November 6, 2009 | Comments Off
Dr. Kent: My next guest on the show is the author of a wonderful book called ‘Lessons for the Living.’ It’s a very beautiful note that we can end the show on today. The author of this book is Stan Goldberg, and the subtitle is, ‘Stories of Forgiveness, Gratitude and Courage at the End of Life.’ Welcome to the show, Stan Goldberg.
Stan Goldberg: Thanks, Kent, for having me on.
Dr. Kent: You went through a terrible experience yourself, and that’s how you got into this whole thing.
Stan Goldberg: Yes. I have prostate cancer, and when I contracted that, I really didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. I didn’t know what the prognosis was. Through a series of events, I ended up as a bedside hospice volunteer.
Dr. Kent: Your background is as a professor, and of course you have your PhD in speech pathology, and all sorts of history teaching and presenting and all of that. Now how is this different from all of that?
Stan Goldberg: I think that the biggest difference is that in a world of academia, you tend to be very objective, very empirical, very data oriented, very almost constricted in some way. Being a bedside hospice volunteer, you have to throw all of that out, and it’s a very emotional, present experience. It was a radical transformation that I had to go through in order to be effective as a bedside hospice volunteer.
Dr. Kent: The book itself is obviously dealing with both you and them. How did you learn through these experiences of talking to these people?
Stan Goldberg: When I started to do my volunteer work, I really had no intention of writing this book. I was actually working on a novel. The experiences were so transforming that I thought that I really needed to write these things down. What happened was, I went from someone who pretty much fit the stereotypical view of a university professor to someone who was much more open, not only about what I was experiencing going through cancer, but also what my patients were experiencing. Being in their presence really allowed me to get much more in touch with myself, and pretty much learn how to live regardless of how long that might be.
Dr. Kent: All of us, from early on in life, have real problems thinking about death: of course we do. It’s a terrifying thing. You confronted it by being diagnosed first of all. It’s obviously a different perspective when it happens to you or when you see it happen to someone else. What did you see in seeing through the window, both directions?
Stan Goldberg: I think that there’s really three levels of understanding that I found. The first is what I had been most accustomed to, which was book [indecipherable]: essentially you can read about something and have an intellectual understanding of that. The second thing is you can actually watch it happen, and that would be at the bedside, and you’re seeing people confront their own deaths. The third most intimate, I think probably most genuine form of knowledge, is when you experience the thing yourself. I’ve been able to do all three of those things now.
Dr. Kent: There are such taboos around death. You shouldn’t talk too much about it, and nobody prepares you for those times when your family members are in the hospital, or when you yourself are diagnosed with something. What stories did you come across that made you write this book?
Stan Goldberg: There were many things I learned. If you look at the book, there’s about eight very specific lessons. They all seem to have very simple descriptions, such as letting go, not taking along with you something that no longer is functional. An example of that would be there was a woman that I served whose mother had difficulty accepting the idea that her daughter was dying. Because she couldn’t accept that, the daughter made a conscious decision to keep on living in spite of tremendous pain she was experiencing. Watching that happen, it made me realize that I was doing the same thing on some levels, even though it wasn’t that traumatic. Because of my cancer, I was putting myself in physical risk, because I did a lot of outdoor things alone, that didn’t make sense any longer. So that was one direct application, where watching what my patient was going through was a direct lesson to how I needed to change my own life.
Dr. Kent: So you have prostate cancer, which is something that is terrifying to a lot of men, and yet men rarely get checked for it, honestly. What can you say about the cancer itself?
Stan Goldberg: Get it checked quick, and soon and often. Prostate cancer is one of the slowest growing forms of cancer. If it’s caught early enough, while the cancer is still in the prostate gland, it’s a hundred percent curable almost. But once it’s allowed to get out of that gland, which has been the case with me, then those microscopic cells are going to be there forever. When I said that my diagnosis is indeterminate, what I really meant was that the cells are always there, and it’s a holding action that medication is taking essentially. My thought is that the cancer cells will always be there, they will be hungry, and they’ll be ready and waiting to go, unless something else beats them to the punch.
Dr. Kent: It’s fascinating to me to speak to someone who does have a close perspective on that: all of this healthcare debate is going on right now. Obviously one thing is Americans are thinking a lot more about health over the last several months, but what’s your take on the whole debate happening?
Stan Goldberg: One of the biggest problems that I saw was that you had people who had a vested interest in keeping the healthcare system exactly as it is scaring the most vulnerable people in our society, those that were sick and elderly. It’s taken the hospice movement numbers of years in order to have the whole issue of looking at end of life care as something that was important. I think a lot of the discussion on death panels, on pulling the plug, really put us back many years. I was very disheartened by what was happening.
