increasing the diversity of our team, we found ourselves consistently innovated with new ideas, processes, and ways of thinking in general.

Sure we had a pretty large group of seasoned professionals who possessed awesome talents and the ability to get a lot done. However, the greatest source of our strength was not our numbers or our expertise. It was our diversity and the awesome opportunities it presented us.THE WORLD NEEDS YOU

At the same time, I learned that managing and participating in a diverse group presents several challenges. In particular, it forces each team member to regularly rethink and often recalibrate their views. These actions (though very necessary) are sometimes difficult because many of us have a hard time considering or admitting when we are wrong or when our way of doing things is not necessarily the best way to get things done.

Fortunately there was no one in our group who was too terribly rigid that they couldn’t see past their own methodologies. Hence this is not where I encountered most of my challenges. These unforeseen happenstances transpired as a result of the inverse scenario; explicitly some team members became discouraged when their ideas were not adopted by the group and began to withdraw.

Consensus is my preferred way to lead and always has been. So I recognized I was indirectly responsible for the withdrawal that was occurring. In consequence, I had to upgrade my management strategy to account for this unanticipated offshoot.

In time I came up with the perfect solution. I met individually with those who were withdrawn from the group and reassured them that they were critical to the team’s success. More importantly I told them why. In doing so, I reminded them why I hired them and described future scenarios where I was confident their expertise and background would be crucial to the team’s continued success.

The lesson I learned then was sure – there are peaks and valleys in everyone’s life. For that reason, we can not allow for the valleys to cause us to lose sight of the value of our role as it pertains to the group’s success. Neither can we allow the peaks to deceive us into believing we’re “all that,” for no one person will ever exceed the value and potential of a progressive group or society.

What it all comes down to is this – the world needs you. You don’t have to take my word for it. Just consider all of your offices in life and ask yourself this question – who is better suited to fulfill each of my offices than me?

See I’m convinced the vast majority of us have at least one life office which no one can fulfill better than we can. For those of you who are unconvinced, this does not mean the world doesn’t need you. Quite the contrary; what the world needs is for you to find a way to succeed in the offices you were called to and in the roles you were destined to fulfill.

Now the cause behind this need is certain and one which I hope you will never forget. Therefore I will offer it as an interest point.

This matter lends itself to why societies degenerate. It is because critical roles are not being fulfilled by the person best suited to fulfill them. Consequently, the correlating offices are either empty or occupied by someone less qualified – and alas, everyone involved will suffer the consequences in the end and after all.

BE YOURSELF

“Everybody has an office,” I declared to an adult group to whom I was delivering a spiritual lecture.

“The problem,” I told them, “is that many fail to recognize their purpose in life because they are fatally trying to be someone they’re not.” Then I shared with them a profound statement which I will offer as another interest point.

Understandably death in this context is not literal. It is figurative. That is to say, the longer you try to be someone you’re not, the farther you will migrate away from your true self. Stay on this path long enough and you will be so far removed from your true self that he or she will be metaphorically deceased – and as it is scarcely possible, we all perceive the likelihood of raising someone from the dead (metaphorically or literally).

Now I was able to make this decisive declaration for one simple cause – I had been there. Admittedly, I knew what it was like to lose sight of my true self because I was too busy trying to be someone who I thought was better than me; namely someone who I thought the world would better appreciate.

That’s when I realized I had effectually become a self-contradiction. By trying to be someone I was not, I was contradicting my own existence as well as decreasing my personal value.

While on this regressive road, I began to understand the nature of our world and found it to be similar to that of a spoiled child. You know the type. You’ve seen them throwing themselves out in grocery stores and acting unruly in restaurants all across the country. The $500 question is simply why?

Here’s the answer – a spoiled child doesn’t really know what they want. Consequently, the worst thing for them is a parent who constantly bends over backwards to meet their child’s unrealistic and unfounded demands, for these actions only work to reinforce the deficits of the child. This is true even though the parent is merely trying to be appreciated by giving the child what they presume he or she wants.

What these parents fail to realize is tragically classic; that is the child does not know what he or she wants. This is precisely why they are often only able to appreciate one thing; that is a parent who will stop spoiling them and teach them the true meaning of appreciation.

Trust me; it’s bad business when you have parents trying to befriend a child, for every parent should focus first and foremost on being a credible authority as this is the first step in effectively raising children. This is especially the case during their informative years.

How does this example relate to you and the world? Well I’ll tell you. The world is like a spoiled child in that it is by default inappreciative. Consequently, it will never appreciate those who bend over backwards trying to be someone they presume everyone will accept. On the contrary, the only way the world will appreciate you is if you stop trying to be everyone’s friend and start being yourself.

Again I ask you to trust me and faithfully consider the following statement – being yourself is the only thing you’ll ever truly be good at. This truism speaks to another interest point.

On this wise, the one sure way to tell if you appreciate yourself is by determining how committed you are to being yourself. Or as the young people tell it, “Just do you.”

Certainly this is the only way you will ever unlock your personal mystery because again, as the young people say, you are “keeping it real.” In essence, you are being yourself in every situation. This allows people to know what to expect out of you regardless of the situation or circumstances you are in.

