I know…The spelling is weird. Blame my mother, who wanted to make sure people would know I was a girl.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laughing at life is a necessity when you’re a Morning Radio Personality, and I was lucky enough to be on the air in Connecticut (STAR 99.9) during some very challenging years – like when my sweet kids turned into surly adolescents.
“Finding the funny” still helps bring perspective to life’s challenges. It’s all in the way you tell your story. The words you choose.
After leaving the world of 3:15 AM wake-up alarms (and another at 3:30, and 3:40…), I traveled around the nation teaching workshops on stress reduction, happiness, and humor – while also continuing to work as a voice talent/actress/audiobook narrator/broadcaster.
It led to some pretty creative “travel studios”…the one on the right is made of couch cushions around a toilet…the bathroom was the quietest room in the Vegas hotel suite.
And then…there are the more serious life challenges: things that shape us, but hopefully don’t define us. Mid-life dating. Single parenting. Alcoholic ex. Parents diagnosed with cancer. Son diagnosed with schizophrenia (definitely the worst blow). A year of physical disability, after a series of incidents – starting with an 84-year-old distracted driver who hit me instead of her car’s brakes (I was walking in a legal crosswalk) . A DNA surprise that my Dad was not my genetic father (20 years after his death), and my brothers were only half-siblings.
(What’s on your life challenges list? How do you tell the stories? Are you victim, or happy survivor?)
And then there’s the specific topic of my son’s schizophrenia. Mental illness affects one out of every four families in the United states – and I’ve flown everywhere from Las Vegas to London to Warsaw to speak about my family’s experience. My acclaimed book, Ben Behind His Voices: One Family’s Journey from the Chaos of Schizophrenia to Hope (Rowman & Littlefield) is a page-turning narrative of the challenging experience when Ben is gradually struck down by schizophrenia – and how we learned to love and support him throughout his eventual steps to precarious recovery.
I speak frequently to groups of doctors, nurses, medical students, families, providers, and legislators regarding the family experience when mental illness hits. I’m also a Family-to-Family teacher/trainer for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and host of the podcast, Schizophrenia: 3 Moms in the Trenches.
Life isn’t what happens to us – it’s what we make of it. So there are the joys and successes: finding love again, surviving trauma. walking again, publishing a book, finding ways to rebloom, new babies to hug (courtesy of my daughter), new areas to explore and, sometimes conquer…rediscovering gratitude, resilience. the magic of human connection.
I provide ((virtual or in person) inspirational keynotes, fun and interactive workshops (self-esteem, happiness, resilience), and also love to MC your event.