Suzanne Grenager writing in her journalIt was the luminous Carol Keller who showed me I am the scribe and that the writing I do from deep in the heart of me is not as I’d told her “just my journal.” Carol showed up out of the blessed blue in 2006 for a monthly meditation circle at my house. We made a strong connection and I felt the urge to become her life coach. Only a few days before, I’d wished for someone to type up the words that started coming to me in 2004 in a bold, true voice I didn’t know I had. Hearing about my journal, Carol asked if she could type it up. Perfect, I said, and offered life coaching in exchange.

Carol said she didn’t care so much about coaching. She wanted to type the journal because she recognized it was a critical step in her personal transformation. Though I was surprised by that, I too knew something unusual was afoot. But I doubt either of us knew she’d be transformed beyond our wildest imaginings and we’d be birthing a book along the way. It took me a while to trust what Carol said early on: that the words I’d been writing are her words and, we now suppose, your words as much as they are mine, and you may be as changed by reading them as I was by writing them.

Carol and I worked together for months, and she was right. Far more than the coaching sessions about her life, it was the words about my life that most stirred Carol and helped her burgeon. As soon as she’d type up a section of my hard-to-read handwriting, she’d report a new awareness of her own related to what I’d been exploring in my journal. She also noticed that the insights gained from the words began expressing themselves in new behaviors. With very little effort on her part, destructive habits like co-dependence gave way to a fresh perspective and, soon, a new life.

I’d had strong inklings and often been told that I was destined to write a powerful book. I’d known for years it was my job to translate for others the wisdom of the ancient yoga path to which I’d been exposed. That’s what I did as a yoga teacher, of course, and as a body-mind therapist, and later a life coach. But all the while, I knew I wasn’t going to get away without sharing myself much more fully—via the written word. My first proposal for a book (of the how-to variety) dates back to 1996 and, at a writer friend’s suggestion, I started work on a memoir in 2003. But none of my carefully crafted ventures felt nearly as right—to and for me—as the spontaneous words that began coming through my pen in 2004. Then along came Carol, to help me grasp that it was those intimate diaries, written I first thought for my eyes alone, that were to become my first, long-anticipated book. Read more …