Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Interview With Elaine Williams - Author of 'A Journey Well Taken - Life After Loss'

Today I had the opportunity to speak with Elaine Williams, author of ‘A Journey Well Taken - Life After Loss’.

When the marriage of Elaine Williams ended in the tragic death of her husband Joe after 23 years of being together, Elaine could have simply thrown in the towel. Many do. However she chose to take a different path and discovered that there is at last a hope of happiness after loss.

A Journey Well Taken - Life After Loss is at its very core, a tale of discovery. It is filled with shock, sorrow, confusion, despair, pain, grief, transformation and ultimately hope.

As regards the death of a loved one, it is never a question of 'if', but is rather always a question of 'when'. Therein lies the problem, for it comes always too soon - the time is never 'right' for such things. It is not the event itself that is so painful, but is rather what we must do after the event that causes the fear to well up inside. For we know that we will be alone. Alone is a terrible place to be.

However, alone does not necessarily have to be forever, as Elaine illustrates so well in A Journey Well Taken. The book is raw. It is a gut-wrenching ride through the mind of one left behind. Unlike other books of its kind however, there is no linear progression from excruciating pain to final acceptance. It is instead a roller coaster ride of emotions that run the gamut from grief to joy and back again, time and again.

1. Why did you write A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss?

I wrote it initially for myself, but then realized that other women needed to read it. It's not just my experience but it's something many will go through. Even though grief is unique to each individual, there are untold similarities in the universal process. Your life changes -- not only in the obvious ways, but also emotionally and sometimes financially.

In today’s world, with our military men in foreign countries, support is crucial for the women who will become widows when lives are lost. My husband was ill with esophagus cancer, but it has to be an even more incredible heartache to find out your once healthy loved one has died far away from family on foreign soil.

2. You were a caretaker for your husband during his illness?
Yes, with the esophagus cancer he couldn't eat, he was on heavy narcotics for pain control. Even though I wrote down everything, in the early days I was terrified of giving him an overdose. Once hospice started working on his pain control, I knew he was in good hands. I never thought of calling them except my sister-in-law, a nurse, told me pain control is their forte.

3. You state in A Journey Well Taken you felt devastated by this loss. Are you still feeling that, four years later?
Some days it's still there, but I no longer feel that total devastation. I still think some days about what we’ve all lost, what our lives could have been had he survived. Most days I’m fine and no longer drained by the loss. My life is taking different directions. I love my life.

4. Do your kids talk about their dad?
Yes, I encouraged it. My youngest boys are still home and we reminisce at times about funny incidences or remembrances involving their dad. My oldest, because he moved away, didn't have as much interaction in this manner, but I feel this really helped us, not being afraid to remember.

5. Do you think people in general understand the grief process?
Not entirely. Many times people think the traditional time to be getting on with life is a year. At one year, I was just getting started on my healing process. I thought I was okay, then I'd go for days where I felt down and not okay. I'd start crying as I drove down the road. My emotions seesawed up and down without rhyme or reason. Some of my grief processing was delayed because I worked nonstop that first year. It kept me from thinking about the loss or facing the demon of loneliness inside. I pushed it way and closed the door.

6. How are your boys doing now?
My youngest is almost sixteen. He's coming into his own comfort with who he is. He's a very outdoors type person, a lot like my husband in his interests. He likes to hunt, and a friend who is an avid hunter takes him with him. He got his first turkey this year. My middle son is 22 and is more focused. He went through a period where he wanted to stay in bed, not attend classes or get a job. Now he's working, in college, making plans for the future. My oldest had car accidents, tickets and had moved away from home. I envisioned him running wild and out of control. To some degree, this happened. He's now back in college working toward a marketing degree, works full time and has his own apartment. So we have all experienced our own testing as it were and come through on the other side.

7. Were holidays and anniversaries especially difficult?
Yes, in the beginning. I felt like I was on autopilot, living in automation. You feel numb, and yet there's this deep, gaping wound in your chest that nothing will fix. I felt incredibly sad leading up to and through each anniversary and holiday. Christmas was the hardest. It was based on my own expectations of what Christmas has always meant; being with family and loved ones. For several years the holidays felt broken apart.

8. Did talking have any benefit for you?
Yes, not only talking to other widows, but my writing also. I wasn’t able to communicate via writing for several years, and that worried me. I spoke with a counselor and she just let me talk and vent, getting out whatever was stuck on my mind. I had pain, worry about the kids, and just trying to figure out who I was anymore. Talking about your grief experience is one of the biggest healers, as far as I have learned.

9. You've described yourself as a totally different person from five years ago. In what way?
Yes, I am so different in my attitude about life and the little things. My inner self has changed so much. I'm stronger, more independent than ever, happier, and in a way, more fulfilled, because it's all coming from inside me, the person I have evolved into. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking, worrying, analyzing. I don't think I could have become who I am today without having gone through this particular experience.

10. You decided to start dating again. What was that like after being married 20 years?
It was a shock, to say the least. I hadn’t dated since I was 23, and re-entered dating at 48. The world was vastly different. Many of us become wounded in one way or another through life, but some people choose not to leave their baggage behind. For myself, I decided I would not carry excess baggage nor would I settle for less than I deserved in a relationship. It took some real heartache to reach that decision.

