Recovery Book Review~A Book All Need To Read By Brittany L. Shelton. We Can Overcome Trauma …

Recovery Book Review~A Book All Need To Read By Brittany L. Shelton. We Can Overcome Trauma …

 

My book review for an amazing read I just finished by my dear friend and now I can call her a New Fellow!, Author, Brittany L. Shelton. It is titled; Discovering Beautiful: Finding Freedom from Childhood Trauma and Self-Destruction.

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About The Book: 

Stories bring us together and remind us that we aren’t alone. Discovering Beautiful is a series of personal stories that illustrate what it’s really like to grow up in a dysfunctional home, as a child lost in the shadows of the chaos. It demonstrates how one little girl internalized societal stigma and turned inward to cope with the shame of her reality. This story paints a picture of a family savagely torn apart, destroyed, by toxicity and disconnection. This is a story of desperation, exhaustion, fear, and finally restoration and hope.


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Discovering Beautiful: Finding Freedom from Childhood Trauma and Self-Destruction

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REVIEW: Sharing One’s Story Can Be Powerful To Help Others


That is exactly what this book and the author will do very clearly, brutally honest, and open.
It can be a bit scary sharing the “not so nice” when we are not raised in an “angelic family dynamic.” When we are told as children over and over, “don’t speak outside this house” od what goes on behind closed doors, this includes the deep hurtful pain some children endure that their parents may never know happened …
UNTIL OUR VOICE and STORY IS TOLD.

This book by Author, Brittany Shelton is exactly that. Not only is her story of pain and heartbreaking accounts of trauma and abuse, she tells it with hardly any resentment nor excuses when it comes to addiction in her life. No, it shows the seeds of power and truth that lie within us as we learn with faith to overcome, forgive, let it go, and rise up to triumph in life. The sharing much of the chaos but importance of showing family dysfunction can be generational sadly.

This is some of what you learn from this brave woman’s testimony. I too am a childhood trauma and abuse survivor and shared with the author all the many similarities we have. I always thought I was alone and no other child into an adult could have possibly gone through what I had. I was wrong! Reading her book, perfect writing style, was as if we were having coffee together and talking about each other’s life.

The book itself is easy to read and well laid out. My favorite areas that touched me deeply and musings too like, “People with mental illness scared me.” Funny, as I felt the same! First, the author defines trauma and how the effects us. I laughed when she shares how our moms teach us the “most useless shit” that seeps into our brains … and some of where we get those “I’m worthless” thoughts when told year after year. But Chapters 11 & 12 were intriguing to self-image and the way we look at ourselves until addiction beats up down so much, we don’t look anymore …

I highly suggest this book for everyone! It gives an exceptional in-depth look into so many topics and issues happening today, just as much as the child we were. How addictions can devastate families and so much more. I commend the author for sharing her story so others can learn there’s much help available and Hope. You are not alone anymore and YOU do have a VOICE!

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Brittany L. Shelton

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About The Author:

I am in long-term recovery from shame and perpetual escape. I kicked my inner-victim out on its ass and have been healing from the damaging effects of childhood trauma and self-destruction ever since. I’m a believer in the kind of Truth that can set a person free, but only because I have experienced it for myself.

I live with my husband and three young boys and am simply enjoying this season in my life. My goal is to help shift how things work in my family, and I believe that change happens one memory and one new tradition at a time.

Come connect with Brittany on Social Media!

Facebook ~ Twitter ~ InstaGram ~ and on GoodReads! ~ Come and visit Brittany on her website at “Discovering Beautiful Dot Com”

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A Living Master Shares Recovery Wisdom. The Road to Recovery From Addiction ~ The Zen Approach.

The Zen Approach To Recovery ~ By Zen Master Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi

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From the point of view of Eastern Asian medicine, the problem of addiction is the game played by water and fire. In a state of health, these two elements (of the five phases of transformation i.e. wood, fire, earth, metal, and water) ensure that people are deeply grounded and can grow spiritually when in harmony with one another.

However, if the two phases are out of harmony, one of them becomes overly dominant thanks to various ego processes. If water dominates, the person is pulled downwards, and the energy is channeled in the person’s lower chakras. The result is an addiction, an overemphasis on sex or the compulsive urge to fulfill seemingly essential “needs” (alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, gambling etc.), which are actually the needs of the ego.

The standpoint of Zen is completely different from the principles of the East, primarily Traditional Chinese Medicine, as described above. It also takes a different viewpoint from Western medicine, which sees addiction as a kind of illness, from the brain via various organs of the body.