Markedly this is exactly when the world will begin to appreciate you, for you will have proven yourself to be reliable – and who doesn’t appreciate someone who they can consistently count on?

All the same, as wonderful as this occasion is, enduring appreciation does not come painlessly. Neither does it come quickly. Contrasting, it comes tenderly and gradually. The same way a small child does not instantly appreciate the discipline of a wise parent, the world will not immediately appreciate the value of an authentic man or woman.

Do not be troubled by this reality, for in time this value will surely be realized. You just have to be committed to standing up for yourself even when you’re standing alone – and there will be several instances when you are.

ARE YOU READY TO WALK THE PATH?

How does this all relate to living a life of purpose? Decisively everything we have discussed thus far is only possible if we have effectively established our unique purposes in life. In this regard, your life purposes (i.e. the distinct causes which collective constitute your purpose) are like tour guides. Their job is to guide you along the path which leads to your destiny.

As for me, I’ve walked this path in my life and have achieved awesome levels of fulfillment and success. From now, I want to share what I have learned by leaving behind breadcrumbs for others to follow. Therefore, the following pages of this book will speak to the aforementioned path of fulfillment and provide various life examples for both validation and understanding.

All things considered, everything in life is a choice (with the lone exception of physiological involuntary actions). Thus conclusively, if you choose to follow this path, I can make you the following guarantee – even though you will endure various seasons of grind and change, you will eventually acquire the greatest measures of fulfillment and success the world has to offer. That’s my personal guarantee.

So if this pledge sounds like a good deal to you, keep reading this book. I’m going to show you how I got there and how you can get there too.

On the other hand, if you decide not to follow this path or some similar path, I can guarantee you the opposite. Regrettably you will fail to acquire the greatest measures of fulfillment and success while never realizing your true potential. Furthermore, you will still endure various seasons of grind and change.

Granted this is not the classic life-or-death scenario; not even close. However, the quality of your life is at stake. Thus the question of the hour is simply this – how much fulfillment and success are you prepared to leave on the table?

THE SUMMATION

The majority of us will reach a point in our lives where we discover that we are not authentic reflections of the man or woman inside. As an ill-advised traveler, we’ve deviated from the beaten path and gotten lost.

All the same, course correction is not a difficult matter. All we need is a map. Enter: the Pinnacle of Purpose, a dedicated roadmap which provides purposeful direction along the path which leads to true you and concludes with the greatest allotment of fulfillment and success this life can afford.

What is more, the Pinnacle of Purpose (as illustrated in this composition) provides ample instructions and advice on how to handle various situations which could potentially cause us to lose our way. This manner of intelligence is critical because our world is unfortunately filled with haters and doubters. Disappointingly these losers in life are going to invest time in throwing stones at us as we carry on our quest.

Now in submitting this warning, I would advise each reader not to be overly concerned about this matter. See I’m not only going to show you how to become immune to these unwarranted acts. I’m also going to show you how to use these stones to help you get to where you are going. Advantageously I’m going to show you how to turn their throwing stones into your stepping stones.

Last but surely not least, I’m going to lay a foundation for achieving self- actualization by discussing the importance of excelling in each of our life offices – and although the full disclosure of this process will be addressed in the next composition in this series, it is imperative for each purpose seeker to understand how important it is to always give our best effort in every life situation. For once we establish this model way of living, and everything else will begin to seamlessly fall into place. This brings me to my final world on this lecture.

No matter what anyone tells you, the world needs you. Therefore, if you don’t know who you are, it’s time you found out. Only then will you be truly appreciated and wholly succeed in those offices you were called to fulfill.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under First Chapter Reveals

First Chapter Reveal: Semi-Coma: Evolution of My Intermittent Consciousness by Gulten Dye

Semi-ComaTitle: Semi-Coma: Evolution of My Intermittent Consciousness
Author: Gulten Dye
Publisher: Gulten Dye Publishing Company
Pages: 205
Language: English
Genre: Self-Help
Format: Paperback & eBook

Purchase at AMAZON

This book is about self-discovery and the journey that awakened me to the many facets of life. The road hasn’t always been easy with its tolls and junctions. It’s about my struggle to discover who I really am, what I believe in and how I’ve arrived at a place where I am able to appreciate myself and my surroundings.

Most of my life I lived in a state of arrested consciousness without being aware of it. Then one day out of nowhere my eyes opened just enough for me to question my way of living and my state of mind. That was the day questions started to arrive. They were nothing like the questions I had before. As if they weren’t even questions they were an unraveling string of realizations followed by overwhelming sorrow. How could I have lived my life as if I was in a semi coma and in turn induce my own suffering?

Of course in the beginning of seeing I didn’t realize that my eyes would open slightly from time to time to give me an illusion of happiness, but because I had no idea what true happiness was I would drift back to my state of familiarity. I lived my life mostly on an automatic life-sustaining machine by my body without my mind interfering with it.

It is my hope that the stories I share with you will somehow touch your heart, perhaps crack open a door and shine a light for you to embark on your own quest of self-discovery. I don’t presume to have all the answers; I don’t even know all the questions. At the very least, I am seeking to understand and allow life to happen; learning to take responsibility and ownership of myself and my actions, and appreciating all that is.