11. What do you feel is the most valuable piece of knowledge you can pass along to others on this journey of loss?
Expect life to change, viewing it as growth opportunity. If you remain open to living without shutting down in fear, life will bring you more than you ever expected.

A Journey Well Taken - Life After Loss
Elaine Williams

ISBN 978-0-9801108-0-7
US $13.95
An OnWings Press Trade Paperback

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Interview With Linda Thompson - Author of 'Every Generation Needs A New Revolution'

I recently spoke with Linda Thompson, CEO of Life Path Solutions and author of 'Every Generation Needs A New Revolution'. ( Those of you who know me know that I do not recommend anything lightly, as my recommendation is my reputation. That being said, I highly recommend this book.

As a matter of fact, if books could be rated on a scale of 1 -10, this book is a 12. I am not exaggerating here. I believe this book hones in on a solution to a problem that nearly every business, family or group of people experiences - failure to communicate effectively. The question is not IF we wish to communicate effectively with one another - that is a given. The question becomes WHY CAN'T WE DO SO?

This book gives us the answer to that most perplexing of questions. Not only that, but it also provides us with the solution to a problem that causes more breakups and breakdowns - at both the business and family level - than any other single problem we face.

Do yourself a favor. Buy this book. This is one of those books you will keep forever and will strongly recommend to your friends, business associates and family members. I have my own autographed copy. You cannot have mine. I am greedy. I am keeping it solely for investment purposes . . . .

1. Linda, the title of your book, Every Generation Needs a New Revolution, sounds familiar. Is it a quotation?

Yes, Thomas Jefferson said it in the late 1780s. My thought was that there is really very little new; that each generation from the beginning of time feels a compelling need to set itself apart in some way. Being a Boomer, I feel my generation was the epitome of this quotation.

2. What is Every Generation Needs a New Revolution about?

Since we are living longer, as many as five and six generations are living and/or working together and that can cause some unique challenges. The book addresses the conflict of values and belief systems of six generations across nine decades and offers insight on what makes the different generations tick. It also shows how to use that knowledge to your advantage, whether it be to create a cohesive team in the workplace or a peaceful home.

3. Your subtitle is: “How six generations, across nine decades, can find harmony and peaceful coexistence.” So, how do they?

Two very simple words – understanding and communication. We are living longer, more productive lives, and this is resulting in a vastly diverse workforce. We can see three, four, and sometimes even five generations working for the same company. And because each of these very individual groups believes their way is the only way, chaos ensues. If a manager can get these groups together and discuss how each learns, hears, does things in a different manner, then the manager has something to work with.

For example, Boomers like “face time.” They love meetings, they like to be seen working, and their whole identity is dependent upon their career. An Xer or Gen Y is much more technologically savvy. Therefore with the help of a laptop computer and a Blackberry, they can get their job done from the beach. They don’t care if they ever go to the office because nothing gets accomplished there.

4. That’s on the office side. How about at home?

Now that can be a real challenge, because everyone wants to be in charge. If you are in the sandwich generation (probably a Boomer or an Xer), taking care of kids and elder parents, perhaps you think it would be easier to move the parents in with you. Maybe and maybe not. The key here is to get everyone involved to voice their expectations – then compromise. All expectations will not be met, but by compromising, each person should be satisfied with the end result. Setting the ground rules prior to the move-in is imperative.

5. Perhaps now would be a good time to define each of these six generations you speak of. Who are they?

Although there have been some differing names put to each, the ones I found most often used are the ones I write about in my book. They are: The Veterans (born between 1909 and 1929); the Silents (born between 1930 and 1945), the Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964), the Xers (born between 1965 and 1976), Generation Y (born between 1977 and 1990) and last but not least are the Millennials (born starting in 1991 and still coming).

6. You talk a lot about communication and how each generation is affected by different methods. Please expand on that some more.

Remember the famous line “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate” from the movie Cool Hand Luke? Sometimes it’s not what you say, but how you say it that gets the point across. For example, A Veteran prefers a formal and direct approach, A Boomer responds to the more personal approach and Generation Y wants positive and, yes, more often than not, in a digital format. That means a manager of a multi-generational team has his or her work cut out for them if they want to effectively communicate with each.

7. What inspires you to write books that are educational and informative, yet infused with a lot of humor? Why not just write a business book?

It’s from those business and/or reference books that I take a lot of my inspiration. However, those business books are laborious and difficult to read, and to be quite honest, more than a little boring. I’ve written all of my books in a manner that you can get something out of each paragraph without having to read an entire chapter. I use a lot of quotations to help make my points. The one that spoke the loudest to me is: “In all our efforts to provide advantages, we have actually produced the busiest, most competitive, highly pressured and over-organized generation of youngsters in our history.” I’m sure that makes you think of the Xers and younger of today, doesn’t it? Would it surprise you to learn that an American Educator, Eda J. LeShan, said this in 1922?