In Zen, the crucial step is in line with the longstanding Zen teaching, “First free your mind, and then do what you want!” If you do not free your mind, you will remain imprisoned and enchained. You will sacrifice your happiness, health, and contentment to satisfy your ego’s needs and accept the burdens it imposes on you, the roller coaster ride of feelings, the arguments about your being victimized, lowly, unworthy, unfulfilled or whatever else it convincingly throws at you to justify or coerce you into addiction.

Healing only by focusing on the roots of the problem

You can try to gradually reduce the effects of the plant or weed (= addiction) in your inner garden using various methods or even attempt to eradicate the weed. Think of substitute drugs, psychotherapy and the broad spectrum of therapeutic approaches. However, it is only possible to eradicate this plant if one severs the roots, the causes of this “evil” instead of just pulling off the leaves of this shrub. Therapy may have a soothing or beneficial effect but does not penetrate to the heart of the matter.

In Zen, freeing your mind is based on the experience of realization and enlightenment, and is the pre-requisite for the healing or salvation of a human being. As long as the mind is blurred, blinded and afflicted by a deep depression or you believe you have to abide in other painful physical and mental states, an addiction such as alcohol abuse, smoking cigarettes or drugs may seem to be the most obvious and natural way out and way forward.

 

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Achieving a breakthrough

Suffering is a very human trait. Buddha said that “all life is suffering.” Awareness, realization, awakening – that is the Zen approach. With the mindful, watchful observing and centered inner eye, you will make moderate use of the resources and opportunities at your disposal. In Zen, there is absolutely no problem in enjoying a glass of wine to spark the imagination or an inspiring drink with a good dinner, but the key is to adhere to the “Middle Way”, the measure of all things, which rejects extremes and does not go overboard or strive to do, have or consume too much.

For this reason, the one-sided approaches to addiction on the part of Western or Eastern medicine ultimately do not provide the permanent solution which is needed. These approaches may provide some relief or alleviation of the problem. But the real breakthrough to a new life, healing, and salvation, to love and bliss, is through clearing the mind by means of meditation or trusting a Master or another person standing in the truth. Meditation unfolds in us what we really are and have always been, namely unconditional, Absolute Being, the One Self which is infinite, timeless and unchanging.

Empowerment to overcome addiction

On the pathless path which we share, as described in our book “Find the Seeker”, and which all of us are on whether we know it or not, awareness, the inner guru, will lovingly but effectively cut the supposed cord of addiction. It will empower us to be Self-reliant without our depending on anything and anyone and enable us to embody the fact that we are whole and complete fro the start. In this way, we are transformed and free ourselves from the suffering and can contribute to helping all sentient beings to free themselves from suffering and experience a life of bliss.

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About Master Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi (Laoshi = “Spiritual Master”)

Gert Beirer, one of the few living Zen Masters was born in Austria in 1945, studied Zen, meditation, Kung-Fu, Qi Gong, and acupuncture in Asia. He was given the name Genro (“Origin of Joy”) Xuan Lou, Laoshi (Laoshi = “Spiritual Master”) by Zen Master Tetsuo Kiichi Nagaya Roshi.

Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi was named Zen (Chan) Master by the Abbot and Grand Master Kun Kong at the Lingyin Temple (Shakyamuni Buddhism) in Hangzhou, with whom he studied 11 years, by Abbot and Zen Master Shi Chan Ming in Wuhan, Province Hubei, China, and was also named Shifu or “Spiritual Teacher” in 2009 by Shi Xue Feng, Abbot of the Ding Shan Temple in Germany.

After returning to Europe, Genro spent decades as a therapist and business consultant and has been heading the Qi Gong Master School in Austria for many years, practicing in accordance with the Wuhan-Yangsheng style. Genro Laoshi has lectured at universities, appeared on TV, held seminars on a variety of spiritual and self-help topics, taught Qi Gong courses and published articles and books on meditation, Zen, motivation and communication, storytelling, body-reading, sexual Kung-Fu, autohypnosis and many more topics.

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I thank Master Genro for this special recovery post written just for all of my recovery friends and visitors. Please visit his website and blog as he and co-author Clifford Stevens present “Weekly Wisdom” that is inspiring and informational here at Find The Seeker!
Genro is also co-author of the recently published highly-acclaimed spiritual self-help book Find the Seeker (Amazon link: http://bit.ly/find-seeker).

 

My Zen Recovery ~ Special Guest Post By Living Master Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi. “Enlightenment Awaits You”

My Zen Recovery ~ Special Guest Post By Living Master Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi. “Enlightenment Awaits You”

It is not often I meet two very special people who have entered my life and learning so much from. Master Genro is one of the few living Zen Masters of today. Author, Clifford Stevens has had the privilege of being taught by Master Genro. And after reading their new book, “Find The Seeker! The Pathless Path to Fulfillment and Happiness” I have been using all the wisdom and unique advice and incorporating it into my recovery path. It has uplifted my spirit, enlightens my soul as I maintain my recovery in being more humbled and grateful.