Dr. Kent: Because it’s a political tactic on an issue that really all of these, even the people that were saying those phrases, advocated planning, which is the strange thing. So there’s this political thing happening for something that we really do need.
Stan Goldberg: I agree with you completely.
Dr. Kent: In terms of this book, what’s the been the feedback? Obviously there’s not many folks out there that are able to put this perspective to death. Of course the book is called, ‘Lessons for the Living.’ It’s not about how to die or something like that. What’s been the feedback, because clearly you do offer perspective that is new?
Stan Goldberg: It’s interesting. I think there’s two levels of feedback that I’ve been getting. The first one is a reluctance to read it because people have a natural fear of dying. They look at death as the finality of it, the horror of it, and whatever negative term they can think of for it. But when they actually read the book, the feedback is incredibly gratifying. I think the purpose of the book was to have people understand that the greatest teacher we can have about living really is death. A willingness to look at it openly and see what it can teach us is what I try to give people in the book.
Dr. Kent: What does this book mean to you in terms of what you’ve been able to do with it, and what it means now for you moving forward?
Stan Goldberg: There’s two different forms of satisfaction from this book. The one is in writing it, essentially I felt that I was given information and knowledge that I felt I was required to share. As I said, I had no intention of writing the book, but the message was so clear and so important, I thought I was obligated to share it. Now I’ve done that, and that was one of the purposes. The second is being in the presence of these people has radically transformed my life. For me, it’s more important that the quality of the life that I have not just physically, but also psychologically, than it is the quantity of life that I have left. That I got from my patients.
Dr. Kent: What a beautiful book it is. Give us another peak inside the cover. Tell us another one of the sections in the book.
Stan Goldberg: There was a woman who had spent her life waiting for a person that she had a relationship with to get out of jail, which was a very strange relationship they had. As he had about a few more years left, she contracted brain cancer. She realized that by waiting her entire life for this guy, she had wasted hers. At that point, when he would finally able to be released from prison, her life would long have been over. She came to understand that living in the future is a way of denying the present. That was a lesson that I took very seriously. That’s the lesson that a lot of the patients that I was with came to understand: we don’t know about tomorrow, we don’t know about the future. The past is gone, all we have is today. Live for today because that’s the only time we exist in.
Dr. Kent: Those are beautiful words. What’s the immediate job that you do? Tell us more, because I know from my time with family in the hospital, there’s some incredible workers that work with people. What is the work you do? Do you work at a hospital? Do you go to homes?
Stan Goldberg: I’ve been with four different hospices. Hospice can take place in a dedicated unit, it can take place within a hospital, it can also take place in homes. I’m currently with Pathways Home Healthcare and Hospice, and they almost completely go into people’s homes. So I will go into someone’s home, I will sit with them, I will talk with them. If something needs to be taken care of in the house, I will do that. But it’s usually that I’m there to – the best way to describe it is a midwife to death. I’m there just to listen to them, to be there to witness their pain, to talk to them about dying if they bring up the subject. It’s almost what you would do with a family member or a good friend, and that’s what a hospice volunteer does.
Dr. Kent: That’s also such an incredible opportunity to sit at someone’s bedside, because they recant the tales of their entire life at times, I’m sure.
Stan Goldberg: It’s an honor to be able to sit there and be invited into someone’s life, especially as it’s getting closer to ending. People are more honest with you than they are sometimes with their family members. They’re willing to share with you things that they’ve never told anybody. You walk away from the bedside of these people, a different person, a better person, every time you’re there.
Dr. Kent: On a lighter note, your latest blog entry talks about people who died in the middle ages. I’ve got to say I was chuckling – death is at sometimes sort of funny in a weird way. You talked about when people died, they said goodbye, gave away the furniture, and then they just stopped breathing.
Stan Goldberg: Yes, and that was pretty much how it was. At that point, death was viewed as just a part of living. As a part of living, it was treated no differently than birth. So it was this continual wheel that people accepted and they didn’t have any fear about. Now, it’s a very fearful topic. I don’t know if I mentioned that blog, but there was a story that Thomas Merton told that when his mother, Donna, was dying – this was about 1910 or 1913 – they wouldn’t allow him to come to the hospital, because they thought it would traumatize him, although he loved his mother and she loved him. What she did was to write him a letter that he was able to read after she died. It’s that kind of fear we have of death. I think it ends up doing two evils: one, it makes it difficult for those of us who survive people who have died to really understand what is going on and to learn from them, and the second, it makes it difficult for the person who’s dying. It’s important to say goodbye. It’s important to finish up things. There’s a lot of things that we can do for loved ones as they are dying if we just weren’t so afraid of the topic.