8. What is the primary message you want readers to get from reading your book?

That today’s society is changing like never before. Because we’re living longer, we are interacting with a more diverse population, and it can be rather like navigating shark infested waters. If you don’t tread carefully, you can be eaten alive. We not only need to understand those from other generations, but to appreciate what they can teach us. And that isn’t just for the young – I liken it to a child teaching grandma how to send a text message or send an e-mail on the computer. It is only through understanding what influenced us to become who we are, will we find a way to peacefully coexist with the six and, yes, perhaps even seven generations currently inhabiting this planet.

9. Will there be a follow up book on the same subject by Linda S. Thompson?

That’s something I’m certainly thinking about. I offer workshops to companies and other organizations ranging from “A New Paradigm for Today’s Workforce – The Good, The Bad and The Crazy in a Multigenerational Office,” to “Six Generations, Six Languages – A New Paradigm for Marketers Because This is Not Your Father’s Oldsmobile!” In every workshop I’ve facilitated, I gain more knowledge that could certainly lead to a Part 2 because each organization brings new and different challenges to the table. Sign up for my newsletter at and we’ll let you know if it comes to fruition.

10. Can you leave us with one bit of advice that brings home that point?

I’d love to. My favorite quote from the book comes from a Nike ad that shows an Xer telling a Boomer how to best communicate with them. The Xer said, “Don’t insult our intelligence. Tell us what it is, what it does, and don’t play the national anthem while you do it!”

Every Generation Needs a New Revolution, How Six Generations Across Nine Decades can Find Harmony and Peaceful Coexistence, is Linda S. Thompson’s most recent book. She is also the author of Planning for Tomorrow, Your Passport to a Confident Future, a common sense approach to life planning; and A Caregiver’s Journey, You Are Not Alone, a survival guide for working caregivers. To find out more about Linda’s books and presentation topics, contact her by email at, visit the website at or call 480-899-8647

Leia Mais…

Monday, May 12, 2008

An Interview With Author Stanley Popovich - A Layman's Guide To Managing Fear

Fear is certainly one of the primary factors in determining why many of us do not achieve total success. As a matter of fact, fear lies at the root of nearly every reason why so many of us experience failure in the attempt to achieve our goals.

Fear is also a major factor in addiction of any kind. Recent events, involving a large number of celebrities in the news, shows us that fear resulting in addiction is not just the bane of the ‘common man’, but can strike even those who appear to have achieved a large measure of success.

I recently spoke with Stanley Popovich, the author of ‘A Layman’s Guide To Managing Fear’ ( about this subject.

How can celebrities and every day people manage the fear, anxiety and perhaps subsequently going into rehabilitation or getting some kind of treatment?

You cannot run away from your fears and anxieties. They will eventually catch up to you. With this in mind, you have to be smart in how you manage your fear, anxiety and going to Rehab. You need to know how to deal with this stuff and the best way to do this is to learn from someone who has been there in terms of fear and anxiety.

What are your credentials as an author?

I am a Penn State graduate with a computer and business background. I have dealt with fear, anxiety, and depression for the last 20 years. For this reason I wrote a book on how to deal with fear, anxiety, and depression.

What is the title of your book and where can I get a copy?

The title of the book is “A Layman’s Guide To Managing Fear” and it is located at

How can a person get a free review of your book before getting it?

Do a Internet search for the name “Stanley Popovich” and you will get a list of free articles that can give you instant help. Most of my articles are a quick review of my book and can provide instant help and guidance.

So how is your book different than the books that are already out there?

My book focuses on the main strategies on how to deal with fear and anxiety. These techniques involve cognitive and behavior therapy and also some Christian techniques in dealing with fear. The book will also save a person a lot of work in finding the answers to their particular problems.

What should we do when we find ourselves at the ‘end of the rope’ in dealing with fear and anxiety?

The first step is to get professional help. Next, try to learn the best ways to deal with your fears and anxieties through the help of a counselor or therapist and/or a good book.

If a family member deals with fear and anxiety - what can we do?

Encourage the person to seek help from a professional. Remind them that fear and anxiety can ruin lives and lead to many problems. The best thing they can do is to seek professional help.

How can I find a qualified counselor in my area?

Ask your Primary Care Physician if they know of any good counselors in the area. Also ask your friends or relatives for some referrals. Any person can go to their local church to find a qualified counselor.

In regards to audience, who is your book geared to?

My book is easy to read and provides instant help. Half the book focuses on cognitive and behavior therapy and the other half of the book is Christian based. The book is geared for both the religious and non-religious person who struggles with fear, anxiety, OCD, depression, panic disorder, suicide, and bipolar disorder.

Why should I read your book?

I wanted to write a book that was to the point and focused only on those strategies that will manage the fear and anxiety. A person who reads my book can get many ideas on how to deal with fear, anxiety, OCD, depression and other mental health issues.

Anything else I need to know about ‘A Layman’s Guide To Managing Fear’?

The book is not a substitute for the guidance of a professional. Also, many people have commented on how useful my book and articles were to them. Members of the national media have also taken an interest in the book. Just go to my website at for more information.

Stanley Popovich is available for interviews and can be reached by email at, or at his alternate email address at Please put ‘News Release’ in the subject line.

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