"May the pain you have known and the conflict you have experienced give you the strength to walk through life facing each new situation with courage and optimism"
Tao-Girls Rule ! is a book that I would recommend to all teenage girls who are wanting or looking for that boost of self-esteem and wanting to become a better person within themselves. This short acrostic poem gives readers an insight into what a Tao-Girl is and what they can be like if they read this book :)
I found this book amazing and being one of those teens who spent alot of time reading the books in the self-help section ( I always found them very insightful and interesting , also I am a sucker for quotes and sayings), this is one book, that I can truly say "I wish it had been around when I was younger"
For a review on the book , check the side archive bar for a link :). Now with a drumroll readers......... I present to you all an Interview with the author C.J Golden.
1) Tell us about your book Tao Girls Rule?
Tao-Girls Rule! is part philosophy, part self-help, and all girl-power.
The book was born as a result of working with hundreds of teen and pre-teen girls around the country; listening to their stories; hearing their concerns; and recognizing that they were often missing a strong role model to help them deal with their life challenges.
And so, I created “Tao-Girl”, the personification of a girl who understands the ancient philosophy of acceptance – the Tao - and combines that with a dynamic spirit; one which aids her in remaining strong, courageous and confident as she travels the path of her life.
The book, then, combines biographies, quotes and anecdotes which shows the girls how to be spirited individuals who make the most of their uniqueness while they strive to live a life of grace.
2) Have you followed the rule of Tao in your life and how has it helped you ?
Absolutely, although that was not always the case. In my younger days I had a very difficult time accepting the concept of individual uniqueness, always comparing myself to others and coming out on the short end. I was never as pretty as/thin as/smart as/popular as/ the other girls in school. This led to a severe lack of self-esteem which permeated all that I undertook and lasted through my adult years.
Discovering, and living, with the philosophy of Tao changed the perception I held of myself; allowing me to accept my weaknesses while recognizing my strengths. The Tao taught me that I am, indeed, a capable woman who can travel the path of life – filled with transitions and challenges – meet them all head on and continue to grow in strength and confidence.
I wish I had understood this when I was a teen – I certainly would have found those difficult years less stressful and filled with more joy.
3) What gives you the innovation to write a particular genre ?
I did not sit down and make a conscious decision to write in the “teen’s/women’s issues/self-help genre. Rather I put down on paper that which was important to me, hoping that my reflections and philosophy would help others as it has helped me.
4) Has your writing been inspired by friends/ family?
Certainly I have been inspired by friends and family throughout my life. As my writing is an honest expression of my thoughts and feelings so, too, do their viewpoints, attitudes and stories come out in my writing.
5) Did you experience writers block? If so, what did you do to get rid of it?
Of course I do. There are times I sit in front of the computer hoping the some inspiration will find its way from my head to my typing fingers. And, guess what? Nothing comes. At all!
That’s when I move my computer from my writing studio to my kitchen table and proceed to bake bread, or cookies or a pie. Baking allows the creative juices to keep flowing – albeit in a different manner. Or I grab my I-Touch and take myself out for a jog or a hike. When I actively turn off the “OHMYGOSH I CAN’T WRITE ANYMORE” conviction that is floating around in my head, I allow a natural flow of ideas to begin coming back to me.
Mostly, I recognize that writer’s block is a natural part of the process and have learned to not beat myself up – for that only begets more negativity and, therefore, stops all creatively dead in its tracks.
6) What are you working on now?
Quite honestly, right now I am continuing my work with women and girls so I might pass along my Tao and dynamic philosophy.
I continue to write, of course, but as a free-lancer who writes content for various websites, and a contributor to on-line and print magazines.
My days are also filled as I travel around the country sharing my Tao and dynamic philosophy through speaking engagements, seminars and workshops.
I’m confident that there is another book in me waiting to see the light of day, but at this time I want to savor the joys of having written Tao-Girls Rule! and meeting girls who are eager to embrace its principles.
7) What is your favorite chapter in your book ?
Wow – that’s such an interesting question. And one which I find difficult to answer.
I suspect, however, that would be the introduction as it allowed me to state my philosophy and lay the groundwork for the rest of the book. In that introduction I also give a glimpse of the young girl I once was; telling the story of a birthday party gone wrong when I was a teen. It was interesting to relive that chapter in my life and be able to share it with my readers.
8) Had you previously written anything?
