What is the single best piece of advice you’d give to everyone?
Be yourself. Be original. Find your own path.
When did you make the biggest difference?
During my social work career, I worked in a nursing home for the chronically mentally ill. When I started the residents were basically warehoused, one step above the state hospital. I proposed and implemented a life skill training program which turned the facility from a place to put people who couldn’t live on their own, to a home with programs to help them learn and practice life skills and live with as much independence as they were capable of handling whlle providing the support they needed.
Who had the most influence on your life?
This is a tough question. After thinking on it for awhile, I kept coming back to the name Ram Dass. His book Be Here Now influenced me in my early adulthood to keep seeking for spiritual truths. I find that at this time in my life, I keep coming back to his teachings and learning more.
What was your greatest moment?
When my writing was accepted in a weekly newspaper and I was given my own column which was called Rainbow’s End. I wrote that column for four years during the time my children were little.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I want to be a person who lives in peace and harmony. I want to be a storyteller and tell stories that will inspire others to believe in themselves and walk with just a little more bounce in their step as we all take the journey through life.
What did you admire most about your mother/father/parents?
They were independent business owners. They owned a rock shop and made beautiful jewelry from stones. They were always home when I got home from school, because that is where they worked. My mother believed that girls could do anything they wanted and expected her daughters to go to college. She also believed in my writing and supported it in many different ways.
What advice would you give to your teenage self?
Don’t worry so much about what people think of you. It won’t matter years down the road.
Share something you learned at your day job that applies to life in general.
Everyone has a right to be treated with respect and dignity. Even if you have a mental illness that requires you to be cared for by others, you have a right to be here. As Deepak Chopra said, there are no extra pieces in the universe. We are all very special beings.
How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
I am an old soul living in a 61 year old body. The age doesn’t matter because I believe my soul is eternal and will have further adventures even after I die.
What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?
I would like to see more people learn that we are all connected and begin to act as if it were really true.