I've been in private practice for twenty years, licensed as a psychotherapist in California, treating individuals and couples. I graduated from the University of Maryland at Baltimore with a masters degree in social work and before that with a bachelor's degree in education from Carnegie Mellon University. I'm thrilled to be publishing my first book, CHANGE YOUR MINDSET NOT YOUR MAN, Learn to Love What's Right Instead of Trying to Fix What's Wrong. I live in El Dorado Hills (near Sacramento, CA) and enjoy cooking healthy food, working out, hiking, and playing tennis. My two sons are grown.
I was born in Western Pennsylvania and my early life was difficult. My father was an alcoholic from the age of fourteen when he killed his best friend's father in a hunting accident. He was filled with rage and physically abused my mother and us children - myself, an older brother, and a younger sister. Many winters in Pennsylvania we were without heat, ate government surplus food, and had utilities disconnected. Our house was foreclosed and sold at a sheriff's sale. My mother suffered from depression and a series of illnesses her whole life and was a weak role model for a girl. I came into adulthood ill prepared for relationships and parenting and it took me many years of therapy, groups, and hundreds of self-help books, as well as spiritual seeking and journaling to find the person I am today. These experiences gave me enormous empathy and first hand knowledge about the issues many of my clients face. I am now grateful for the hardship that provided the grist for my growth Like many girls and women it took me many years to discover the most important relationship-the one with myself. In my book I show women how to fulfill or complete themselves first and then discover that their needs or expectations of a relationship are more realistic and possible.
I've been a writer all my life. My mother was English major who went on to become a librarian and she introduced me to books at an early age. My first writing course was with the now famous John Barth when he was a professor at Penn State University and he was positive about the short stories I produced. Even when my professional writing took the form of grant proposals, case histories, and promotional materials I was always working on memoirs, short stories, and essays and taking writing classes in my free time. My published work includes a first-person piece for Home Winemaker magazine, a featured cover story for a professional journal, Social Work Today and several articles and a series of columns for the local newspaper, the Folsom and El Dorado Hills Telegraph.
The most important author for me, one who changed my life with his writing, was Eckhart Tolle, when I first read THE POWER OF NOW, and then A NEW EARTH: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose. My book is informed by these concepts.
In writing this book my hope is that you the reader are able to look again at your good enough man and realize that it isn't necessary or desirable that he be a Prince or that you find a happily ever after. There can be much value in accepting him and yourself the way you are and grow in strength and wisdom as you confront the reality of your life. By moving away from the cultural definitions that have been so suffocating and confining for us, especially trapping us in relationship conflict, we can find our truth, our authentic self, and our natural power base. By accepting our own and others imperfections and knowing deeply that our worth is not affected by what others say and do, we can stay open, loving, and compassionate. As empowered women we can stand in our truth and ask for what we want without the demand to receive it. We reduce the need to contort and deny ourselves to be loved. There is enormous benefit for a woman who can conceptualize her task as evolving herself rather than in fixing her man.
I have thoroughly enjoyed writing this book and sharing my own life lessons and those of my clients . This book is filled with what I wish someone would have told me when I was a younger woman. It is emminently satisfying and blesses my life to offer it to you.
THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY
My lifelong spiritual seeking ended with Eckhart Tolle's first book, The Power of Now as I began meditating and recognizing consciousness activating my life. In February 2006 I went to the San Francisco Writer's Conference to market some children's stories I had written, one especially, a chapter book called The Corn Goddess about my own childhood experiences. I had been a writer all my life beginning with poetry as a child, short stories in college, grant writing as a director of non-profit agencies, memoir pieces, and thirty years of personal journals.
On Sunday morning at the conference I participated in speed dating with editors and agents and was disappointed that all of them quickly dismissed me. My books were not ones they were interested in or could market as the stories were about children in problematic families. As I stood there in the crowded noisy ballroom feeling defeated and confused, I realized that I had lived a much bigger book, one that was so deeply embedded in my life and my work that I hadn't until that moment realized it was what I really wanted to write. I approached editors and agents again, this time with my clumsily worded pitch for a non-fiction book which eventually became Change Your Mindset. Their faces lit up, their eyes stared hard into mine, they wrote my name down, handed me their cards, urged me to send them a proposal. It felt divinely inspired.
I went home, wrote a proposal, and found an agent who sold my book to Adams Media. After some negotiating with the contract, I was ready to begin writing. At that time I was raptly following Eckhart Tolle's online webcast with Oprah Winfrey. That night he responded to a question from a caller named Kippy about how to achieve goals while remaining present. He said to externalize what's already there. See the goal as a reality inside not as something in the future. He quoted Jesus, "Believe that you already have received it, and it will be yours." A shiver went through my spine. I knew this message was for me. The next day I began writing the book effortlessly and with great joy. I knew that I was a conduit for these ideas, that the book was given to me.
Consciousness has been guiding and directing my life, opening doors for me, planting ideas and motivating me, and I have only to listen and trust. I also believe that my mother who could not help me in this earthly life but who was educated in classical liberal arts and had a great love for language and books is making connections for me now that she is on the other side.