Read the chapters, each on its own. As you move through them, you will uncover my intermittent consciousness as I explore my thoughts or beliefs and might be able to even get a glimpse of my evolution along the way.

I am blessed to have had so many people touch my life and, knowingly or unknowingly, helped me on my journey. I have come to realize that because we are all one, that anything I come to know and am willing to share with others affects all of us in a positive way. With great humility, I open up my imperfect, yet perfect, life for you to walk beside me. I am forever grateful and honored.

First Chapter:

Clinical rotations started during the second year in nursing school. As you can imagine, after being in school for a year and not even seeing the inside of the hospital other than the morgue, was boring and seemed like a waste of time for a nursing student who chose her profession to be around the patients. Who needs microbiology when you can be in the middle of the action, in the hospital with patients?

Although we had a few boys in our lab technician division, our mostly female boarding school was kind of exciting, especially when we lined up in front of the school bus in our uniforms to go to the hospital. There were thirty-five girls, who were divided into groups of seven in my class. One of the criteria for graduation was that we all had to rotate to every clinic in the hospital over a three-year span.

Nursing student uniforms are definitely different than the all so exotic nurses’ uniforms. Our pale blue, cotton, short sleeved, tent-like dress buttoned all the way up to our chin. We always had to wear white stockings, white shoes and a white cap. We had to put our hair in a bun under our cap and were not allowed to have long nails, make-up or any jewelry.

In the winter, we wore a long, dark blue cape to stay warm. All in all, I think that our uniforms were designed on purpose to make even the most beautiful girl unattractive. But no matter what we were wearing, we all thought we were all that at the time.

First rotations consisted of behind-the-scene things like, diagnostic and research labs, allergy and immunization clinics, and home health. One of my personal favorites was home health. That was when one of our teachers would take us to visit families in mostly lower income neighborhoods. We would teach them about birth control, childcare and the importance of having regular check-ups.

Since they knew of our visit, it was customary in Turkey to “force feed” anyone who dared to pass by your home, and we were always fed delicious food. Our visits were always in the afternoon, and like the English, we love our hot tea, pastries, tea biscuits and cookies. It was these that we were mostly served. At times, someone would really go out of their way and feed us traditional foods, which were heavenly.

Even with all the food I loved eating, I didn’t want to teach home health. I grew up doing most of that with my mother. She was a midwife nurse, and besides delivering babies, one of her many job descriptions was to teach home health, and I often tagged along with her. My job as a child was to help Mom do all that.

I wanted to go to the hospital where the patients were, or so I thought at the time, anyway. But, then again, those rotations which lasted 3 months were still much more exciting than being stuck in a classroom all day long.

Besides being in the huge university hospital, no matter what clinic we had to go to was beyond anything I had known up to this point. Each clinic was like a small city unto itself, housing several buildings, each several stories high.

There wasn’t a day that went by that I personally didn’t experience or live drama through the stories of other students. Each night after mandatory study sessions, we would gather on our beds and share mind-blowing stories until our mandated bedtime.

Although it did not become clear to me until years later, there was no emotional attachment to the labs, morgues or in teaching home health. Personally, as long as I didn’t come into contact with a patient in human form, it was easier for me to deal with anything that had to do with paperwork.

It felt somewhat unreal to find cancer cells with a microscope in someone’s blood in a lab and then be the one to document on a piece of paper their unfortunate fate. It was as if it were a game, not reality. But it was quite different to hear the news of someone you only met once that he has cancer. No matter how interesting it was to be in the lab and to search for diseased cells, it still wasn’t my cup of tea.

As the rotations continued, I remember moments that had rendered me speechless. One such moment was when I saw a dead body for the first time. It was shocking! It was even more shocking to cut with a blade on a dead body, all in the name of science.

When a patient I got to know passed away, I felt deep grief. Early on, I somewhat understood that getting to know the patients wasn’t a brilliant idea. I don’t think anyone intentionally wanted us to learn any life lessons; rather, overall, going to the clinics was designed to make us mechanical caretakers of the body, and its needs.

But you would have to be dead inside not to be affected by what goes on in human lives in and around the hospitals. I stared straight into the fearful eyes of people who were in intense pain…people who looked at me, deep into my eyes, with a need for compassion. Some even reached to grab my hand to ask for mercy to stop their pain and misery. At the time of its happening, I didn’t pay attention to my real emotions or the attached lessons since I was pretending to be very strong. They surfaced years later.

But, let’s get real! Of course, we were all affected from such a dramatic work place! After those rotations, often a student would drop out of school since it was hard for most to handle such things on a daily basis. Unlike most work places, mine was full of saintly lessons if your heart was wide open. In hospitals, humans are most vulnerable. They willingly or unwillingly must let their guards down, and they have to trust and depend on total strangers. It is very humbling, to say the least. Usually in such a place, ego has to go into its dormant state and, in my opinion, where it should remain for eternity.

In a hospital, human drama in every stage is out in the open for all to witness. Often, after we or someone we know gets critically ill or is dying, we crumble. As students, we crumbled along with the patients and their families to almost the same small pieces under the heavy burden. Witnessing and being a part of human suffering on a daily basis has its difficulties, especially when you are very young. In such an environment, you don’t get to take your time to grow up. You sort of grow up over night.