See, when we choose to finally see and reach out to the tiny sliver of light of HOPE and abandon the bondage of addictions, we can choose a path or journey of our choice as we can begin to heal and work toward making healthy change within our “inner selves.” This is more of what the book guides you through. So, yes, my recovery has been more mindful, natural, and happy! I call it my Zen Recovery …

I hope you enjoy this second guest post as much as Genro’s first. And do get a chance to purchase the book! It truly is an amazing read! … Catherine

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ENLIGHTENMENT AWAITS YOU

It is not easy to put what we mean into words and into a book, which is the mirror of our experience. This is because Absolute, unconditional Being cannot be defined, described, categorized or explained in words. It is the reason why Socrates could only say, “All I know is that I know nothing.” It is the reason why Zen Masters often resort to laughing, making sounds or jumping. It is the reason why the true philosopher remains quiet. Ultimately one has to stop thinking, brooding and reflecting.

Speaking does not mirror one’s innermost nature, the underlying truth of all Existence. Rather, it is what is between the words – serenity, voice, charisma, aura – which can reveal how far a person is on the spiritual path. It may be easy for someone to sit on a meditation cushion and give the impression that he is inwardly serene. However, as one says in Zen, one can only look deeper into the ocean when the surface of the water is calm. In this way, one can find out and understand what the ego is about.

Meditative techniques are there to calm the thought processes, to make sure the monkeys jumping around – our thoughts – finally get tired of what they are doing, and to bring inner peace to the person. We are talking about Absolute Peace, which you cannot attain by any war, by any struggling on your part. It comes when Nobody is there any longer who causes unrest and agitation due to thinking, fears, and all our manipulative, emotional and intellectual processes. Peace comes when there is Nobody who deals with himself and the world in a warlike manner.

Beyond space and time


It may not always reflect our present-day priorities, but achieving inner peace, calmness, serenity, and equanimity is certainly one of our biggest longings. So much has been written about the techniques one can practice, and it is easy to do so. But a technique is only a part of the path. The fact is that the path is a pathless one and is not a path at all in the proverbial sense.

Being on the path means to pick oneself up again and again and plough on, with practices, to continue moving on, if one has not had the grace to embody “enlightenment”, as some of the great  Masters have had this blessing.

Our book is designed to show how such a path could look, how you can make your way along the path with grace, discipline, and humility, and how one can have this experience of enlightenment at the right time and the right place – always and anywhere, because it is beyond space and time.

 

 

Lying at your feet

We don’t usually speak about this. This is because all knowledge, analysis, and definitions don’t lead us anywhere! It is the experience and not the knowledge that is crucial. Take honey. You can conduct as many scientific studies as you want, but it is not the same as tasting it and its sweetness. In this case, you only stand at the beginning of the path and have not yet realized what it is about.

Once you have read all the books and heard all the scientists talking, and still remain dissatisfied, and there are still unanswered questions, then it is time to read this book of ours – perhaps the last one you will need. It shows the pathless path between the words and the lines, serving quasi as a signpost. It is a path that cannot be comprehended in thoughts and words and shows you that which is lying at your feet, as an old Japanese saying goes.

Free your mind

So, sit down, try to calm your mind, and learn to know your-Self. All the questions that arise are the result of the imprisoned and limited mind. Liberation takes place above and beyond everything that can be perceived. It takes place in your inherent, Absolute nature, which at that moment of realization is seen as that which always is enlightened and has always been. This does not involve effort, techniques, work or overcoming. But it requires grace, and your realization, which in itself is the Truth.

And when this happens, do what you want. This is derived from an old parable from Chinese Chan teachings, who said, “First free your mind, and then do what you want.” Our intellect is immediately worried about chaos and anarchy if one does what he or she wants. This concern is from the unenlightened spirit, worrying about things which anyway cannot be influenced. Learn how to entrust yourself, to practice devotion and thus open yourself up and make yourself ready for the workings of the highest Grace.

 

Free of thought

In the Heart Sutra, it is written: Form is emptiness and emptiness is form. The true interpretation is so simple and yet difficult to understand. Zen and our book deals with people who learn to be before there was thinking. The Zen spirit is revealed when thinking stops and the thinker consciously abides “free of thought.” This is the Buddha Nature, which you cannot realize in thought.


The experience of enlightenment awaits you.


Find the “seeker” and unfold the true Self already in you.