Dr. Kent: You know what’s interesting too, I was just thinking Halloween weekend is approaching, and it used to be that Halloween was a scary night because the souls of friends and family and other folks were just drifting about before All Saints’ Day. It’s kind of kids paint cemeteries, and they dress up as dead people and this and that, but it made me think, it’s all become so commercialized, that the kids aren’t actually thinking about death anymore. They’re just having a good time. I’ve heard that many cultures, even American culture 50 years ago, 100 years ago, it was much more talked about, death. There was always an open casket, and the whole town would come see. What’s the relationship that we have now adays with death?
Stan Goldberg: I think we fear it generally. We think that if we ignore it, it will go away. I think it also allows us to think in terms of the future rather than living for today. I’ll always have time to say I’m sorry. I’ll have time to say goodbye. I’ll have time to hundreds of different things, and I think in some way it insulates us from maybe some of the more difficult things that we currently experience. Like, if I screw up, I tell people now I’m sorry right away. I don’t wait, because I don’t know how much longer I have. I think it’s that insulation that people want. They would prefer to think that there’s always time to do it. If you believe you always have time to do it, then you’re not going to want to deal with death.
Dr. Kent: These lessons for the living, it’s almost that you’re telling people, there are things that we should be thankful for, and things you should apologize for right away. Is there some of that to what your book is about?
Stan Goldberg: That’s the whole book. The nut of the book is that the way that we live is going to be the way we die. If you live in the present, you take care of people. You say you’re sorry when you’ve done something that you shouldn’t have. You tell people how much you love them. If you do all of that now, and don’t think you have time for the future to do that, I’ve found that deaths tend to be much easier.
Dr. Kent: Yes. It’s so fascinating talking with you. What are you working on now? Obviously you’re doing some interviews, and giving this wonderful book out there, but what are you doing now?
Stan Goldberg: There’s another book I’m working on, don’t know the title yet, but it has to do with resurrecting one’s joy. One of the things that I’ve seen is that a lot of times, people will grieve a loss they have, whether it’s a loss for a person, a pet, a job, and many other things, and the question then becomes, how do you regain that joy that you lost? The approach most people take is, well, you look for an exact substitute. If your husband dies, you look for a new husband, if your pet dies, you look for another pet. What I started looking at is those people that I’ve seen who’ve recovered their joy did it not necessarily by looking for an exact duplicate, but rather, looking at the emotion.
Dr. Kent: I don’t know if you ever heard – where did I see this? On television or somewhere, the story of the couple that cloned their dog or their pig or something.
Stan Goldberg: No, I didn’t.
Dr. Kent: It was their beloved – was it a pig? I can’t remember – but their beloved animal, and they cloned it. Of course, the animal that they literally reproduced wasn’t the same animal. Exactly what you were just saying. It’s such an honor to chat with you, Dr. Stan Goldberg. Now your background is in communicative disorders at San Francisco State, and you’ve got political theory background, and philosophy.
Stan Goldberg: As my mother would say, I could never make up my mind.
Dr. Kent: Yes [laughs]. Exactly. Now you’re a writer in a topic that’s very important. I look forward to seeing what you come up with next, and this is truly a beautiful book. Thank you so much for talking to me.
Stan Goldberg: Thank you for having me on Kent.
Dr. Kent: People can check out Stan Goldberg’s newest book, and his blog: great amounts of information on StanGoldbergWriter.com. Of course his book is called, ‘Lessons for the Living.’ What incredible stories he’s told us even here, and go check it out. Next week on the show, I’m excited because we’re going to have a whole different lineup of guests. Every week, it’s kind of a different thing. I believe next week, we’ve got an author for most of the show, and then a musician at the end. Every day this week at 3pm, you can tune in and listen to Sound Authors interviews. I hope you’re all able to pick up a great book: Stan Goldberg’s book is a book that you need to buy for everyone in your family who has ever dealt with death or thought about it. It’s called, ‘Lessons for the Living.’ Clarke Buehling – what a fun conversation that was – talking about The SkirtLifters, his music of the last 20 years, his explorations of the last 40 with the banjo, and the origins of urban and country music, and of White and Black music. It’s been a great show today. Everyone have a safe week, and we’ll talk to you live again next Friday. Tune in every day at 3pm to hear some favorites of mine from Sound Authors radio. Have a safe week, and pick up a great book.
November 6, 2009 | Comments Off
From his website:
Stan Goldberg is a Professor Emeritus of Communicative Disorders at San Francisco State University with a Ph.D. in Speech Pathology, a Masters in Political Theory, and a Bachelors in Philosophy. For over 25 years he taught, provided therapy, researched, and published in the area of learning problems and change. Dr. Goldberg has published six books, written numerous articles and delivered over 100 lectures and workshops throughout the United States, Latin America and Asia. His latest book is ‘Lessons for the Living: Stories of Forgiveness, Gratitude, and Courage at the End of Life.’ In 2009 he was named by the Hospice Volunteer Association as ‘Volunteer of the Year.’