Not all things that make you grow up in a hospital are considered suffering. In the beginning, there are mostly times of hardship where you get to learn your lesson often under very rough circumstances. Though your fate is being tested on an hourly basis, if you allow it, this is a place you can become saintly after many tears, heartaches and lessons. Even if your heart is too small, you are sort of forced by nature to become more compassionate in your caring for others.

At the end of our required four-year education, which at the time felt like a long, dreaded winter, we completed our metamorphosis beyond any shadow of a doubt, but without the few students who had to drop out. We emerged as beautiful butterflies.

I know and acknowledge the need and the importance of a nurse in human existence. Beyond the ideal glory job, I don’t think there is much glory in nursing. Like anyone else who has had hands-on job training around the critically ill, no one can ever claim they didn’t cry at one time or another.

I remember questioning the existence of God through tears after witnessing the death of a young child with leukemia in the Pediatric Oncology unit. I remember feeling overwhelming sorrow, while watching a person shrivel right before my eyes, after hearing the news of losing a loved one in the emergency room. I remember being crazy afraid to forget to give someone their pain pill and cause them further suffering.

There were a few occasions when the fear I felt was not for someone else, but was for me. Like the time when my teacher locked the door behind me, right after I had entered the male lock-down psychiatric unit. For years, I couldn’t shake off the feeling of being dragged through the long hallways.

In reality, what had happened as soon as she locked the door behind me, a chain-smoking, smelly, male patient grabbed me by my arm and made me walk with him what seemed like an eternity until one of the unit nurses came to my rescue. It’s not that she really cared to rescue me because it wasn’t a secret among students those days in Turkey that while most nurses sat behind their desk and chain-smoked, we had to do all their chores. And believe it or not, in 1987, I even remember smoking in the lounge of a surgery center where I worked in Shreveport, Louisiana. Wow! Imagine that! Thank God, times have changed!

Sometimes, though not nearly enough, there were divine moments where your faith was restored and reminded you of the other side of the coin. Like the times I, along with other students, breathed in and out for long periods and began puffing with the women who were in labor, bringing new life into this world; or when I was the one delivering the news after just learning that after a long, fierce battle that someone was cancer-free, and together through tears of joy, we shared a life-affirming moment.

Although I remember some of those feelings and recall them as my memories, they are now mostly faded like background noise, and only occasionally occupy my mind.

But there is one memory of a moment still as fresh as the day of its happening. In my third year of nursing school, we were given more and more responsibilities, such as working in places like the Burn Care Units, Intensive Care Units and the operating rooms. By this time, I was becoming a cockier, seasoned pro and I knew it. However, it soon became apparent how little I knew. I never will forget the moment when I carelessly walked into one of the rooms in the step- down Intensive Care Unit. I literally felt all my blood draining, rushing out of my body. I froze at the sight of a patient who was in a semi-coma.

There was a young girl in a hospital bed, her body propped up with the help of several pillows. Her head had slipped to its side and was now tilted at an angle. It almost looked as if she were looking down, but had lifted her head halfway to look at you without straightening her body. Her eyes were unnaturally open. After my initial shock wore off, I noticed a large ventilator with a thick, white tube going from the machine to an opening in her neck.

I later learned that she was in her early twenties and had slipped into a coma seven years earlier due to a brutal car accident. She now was in a semi coma, her life being sustained with the help of the external ventilator. For me, the most haunting thing was her eyes.Her eyelids had atrophied due to years of not using them, leaving her eyes exposed. Although her eyes were open, they were empty like someone had sucked the life right out of them, but forgot to do the same thing to her body. She was alive, but without the presence of emotions. There appeared to be no signs of life in her.

After the first day, I somehow got used to her just lying there. Each day, we would care for her with the help of her devoted family. It was like taking care of an infant, but because her body was much larger, it made it harder for us to handle her. It usually took two of us to care for her needs. Besides the usual need to change her diaper, give her a bed bath, comb her hair and brush her teeth, there were added things, like cleaning the tracheotomy site, suctioning her airway, and nourishing her with a feeding tube.

Since her circulation was diminished, we would have to reposition her to prevent bedsores, which were deadly for anyone in her condition. When we turned her and tried to exercise her limbs, she would moan an almost invisible moan. At times, while I massaged her frail body with talc powder, I would think to myself, “Why bother, as if after all these years later, she will wake up and have a life that is worth living?” In my mind, I was thinking since she was not conscious of what was going on around her and could not control her bodily functions, she would not experience feelings nor would she have the ability to interact, experience awareness or make the choice that her life was not worth living.

After I spent two days a week with this girl for several months, I went into her room one day and found the bed empty.

“She must have passed away,” I thought. As I inched my way to the usual hustle of the busy nurse’s station, I was surprised at my conflicting emotions. On one hand, I felt the same emptiness inside of me as I did after the passing of each patient I had come to know. On the other hand, I was happy for her. Her suffering finally had come to an end. Afraid of looking weak, I didn’t want to ask if she had died.

But soon I could not overcome my curiosity as I heard myself asking in a small voice, “Did she die?”

“No,” said one of the nurses. “She went home!”

“She went home?” I repeated back, without being able to hide my shock.

“Yes, she went home.” repeated the nurse before handing me a list of things that had to be done that morning.