The essence of the path is simple, natural and clear.

 

‘Namaste’

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Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi, one of the few living Zen Masters and co-author Clifford Stevens of the recent highly-acclaimed spiritual self-help book “Find the Seeker” now available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle … (Amazon link: http://bit.ly/find-seeker). You may learn more from popular Master Genro on our website:  https://www.findtheseeker.com  and follow us on Facebook.

 

 

Meet and Read The Authentic Meaning of Inner Happiness and Serenity From A Real Living Zen Master ~ Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi.

Hello, Recovery Friends & Welcome Everyone To A “Special Guest Blog Post.”

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Meet Zen Master ~ Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi. He is one of the few living Zen Masters of our time. I am so pleased and honored to have him with us and wanted to share some of an amazing post he has written filled with love, light, and wisdom. His new book released along with Co-author, Clifford Stevens.

I have read it and I am using it as a guide to learn and practice his unique methods, wisdom, and guide to strengthen my own recovery path and to develop a real deeper inner peace.

We sometimes wonder while maintaining our recovery, how do we get through roadblocks and those “feel stuck” moments while doing so?

READ HIS BOOK titled “Find The Seeker!: The pathless path to fulfillment and happiness.”

 

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

Find the Seeker! with the subtitle “The pathless path to fulfillment and happiness”, based on the tried and tested wisdom of a living Master and enlightened ones throughout the ages, accompanies us on a life-changing inner pilgrimage.

Find the Seeker! is a powerful, straight-talking wake-up call to people of all faiths and confessions, holding up a mirror to our worldly existence, suffering and the intricate workings of the ego. Immensely uplifting and rewarding, the book serves as a travelling companion and guide, enticing readers with a vision of what we really are -which can only be directly experienced – by helping us unfold our true nature and reboot our spiritual search so that we can abide in the one Self. In this way, seekers become finders, and we can enjoy the bliss and lightness of Being that is inherently ours.

Find the Seeker! has garnered extensive praise from spiritual teachers: 

“A unique, extraordinary and extremely valuable work.” – Ihaleakala Lew Pen
“Disarming and worth experiencing.” -John Tarrant
“Refreshing as a clear stream.” -Robert Meikyo Rosenbaum
“The book…touches your heart.” -Hue Feng

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CONNECT TO THE ONESELF WITHIN ~ GUEST POST ~ BY ZEN MASTER GENRO XUAN LOU, LAOSHI

“This is the very first blog post ever of Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi, one of the few living Zen Masters and co-author of the recently published highly-acclaimed spiritual self-help book Find the Seeker (www.findtheseeeker.com; Amazon Book link: http://bit.ly/find-seeker).

Turned off by the tools and techniques providing supposedly more “expertise” and the unhealthy propagation that “everything is possible”, a growing number of serious seekers are turning to the “non-body of thought” which people call Zen.

This is a path for all people regardless of their faiths and confessions, for those looking for answers to existential questions, who want to find out who they really are, lead happier and more fulfilling lives, and experience serenity in the face of everything life throws at us.

If we continue delving deeper and deeper into our intellects and minds, we will see that less and less comes out. If we know less and less about more and more things, we will remain on the periphery of life – instead of exploring the boundless resources of our spirit with the possibilities of meditation. Genuinely devoting oneself to meditation is a path which enables our full potential to be unfolded.

The issue is not practicing a “barren” form of Zen in which one simply sits on a meditation cushion “staring at the wall, mindlessly like cattle.” The issue is also not wanting to achieve enlightenment. This is already present and has been from time immemorial.

Wake up from your slumber


What we actually want is to wake up from our slumber, which we find ourselves in thanks to our conditioned, dualistic and judgmental thinking.

How would it be if you could immerse yourself in a world of tranquillity from no-thinking, and your brain could relax and recover like the body when it is resting? This would not only be good for improving your intellectual performance and productivity.

It is about going to where logic no longer determines and defines everything by itself. Above all, you can see that spontaneity and creative processes are aroused when the inner dialogue in you is stopped. The unthinkable in you can only develop if you do not get in the way – and if you learn to put an end to the gossipy and nagging thoughts and delve into (your) pure Being.

For this reason, the ancient masters say “First heal your mind! And then do what you want!” However, we are not talking about anarchy or selfish individualism but the clear awareness of what is.

Be still and abide in the Self


“You have to search without searching”,
Zen Masters say.  “This means to be still, and to abide in and let yourself be guided by the all-encompassing, omnipresent Beingness of the one Self!”

