Carol's Personal Bio
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 (1956-60) when I was a teenager. (The picture at the left was taken of our family on Christmas Eve 1958 at our home located in Grant Heights Military Housing near Tachikawa Air Base in Japan. After we left Japan Dad was stationed in Arkansas for a year before he retired in December of 1961. We then moved back to my parents hometown of Kenosha where I graduated from high school in 1962.
After graduation I attended the UW-Extension Center in Kenosha (which is now UW-Parkside) for two years where I was editor of the school newspaper. After I left school in 1964 I got a job in the Employee Services department of American Motors where I worked for two years.
In 1965 I married Ken Hansen. It was during the Vietnam war and we were sure he was going to be drafted. So in 1966 he enlisted in the Air Force. He was stationed for two years at Caribou Air Base in northern Maine just a few miles from the Canadian border. I joined him there in November 1966. We were given military housing in Presque Isle, a few miles south of Caribou.
I immediately looked for a job and was hired as a legal secretary and bookkeeper for the City Attorney of Presque Isle. It was there 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! It would begin snowing in October and not melt until April. Often the snow drifts would cover our doors and windows.
In December 1968 Ken 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. He was stationed at Tachikawa Air Base. We weren't eligible for base housing, so we rented a small house in a Japanese neighborhood where no one spoke English. We did, however, manage to communicate with our neighbors despite the language barrier. In May of 1969 our daughter Kris was born in the military hospital on the base. When we brought her home, the entire neighborhood turned out to welcome her arrival!
Ken was given an early discharge in Dec. 1969 because they were closing Tachikawa. So just before Christmas we returned to the States and settled back in Wisconsin. Ken returned to school under the GI Bill and I returned to work at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. In 1973 we purchased our first home in Pleasant Prairie located in Kenosha County. In 1976 I gave birth to my son Greg and in 1978 to my daughter Elizabeth. In 1981 I returned to work at UW-Parkside and in 1983 I got a job at Kenosha County Social Services where I trained all the clerical workers on how to transition from their IBM Selectric typewriters to desktop computers.
In 1985 Ken 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. My oldest daughter, Kris, has three sons and now lives in Southern California. My youngest daughter, Liz, now has 4 sons and lives near Austin, TX. 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. If you'd like to listen to the story of how we met, click on the player
The story of how we met has also been published in "Hot Chocolate for the Mystical Lover" by Arielle Ford. 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. Click here to see list of venues.
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 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 at a later date: "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."
In 2017 we published Know You Are Loved: Inspirational Notes to My Daughter on Her Journey to Recovery, Rediscovery and Self-Empowerment. In the works are a series of specialized Know You Are Loved books on Gratitude, Self-Love, Personal Empowerment, Courage and Believe in Yourself.