Apparently, one day, out of nowhere, she had regained her consciousness. Did that mean that she could now breathe on her own, and have voluntary movements? Did that mean she could now see when she looked? Did that mean she is now like the rest of us in a semi-coma in consciousness only? Her brain might be back to do its job and to take care and help sustain her body, but her state of mind will remain in the state of Intermittent Consciousness.

To tell you the truth, at the time, I was not awake enough to have noticed such thoughts. Not until years later did I have enough clarity to question what it means to wake up after seven years of being in a coma.

From that shocking moment up until now, many years have passed. Along the way, I experienced rare moments of pure joy, as if I could zoom in and see myself and everything around me with such clarity, in great detail. In those rare moments, I felt intense aliveness. I often felt like I could fly! It was as if I were a butterfly, who landed on each and every flower petal to take a closer look. I could smell scents I didn’t even know existed. I not only saw the colors of things, but the depth of the colors themselves. In those fleeting moments, I felt utter contentment, peace and happiness. I didn’t know to question where these feelings of bliss came from or if I had the power to make it happen more often. In my innocent ignorance, I attributed those moments of random happiness to external conditions outside of me because they usually happened during long, intimate moments, while dancing, or after a super long walk in the wilderness.

I thought that the other person or the condition was the cause of my happiness. So when I felt that way, I believed that I was in love with that person and wanted him to give me more of those moments. As for dancing, I went every weekend and danced for four or five hours nonstop. I didn’t understand that when I experienced those moments of joy, even if only for a split second, my overloaded brain stopped thinking and went into a meditative state where all mental chatter ceased. It was only then that I became aware of all the beauty around me. Since I had not heard about Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, or Eckhart Tolle at the time, I went on living my life on an automatic invisible life sustaining machine, wishing for more of those moments.

It took years of mental suffering before I learned the simple truth about living in the present moment. I seldom had moments of clarity. Conscious presence was a rare occurrence for me. Even when I had moments of clarity, I wasn’t aware of them until years later. It would take me years to get to this point of feeling alive and being able to zoom into my inner self, as well as the inner self of all those other beings around me.

There is a real joy of knowing the way to true happiness that doesn’t depend on outer conditions.

Perhaps you will find the story of my Intermittent Consciousness and my search for enlightenment resonate with you, or better yet, start to awaken something within you.

Leave a comment

Filed under First Chapter Reveals

Read-a-Chapter: Stairway to AWESOMENESS! – 30 Fundamental Steps to Living a Life of Awesomeness! by Tanya Masse

Read a Chapter is *NEW* added feature at As the Pages Turn! Here you’ll be able to read the first chapters of books of all genres to see if you like them before you buy them. Today we are featuring the self-help book, Stairway to AWESOMENESS! – 30 Fundamental Steps to Living a Life of Awesomeness! by Tanya Masse. Enjoy!

—————————————————————-

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00068]

Being a happy, positive person and living a life of awesomeness is a choice. In the face of adversity, it isn’t always easy to make, but it is a necessary choice if you want to live life to the absolute fullest.

Written and illustrated with infinite wisdom and an original comic twist, Stairway to Awesomeness is the ultimate 30-step self-improvement guide that will make you want to change your life forever and encourage others to do the same.

Comic Strip Mama cartoonist and writer, Tanya Masse, shares her tragedy-to-triumph life story with the world and proves that no matter what adversity you are faced with, as long as you have a shred of sanity left, you CAN rise above and BE AWESOME!

Comic Strip Mama shows you how to:

  • CHANGE your way of thinking about certain things you have been conditioned to believe
  • STOP taking life SO SERIOUSLY
  • Focus on the POSITIVE lessons
  • Recognize the BLESSINGS
  • Find the HUMOR in everything. Yes, even tragic things!

Now make your choice, and start climbing the Stairway to Awesomeness!

Find out more about Stairway to AWESOMENESS! on AMAZON

Enter the Comic Strip Mama™ Blog Tour of AWESOMENESS Extravaganza Giveaway for your chance to win some AWESOME prizes!

http://www.comicstripmama.com/STAIRWAY-TO-AWESOMENESS.html

————————————————————-

My Childhood Years 

My childhood was bittersweet. I remember being very loved especially by my extended family, but I also remember being very scared and lost. In all honesty, my parents were not the best of parents. I’d like to believe that the reasoning was simply because they were not ready to be parents, so they were a little selfish and therefore made some really bad choices.

First, I will tell you about the good. I remember my mother being a beautiful, loving, spiritual and talented woman. She watched the Young and the Restless every day, she loved music and she could sew. She designed and made a lot of my clothes. She made me the most amazing Halloween costumes and some pretty funky “fashion forward” clothes. I like to believe that if she were alive today, she would have made it in the fashion world. She also loved to doll me up and experiment with my long hair. She was a housewife and a stay-at-home mom. She loved me and my little brothers. I know she did.

My father was a handsome, talented man. He worked as a shoe salesman on the Base, but his true passion was music. Before I was born, he was in a band. I remember that he played the guitar like a rock n’ roll star and he could sing too. I remember getting together with family and everyone would sit around listening to my dad sing and play guitar. Sometimes my mom would sing too. They were good times and awesome memories.