This reality is everywhere where you go, everywhere you stand, and also where you are now. It is true joy. But how can we find this genuine joy and bliss? By fully and without reservation (re-) connecting to the original state of your mind, to the true Self – here and now. However, if you approach it with a tense and overly serious attitude like that of the pallbearers at a funeral, you are doing the wrong thing. The fact that you are attached to and carry all kinds of futile, burdensome things with you means you continually create lots of attachments. The challenge is to become alert and mindful and free yourself from all this conditioning and attachments.

Suffering does not come from the outside. Suffering always comes from within as our reactions to what happens or what we perceive. The impermanence of everything pleasant which you experience in this world can only stop causing suffering in you if you are stop being attached to these things.

Authentic realization not intellectualizing


However, letting go is not an action, not a question of doing, but in letting it happen in the spirit of the Taoistic Wu-Wei (doing by non-doing) and the conviction, as Jesus said, “Thy will be done!”

This becoming self-less enables a truly happy state of Being, a fulfilling togetherness and a truly new concept for ecology, economy and being human.

Zen is an authentic experience. The autonomous compulsion to think means we live in a state of separation in a world full of problems and conflicts. It is like the dog in the room of mirrors. He only sees his own projections as he who reacts full of aggression and fear.

We identify so much with the mind that you do not even realize that has enslaved you. Because you identify with the mind, you derive your feeling of self-esteem from it and fear you will not exist if you stop thinking. What Zen is about is breaking through this self-produced vicious circle through achieving mental and spiritual clarity.

Zen is not about thinking or intellectual speculation based on differentiating, distinguishing and duality, but is “pure experience” and is thus a question of inner awareness.


Return to your center

Zen is not a religion among many others but to the largest possible extent the basis of religions.  …

Now I would like to ask all my readers, recovery warriors, and visitors to “read the rest of the Story” from my special guest’s enlightening blog. Author’s Genro and Clifford also have a “Weekly Wisdom” series they share on their blog each week. So I highly suggest you sign up for their newsletter and Highly Suggest you read their new book as well!
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Find The Seeker! in stack

 

Available in paperback on Amazon  – Amazon Kindle  –  Barnes and Noble, and many fine online book retailers … AND, Author, Clifford Stevens was just with Host, Catherine Carrigan of The Natural Healing Show! So click below and take a listen to his interview and show.

Catherine Carrigan

Catherine Host of The Natural Healing Show on UK Health Radio

I Am Happy To Welcome Author & Writer Lisa Boucher To My Recovery Blog For A Thanksgiving Special Interview.

I Am Happy To Welcome Author & Writer Lisa Boucher To My Recovery Blog For A Thanksgiving Special Interview.

Happy Thanksgiving and Welcome to “Recovery Starts Here” Special Author/Writer Interview. My name Catherine Lyon, Author and Advocate.  I know I am a little overzealous as I just bought Lisa’s new book titled; “Raising The Bottom: Making Mindful Choices in a Drinking Culture” released just this past June 2017.

By the title, you may know some of what her book is about. But from all the 5-star Amazon reviews, there much more. And there is nothing like giving some practical and sound advice about alcohol and stopping alcoholism before it starts or happens.

Today though, we are going to learn more about who Lisa is and the “writer side” of her. So I hope you enjoy this “Special Interview” with Lisa Boucher.

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we?

 

Share a little of what you do?
I am the author of 5 books and an RN. My first 4 books were novels, and my current book,
Raising the Bottom: Making Mindful Choices in a Drinking Culture” is nonfiction.

I’ve worked in all sorts of departments at the hospital: ER, telemetry, medical, neuro, and psych. To be honest, my true love is the writing biz but that doesn’t pay that well at the moment, so a girls’ gotta have a day job!


Where were you born and raised? Youngstown, OH


Tell us more about you? (Like your education, family, hobbies.)
I have a nursing degree and a BA in English. Have always been crazy about animals. I used to have a quarter horse, Sham, who I loved almost as much as I do my twin sons. I love to cook, I’m part Italian, so food is a big deal in our family. I also garden, and like Cat, love to feed and watch the birds.


Do you have any latest news?
I do! Raising the Bottom recently won the 2017 Best Book Award in the category of Women’s Health, and it was a finalist in addiction/recovery category. I also am looking forward to 
Shape Magazine, yes, the Shape Magazine, to run a piece that I contributed to that and will be on their online magazine.

I was also interviewed by a writer at Epoch Times, so I look forward to reading what he put together. I wish I had a specific date, but from what my publicists told me, it should run late November or early December. It may even be out by the time Cat publishes this!



Anything we should know besides you as an Author & Writer?
I’ve been sober 28 years. I am certainly no prohibitionist, but I am troubled by the “women & wine” culture that seems to be a bit over the top. Let’s not forget the kids of these women. There’s nothing funny about a drunk mom. Ask any child who has one.




