We received Galen Pearl’s book, 10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place (and staying there), from her publicist, and we knew we had to talk with her. So we asked her to do our Happiness Series Q & A, and boy are we glad we did. The answers are so thoughtful and inspiring, we’ve asked Galen to regularly contribute Happiness Series. She has a blog you can regularly check, and please find her book, read it, and put her steps to practice. All proceeds of her book go to the Edwards Center, a nonprofit organization providing residential and vocational services to adults with developmental disabilities.
Q: Describe yourself in 5 words.
A: Only one word comes to mind – grateful.
Q: What inspired you to become a writer?
A: Professional writing was the basis of my career, so in a sense, I’ve always been a writer. However, I started writing my blog about developing habits to grow a joyful spirit in preparation for a retreat I was going to lead, not realizing at the time that the blog would take on a life of its own and end up as a book. The inspiration grew along with the blog and along with the discussions I had with people in person and online about the 10 Steps.
Q: What do you love about your life?
Q: What in your day makes you happiest?
A: Waking up. Each day brings its own joy.
Q: What’s your happiest moment in a relationship, romantic and otherwise?
A: Moments of deep connection, in whatever form that takes…
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do?
A: Sit by the creek at my cabin in the mountains.
Q: What makes you feel good?
A: Being present.
Q: What’s the best advice you’ve been given regarding work & life?
A: Don’t have children until you can’t stand not to. I followed this advice and ended up with five children who were the best thing that ever happened to me.
Q: What are you plans for the future?
A: Pay attention and stay open.
Q: Why is work important to you?
A: I have been retired for a little over a year, so work in that sense is no longer a part of my life. I have always felt that my work, both my professional work as well as my various activities based on the 10 Steps, is more of a calling. In that sense, work is more than important; it is part of who I am.
Q: How has being a mother impacted your life?
A: Being a mother broke my heart open and led me to transform my life from one based in fear to one based in joy.
Q: How has having a family impacted your work?
A: In my professional life, I was blessed to have a job that allowed me to balance work and family in a way that was good for all of us. In terms of my writing now, my family is my greatest inspiration.
Q: What’s frustrating about your work?
A: Nothing really, but I do sometimes find technology challenging.
Q: How do you know when you need to make changes in your life, and what is your process for handling change and life’s ups & downs gracefully?
A: Ah, gracefully? I have my graceful moments, more now than in the past. How do I know that change is coming? I feel things shift, sometimes in subtle ways, sometimes like an earthquake. Process? Belly breathing helps. Praying. Understanding that I don’t always know what is good or bad. Trusting in the basic goodness of the universe.
Q: What made you want to write this book
A: So many people asked me to. I wanted to create something beautiful.
Q: Does networking help in making your work a success?
A: Networking helps make life a success. I have always understood that in professional and in personal ways how we connect to others in genuine ways enhances all aspects of our lives.
Q: To anyone looking to write a book or even start a new business what would you advise?
A: Trust your instincts. I have trusted mine, and they are wise guides. Listen to others. Get information. Then go with what your intuition tells you.
Q: What’s the single most important part of your day?
A: Every moment is a precious gift.
Q: What would you like to change in your life?
Q: Describe your work.
A: My work is not separate from my life.
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About the Author: Tania Van Pelt is the creator of Happiness Series. She is a writer and content creator, working in film, tv, and online. She wrote the popular lifestyle book "Ageless Diet," published in late 2015. And she is currently working on her next book. She also developed a sitcom pilot set in the restaurant business called "Employees Only TV" and is developing another web series comedy about Denver.