Now, I will tell you about the bad…and the ugly.

My father abused drugs and my mother was an alcoholic. When it wasn’t all fun and happiness, they fought…a lot. It was pretty extreme at times and when my father got angry with my mom, or with anybody for that matter, it was terrifying. He was loud and physically, verbally and mentally abusive. My parents abused each other mentally, emotionally and sometimes physically.

Over time, my mother became so severely depressed to the point that alcohol wasn’t enough to take away her pain anymore. She didn’t want to exist anymore and eventually, after several attempts, on November 2nd, 1981, she made that happen. The month before Christmas, 10 days after my 7th birthday and my brothers where only 3 and 5 years old. My mother was only 28! So young, so much to live for!

I know her brain was sick and she was tainted with abuse and alcohol. I know that what she did wasn’t my fault, but as you can imagine, trying to figure out the meaning of life after that devastation was extremely difficult and challenging for me. It is something that I struggled with tremendously throughout most of my life.

Do I blame my father for my mother’s death? I do, but only partially and he knows that. For years my father lied and told me and my brothers that my mom innocently and naturally died in her sleep. Another thing I had to struggle with until I finally found the guts to confront him and make him tell me the truth, the truth I already knew.

I don’t like to talk about this era of my life in detail, but you get the gist. I will say that their abusive behavior was mainly directed towards each other and quite often, thankfully, my aunt and uncle would stay with us, play with us and take care of us.

Very soon after my mother’s demise, in 1982, my father “rebounded” and re-married. I will call her the “evil stepmother”. I only say that because she was truly an evil person. She would hurt me and my brothers when my father was not around and she would leave us alone as a punishment to my father when she was upset with him. After she left me and my brothers on the side of a busy highway and told us to find our own way home while she and her daughter hitchhiked back to Ottawa, my father finally saw the light and separated from her for good.

Shortly after my father’s divorce from the “evil stepmother”, in 1983, he met another woman who has been my stepmother ever since. She wasn’t an “evil stepmother”. She was actually a very nice, kind and caring person. BUT, all of this happened within a span of less than 2 years after my mom died. Imagine the pain, the confusion and the insanity. Two new “moms” and I haven’t even truly had a chance to grieve or even begin to understand the loss of my real mom. I know that my father was desperate to find someone to take care of my brothers and me, but WOW it was hard. Yes, kids are resilient, but they aren’t THAT resilient!

I will admit that my childhood improved significantly after my father moved in with my stepmom, despite my fears and apprehension. My new stepmom had two children and although there were conflicts at times, we all got along pretty well, like regular brothers and sisters. I do remember a lot of love, a lot of happiness and some awesome, fun times. My new stepmom wasn’t my real mom, but she was the next best thing and I will refer to her as my “mom” from hereinafter.

In 1984 my father almost died from sepsis (blood poisoning) caused by a severe tooth abscess. Yes, a tooth abscess can kill you! Scary, right? Well it was very scary and I thought my dad was going to die and leave me just like my mom did. He was hospitalized in intensive care and when he didn’t come home that day after my mom took him to the ER, I cried and cried. My mom tried to comfort me and assure me that he was going to be fine, but I didn’t believe her and I demanded to see him so I could make sure he was still alive. My mom was told that children would not be permitted into the ICU, but she managed to convince the doctor to allow me to see him for just a few minutes. He was alive, but he was very sick and he had several tubes and machines hooked up to him. Thankfully, he pulled through and came home.

Over the next three years, my father changed his ways for the better. He had an awakening after his near-death experience. He wasn’t angry all the time. He still had his moments, but for the most part, he was happy and he decided to make some positive changes. This is when I started to admire my father and truly recognize how awesome and intelligent he was. He went to college as a mature student and graduated top of his computer programming class, with distinction. As a result, he was offered an amazing job in another city. This made me really proud and that is when I truly started to realize that people really can change their negative ways and get back to good, if they put their mind to it.

In 1987, we moved from the small town of Kingston, Ontario to the big city of Ottawa, Ontario. I was 12. I was all sorts of excited and positive and optimistic. We were moving on up! Then almost immediately after we moved, my body started to change, I got my first lady flow and hit the BIG “P”. Ugh! Puberty!

Leave a comment

Filed under Read a Chapter

Overcoming Fear by ‘Lifetime of Achievement’ by Jordan Maylea Ramirez

Fear is one of the major factors that stands in the way on our path from where we are today to where we want to go. Fear of failure, of course, but also the fear of the unknown, the fear of others and the (most often overlooked) fear of ourselves.

Lifetime of AchievementOne of my favorite quotes is by Maryanne Williamson and it states, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and famous?’…”

Have you ever asked yourself that question? “Who am I to be… ____________?” Who are you to be successful in this career? Who are you to be the best mother, wife, father, husband? Who are you to put yourself out there and expect the best not only of others but of yourself?

Who are you?

It is the second part of the quote that is my favorite part: “Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us…”

All of us. That means me and that means you. We were created for greatness. It is OUR responsibility to not let fear stand in the way of that greatness.

I have a technique I use when I am afraid. I will admit, fear is one of the thing I struggle with most. I know that nothing productive can come from fear and worry, and yet I still continue to find myself scared of the outcome of certain situations.