Do you like writing?
I love it. It’s a process and can be crazy and maddening and frustrating sometimes, but it’s who I am. I am a writer.




When and why did you begin writing?
Honestly, I heard a voice–an audible voice in my kitchen one day. I had just graduated from nursing school, back in 1994. I was home alone one day and musing about my life, my purpose. Was nursing it? A voice came through as loud and clear as if my husband was standing in the room, but he nor my small twins were home. The voice said–”Now I want you to write a book.” I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t even have a computer at the time.


What inspired you to write your first book? God.

 

How did you come up with the title?
I can’t remember, it was a long time ago.  I guess it just came to me like my titles usually do. I have a writer’ly quirk that I can’t seem to write a thing until I do have the title.



Do you have a specific writing style?
No. With the novels, I just let it go and then do lots of cutting and pasting! With RTB, I did try to at least plan out the chapters.




How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The story is about my alcoholic mother; our family; my getting sober early in my disease. I then interviewed 10 other women and they shared their story. I focused on women people would never suspect they had a problem. High bottom women whose bottom was mostly internal: doctors, nurses, mother and grandmothers, young women.

I also did a chapter for the kids, “What Your Kids Say about You and Your Drinking. I feel they never get to have a voice, so I wanted to give them one. I also did a chapter, “Doctors, Nurses and Health Care.” There is so much that goes on behind the scenes at the hospitals and people have no clue. Healthcare has changed so much, and not for the better. The hospitals & some doctors, they want customers, not cures.


To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I didn’t have to travel since I was local, but I did write some of it in Bimini. Bimini is a tiny island in the Bahamas and not much goes on there. It’s a perfect place to write. Ernest Hemingway wrote some of “Islands in the Stream” there.


Who designed the cover?
She Writes Press had a design/illustrator do it.




Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Well, it’s not a novel, but I think every person knows someone who drinks too much. It’s a book for all, whether or not you drink–you know someone who does. Forewarned is Forearmed!


Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?  Who is your favorite?
I have so many books in my reading pile. I’m reading Erik Larson, and my favorite right now is David Foster Wallace. He was brilliant but sadly, committed suicide at the age of 46. He was an amazingly gifted writer. Such a tragedy.



Outside of family members, name one person that supported your commitment to becoming a published author?
Well, not many. I really didn’t talk about it all that much. It seems that if you mention you’re writing a book, everyone chimes in and says me too! I wonder how many of those people will actually finish a book. It was such a tough long road, and still is, so I didn’t talk too much about writing with people other than my family. Of course, people knew I wrote, I just didn’t look to them for support.

 


If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I’m pleased with the way it turned out. Of course, if I sat and thought hard about it I would come up with something, but why make myself crazy? It’s too late to change anything so it is what it is and I think it’s pretty darn good. I did the best I could, and I know my writer’s voice came through strong & clear in “Raising the Bottom.”




Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Oh, my goodness yes! With each book, my writing got better and better. I grew as a writer.

If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
No, I can’t act. Can’t see that at all!



Any advice for other writers?
Keep plugging away. I think if it’s for you to write, you’ll write. I tried to walk away from it so many times, but it seems I kept getting pulled back. If you can walk away from writing and be happy and never miss the agony of it all, you’re probably not a writer. But, if you keep writing even when the journey looks so dark, you’re a writer. We can’t not write. Period.


Will you write another book?
If God wills it, I believe I will. I have some ideas already, but I’m not ready to start another book yet.




What are you reading now?
Just finished *your) Cat’s book: “
Addicted to Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat.”  (what a journey she had, but survived and came out stronger on the other side!).

I’m also reading Anatomy of an Epidemic” by Robert Whitaker.
He’s an investigative reporter and writes about the destructive nature of big Pharma: What he learned mirrors my experiences of what I’ve seen going on in the hospitals for 24 years. The pills doctors prescribe are ruining lives. It’s so sad to see lives destroyed by all the drugs they put people on. I’ve watched lives spiral down to the depths of despair, all because of the RX’s.


Do you remember the first book you read?
Anything Nancy Drew! I Think was the first series type books I can remember.

 

Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Jesus, & Michelangelo. Can you think of two more interesting people?

CAT: LOL… I have to agree about meeting Jesus to ask, What’s It All About? And the other person….hhhhmmmmm, ELVIS! To let him know how bad The Drug Epidemic has gotten…And some to blame is like his Doctor, Over Prescribing Pain Meds and Anxiety Meds too!

