Saturday, November 29, 2008

A CALL FROM HAWAII


While I was enroute home from a Black Friday trip to Lafayette, Louisiana, a cell phone call from an old friend becalmed me as we navigated through the snarled traffic leading from the Disney World of all Americans – The Mall. The long-time friend, Jo Ann Lordahl, is a notable self-help book writer, author of several romantic novels, and chapbooks of poetry. She now lives in Kalaheo, Kaua’I, Hawaii and has lived in Hawaii for at least ten years. For a brief period back in the 70's, Jo Ann lived in New Iberia, Louisiana where she “hibernated” to write several of her novels. During that time, I worked as a feature writer for “The Daily Iberian,” and interviewed her for a profile in the Lifestyle section of the newspaper. At first, she was reluctant to be “written up” because she had published only one novel, but she finally relented and, in later years, used the article in her marketing ventures.

When Jo Ann lived in New Iberia, she attempted to live on a shoestring while writing her books, and she never wavered from the road taken toward becoming a published author. Through real estate deals, teaching, and writing, she gained the financial independence she sought to create space for pursuing a full-time vocation as a writer. She has published 19 books since the time she lived that shoestring existence in New Iberia.

In Jo Ann’s newest book, entitled SPIRITUAL GOLD FOR WOMEN, she recalls her awakening to a reality that included "no self-esteem, no money, no education, no supportive circle of friends. Amid smashed dreams and coming out of marriage to an alcoholic with a child in tow, my only assets were an old green Studebaker and my baby, and an invitation to come home until I could get on my feet." Jo Ann vowed to get out of her position of powerlessness and to create a life she desired. “Now financially independent (though still learning, still refining), I live these principles every day. You can create the life you desire,” she writes in SPIRITUAL GOLD.

Jo Ann “loves a good time,” as they say here in Cajun country, but she is among the most well-disciplined writers/readers I know and doesn’t veer from the path of daily writing, even if she’s only journaling…except for occasional off-the-path travels to Canada, Argentina, Mexico, Europe, the Caribbean, and, of course, exotic Louisiana. She also organizes workshops and retreats about money, spirituality, health, and women’s issues.

One of Jo Ann’s books to which I’m always referring is MONEY MEDITATIONS FOR WOMEN, a book of thoughts, exercises, resources, and daily affirmations women can use to create their financial future, to learn how to manage their money, and to create prosperity. A simplistic example from MONEY MEDITATIONS: “Money and power can liberate only if they’re used to do so. They can imprison and inhibit more finally than barred windows and iron chains. Maya Angelou.” Affirmation: “I know why I want money and what I will do with it.” Jo Ann says that with affirmations we can erase old thought patterns and reinvent our lives. “In a deeper sense, those affirmations allow us to align ourselves with larger, universal patterns. We are better able to be in the right place, at the right time, with the right people, doing what we most need to do…”

Jo Ann’s credentials include a Ph.D. in Psychology from Florida State University, study at the Academy of American Poets in Manhattan, work with Donald Justice at the University of Florida, and many more fellowships. The high point in my telephone conversation with Jo Ann was an invitation to visit Hawaii next year. Aloha. You can log on to www.joannlordahl.com for further information about this talented writer.
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