When I begin to feel afraid I ask myself, “What is the WORST possible thing that could happen from me doing this?” Then I proceed to let my imagination run wild until I reach what truly would be the worst possible scenario. I then ask myself, “Then what?”

What will you do then? What will you do when faced with the worst-case-scenario?

It may be hard. Depending on the situation it may be the most difficult thing you have ever done. But chances are you will deal with it. Your life is not going to end. You will be okay. Fear is often False Evidence Appearing Real. The consequences we create in our head are often far worse than what would actually happen in reality.

We often make the mistake of allowing our minds to run wild with the “what ifs” but never asking ourselves, “Then what?” What would you do? How would you deal with it? Your own strength may surprise you.

Another thing to ask yourself is, “What is the WORST possible thing that could happen from me NOT doing this?” The answer may surprise you. You may find out that the consequences of not trying are far great than of trying and not succeeding.

Think for a moment about what I’ve said as you read the final part of this quote:

“And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Today I am choosing to be liberated from my own fear. I hope my courage inspires you to do the same!

 ———————–

Jordan Maylea Ramirez 2Jordan lives with her husband Robert in Lubbock, Texas with their 3 dogs and two horses. Because both her parents have always been self-employed, she had an entrepreneurial spirit from an early age and began her first business at the age of 17. It was at that time that she first became fascinated with the subject of personal development and the impact a personal education can have on a person’s life. She grew up riding horses and competing in Dressage shows all across Texas and New Mexico. The sport continues to be one of the primary passions in her life and if she is not working or spending time with her family you can usually find her at the barn. Jordan has two younger siblings, Clayton and Paige, whom she is very close to, and she greatly enjoys spending time with her family. She and Robert enjoy entertaining friends at their home (especially during football season – Go Red Raiders!) and they love to travel the world and experience new countries and cultures together.

Her latest book is Lifetime of Achievement.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Leave a comment

Filed under Guest Bloggers

The Story Behind Lifetime of Achievement by Jordan Maylea Ramirez

Writing has always been something that’s come easily for me. I love to read, have been inspired by many books throughout my life (both fiction and non-fiction), and the idea of inspiring someone in that way is something I’ve always aspired to do. Thankfully, the career path I chose put me in the position to do just that!

Lifetime of AchievementMy parents have always been self-employed, so I caught the “entrepreneur bug” at an early age. I started my first business as a junior in high school by partnering with a direct sales company; although I had always excelled academically, I dropped out of college after my first year so I could pursue my business full-time. That was 7 years ago, and I’ve never looked back!

What really intrigued me about the direct sales industry was that virtually all the top earners were also die-hard personal development fanatics. They became successful by working on themselves first, and they continue to help others do the same. The stories of personal transformation really fascinated me – this stuff had really changed a lot of people’s lives, and their results told the story!

About two years into my entrepreneurial journey I went through a really hard time personally. Several months in I decided to pick up an unread book that had been on my shelf for several years; “Maximum Achievement”, by Brian Tracy, literally changed my life!

The principles I learned from that book really took hold of me, and it wasn’t long before I began experiencing results of my own that I wanted to share. My life is what it is today because of my journey with personal development, and I’ve made it my mission to help as many people experience its benefits as possible.
One of my mentors teaches that if you really want people to follow something, you have to make it simple for them – that’s the mission of my book. I took principles from some of my favorite personal development authors and combined them in a format that is easy to read and simple to implement. If my book helps just one person accomplish a goal they’ve been afraid to go after, then it’s accomplished its purpose!

—————————–

Jordan Maylea Ramirez 2Jordan Maylea Ramirez lives with her husband Robert in Lubbock, Texas with their 3 dogs and two horses. Because both her parents have always been self-employed, she had an entrepreneurial spirit from an early age and began her first business at the age of 17. It was at that time that she first became fascinated with the subject of personal development and the impact a personal education can have on a person’s life. She grew up riding horses and competing in Dressage shows all across Texas and New Mexico. The sport continues to be one of the primary passions in her life and if she is not working or spending time with her family you can usually find her at the barn. Jordan has two younger siblings, Clayton and Paige, whom she is very close to, and she greatly enjoys spending time with her family. She and Robert enjoy entertaining friends at their home (especially during football season – Go Red Raiders!) and they love to travel the world and experience new countries and cultures together.

Her latest book is Lifetime of Achievement.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Leave a comment

Filed under Guest Bloggers

‘Sleep Magic’ is a tool that can be used effectively throughout life says author Victoria Pendragon

Victoria Pendragon was born and raised in the vicinity of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is the oldest of eleven. Her life has been defined, as are most of ours perhaps, by conditions that would seem to have been beyond her control. Eighteen years of various sorts of abuse and two diseases that should have killed her rank among the most outstanding of those.

Her study of metaphysics began in early childhood as an attempt to validate the lessons she’d been learning from the earth and the trees whenever she left her body. She has been working as a professional in the field of spirituality since 1995, has read tarot since 1964 and created in 2007, Sacred Earth Seven Element Tarot, a tarot deck designed to bring the world community together.

Victoria began training in art when still a child, eventually acquiring a BFA from The Philadelphia College of Art. Her work hangs in numerous corporate and personal collections, among them The Children’s Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Moss Rehab and Bryn Mawr Hospital Rehab.

