I was born in 1944 in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the oldest of two daughters. My father was a career military person and therefore I moved quite a lot as a child living in many places in the US and also 4 years in Japan when I was a teenager. I was married in 1965. In 1966 my husband enlisted in the Air Force and we were stationed for two years in northern Maine just a few miles from the Canadian border. During that time I worked as a legal secretary and bookkeeper for the City Attorney of Presque Isle. It was here I met some of the warmest people and lived through some of the coldest weather I've ever experienced. One day stands out in my memory when the winds were howling and the snow was blowing and the temperatures dipped to -57° with a wind chill of -116° - brrrr !
In 1968 my husband was transferred to Japan and I joined him in February of 1969 when I was 6 months pregnant with our first child. It was quite an experience to return to Japan after 10 years and see the changes that had taken place. We lived off-base in a small house in a Japanese neighborhood where no one spoke English, but we managed to communicate despite the language barrier. In May of 1969 our daughter Kris was born. The whole neighborhood turned out for her arrival home! We returned to the states in December of 1969 and settled back in Wisconsin. My husband returned to school under the GI Bill and I returned to work at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. In 1976 I gave birth to my son Greg and two years later to my daughter Elizabeth.
In 1985 my husband and I divorced and I made the decision to move to a warmer climate. I remember checking out a library book that helped me decide where I would be happiest. After filling out all the questions, the indicator pointed to the San Francisco Bay Area. So, I decided to take what I feel was the biggest risk of my life. I sold my home, my car, most of my belongings and moved from Wisconsin to the San Francisco Bay Area with my children ages 16, 9 and 7. The transition was not an easy one for me or my children. At times I was sure that I had made a huge mistake. But I never looked back. I bought a 4 bedroom townhouse that has turned out to be the best investment I've ever made. Each of my children ended up moving back to live with their father for part of their teen years. My two daughters eventually moved back to California after they graduated from high school in the midwest and are both happily married. Each of my daughters has three sons. Last year my youngest daughter's husband was offered a job in Austin where they have relocated. My son, who decided to make his home in Indiana is the father of a beautiful daughter and a son.
In 1993 I underwent a profound spiritual opening and found myself changing careers. I quit my corporate job and opened an alternative healing center with a friend. We called it the Reunion Center of Light. We partnered in the center for 3 years growing it from a three-room facility with four practitioners to a nine-room facility with 35 practitioners. It was an extraordinary time in my life. I was growing and changing in so many ways. It was during this time that I developed my Lighten Up workshop and began teaching it through our Center.
In 1994 I met the man who was to become my life partner and beloved husband. The story of how we met has been published in "Hot Chocolate for the Mystical Lover" and you can read the article here. On July 11, 1995 I underwent emergency open heart surgery for the removal of a tennis-balled sized tumor in the left atrium of my heart. It was an amazing experience that you can read about here.
In 1996 Victor and I made a decision to meditate together every morning . We converted a spare bedroom into a meditation room with an altar and many sacred objects. We decided we would focus our meditation around A Course in Miracles. Each morning we would take turns reading aloud from the book, go into silence and meditate on what we had read and then have a sharing time when we would discuss what came up for us in the silence. It took us two years to complete all 3 Course in Miracles books. Without a doubt, this is the single most important act we have done together as a couple. It not only changed us personally, but it transformed our relationship from "conscious" to "co-creative." Every business idea, every creative idea that we have embarked on as a couple has come from inspiration received during our daily meditations. Our meditation time has become the most important and sacred part of our day.
In the summer of 1996 Victor and I embarked on an 8-week Lighten Up tour driving in a large figure eight from California to Connecticut and back, presenting our workshop and meeting the most remarkable people along the way. We carried with us a portable altar and continued our commitment to daily meditation. The journey brought our relationship and our co-creative endeavors to a new level.
Upon returning from our tour I made the decision to resign from Reunion Center and devote myself to building our new company, Open Heart Press. Our first publication was our Lighten Up audio tape (now available only as a CD). The following year we published Victor's book, Web Without a Weaver: How the Internet is Shaping OurFuture, and also the "I Love Myself" tape for children. The next year we published our Free Yourself from Fear tape and booklet (now available as a CD) and the Lighten Up Inspirations Workbook and Journal (now out of print). We continued to produce regional Lighten Up tours in the Midwest, Florida, Texas, the Pacific Northwest and the southwestern states as well as in Canada.
Upon our return we started our web development company, CustomDynamic.net. We create all kinds of websites, but specialize in database-driven sites.
On July 11, 1999 Victor and I were married by Unity Ministers, Candy and Pres Preston, in a private ceremony at their retreat home along the King River just outside of Fresno, CA. We chose that date because it was the 5th anniversary of our commitment to one another as a couple and the 4th anniversary of my heart surgery -- both memorable events for us. Our relationship continues to deepen and evolve in every way as we dedicate our lives to co-creating a balanced, sustainable and harmonious world in which our children and grandchildren can thrive.
Open Heart Press also continues to grow. We published my Simple Healing Tools book in 2009 available in paperback and as an ebook. In 2011 we turned our focus to publishing ebooks as we published the first book in our "How Do I..." Series: How Do I Love Myself: Learn a Magical 5 Minute-a-Day Process. In May of 2012 we published the second ebook in the series: How Do I Create Peace Within Myself and in the World. In process are three more books in the series scheduled to be published late 2012/early 2013: "How Do I Find My True Love: A 3-Step Process to Attracting Your Soulmate" and "How Do I Break Free of Limitations and Step Into Personal Empowerment" and "How Do I Find My Authentic Self and Change My Life from the Inside Out." We also publish a collection of inspirational greeting and note cards as well as a product line featuring A Course In Miracles Weekly Thoughts (sold through the Open Heart Cafe Press Store.