October 31, 2009 | Comments Off
Dr. Kent: Well it’s my real pleasure to have on the show next the award winning author of ‘Skinny Bitch,’ Rory Freedman. It’s a fantastic book, beautiful cover, and it’s selling off the shelves. Now there’s a whole line of products attached to it, including ‘Skinny Bastard.’ I wish I still was one. Welcome to the show, Rory Freedman.
Rory Freedman: Thank you so much for having me. It’s great to be here.
Dr. Kent: What an incredible concept. How did you start coming up with this book title, and the things inside it.
Rory Freedman: The title was just a provocative, cheap, attention-getting ploy. Basically I changed the way that I eat, and changed my life, and I wanted to make sure to share that information with other people, and get that information out there. But I also know that people don’t necessarily want to sit down and learn about their health, and learn about their food origins and learn about what’s going on with their bodies with the food they’re eating, so I figured that if we made a fun, sassy, easy-to-read guide, and put it with a silly title, and good artwork, then people would dig it.
Dr. Kent: The title, it is silly, but it’s so edgy. It’s got the thing that every woman wants to be, and the thing that every woman doesn’t want to be.
Rory Freedman: Yes. Unfortunately, nobody cares about their health in this day and age. We’re in a time of mass media and pop culture, and everybody just wants to be thin, and ‘bitch’ seems to get a lot of attention. The title’s been a great attention-getting ploy, and I’m happy that people are reading the book because there is so much sound information and compelling, motivating stuff that gets people to really make those lasting changes once and for all.
Dr. Kent: One great thing about the book – and the title and the cover hint at it – is that it really is a no-nonsense guide. It’s edgy. The way the book is written, the way you’re advice is given is very edgy. What’s the feedback you get from women?
Rory Freedman: Basically they read the book, and they laugh their asses off the whole time they’re reading it, and because of that, the information sort of sticks. I’m not a scholar, I’m not a real writer in a sense – this was the first book I ever wrote, and I just write in a really conversational way. It’s not a stiff, boring, hard-to-read diet book: it’s more of a fun lifestyle book, but there’s again, tons of information in there that is just easier to swallow when it’s written in a really informal way.
Dr. Kent: Both of you got to know each other in the modeling world, right?
Rory Freedman: Right. I was an agent, and Kim was a model, and we bonded over food and laughing. We found that we had similar senses of humor, and we both liked eating more than anything else on the planet. That was, I don’t know how many years ago, but we became fast friends, and then eventually when we each changed our own crappy diets to a better diet, that’s eventually when we started to think that we could make a difference in the lives of other people and how we could best go about doing that.
Dr. Kent: Tell me about the crappy diet first. I am definitely attracted to that concept.
Rory Freedman: You name it, I ate it. Basically, I used to eat Burger King seven days a week.
Dr. Kent: Seven days!
Rory Freedman: Yup – seven days a week. Actually, maybe it was five days a week. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t say seven. It was probably five days a week. Every morning I used to eat a Taylor ham-fried egg-and-cheese on a roll, and I drank soda, and chocolate bars, and bags of chips, and anything from a convenience store, I was interested in eating.
Dr. Kent: Well, you got my mouth watering. So tell me how health food can make me just as excited.
Rory Freedman: It can’t overnight. If you’d told me back then that I was going to get excited over eating something healthy like a salad or steamed vegetables and fruit, I would have barfed on the table. But, once you do start making small changes, something happens inside your brain and inside your body, something shifts and it doesn’t happen overnight, but eventually it does happen, and once it happens, you cannot believe the changes that you experience: your taste buds, your brain, your personality, your positivity, your energy: everything in your body of course just becomes different and better, and it’s life-altering.
Dr. Kent: So there’s a lot of folks out there that say, okay, we’ve seen them on these big shows, or we see them on the shelves of all the stores, and they look skinny, the woman on the front cover of their book is skinny. Of course it’s easy for them.
Rory Freedman: Not at all. Food is an addiction for all of us. Even now, even being skinny and even being healthy, I still struggle with food, because I love eating more than anything on the planet. I actually just had to take a vow to not eat sugar for 30 days because I was feeling like I’ve gotta get this under control: all I want is cookies, all day every day. I’m not even PMSing! So I’ve gotta figure this out. I just took a 30-day pledge to myself, and actually I think it’ll be longer than 30 days: I’m not going to eat any sugar until Thanksgiving.
Dr. Kent: Holy cow!
Rory Freedman: I know! It’s a big deal. So if people think that it doesn’t matter, if you’re thin, or if you’re overweight: food is hard for all of us, and making changes is really difficult, but once you make that commitment to yourself – and I think a really good idea for people to do is to just say for 30 days, I’m going to try something. Don’t worry about the rest of your life. Don’t say from now on I’m going to bla bla bla. Just pick something you know you can do better, start today, and do it for 30 days.
