Friday, April 9, 2010

Goddess Shift

Goddess Shift: Women Leading for a Change was published in February. People ask me how I managed to snag a chapter in a book in which mainly famous women are featured, women who have made reputations for themselves in fields as diverse as theatre, medicine, politics and writing. To answer that, I have to back up a few years, to when it began to dawn on me that what Chris and I were going through was something extraordinary. I was beginning to emerge from the crippling fear that had engulfed me, which coincided with my seeing that there was light at the end of the tunnel. This was not a sudden conversion experience, by the way. It was simply a recognition that there was some extraordinary help out there for schizophrenia that more people should be tapping into.

The question was, what could I do about this. I could light candles in a church or contribute money to a charity in appreciation, but I felt a bigger gesture was needed. Someone in an on-line group suggested that the best way to get the message out was through a book. That was a great idea, except that my writing skills were pretty rusty. However, I knew the story was compelling, so I started writing it all down. I fell into the new writer's habit of relying on quotations from other people to begin every chapter, because I didn't have confidence in my own voice.

One lunch hour while swimming laps, I got the bright idea to send my unwieldy unfinished manuscript to well-known holistic author and editor Stephanie Marohn. It was her book, The Natural Medicine Guide to Schizophrenia, that kick-started my awareness that there is a better way of looking at schizophrenia. She jettisoned all the quotes from other people (I favored rock lyrics)and tamed the document into something more manageable. I wrote some more, then sent it again to her for further editing. The book is almost finished once again, but the journey continues. Had I stopped it where I originally planned, there would be no recognition that relapse may sometimes be a necessary step and of the energetic healing power of music and vibration.

Stephanie Marohn is the editor of Goddess Shift. She has assembled an interesting group of woman contributors. Jean Shinoda Bolen, for example, is a psychiatrist and Jungian analyst who writes about feminine archetypes and the search for meaning. She is joined by Madonna, who explains what originally attracted her to study the Kabbalah. There is an interesting chapter by Frances Green, a New York lawyer who was once a nun. J.K. Rowling's personal story may be too well known, but she contributes a moving insight into the value of failure. A lot of these women are controversial and many of us are prepared not to like them because we think we know them. When we write honestly about ourselves, as this book encourages us to do, we bridge our differences.

All royalties from Goddess Shift go to the following nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving the lives of girls and young women around the world:

The Global Fund for Women
Promotes women’s economic security, health, education, and leadership

Capacitar (Spanish for "To Empower")
Teaching simple wellness practices in communities affected by violence, poverty and trauma

Community-led development

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