She has two children by her first marriage, a son and a daughter, both of whom amaze her. She is currently married to her third husband, a man whose kind soul has created for her an atmosphere of clarity and creativity in which she dances, writes, creates art and helps when asked.

Her latest book is Sleep Magic: Surrendering to Success.

The author may be contacted through her website: http://site.heavenisinyourheart.com.

Blog: http://blog.heavenisinyourheart.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/victoria.pendragon

________________

Q: Thank you for this interview, Victoria. Can you tell us what your latest book, Sleep Magic, Surrender to Success, is all about?

Sure. Sleep Magic is a technique that allows your body to let go of old emotional attachments and information, attachments and information that could very well lie behind recurrent issues and problems in your life.

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

I didn’t, actually…my body did, when I was dying from an incurable disease in the late 80’s. It took me almost 15 years after I’d healed from the disease to begin to comprehend what had gone on. I knew that something had been going on, because despite the fact that I was in a massive amount of pain, crippled and wasting away, I’d arise after what little sleep I could manage, feeling…well…joyful. Hopeful. And my hope flew in the face of what my doctors were predicting for me, namely, death.

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

Well, the first thing I had to do, after codifying what I thought I knew into a sort of formula, was to seek out folks who were willing to try it along with me. So I spent 3 years refining the technique and 8 years working with – oh, my – a lot of people as they used the technique. The average person got through the main learning curve in about 14 months and most were thrilled with the results they achieved, everything from pain reduction to finding peace.

Sleep Magic is so flexible and programmable that it is a tool that can be used effectively throughout life.

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

That your body knows a whole lot more about you than you do. Because it’s the cellular intelligence of the body that the Sleep Magic formula addresses. Your body remembers everything – everything! – that you have ever seen, heard, smelled, tasted or touched.

Q: Can you give us a short excerpt?

Some years ago, a movie called The Secret—See the movie!  Buy the book!  Own the DVD!—ushered into the spotlight that which had not been a secret for at least a thousand years, maybe more.  But to many Americans, limited by a society which has gloried in itself and in its own achievements, much like the metaphorical 2-year-old it is in global terms, this so-called secret was something wonderful and new.  Books on the Laws of Attraction, such as The Secret, have long been on the self-help shelves of bookstores, but now, post-Secret, they entertain an even larger audience and the proliferation of their genre.  Workshops on making dreams come true, once attended only by more alternative types, are springing up in adult night schools.

It was bound to happen.  We live in the land of anything-can-happen-if-you-work-hard-enough, but there is a huge discrepancy here.  We are raised, in America, to believe that we can have it all.  Are we supposed to “have it all?” Does that not smack seriously of greed?

The fact is that most of us live modest lives filled with everyday achievements, joys, distractions, and distresses.  Most of us do not own billion-dollar businesses.  Most of us are not celebrities.  Most of us do not own four houses, a private jet, and a garage full of antique cars.  Yet this is what we, as Americans, tend to equate with success.  Consequently, most of us think of ourselves as not being successful; The Secret that was not really a secret fell on fertile ground—promising, promising, promising.

There is no information in The Secret that cannot be found in Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich written about a hundred years before or for that matter in the works of James Allen, author of As a Man Thinketh and many other older, less flashy tomes.  The bottom line in all these books is always persistence and a positive, focused attitude, and if that worked for everyone as well as it worked for the people about whom these books have been written, then a whole lot more of us should be perfect pictures of the American success story.  There is a reason that there are countless books on achieving success in this quintessentially American way, and that is because the same type of people keep buying the books—well-meaning people hoping for the bigger and better life.  These books are all variations on a theme and the theme itself is, for the most part, a myth.  This myth is handed down from generation to generation.

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

Yes, it is difficult. But it is difficult to get almost anything published. I just finished listening to Janet Evanovitch talking about how it took her 10 years of writing and submitting, writing and submitting to get anything published. Persistence is the key. Always.

Q: What’s a typical day like for you?

I’m a very regimented person by nature so this is easy to describe. After waking and preparing the cards for my daily tarot blog, I do either yoga or Pilates, depending on the day; check Email and post the tarot blog while sipping a warm beverage; have breakfast part 1 while reading whatever book I’m enjoying. After that I alternate between creating art – I’m also a professional, exhibiting artist – marketing myself and The Little Chakra Shop, writing, and eating small meals. I do this until I simply cannot think anymore after which I prepare for bed, sit down with my beloved husband and watch whatever movie he wants until one of the two of us can’t keep our eyes open anymore.

I love it.

Q: What’s next for you?

I’m playing around with death. For many, many years I was a spiritual counselor and sat with folks who were dying…and, of course, I’d come perilously close to doing the same myself. But people in the final stages of life are amazingly open…you can communicate without saying a word. It’s quite wonderful…and I feel strongly that most people have very negative feelings around the idea of death, certainly many people I sat with did. It – death – shouldn’t be a scary thing. It’s natural. And there’s no avoiding it, after all, so I’d like to explore that.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Victoria. We wish you much success!

And I wish the same for you…thank you so much!

Leave a comment

Filed under Author Interviews

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Author Interviews