Dr. Kent: So I’m curious about ‘Skinny Bastard,’ a little bit. That’s the newest fun book in the series. What inspired that, and how was it writing that one?
Rory Freedman: It was a lot of fun to write that one, because I got to come up with as many euphemisms as I could for the male operating equipment. That book was basically the same as ‘Skinny Bitch,’ because men and women have mostly the same dietary needs, the only difference being that men often have a higher calorie need, but basically the same foods are healthy for all of us, and people have the same concerns. Of course with men we talked a little bit more about exercise, and athletes, and protein and weight-lifting, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction, and how your diet effects all of those things. It also was fun to kind of – even for me, because I’m already bawdy to begin with – but to step out and be a little bawdier, and doing a little locker-room talk. It was fun.
Dr. Kent: It’s an incredible thing to see a book that’s on the bestseller list. It’s literally, you walk into Borders, there it is, all around the country. It’s a book that’s really edgy. It doesn’t have the things you’re supposed to say in it. It is bawdy, it is edgy, it’s fun. Have you gotten any people saying to you, ‘Hey, this is a little bit over the top’?
Rory Freedman: Oh, of course! I certainly didn’t set out to offend anyone; I just have my own specific sense of humor, and I think a lot of that stuff is hilarious. The feedback in general has been in agreement with that, that it’s hilarious. But if you’re somebody who’s easily offended by four-letter words, or somebody calling your johnson a ding-a-ling-ling, then don’t read the book! You’re going to be horrified because there’s ten-times worse stuff in there than that. But if you have a good sense of humor, and you want to feel good, and you want to eat well, and you want an education that doesn’t feel like an education, then you’re going to love it, and you’re going to laugh out loud multiple times, I guarantee it.
Dr. Kent: Diet books, gosh, they’re a dime a dozen. There’s so many, and everybody’s hooked to them, and they buy one after the other after the other. The hush-hush industry thing is we know it’s not going to work, but we’re just trying to find the next edgy concept that everybody will flock to, whether it’s Atkins diet or this and that. Your book is a little different, because it’s kind of timeless. You’re dealing with women personally, but have they actually lost the weight? Have you gotten some feedback?
Rory Freedman: The reason that this book is popular – certainly Posh Spice picking up the book and being photographed holding it absolutely made a difference for us – but the book was really successful before that ever happened, and before we had any publicity at all, and that’s because people were reading the book, and it was a huge word of mouth success. People read the book and then tell the friends and family around them, ‘You have to read this book.’ Because their minds are blown when they read it. There’s just so much compelling information, and it’s also a really fun read. But it does change people’s lives, and the way the information is presented makes it for the first time easy for people to actually make these changes. I’m not tooting my own horn, I’m just saying, the book is effective. It’s not like we have reinvented the wheel. I didn’t invent this way of eating. I just collected information from all sorts of scientific sources and put it in one easy-to-read, fun package. People are responding to it.
Dr. Kent: If you were to boil down what changes are needed to become what you’ve become, which is somebody who’s in control of their own body. What would it boil down to for you?
Rory Freedman: I think that everybody knows what their weak spots are. Some people have no idea what their weak spots are because they just don’t know what’s healthy and what’s not, so this books is going to give a good education on that. For other people, they just need the motivation. They know what their weak spots are but they don’t really feel excited or compelled or motivated to do anything about it. I think that’s one of the really good things about the book: when you’re done, you’re excited, and invigorated. Instead of dreading making the change, you kind of feel like ‘Wow! If I don’t do this…’ For example, I’ll start with a little silly one: soda. I know a lot of people drink soda, whether it’s diet or regular soda, and there’s nothing in there that’s beneficial for your body at all, and in fact it’s harmful for your body. So for people that can get rid of the soda and have water instead, it’s going to make a huge difference. Not only just because of that, but because it’s also going to influence other things in your diet, and your health as well. So just start somewhere, do something.
Dr. Kent: So what about celery, are we going to have to eat a lot of celery on the ‘Skinny Bitch,’ or ‘Skinny Bastard’?
Rory Freedman: I don’t think we mention the word ‘celery’ in the book ever. I’m definitely not someone who sits down to chop carrot sticks, and chop celery sticks. I’d rather eat a pile of poop; how boring! There’s lots of fun food that you can eat on the ‘Skinny Bitch’ and ‘Skinny Bastard’ diets. That’s the reason they also work. We’re not saying, ‘No more cake! No more cookies!’ We’re saying, food is meant to be enjoyed and nobody likes eating more than us. Just figure out what you’re eating, what makes you feel good, what makes you feel crappy. Make better choices for the food that you are buying, but still enjoy the same stuff.
Dr. Kent: Now you also have, ‘Skinny Bitch in the Kitch.’
