Interview with writer Ellen Wood about her memoir

Writer Ellen Wood is sitting under the
spotlight today (not at all stressed out) to answer questions for me about her
self-help, memoir, Joy! Joy! Joy! 7 Mind
Body Spirit Self-Help Practices to Relieve Stress and Anxiety, Reverse Memory
Loss and Live Happy.
Welcome,
Ellen. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I
live in Taos, New Mexico and I am an award-winning author, (she said
blushingly) a columnist and inspirational speaker. Five years after watching my
mother waste away with Alzheimer’s Disease, my own cognition and memory began a
downward spiral (I have the Alzheimer’s gene, APO-e4). I was determined to do
everything in my power to reverse aging, so I developed a program of
mind/body/spirit techniques. That program proved so successful, I couldn’t keep
it all to myself. I then published Think
and Grow Young
, the prizewinning book which lays the mental and spiritual
foundation for rejuvenation and provides vital first steps.
With my latest book, Joy!
Joy! Joy!,
I
expanded my
message to thriving in deep-rooted joy and happiness at any age and give a
step-by-step action plan for all 7 practices for growing younger and living
happy.

Please
tell us about your current release.

Joy! Joy! Joy! is a detailed self-help
guide for relieving stress, reversing memory loss, and living happy, seasoned
with stories of how 7 easy Mind Body Spirit habits dramatically and permanently
transformed my life. It is endorsed by four internationally-renowned M.D.s.
This book is not about
stopping anti-depressants. It’s about ending habitual emotional patterns that
abuse the body and scar the soul; it’s about creating new life-affirming habits
to grow younger and dissolve that lingering depression malaise: the blahs, the
blues. It’s also about being filled with quiet joy for no reason.
What
inspired you to write this book?
My
mother died of Alzheimer’s and five years later, I began a downward spiral of
cognitive decline, low energy and painful joints. After a “wake-up call” to
change my life, I put together seven mind/body/spirit practices that evolved
into a daily program that worked so incredibly well for me, I had to share it.
Excerpt from Joy! Joy! Joy! 7 Mind Body Spirit Self-Help Practices to Relieve Stress
and Anxiety, Reverse Memory Loss and Live Happy:
It was five years
after Mom died of that person-snatching disease [Alzheimer’s] that my own mind
starting deteriorating. My short term memory became very fragile and my tongue
kept tripping on words – if I could even find the word. I tried sneaking around
it, not asking a question because I couldn’t remember if I had just asked it,
and using bumper crops of sticky notes. But my attempts at hiding my muddled
brain didn’t escape my kids. They noticed the difference in me and insisted I go
to my doctor for testing.
            So I did. He sat across from me on a
short stool and in his tender doctor voice asked, What year is it, Ellen? I thought he was kidding me so I laughed.
He wasn’t – that was the first question on the standard Alzheimer’s test and
the next one was, Who is President of the
United States?
Well, I wasn’t that bad
so I aced the quiz. Because I had asked for the Alzheimer’s test, though, it
went into my medical records. Then when I applied for long term care insurance,
they turned me down. They’d found the Alzheimer’s test in my medical history
and they weren’t taking any chances.
            It was the “wake-up call” I needed.
            Even though I had correctly answered
the questions on the Alzheimer’s test, the slow deterioration of my mental function
was very real to me and my family. And very scary! That triggered me to put all
my “fight” into recapturing the clear, sharp mind of my younger years.
What exciting story are you working on
next?
The Five Tibetan Rites – the RIGHT Way
A
major part of my self-help program is a series of physical movements for
growing younger called The Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation, which will be a
separate book. Also called The Five Tibetans, they were developed about
2500 years ago by lamas in Tibet and kept secret in monasteries for centuries
because they were considered to be a path to higher consciousness and
youthfulness, ONLY for the initiated.
The
Tibetan Rites were introduced to the Western world by author Peter Kelder and
first published in 1939 in a book titled, The Eye of Revelation, later renamed, The Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth.
I
first learned about the Tibetan Rites in 2004 and have been practicing the Five
Tibetans daily since then. My book will be based on a recently discovered
manuscript of Kelder’s from the 1940s which gives additional details and
information on the correct way to do the exercises. It was brought to light and
edited by W.J. Watt in 2008. My experiences with The Five Tibetans and the way
that I practice them will be emphasized in my next book.
To
see how to do them, go to www.ellenwoodspeaks.com.
It’s the third video on my home page.
When did you first consider yourself a
writer?
As feature
editor for my high school newspaper and one of the top students in a class of
over 200 kids, I was thrilled when a university initiated scholarship talks so
I could get a degree in journalism (my parents couldn’t afford to pay for
college). And then I got pregnant! Scholarship talks ended, I had to leave
school (the law changed in 1972 with Title IX), my mother went to work at the
Five and Dime and sent me to secretarial school. The twists and turns of this
story are in my book.
Do you write full-time? No. If so,
what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do
you find time to write?
For me, my
daily practices are of primary importance (most of which take only one or two
minutes a day, but my meditation in the morning is 20 minutes and in the
evening is 15 minutes). I own and manage two vacation rentals in Taos, New
Mexico, have a column in a newspaper and a magazine and I am also busy with
speaking engagements. I’d like to say I have regular writing hours, but my
writing time is more haphazard. Luckily, I don’t need a lot of sleep.
What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
My writing
group is composed mostly of poets, whereas my writing is, well… quirky and
usually funny. For example, for a writing prompt: METAMORPHOSIS, I wrote a
story that started, “Sally met a morphosis last Sunday…”
As a child, what did you want to be when
you grew up?
A nun or
a movie star.
Anything
additional you want to share with the readers?
In just minutes a day,
by making these 7 mind/body/spirit practices into habits, it’s possible to
change your life forever. If you’re stressed out and have the blues, and it
seems like the whole world is going crazy, these habits can calm your mind and
help you access inner peace and joy. If you are experiencing mild memory loss
(and perhaps worrying about Alzheimer’s because a parent died of it), take
heart: through these practices I was able to reverse early Alzheimer’s and
overcome depression.
Links:
Joy Joy Joy site | Ellen’s site | How to Grow Younger site | Amazon


Thank you for joining me today, Ellen!

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