 

Favorite Music and Color?
hmmm, that’s a hard one. I like Norah Jones and soothing instrumental music. In my car–I’m a country girl and love the old county music of Wille, Waylon, Kris Kristofferson, Cash, Tammy Wynette. Yeah, the old stuff!
Colors: Turquoise or Black.

 

What do you want to be written on your headstone as part of your Legacy?
Something about healing. I’ve worked with women for 28 years, and I know I’ve been blessed to have been a part of their healing. I also want to leave a legacy of having a bit of grit. The world can be a hard place, but we can be all right if we take God with us.  

 

“One of Lisa’s Favorite Place? ~ Palermo, Sicily – Italy!”

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Do you have a blog or website? Where can readers connect with you on Social Media? Sure do! WebsiteRaising The Bottom.


I’m on Twitter & Instagram: @LBoucherAuthor  – My Book Available on Amazon online.
  – FB page: Lisa Speaks of Raising The Bottom



I Thank you, Kim, for allowing me to share YOU with my readers and blog visitors. We all will enjoy learning all about you as a writer. WHAT an Honor it is to have you with us!

WISHING YOU and all my blog readers, friends, and visitors a very HAPPY, Healthy, and Sober THANKSGIVING! May God Bless You…



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Author and Advocate, Catherine Townsend-Lyon 

 

New Author and Recovery Visionary Book Spotlight. Meet Dr. Jane Galloway, and her book ~”The Gateways: The Wisdom of 12-Step Spirituality.”

New Author and Recovery Visionary Book Spotlight. Meet Dr. Jane Galloway, and her book ~”The Gateways: The Wisdom of 12-Step Spirituality.”

“The Gateways are… A Gateway, a bridge, an opening into living the Spiritual Life that the Steps promise!  What you get from this are Tools, Inspiration, and time to release the Shame and move into the FREEDOM.”   ~Dr. Jane Galloway, Author

When I first heard of Author, Jane Galloway, and her new book, I read the passage above within the book’s description and I immediately thought about how broken, dark and empty I was when I first came into recovery. It was like stepping out of the darkness and into the light of spiritual freedom. Now, half way through reading Jane’s book, that is what you learn and so much more in this book. Here is more about her book…

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About The Book:


Is there more to recovery than just staying sober and clean? Dr. Jane Galloway offers an emphatic “yes” to this question in her groundbreaking 12 Step companion guide, The Gateways: The Wisdom of 12-Step Spirituality. Galloway presents the 12 Steps squarely in the context of 21st-century spirituality with breadth, skill, and sensitivity that helps readers of any faith (or of none) experience a profound spiritual awakening.

Too many recovery programs fixate on the sickness of addiction and, as a result, trap people in a pathology-centered mindset. Jane Galloway’s strength-based approach suggests “Rather than obsessing on what is ‘wrong’ with a person, learning what is ‘right’ with them may hold the key to understanding.” Incorporating ancient developmental systems like Chinese meridians and the Kabbalah Tree of Life, as well as more recent psychological systems like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Erik Erikson’s Eight Ages of Man, Gateways presents 12-Step Spirituality as a Wisdom Path. Galloway’s 12 corresponding Gateway Essences unlock the power of the Steps through spiritual practices and rituals that make up a customized, holistic Mind, Body, Spirit tool kit.

As a 30+ year member of Alcoholics Anonymous, ordained pastor and Doctor of Ministry and accomplished stage and screen actor, community organizer, the Rev. Dr. Jane Galloway brings a woman’s voice to the chorus of men who have previously spoken on 12-Step spirituality. Her work is inspired by and devoted to AA’s founding spiritual vision as it appears in “The Big Book “To us, the realm of Spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive; never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek.”

The Gateways opens wider vistas to the deeper wisdom within us all. Her book published September 2016 by Sacred Stories Publishing, is a beautiful companion guide for a lifetime of mind, body and spirit strength-based healing while using the “reflections on the principles of 12-step spirituality.” Her book is available on Amazon.comBarnes & Noble, and Sacredstoriespublishing.com in both E-book and Paperback.

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About The Author:

Jane is a multifaceted, dynamic woman who has over 30+ years of experience with working, living, teaching and practicing the 12-Steps. A Claremont School of Theology Doctor of Ministry, Jane has extensive experience serving as a minister, community leader, keynote speaker, and strong advocate of the Arts. In addition to her accomplished career as a stage and screen actor, Jane has emerged as a thought leader of the 12-Step spiritual revolution, with the publishing of “The Gateways.” Just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ of all she does for so many who are looking to recover in wellness, not illness, in heart, soul, mind, body and spirit.