Rory Freedman: Right, that’s a cookbook, it’s a recipe book. For some people, this is a new way of eating, and we wanted to make it as easy as we could as possible, and there’s a cookbook that’s got tons of fun, great recipes.
Dr. Kent: I have to say, my fiancé is really into Larabars, and it looks like you guys are too.
Rory Freedman: Yes, I love Larabars. There’s a lot of those protein bars or snack bars out there, and a lot of them are just kind of crappy for you, but people think that because it’s called like a nature bar or a nutrition bar that it’s healthy. But if you read the ingredients, there’s sugar or corn syrup, or God forbid, artificial flavors or colors, and it’s like, who the hell wants to eat that? The ingredients in Larabars are just really pure and really simple. It’s always just a few ingredients and they taste really good.
Dr. Kent: So what are you working on now? There must be another three or four books in the hopper, right?
Rory Freedman: Oh, yeah. I’m just cranking them out. We actually have a boxed set coming out in December or January. It’s a couple in a box. It’s the hardcover editions of ‘Skinny Bitch’ and ‘Skinny Bastard.’ A boxed set so that if there’s a man and woman living together, and they both want to get their groove on, that’s a good little gift option there.
Dr. Kent: Of course, the funny thing about the book industry is often times a lot of the men’s books are bought by women. That’s a big market.
Rory Freedman: That’s definitely something that happens all the time. I think men aren’t known to be trolling the diet book section of bookstores, but I think women, because just in general we tend to be naggy, we tend to fix things, we’re definitely the type of creatures that will buy a book for our man.
Dr. Kent: I bought your book for the first time, actually, for a client because your title is so edgy, and your style is so fantastic in the book. I use it with my clients, and recommend it to all of them. So I was in the bookstore buying a copy, and I’ve got to say, I was turning a bright shade of red. I sandwiched it between another few books.
Rory Freedman: It takes a certain kind of man to have enough confidence to hold a book called, ‘Skinny Bitch,’ whether it’s on the subway or in an airplane. I know a couple of women who want their men to read the books, but they say, ‘He won’t read it! He doesn’t want to read it!’ I would just say ‘Leave it in the bathroom. It’ll get picked up.’
Dr. Kent: Exactly. That’s the place men read. Exactly. All right, it’s been such an honor talking to you. Tell me where we can find out more. Of course, there’s the Bitch List, and there’s SkinnyBitch.net, and all sorts of places.
Rory Freedman: Right. We’ve got SkinnyBitch.net and SkinnyBastard.net, and all the bookstores and Amazon and Barnes & Noble: we’re everywhere. I want to thank you for having me. It’s been my honor and privilege to be here.
Dr. Kent: Oh sure. You’re book rocks. Are you going to stick with the Skinny Bitch thing, and when you’re 80 you’ll still be a skinny bitch?
Rory Freedman: We’ll see how it goes. A little of this, a little of that; we’ll see how it goes.
Dr. Kent: Awesome. It’s been such an honor. I’ve been talking to the coauthor of ‘Skinny Bitch.’ What a fun book, fun title, and really practical. Rory Freedman, thank you so much.
Rory Freedman: Thank you so much.
October 31, 2009 | Comments Off
From Her Website:
Rory Freedman co-authored the L.A. Times Best Seller, ‘Skinny Bitch.’ She is a former agent for Ford Models and has studied diet, health, traditional, and holistic nutrition for more than ten years. She lives in Los Angeles and has successfully counseled models, actors, athletes, and other professionals using the Skinny Bitch method. The following is Rory’s and co-author, Kim Barnouin’s, philosophy about ‘Skinny Bitch:’ Don’t judge a book by its cover. We titled the book, ‘Skinny Bitch,’ for one reason: So people would read it. Sadly, people seem to be more interested in their appearances these days than their health. But neither one of us puts any stock in being skinny. We care about being healthy and want to inspire people to take better care of themselves. We’ve all been so brainwashed by fad diets, magazine articles, and advertising that we have forgotten how to think for ourselves. With obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and depression at all-time highs, it’s time for us to smarten up and use our own heads. ‘Skinny Bitch’ is not a diet. It’s a way of life. A way to enjoy food. A way to feel healthy, clean, energized and pure. It’s time to reclaim our minds and bodies!
October 6, 2009 | Comments Off
Dr. Kent: Welcome back to Dr. Kent and friends. As they say on the little announcement, this is Sound Authors, and my next guest on the show is Lynne Serafinn, and she’s written a book called The Garden of the Soul: Lessons From Four Flowers That Unearth the Self. She’s a best seller in the UK with this book, and I’m excited to talk to her about it. Welcome to the show, Lynne.
Lynne Serafinn: Hi there, Dr. Kent. Thank you for having me today.