I’d always written – short stories, articles and essays. And, while I love creating characters and (mostly absurd and funny) situations, the writing I am most passionate about deals with women’s and girls’ issues and their lives.
Therefore, it didn’t surprise me when, for my first book, I tackled the concerns that women have as they deal with the transitions and challenges of life.
That book is Tao of the Defiant Woman, and it inspired the creation of Tao-Girl for teens.
9) How long does it take you to write a book?
It’s difficult to answer that – most of the “writing” is in the research and preparation for the task of actually sitting down at my computer and putting words on the screen. With each of my books that beginning process can take several years, for I want to know that I’ve communicated with a large number of people who come from diverse geographic, ethnic, religious and economic backgrounds.
When I have my notes in order, and have decided on the format the book will follow, the actual ‘writing” can be accomplished in a matter of months. That, of course, is only the first draft. From that point, it might take a month or more as I work with my editor who might make suggestions about re-writing certain areas of the book. I’ve been fortunate, however, in not having to make many revisions; my editors’ notes usually address minor grammatical adjustments and corrections.
10) Besides Writing and Motivational speaking, what other talents, hobbies have you got tucked away ?
I do love to play the banjo – but, unfortunately have not had time to spend plucking and strumming away. I also enjoy knitting and, as I mentioned before I find baking (and cooking) a fun creative outlet, as well.
11) How did you get into motivational speaking and then your book ?
I must say that it was the other way around; first came the book, then the speaking followed. As more and more people discovered my books and found then interesting and, well, motivational, I was asked to come speak to their organizations and groups.
Having been both a teacher and actor in the past, I find the public speaking both comfortable and enjoyable. This has been a perk of the writing and I’m so grateful for the opportunities that I’ve been given to travel the country and meet such amazing women and girls. I’m pleased to know that my work is motivating to them – but in all honesty I need to tell you that they keep me grounded and inspire me, as well.
12) If you were stranded on a desert island, what are three material things you couldn't be without?
Ice cream, pizza and a good book.
Okay – so maybe not the ice cream and pizza – but definitely a good book, paper and pencil (I assume I won’t have my computer), and some way to play or listen to music.
13) What are you reading now?
Right now I’m in the middle of three books: my husband and I are listening to The Art of Reading which is a 24 part lecture produced by The Teaching Company. When I’m out jogging I’m listening to Moscow Rules by Daniel Silva. And I’m reading the print edition of Scott Turow’s Innocent
14) If you had to pick a person whom has inspired you most who and why ?
I truly cannot point to one specific person as there have been so many strong female models in my life.
There’s the woman I met on a hike in Colorado: she had more wrinkles on her face that one could imagine possible, yet, she was the most gorgeous woman I’ve ever met for her joy of life glowed from her core and filled the air around her with radiance.
I had an aunt in London – Dob – who remained active, nimble and alert for all of her 91 years. Despite ailments, she continued to find joy in life. A beautiful example of aging with Tao and dynamism.
My daughters continue to keep me filled with enthusiasm for life. And my granddaughters certainly keep me on my toes and remind me to look life in the eye and grab every bit of excitement it holds.
If you and I look around us, we will find positive role models in every corner of our lives. All we need to is stay open to meeting them and they’ll be there to support us and help us grow.
15) What advice would you give to girls who are lacking self-confidence and low esteem like many of us have been through ?
For this I would like to repeat the final paragraph in my last answer: look around you, find role models who will support you and help you grow.
Surround yourself with friends who will be the Tiggers in your life (upbeat and encouraging) rather than people who might seek to tear you down as Winnie The Pooh’s friend, Eeyore, tried to do.
Remember that a Tao-Girl is Tenacious, Accepting, Optimistic, Grateful, Imaginative, Radiant and Loving – towards others but mostly towards herself.
Like Christopher Robin said to Pooh bear: “Promise me you'll always remember: you're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."
16) To finish off, Do you have a quote or poem that has stuck with you over the years and what is the story behind it ?
Every week I send a “Wisdom of the week” to the women and girls on my mailing list and so many of these quotes are inspiring to me. However, there is one which went out several weeks ago that has stuck with me – and I know always will:
“There are two great days in your life:
the day you were born
and the day you discovered why”
I believe once we begin to understand who we are; acknowledge the strengths we possess; and learn how to utilize those strengths; we begin to understand our purpose on this planet. We are not here out of accident – we are all part of the Universe and have natural and innate gifts. Those are what make us unique. And it is our uniqueness that we should be celebrating and sharing.