Working and living on both coasts, Jane is the Founder of T.R.I.B.E a model dedicated to building community and raising consciousness through ‘radical expression of Art,’ Psychology, Spirituality, Education, Community, Urban Design, Social Justice and Critical Thinking. She is a compassionate, yet dynamic voice for equality and reconciliation in her community and beyond, with a passion for creating bridges between cultures.

Jane is also a painter, designer, and gardener and loves the Southern California climate for growing lavender, flowering cactus, fruit trees and more. A lot of her inspiration comes from working in nature and seeing how things grow in the right soil….a wonderful metaphor for life. Her heart and passions include empowering women, advocating for recovery from childhood trauma, and getting “The Arts” to children.
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Now let us meet Dr. Jane Galloway ~ Founder and Leader of a Spiritual Community in Los Angeles, and T.R.I.B.E.

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What is TRIBE?

It Is: Transformation/Realization/Inspiration/Belonging/Expression.
From California to the urban center and launched in New York City, it has expanded as an umbrella for social practice art beyond one city.

Jane is a visionary leader dedicated to building community and raising consciousness through radical expressions of Art, Psychology, Spirituality, Education, Community, Urban Design, Social Justice and Critical Thinking. She is a compassionate, yet dynamic voice for equality and reconciliation in her community and beyond. Her passion is creating bridges between cultures, and also connecting people to their own deepest calling.

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“All of the years on my path have come together in this new and unique endeavor of integrating art, the spiritual path, emotional health, creativity, and purpose. We are birthing this T.R.I.B.E. in Harlem, where deeply culture- transforming ventures have found fertile ground for more than a century. We are not gentrifiers, but rather grateful appreciators of the presence of the wisdom of the ancestors, who are present here.”

Jane states she has come to believe that artists are uniquely positioned to speak the world into a new reality. “We are all capable of being Artists by Intention, whatever our profession, creating the conditions for people to TRANSFORM- First themselves and then the world.”

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Gatherings can include performance, visual art, and film combined with depth teachings from wisdom texts, psychology, art theory, and literature. These elements, along with meditation and dynamic conversation with the participating artists, combine to create the conditions for dramatic and ongoing awakening and renewed purpose.

Jane is a life-long artist; painter, writer, singer, designer, actor, director, producer. During a thirty year award winning career as an actor, she starred on and off Broadway, in regional and European theater, film and television, founded an Arts Education Nonprofit, h’ARTworks, in Southern CA, has also worked as a Drama Therapist, and college professor. She has also received professional awards and civic commendations for her work as a minister, community leader, and arts activist.

In the darkest days of the AIDS Epidemic, Jane followed a calling to pursue Higher Education and Ministry, to try to be a part of the solution in a more direct way. She was awarded both Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Ministry from Claremont School of Theology in CA and became an ordained Minister through the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She studied under the brilliant New Thought philosopher Eric Butterworth in NYC for ten years.

In her ministry, Dr. Galloway utilizes depth teachings from world religions, indigenous wisdom, and New Thought teachings, combined with art and cross-cultural conversation to inspire a universal realization of Oneness.

You can connect with Author, Dr. Jame Galloway on social media and visit her website today:

Jane’s Website
T.R.I.B.E.
On Facebook
Twitter
GoodReads Author

 



My In Recovery Magazine First Official Column!

Hello and Welcome All Recovery Friends and Visitors,

Well, I feel like part of the In Recovery Magazine FAMILY! If you haven’t seen any of my social media posts lately, I shared that I had been invited to be a permanent columnist for In Recovery Magazine! They have a new “The Author’s Café” column where I write about recovery books, films, and apps. I have the pleasure of interviewing many talented authors, writers, and filmmakers. It couples with our fantastic IRM, “The Book Stand” where creators can list their new book, film, app and even recovery blogs in the stand and enjoy incredible advertising exposure to our readership and subscribers worldwide. The info is listed here  List Your Book in IRM The Book Stand on my blog if you are interested!

I am very proud to share my first piece with all my recovery friends, and as a top premier magazine for articles, columns, and news, I invite you to be part of our recovery readership and subscribe our recovery community here: Subscribe to IRM today and you won’t miss my next column. Many of you know I am a recovering addicted gambler, so I wanted to come out of the literary gates of raising awareness of my addiction.

So I felt it very appropriate to have for my first column and guest author someone who knows all about this disease, and has been around the GA (Gamblers Anonymous) rooms for many years. You may need to increase the size for better readability as we had a chat about a topic you will well remember. I hope you enjoy it!

So I share my first in print “The Author’s Cafe” column with all of you Courtesy of In Recovery Magazine  …

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“The Author’s Cafe Welcomes: Author & Gambling Recovery Expert Arnie Wexler”


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