Dr. Kent: Absolutely. Well let’s talk about this book. Tell me a little about it.
Lynne Serafinn: Ok, it actually made, it squeaked into the bestseller list in the United States as well, in the Self Help category. It was, here in the UK it was in the Spirituality and Mind, Body, Spirit categories as well. It’s actually a book of my own personal transformation. It uses metaphors of the four flowers to represent different aspects of the self that are parts of us that need to bloom in order to be whole people. They’re aspects that unfolded for me as I went through my own transformation. People always tell me, “How did you think them up?” I didn’t, they kind of found me.
Dr. Kent: And what is it like for you, the process of writing a self-help book? I’ve often heard that it’s a real transformative process for the person writing as well.
Lynne Serafinn: Yes, that’s true. Well, I never intended to write a self-help book. I just wanted to write. And actually I was writing lots of little stories for many years, like really short stories. I called them vignettes. And they were like, you know, I’d go somewhere and I’d see something and I always see metaphors in things. I see metaphors in real life things. In the book for instance, I’ve used the metaphor swinging on a swing as a child for being stuck in a situation holding onto the chains and not letting go of (inaudible), not being able to fly. Or I watch the river quite a lot here in Bedford, I lived in England, too, you may not know from my accent, but my accent kind of floats in and out, but I lived in Britain. I’m American, but I’m also British, I’m dual citizen, and I lived here for ten years. So anyway, by the river, I might watch the river and see things in that that makes me think about life. And just different metaphors that hit me. But the process of writing a self-help book never came into the picture at all. But one day I literally just woke up and I had written a fairy tale some years before that was quite spontaneous and I didn’t quite know what to do with it, in which these four flowers had appeared. And the four flowers were the rose, the iris, the daffodil and the lily, and I kind of sensed that they had something to do with personality and self and being a whole person, but I didn’t know exactly what. And then about two and a half years ago I just woke up literally woke up in bed one morning and I said, Well, I understand this emotionally and on a personal level. You know, I could type metaphorically what they represent. And what they came to represent were the four principles of give, receive, become and be. And I found that they’re very rich principles, because they’re not quite as straightforward as just giving and receiving, that one might think that you give to somebody and you get back. It’s not like that, giving, for instance, I won’t go into them that deeply, but giving, for instance, is anything that comes out from you. Like personal expression. Life purpose, drive, courage, boldness, all these things that come out from you that are like an arrow coming out. That’s giving. And then receiving is being really open, really aware, it’s about holding your senses open so that you can see opportunity, you can appreciate and you can feel all of the things around you. You can see the gift in every moment. So to flow between the two become a balancing act, it’s how we interact in the world. And becoming and being our symbolic (inaudible), a chance to change and growth and expansion. And from that also means letting go and rebirth. And being is the opposite, in that it’s a sense of continuity and intimate. You know, just being self and always knowing who you are. And those two things are very important, too. You’re not happy in life if you’re stagnant, and you’re also not happy in life if you don’t have a sense of continuity. So having these balances between these four principles are what I found were the key to my own transformation and also to recovering when invariably life makes you wobble and you may fall out of balance. And these are ways that I find that I can bring myself back. And also I’m a coach, I’m a personal transformation coach, and I use these principles with my clients, amongst many other things. But these are ways that we can sustain ourselves when we actually have found a reasonable amount of self-awareness, these are the kinds of things that we can use to sustain ourselves. And yes it was a transformative business. I wrote the book three times, I did three drafts before I was finally convinced that I had shown up fully in the book, and I had let go of all of my hang-ups. So it was a very interesting process of writing, just surrendering to the writing, surrendering to the metaphors, and not getting into a place where telling the reader what to think. I didn’t want to do that. That’s why I don’t actually call it a self-help book, it reads like a novel. It actually reads like a novel.
Dr. Kent: Well you’re, you have a very interesting background, and actually quite similar to mine.
Lynne Serafinn: Yeah, I noticed that.
Dr. Kent: You’ve spent a lot of time in the music industry.
Lynne Serafinn: I sure did.
Dr. Kent: And now you’re an author and a speaker, and a radio host as well. Tell me about your transformation from studying music, classical, going into pop music, starting to work with people, studying in India, you know. How do all these things hang together in your life?
Lynne Serafinn: I’m 54 years old, so you know the older you get the more you tend to live racked up in the experience category. Well, I started as a classical musician when I was very young. I started as a violinist, classical violinist. I was a professional violinist for many years in various symphonies and opera companies, I also sang opera and stuff. And just performed classically for a long time. And it was in my early 20’s that I traveled to India and wanted to learn more about Indian music. Well, I loved Indian music, I kind of never really focused home with it because it was such a complex system that I had to unlearn so much of what I already knew. So on the intellectual platform I loved it, but on the playing platform I didn’t have that much fun with it. But I really got into the philosophy and religion for quite some time. And for 20 years or more I combined, I was married at the time, and my husband and I combined the East West things into the music and also I went into, I kind of got back into my writing gradually by transcribing lectures of various Indian teachers and kind of being a ghost writer for upscale published books. You won’t see my name anywhere because I was actually a ghostwriter for them. And that kind of opened me back into the writing. In the 80’s I got into electronic music and then I really discovered my love for that. Because I got tired of, I kind of said one day I woke up and said, if I wake up one more Christmas and realize that I have to play the Nutcracker Suite one more time, I’m absolutely going to, you know, just bash this violin into a thousand pieces. And so I really wanted a change musically, I was really in a rut. There wasn’t enough challenge for me. And I never really felt myself, I did talk about this in the book, I talk about how I could not find my self-expression through the music because the music industry, at least at that point in time it was the classical industry that I (inaudible) in other aspects of the industry. The music industry I felt was very for me, restrictive. And especially the classical industry. It became too critical. And I was top critic. I could hear, I was a really good analyst and stuff, I had the best ears, I taught so many students, I’ve taught tone-deaf students how to hear. It’s just, I got really, really, really into hearing the sounds, the music totally left me. But when I got into trance music in the early 90’s, that’s when I really started getting connected again to composition, and we actually had a number one transcript in 1994. And then after a while, I kind of burnt out on that and I quit music altogether and kind of drifted around teaching and trying to find myself and went through a huge life change. After the death of my father I went through a divorce, I went through a change of life, a change of career, a change this, a change that, I changed location. And then eventually I (inaudible) the educational system and I started my life completely over again with nothing but my computer and a box of clothes and moved up here to Bedford and became a, and eventually became a coach. And now that’s what I do. And I decided yes, I want to finally be a writer. That’s what I want, finally, finally, give myself that opportunity. And to speak. To speak in public, to do workshops and tell people that you know what, you’ve got this life, step into it and have fun with it, love it, live your purpose, find your purpose. Claim it, go out and live the life you were born to live. And it’s not a selfish thing to do. The world actually needs you. The world needs you to be happy and fulfilled and to help others to be happy and fulfilled. That’s what the world is asking you to do. That’s really what the book is about. It’s a call to action for everybody to live the life they were born to live.
Dr. Kent: Well, the book is called The Garden of The Soul: Lessons From Four Flowers That Unearth the Self. And clearly Lynne Serafinn is a worthy author, and you’re going to have to check her bio out online. It’s fascinating and deep, the things she’s done, and they’re certainly also revealed in the book. And you can visit her online where?
Lynne Serafinn: Well, my book blog is at www.give-receive-become-be.com. And those are all hyphenated. So those are the four principles in the book: give, receive, become, be, dot com with little hyphens between each word. And my coaching site is at create-a-life.co.uk, that’s create, hyphen a, hyphen life dot co dot uk. And lastly if people are fans of Blog Talk Radio, please come and hear my show on Wednesday nights. I have a great show, I interview a lot of authors too, and I interview coaches and spiritual speakers and healers and all kinds of interesting people, artists of all kinds. And that’s on Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m. UK time or 1:00 p.m. Eastern time. Every Wednesday. It’s called Lynne Serafinn’s Garden of the Soul.
Dr. Kent: And of course Lynne Serafinn is also on Twitter, and you can find out all of what’s going on, I’m also on Twitter and I just added her on Twitter. It’s a fun thing for me to be involved in Twitter and see what authors and all sorts of journalists are saying live. So that’s pretty neat, too.
Lynne Serafinn: Yeah, and I follow anybody who engages me. So if you find me at Lynne Serafinn with two n’s in each name, and anyone who engages me saying, “Hi Lynne, it’s me,” you know, I’m a real person, I’m not just somebody trying to get your name. I’ll follow anybody who contacts me.
Dr. Kent: Cool.
Lynne Serafinn: And the other thing, just one last thing, Kent. I do have a Facebook called The Garden of the Soul, and the people in that group are actually helping me write my next book, which is the companion guide to the Garden of the Soul. So if anybody’s on Facebook, go look up the group The Garden of the Soul and you can help me write my book, and you might get your name on the radio, and also might get your name in my next book.
Dr. Kent: Well that’s pretty neat. So go visit her on Facebook or on Twitter or on the web. I think Google will send you to many of those places as well. So thank you so much for chatting with me, Lynne Serafinn, and her book is The Garden of The Soul.
Lynne Serafinn: Thanks so much, Dr. Kent. Have a great rest of the show, and thanks for asking me.
Dr. Kent: And my next guest on the show is going to be the author of Astrology for Enlightenment. She has been an astrologer to some pretty unbelievable people. And I’ll talk to her about her latest book, her name is Michelle Karen. Come on back for that.